Tagged: spiritual

Preparation

I love how God doesn’t waste a thing. He literally makes all things work together for our good, so, as I heard Kris Vallotton once say, if it’s not good right now, then God is not finished with what He is doing in your situation. He is always shaping us, always preparing us for the next season.

I spent six years living in America, where I felt God was preparing me and shaping me, breaking off old habits, mind sets and hurts, and bringing me into a place where I could receive from Him, and where I could have an impact on others around me.

Something God has been teaching me a lot recently is that once we have been in a season of preparation, we are then equipped with all we need to thrive through the next season we are coming in to. Whatever comes our way, God has given us the answer, the tools needed to succeeded through the situation. Sometimes we spend so much time looking at our problem and asking God to help us, when God has already helped us in the previous season, and has given us what we need to work through whatever has come our way.

The Bible says that God never puts us in a situation we cant get out of. If we believe that as truth, then that means whatever we are faced with, God has a strategy for us to get through. What keeps us from moving forward can be a mixture of fear, doubt, lack of trust  or lack of fully understanding who we are in Christ. If we become focused on our lack, we will never move forward. If we instead focus on what is already in our hands, then nothing can hold us back. It’s like when a you are teaching a kid to ride a bike. For a time they require stabilizers and guidance to be able to ride the bike without falling over and hurting themselves. Once they have mastered that, its then time for the stabilizers to  come off. There can then be a moment of doubt before they head off, but if they learn to put into practice what they have just learnt, they will soon be riding their bike. Yeah, they may fall once or twice, but the key is to get back on and get moving again.

Too often we put ourselves in a self imposed wilderness season, because we wait for the Lord to do something in our life, when He has already given us what we need to walk over into the “Promised Land”. We wonder where God is, when He is wondering what we’re doing hanging out in the desert! Let’s not be like the Israelites and spend more time then we need to out in the desert. God has a Promised Land ready for you, all you need to do is move forward. God wants to give us the wisdom we need to thrive through our circumstance, rather than us sitting back expecting Him to provide for us. Of course, God can and does bring in provision when we need it, but He also invites us to partner with Him to bring about the solution.

Flipped

Today, while on the train traveling back to Edinburgh, I was reading in the Bible a passage from Philippians. I came across verse 14 from the first chapter, which God really seemed to highlight to me…

Because of my imprisonment, the majority of the fellow believers, followers of The Lord, have become confident to speak the Word with excessive daring and fearlessness!

I love how God uses all things for good. The enemy tried to shut down what He was doing by having Paul thrown in prison, but all he really succeeded in doing was to spur on fellow believers to speak out about God with outrageous boldness!

Many people may have feared that with Paul in prison, the early church would soon crumble and fall apart. The opposite seemed to happen, and Paul rejoiced in the fact that even with him in prison, the Word of God was being preached with great confidence.

It is impossible for the enemy to win. It is impossible for him to shut down what God is doing. However, it is possible for him to cast doubt in our minds over whether or not God is still at work in our lives, if we allow him to. We need to resist his lies, hold fast to the truth and remember that it is actually impossible for the enemy to shut down a move of God. God flipped what the enemy had done on its head and as a result, many of the followers Paul had under his care began their own ministries. The enemy actually helped to advance the kingdom of God! We get to use what the enemy throws at us as a launching pad to catapult us forward into what God has for us!

So, if you are experiencing a negative feeling or difficult situation today, take a step back, get God’s perspective and flip that what the enemy is attempting to do on it’s head. What he may shut down in one area of your life only gives way for abundant life to happen in other areas. He isn’t even fighting a losing battle, the battle has already been lost by him and you are walking in full victory.

John 16:33 Jesus says “In the world you will have oppression. But be brave! I have had the victory over the world!”

Jesus has had the victory, it’s already done, whatever our situation, we get to be brave, to move forward with extreme confidence in who God is, and to flip any attempt from the enemy to derail us on its head. Be brave. The victory is already ours.

Familiar

Familiarity can be a good thing, we all want to feel safe, comfortable and secure. The only danger with familiarity is that we can become content with where we are, and instead of pressing in for more, we take a step back and get comfortable. I wonder how many moves of God are stopped in their tracks because we become familiar and comfortable with where we are and so don’t see the need to press in for more of God. God is calling us to pursue Him, and when we do, we find more of Him, there is always more to God than we know, there are always deeper levels of His love to experience, fresh revelations to be made aware of and greater intimacy with the Father to be had.

I believe that God is calling us out to experience greater levels of Him, and with that in mind, we need to spur each other on to keep moving forward, to keep believing for breakthrough, healing, restoration in our lives. God did not call us to live average lives, we are called to live in a way that reveals the Kingdom of God for all to see.

We need to stay hungry – the difference between Spiritual hunger and worldly hunger is that in the world when we have our fill, we are no longer hungry. With Spiritual hunger, the more we feed off of God, the hungrier we get for the more of God. God is inviting us to the banquet table, to eat and drink of Him, to go deeper in our relationship with Him.

So, this week, let’s get hungry, let’s break off the shackles of familiarity and believe God for more of Him. There are no limits to God, only the limits we choose to place on Him.

More

What if what we had experienced of God was only just the beginning? What if there was more to God than what the church was moving in today? Imagine what our country, our world would look like if we had more of God…

Well, the Bible tells us that there is no limit to God, there is always more, always deeper levels of His love, His grace, His presence, His faithfulness, His power. Isaiah 9:7 tells us that “Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end.” In Genesis, God created, and He hasn’t stopped creating ever since then.

Paul writes about it in Ephesians, praying that they would come to know the “love that surpasses all knowledge”. The moment we become familiar with God is the moment we stop pressing in for more of Him, instead becoming content with the way we are today. But what if God was inviting us into deeper levels of relationship with Him? What if God had so much more available for us, and all we needed to do was press in to Him a little bit more?

I remember hearing a story about a man during the gold rush time in California. He spent years and years mining away to no avail, and after years of finding no gold, he gave up and returned to his home town. A little while later, another man came across the mine this guy had been working in, and took up where he left off. After mining several feet deeper, he struck gold, lots of gold. If that first man had just dug a little deeper, he would have uncovered enough gold to last a lifetime and beyond. It’s time to dig a little deeper, breakthrough is coming.

It excites and amazes me to think that there is more of God, having already experienced so much of Him, to think that I am only scratching the surface is incredible.

So today I encourage you to dig a little deeper with God. Not been hearing from Him? Maybe He is inviting you into deeper levels with Him and you are almost there. Don’t give up. Don’t stop now. Keep going, because there is always more.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, because they will be filled.

 

Gifts and surprises

This week has been an incredible week full of fun gifts and surprises. Just yesterday my wife was thinking to herself how she would love for us to go out to dinner, and then we received in the mail a dinner voucher and money towards going out for dinner from a relative of mine! I love how God will put a thought in our minds only for it to come to pass later on in the day. Some might say that is coincidence, I like to give God all the glory regardless.

God is concerned not only with the large decisions and things we are faced with, but also right down to the smallest detail. He who knows every hair on our head loves to lavish His love and provision down on us each day.

Last week we were forced to get rid of our car as it was going to cost too much to fix, which left us car less but full of excitement and anticipation for what God might do to help us. The next day we were offered a car from a relative of my wife’s, and then on Wednesday I was offered another car by some people I had only just met! So within 5 days we had been offered two cars. Can’t help but imagine God having a little chuckle to Himself about that. God is not a God of limited resources, and always provides us with options, usually from places we would never have expected.

2 Thessalonians 1:11 says “…we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith.”

God is at work bringing to fruition our desires and rewarding us where we create space for Him to move through our acts of faith. Emma and I had no idea where a car would come from, we just explained to God the need we have for one and then took a step back, excited to see what He would do. God is always faithful, always true, He will never leave nor forget about you and He always provides us with more then we ever could have expected.

I pray that this week you have a renewed hope in pressing into God for breakthrough in the situation you are faced with. Take a step out in faith and allow Him the room to do what He does best.

It’s always God’s will to heal

The title says it all, really. It really is that simple, God is always out to bring healing and restoration to mind, body and soul. He never intended for us to live with sickness or pain in our body, yet the world wants to tell us otherwise, and to tell us we just have to put up with it. Even for many Christians, they hold the view that God dishes sickness out to teach them a lesson. If God is a good God who wants good things for His children (Matt 7:9-11), then why would He want to strike us with a sickness that prevents us from having an abundant life? It’s always God’s will to heal.

And yet we live in a tension of it being kingdom here on earth yet not fully, and so we are faced with sickness, we are faced with pain. I hate sickness and pain. And so does God, which is why it’s always His will to heal.

On Sunday I got to talk at a church and lead a healing service, and God, in His faithfulness, came with power. There were a number of people healed, from an old lady with sore neck and shoulder pain, to a teenage girl suffering from severe back pain. Both left that service pain free. Because it’s always God’s will to heal.

Well, you may ask, if it is God’s will to heal, why am I not yet healed? My answer to that is… I don’t know. I don’t know why we see so many healings break out and yet some are left with pain. In my own body I still am waiting for pain and sickness to leave, but until it does, and even once it has left, I will not stop trusting God that He is our healer. I refuse to take offense at God for healing the person I pray for and yet not healing me. God is not striking me with sickness to teach me a lesson. Sickness does not come from Him. As each day passes, I get one day closer to receiving my healing. I will focus solely on what God is doing.

If you have sickness or pain in your body, just put your hand on the area that hurts, and speak to the pain, command it to leave in Jesus’ name. Remember, as it says in the book of James, “the prayer of the righteous person is powerful and effective.” You are righteous because God calls you righteous, therefore it is impossible for you to pray and have nothing happen, whether you receive healing instantly or it is the beginning of the process, all you need to do is to remember that when you pray, something happens!

Acknowledge

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5,6

For the last couple of weeks, I have found myself thinking of this verse, and thinking of what it means to acknowledge God in ALL my ways. The word acknowledge means “to show or express recognition, appreciation or gratitude”. It’s when we express our gratitude to God and give Him all the glory for all the good things that come our way, we give Him room in our lives to “make our paths straight”.  I have been trying to remind myself daily to give God thanks and recognition for all He has done in my life, each day. He is always at work in our lives. There is never a day where God is not involved in our lives. His promise is that He will never leave or abandon us. If we truly believe that, then would can hold us back from stepping forward into all He has for us, trusting in Him in every area of life, even when our own understanding of the situation may be contrary to what God does. We should never limit God to what our understanding thinks He can do.

Last week, my fiance and I received news that we had been successful in our application for an apartment, which I will move in to in 3 weeks, followed post wedding by Emma. During the process, we had to supply all sorts of paper work and background checks, not an easy thing to do when I haven’t lived in this country for six years. On paper we were unlikely candidates for the apartment, but we believed God wanted us to have this place, even when we walked in for the viewing, we felt such peace there and assurance that we would get the flat. I remember when we left after viewing it, we made a declaration that the flat would be ours, despite the fact we lacked much of the information they required! God really wants us to move in there.

I am still believing God for a ministry job to open up for me here, I am trusting in Him even when it might seem bleak to someone looking in from the outside. I want to always acknowledge Him in every breakthrough in life, no matter how big or how small it is. In doing this, according to this verse in Proverbs, He will make our paths straight. The thing about a straight path is that, well, it’s straight. You don’t need to worry about when a corner is coming up, or whether you are about to go through a crazy mountain pass. It’s just straight. I love this image as for me it means that I don’t always need to know everything that is coming up in life, I just need to be putting one foot in front of the other, confident that God has got me on the straight path, and that I don’t need to see exactly where I am going right now, but I will trust fully in Him all along the way. God doesn’t want us to be stationary, so He makes it a straight path. He makes it really easy for us to keep moving into all that He has for us.

In my own personal life, I am believing God for healing within my own body, which is a strange place to be in after witnessing so many healing’s in other people’s lives. I believe God will heal me, and soon. As each day goes by, I get a day closer to my healing. You can help me reach this by believing for this with me as well. That doesn’t mean that I am sitting back expecting God to show up in a dramatic way. He might do that. He might also want to heal me through other people, through doctors.

So, this week, acknowledge God in all your ways, whether it be financial, relational, physical, whatever. Acknowledge Him for who He is. Surround yourself with Bible verses supporting who He is for the situation you are faced with. Trust in the Lord, not on your own, or other people’s, understanding.