God’s Love Language

Do you want to know what I think God’s primary love language is?

Quality Time

Why? Because throughout scripture God shows us how important it was for Jesus to spend time ALONE with Him.

We were created for an intimate relationship with God. To know and be known. To know His voice and to know His presence.

When was the last time we unplugged and was intentional about spending time with God?

And I’m not talking about 5 minutes here or there either. Somewhere that:

The TV is turned off…

Our phone is switched off.

The Laptop is put away.

And the child/ren is/are paused…or maybe that’s just wishful thinking!

But, in all seriousness, when do we do this?

My love language is quality time, and that means that when you say you want to catch up…I wish for all of you (just not in a weird creepy way.)

I want uninterrupted face to face conversation. To see the expression on your face, and to hear your laughter, or to even see the tears run down your face (my company isn’t that bad, I promise!)

But my point is, I love intentionality. I love that someone would want to have a conversation and it becomes a place of connection and ultimately, love.

God desires that we would do the same, with Him.

Asking the hard questions

Have you ever been in a situation where you were desperate for answers but too scared to ask God?

Habakkuk was a man who sought answers, and therefore he wasn’t scared to ask God, “Why?” or “How?” or even, “When?”

He asked these questions at a time when his heart was breaking for the dying world around him, and so he boldly took his complaints to God.

Habakkuk shows us that we too, can bring all of our complaints to God and that we need to understand that we don’t have to be afraid to ask God questions.

Habakkuk was written to show that God is in control of the world, despite us thinking that evil might be triumphing.

Reading this book made me realise that the issue may not lie with God and his ways, but within our limitations of understanding who He is.

When we receive that revelation, I believe our hope and faith in God then goes beyond our circumstances, and instead, we live by trusting Him because we know who He is.

No matter what we are battling, or what circumstances we are currently facing, we need to ask God those hard questions we have.

And most importantly, we need to remember that God is walking with us every step of the way because He will never leave us and His faithfulness and love endures forever.

Saying grace

How many of us still say grace at mealtimes?

For years, it never crossed my mind to say grace because I wasn’t bought up in a Christian home and very few people we knew regularly did it, so it was for special occasions only – like bringing out your best crockery!

Then I read through the Bible in one year, and I noticed that Jesus gave thanks at mealtimes.

Like all prayers, it can get repetitive or even mundane.

Our daughter likes to say grace as quickly as she can, to start shovelling in her food but it should be more than that.

God has blessed us abundantly in more ways than we can imagine and although we may look at our circumstances and think differently, we should have grateful hearts.

Therefore, let’s be sincerely thankful for the food on our table.

Let’s thank God for His provision and protection on a daily basis.

Let’s thank God for friends, family, and loved ones.

But most of all, let’s remember to thank God for who He is and what He’s done, and continues to do.

He wants our mind

This photo was taken a few months ago, when I took a journey to Wellington.

The train journey was around ten hours and in that time (with no WiFi or board games to play) there were plenty of opportunities for me to think.

Who else understands the power of our minds?

I believe the difference between breakthrough and remaining captive with many of the challenges we face, is battling our mind. Taking captive thoughts and facing those fears.

When our thinking changes, our actions change. And then the fortresses come down.

I know this personally. My mind has been my own worst enemy since I was young. I have battled more things than I care to remember but the one thing that I can assure you of, is this:

Our thoughts break chains

What I mean is, our thoughts have the power to make or break us in life, and our thoughts play a big part in our future.

For years I battled my mind. It was a full-scale war, and for a period of time, I had to choose daily whether I lived or died.

You see, the devil said I wasn’t worth it. Yet, Jesus’ blood tells me otherwise.

The enemy will always go after our mind because that is where God gave us the greatest gift of all…free will.

The choice to choose love.

To choose life.

And to even choose God.

The battle may not be over, but we can be assured that the war has already been won.

My second strand

This is Kieren 😍

Twelve years ago, I prayed for a man who God had purposed for my life. I mean, the one who had actually been written in God’s book and not the few questionable characters, I decided to date over the years.

I remember asking God, after recently becoming a Christian myself, to give me a peace about being single until the man He wanted for me, came into my world. Three weeks later, Kieren came back hobbling back into it.

I say hobbling because we reconnected after knowing each other during the college years and Kieren hobbled into my hospital room after our reconstruction knee surgery, same day, same surgeon, same physiotherapist, the lot. Now, there’s a story but not for today!

I remember praying sincerely for a man of integrity and Godly character. Someone who would love me, for me, and someone who would have a love and passion for God that would lead us into our purposes as individuals and as a family.

After the surgery, we started the long rehabilitation process together. Two months later we were engaged, and a year from that date, we were married at a beautiful location in Sri Lanka.

Sounds idyllic right?

It was, but Kieren wasn’t a Christian at that point and it took a five-year journey before gave his life to Christ.

I used to become so frustrated with him because God and I had a “deal” about the Godly man He was supposed to give me!

(Start cringing) So I would read the Bible OUT LOUD when my poor guy was trying to get some sleep, or casually get mutual friends and I talking about Jesus, EVERYTIME we met up because I thought that Bible-bashing was the way forward to Kieren loving God, but actually, it had the opposite effect.

We would argue over having faith to “just” believe.

I pleaded with Kieren because I was petrified of him going to hell.

I shouted at his lack of trusting me, or God, and then I cried a lot, in frustration and anger…

Then God reminded me that if it was not my job to convince Kieren that He was real, my role was to love him as the second part in our three stranded cord (Ecclesiastes 4:12). Kieren was the one whom my soul loved and I knew that this was the guy, who God had truly given to me. Therefore, I let go and trusted God in the journey that He took us on.

Was it easy for me, no. I have been known to want God to show me the whole picture before I do anything and God has also taught me patience along the way, but I learnt a valuable lesson during that time:

Gold and silver needs to be refined in fire, to become pure, and it is a process for us all.

We can look at others during certain seasons in life and think that God is moving in their lives, but actually, God did refining in my heart too – that still empowers me to this day.

Kieren is an incredible man. He is everything that I prayed for, and more. Is he perfect, no (sorry babe) but I no longer expect him to be, so that he is now free to move where God wants him to be and not, what I expected from him.

“A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” Ecclesiastes 4:12

If you know that God gave you, your husband or wife, don’t give up. We are all on a journey to wholeness, but it’s when we call out our partners true character, that we start to see the gold and a God-given relationship should be worth fighting for.

I’m listening

I live for the moments of being in God’s presence.

To experience His love and to be completely undone by His goodness.

My desire is for everyone to know Him deeper and to experience that deep joy that can only come from God.

I dream for us to focus on His thoughts of who we are and who we were created to be.

Imagine if we could focus on God for even a second more, each day, then I know the world will change for the better.

So my prayer for today, is that Jesus will have His way with us and we will listen when God is speaking

How about now God?

Frustrations build…

Wrong doors get bulldozed open to try and make a way…

We cry out to God…

We scream in anger at getting left behind…

We laugh hysterically at how wrong we MUST have been…

And then, we give up.

How many of us have put to death our God-given dreams?

How many people are feeling unfulfilled or resentful within their lives right now?

I came across something that I wrote over a year ago to myself, and I hope it encourages you, as it still does for me:

  • Joseph waited for 13 years, as a slave.
  • Abraham waited for 25 years, before the breakthrough of his promised Son.
  • Jesus waited for 30 years until He started His ministry.
  • Moses waited for 40 years, in the wilderness.

I don’t know how long it will be until I am walking in the promises God has given me, but when I look at the great heritage that I am following, it brings me comfort.

Is it frustrating…absolutely. Is it necessary…for sure, because there is always a lesson in the waiting and above all, I trust God.

I read these testimonies written in the Bible, and it gives me hope of what is to come.

The cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1) is looking down at us and my prayer today is that we will share the same boldness, perseverance, and faith that these incredible people had to keep going. They never gave up on what God had put on their hearts, and nor should we because then we too can inspire others to do the same.

Don’t stop children

I love the attitude children have towards Jesus – simple yet powerful.

If the Bible says it, it’s true. No debates. No stress. No doubt or fear.

Sometimes, children are such a breath of fresh air because they have pure faith in their beliefs towards Jesus.

Jesus told His disciples not to stop children from coming to Him because they are trusting in nature and that can bring breakthroughs in the world.

Children should be used in the Kingdom, just as much as you or I, as they have the Holy Spirit along with their God-given gifts and talents.

My daughter recently prayed at our church meeting. It was her first time speaking to a crowd, but I could see she was nervous. As her Momma, my initial reaction was to be with her, yet, as I stood there and instead prayed for boldness, she spoke with confidence and simplicity. I saw a shift in her Spirit as she prayed humbly and sincerely. If Sarai prays for a breakthrough – she expects a breakthrough. If she prays for healing – she waits for the healing! She doesn’t second-guess.

I think we can learn a lot from children and in the last days, the Bible says, God will pour out His Spirit on ALL His sons and daughters. (Acts 2:17)

But, that means we must understand that children will play a part in seeing Jesus come again, and who are we to stop them?

The Open Ending

Many people can relate to the parable of “The Lost Son” in Luke 15:11-32, because it’s a story of redemption for the younger Son and unconditional love from the Father.

Yet, there was a part of the story this morning, that stuck out for me…and that came from the older Brother’s jealousy and Jesus actually ending the parable on a cliffhanger.

We can read in this parable, that the Father forgave, because He was filled with love at the return of His lost Son, which is in contrast with the Father’s older Son. He, on the other hand, refused, because of the injustice he felt and so, became angry and jealous.

How similar is this to us as individuals today?

Do you ever look at your biological siblings and think why they are loved more than you?

Do you ever look at people in your workplace and ask to yourself why you seem invisible compared to others?

Or maybe, you see others being promoted or recognised within social media. They have so many more “likes” and yet, you wrote pretty much the same thing as they did yesterday, and no one seemed to care!

Jealousy seems innocent at first, because we justify it with our own moral code. Yet, that in itself is flawed because this emotion comes from a place of envy for what others have. So, if we rip that band-aid off, we are basically unhappy with what God has given us.

The part that fascinates me the most in this parable, is that we never know what happens next…

Think of it like your favourite TV show ending on a cliffhanger and you end up screaming at the screen because the ending never occurs!

Jesus leaves us all guessing with regards to this parable as well. Ultimately, He was addressing the actions of the Pharisees. But, it shows the depravity to which these people would eventually go because they became so bitter about Jesus, that they crucified Him.

The ironic thing here is, the older Son made himself just as lost to his Father’s love as his younger brother had been, and this is the point, I feel Jesus is making. There is always a choice with any situation we face, no matter how far down the track we are, but I pray that we will pick God’s path.

When you don’t want to serve

God put this topic on my heart a few days ago and I have been thinking about how to approach it…

This seems to be one of those “no go” topics within Christianity because we don’t like “our choices in life” to be under a microscope.

But, Churches are under so much pressure because of the needs within every community, and I believe it’s because so many of us choose not to serve or use our God-given talents, to help others.

Scripture says:

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. (Philippians‬ ‭2:5‬)

That, Jesus came to serve others, not be served (Matthew 20:28)

And above all, we must love others, as God loves us (John 13:34)

A non-serving Christian is an oxymoron because it contradicts scripture and as the Church, it’s not about “one or two” members of the congregation helping, but as the whole body of Christ, we all play an important part in being the light in darkness.

The old saying, “many hands make light work,” shows why the Church is struggling to meet the needs of our communities.

I would love to see the Church of today to get back to the principles of the early church:

“All the believers were united in heart and mind.” Acts‬ ‭4:32

There are some churches who have many members serving and that’s amazing, but the scripture above shows that all believers were on board.

How do you serve within your Church and/or community?

The Storms

Have you ever had a time in your life when you thought you weren’t going to get through?

I can certainly think of a few hard seasons. Although, some didn’t feel like a season, but more like my life in general.

Yet, during those stormy times, I look back now and see that what I thought was going to destroy me, God used to clear my path.

Bad choices…

Violent relationships…

Financial implications…

Life-threatening illnesses…

All these storms I have weathered, and all these storms have shaped my character and given me strength.

More importantly though, as soon as I now feel a storm brewing, I have learnt to drop my anchor (Hebrews 6:19) into the depths of the sea because that is when my soul feels secure, knowing that whatever happens, God is in control.

Understanding that God will use all things for good because He is the God of making the impossible possible and we are His.

Therefore, He alone, makes a way when there is none.

Following Christ

There is always a “cost” to following Jesus.

For most of us in the Western World, it is merely the cost of obedience, but to others, it can mean life or death.

I used to think that the western world had it “easy” until I went to a Mission Trip to Vanuatu. There, a woman said to me that she prays for “us” (Westerners) because of the hardship we face every day with the choices and temptations that we face in life, that changed the way I think.

Reading Deuteronomy this morning, there are so many degrees and laws because of the temptations the Israelites faced to sin.

The Bible reiterates over and over that, if we were chosen to be His, then we need to be consciously obedient to bring honour to God (1 Peter 1:2; Ephesians 1:4; Titus 2:14)

My prayer this morning is that we will seek God first, to walk beside Him always, and glorify Him daily because from our obedience, comes His blessings, blessings of eternal life – just as He promised

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