It has always been about two things, in order for God to move in our lives…
Because, when we sing to God in worship, and we fully surrender to Him, God brings a fire in our hearts that we can’t contain, and that’s when our lives are changed forever.
That is when God-ordained purposes are fulfilled and destinies are forged.
That is when we see the Spirit move powerfully over our circumstances, but we also see God use us to impact the World around us.
The Church in Acts 2, did not know what was about to happen. They simply had a hunger for God and they had fully surrendered their lives to Him.
It was God’s will, not theirs.
The First Century Church desired God’s presence and the byproduct was a revival.
God loves worship. We read time and time again of the Angels singing in Heaven, but also, one day, we will get to be apart of the greatest 24/7 worship session, we will ever see.
When we see Heaven, it will be because we fully surrendered to God in this lifetime, and we let the Spirit move us so that others could see God’s love through our eyes.
His will, not our own.
My prayer today is simple:
Set a fire down in my soul, that I can’t contain, that I can’t control. I want more of You, God. I want more of You, God.
I want more, of Him
As a child, I was always fearful of doing something wrong and therefore, I tried to do what was asked of me. However, in my teenage years…let’s just say that those weren’t the best times of my life, and looking back, unfortunately, that sprawled into my twenties as well, because of the decisions I made.
What comes to mind when you think of the word “rebel”? Maybe someone who is fighting with ISIS, or simply, an unruly teenager? A rebel is anyone who rises in “opposition of an established ruler.”
So, if we have given God our lives, He is the ruler of it! Therefore, if we try to walk our own path, or still do our own thing – we are rebelling against what Christ did for us.
Yet, God loves to take our stories of rebellion and hurt, and change them to stories of people living for His cause of eternity.
God gave us the gift of free will because otherwise, we couldn’t choose to love Him, and forced love doesn’t really love! But with free will, comes the ability to make our own decisions, for better or worse. There is no magic formula for the easiest path through life, and the scripture in Matthew reminded me this morning, that the more we try to cling onto life’s rewards, the more we discover how empty we really feel.
I have found, when we loosen our grasp on money, power, or popularity etc., it frees us to follow Christ and walk into what God created us for. In other words, when we let go of control or rebelling against God, that is that we begin to experience the benefits of following Christ and all the blessings and hardships it brings.
Yet please do not forget that with God directing our steps, we are never alone – no matter what we face.
In Joshua chapter six, this is the moment when the walls of Jericho came tumbling down after Joshua’s army marched around the city walls seven times. You then read how they shouted as loud as they could, as instructed by God.
How beautiful is it, that Joshua understood enough to realise, that God would fight for Him, and his army when he was obedient to the Lord.
This is the simple message of the story – the battles we face in life (when we belong to God) are His to fight.
We don’t need to go to war (in the natural sense) to obtain victory in our lives, but like Joshua’s army, remain silent and believe that God will fight for us when we give the battles we face to Him.
How? We do this by lifting up His name in praise, prayer, or maybe even fasting, but also trust what God says, is the truth.
Give the battles you are facing to God today, and watch how the walls come down in your life so that you are set free.
As a young Christian, there were times when I would say, “God…if you are real…you’ll do ______, and give me that miracle.” And there were times that God was gracious to me.
Yet, the times I saw nothing happen led me to go on a journey with God to develop my faith, and trust. But my faith then came from the deeper understanding of not only who God is but also having an intimate relationship with Him.
Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego trusted God to bring them out of the fire that King Nebuchadnezzar threw them into. However, they were determined to be faithful to God, no matter what happened.
In July this year, I had X-rays that showed I had a fractured spine, but blood tests also revealed an infection too. I was in an insane amount of pain and so, I prayed, and I also received prayer one Sunday, at Church.
The following week, the consultant was surprised when the MRI’s came back “surprisingly good,” because the fracture was nowhere to be seen, and ALL of my discs in my spine “were like new,” yet, I still had some pain in my lower back.
My parents are still unbelievers but my Mum said, that the next time I was going to get prayer, to get “Him” to heal the pain as well. She asked why all of my “issues” weren’t sorted? Honestly, I had no answer as to why I still have some pain but I replied, “I will…but if not, He is still good.”
Faith is not an insurance policy. We don’t believe, in order to get rescued, or healed from sickness, or whatever life throws our way but we serve God whether He intervenes or not, because our Eternal rewards are worth any amount of suffering this world can offer.
So, I am believing, by faith, that the pain will completely go but like so many great people in the Bible – we need to keep walking by faith. We need to keep pressing forward towards the goal, and eventually, everything that God intended will come to pass. However, if it doesn’t include healing from pain, or something that God has said, or maybe you feel like you are being thrown into a fire with friends…
God will still, always be good
My word for this morning is “Get out of the boat.”
I love when God puts a song on my heart and this one by Hillsong United is another one of my favourites (as is all of them, to be honest!)
Yet, thinking about Peter this morning, some of us may feel that he put Jesus to the test, but he was the only person to react in faith.
Peter’s faith led him to experience a demonstration of God’s power, but he only sank when Peter took his eyes off Jesus.
Peter’s faith wavered when He looked around at his circumstances and realised when he was actually doing.
Yet, when Peter’s faith faltered, he reached out to Jesus – the only one who could help him.
There are some of us whom God is asking us to “come.” You have asked to get out of the boat and when Jesus said yes, you became hesitant.
So my prayer today, is that we will all get out of the boat when Jesus says too, and that the Spirit will then lead us to places that have no borders because our trust is in Him and our eyes are fixed firmly on Jesus!
I also pray that we will be faith-filled people who “step out onto the water” so that we will also see God’s power move before our eyes.
“Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.” Matthew 14:29
I love reading the prophetic books, but whilst there was a word on God’s judgement, they also come with an outpouring of God’s forgiveness and blessing.
If you knew that today was the last day before Christ returned, what would you do?
God told the people, through Joel, to turn to Him whilst there was still time.
No one knows when Christ will return, and Scripture tells us that He will return like a ”thief in the night,” which means that it will come as a complete surprise.
Therefore, we need to trust and obey God now, whilst we still can. It’s a human perception that there is always enough time…but what if Christ did return tomorrow?
This passage in verse 13 goes on to talk about showing deep remorse, and how people used to tear their clothes to do this. But, God isn’t interested in outward displays, rather, He wants us to show that our hearts are for Him, and not just as an outward action.
So, if we knew Christ was coming tomorrow, and remorse began to rise deep within – would that be an outward gesture, or more, that our hearts have been changed forever?
Ezekiel was a prophet that wanted God’s people to know, that no matter how bad things got during the Israelites captivity, God still had a plan and would keep His covenant promises – despite their rebellion and the consequences they were enduring.
Therefore, Ezekiel called on the Israelites to have faith in what was to come and that the Glory of God would return.
We forget that there are always consequences to sin but God’s plan has never changed, not even the time God has chosen for Christ to return and reign.
Ezekiel teaches us that the Glory of God is God’s greatest purpose and that when we live for Kingdom purposes, the earth will experience God’s presence, as it is in Heaven.
Writing this, I get goosebumps because it will then become so real to Christian’s and to the rest of the world.
We all have been called to fulfil God’s purpose for our lives but when focus on the pressures of the ”here and now” and what everyday life throws at us, we forget God.
Yet, when we focus on Him, we start to see glimpses of God’s holiness on Earth, and we become one step closer to that Glory reigning here on Earth for a millennium.
This was at a time where God was asking Moses to lead God’s people out of slavery. It was a time full of uncertainty and even danger for the Israelites.
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt inadequate to fulfil what God was asking of you?
Like Moses, there are times when I have made excuses to God as to why someone else might be a better candidate, and yet, it is through my obedience that the greatest blessings and adventures have been birthed.
It is natural for us to feel uncertain and even fearful of the unknown but just like Moses, God wasn’t asking us to work alone.
God often will call us to do tasks that seem impossible but He knows that we can do it because God will be with us.
We need to stop looking at our inadequacies – as Moses did – and look to the resources God will provide us when needed.
All God needs is for us to say “Yes” and “Amen” and then we need to let Him worry about the finer details.
So remember, if God has asked something of you…
You can do this, because God is with you!
Lamentations remind us that sin brings pain and tears – this is the reason Jeremiah was called the “weeping prophet. Yet, God is always ready to show us mercy when we come back to Him.
God responds when we ask Him for help, but sometimes it’s a pride thing or even fear, that stops us from seeking God because we think that He will never forgive us.
I realised that God’s love and mercy are so much more than anything we can do in this lifetime!
Therefore, hold onto God’s promises and His faithfulness, because we read in the Bible that God’s mercies are new each morning (it means that He will forgive if we ask and we receive a clean slate each day) and that as far as the east is from the west, God removes all of our sins from us (in other words, He’ll keep on taking our sins away because that’s the price Christ paid.)
If shame is stopping you from coming back to God then, that’s a tactic from the enemy.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed” v22
Shame is not our identity and if it’s consumed you, I encourage you to read Lamentations 3 because it gives us hope in the midst of our affliction that God will always be there to welcome us back with open arms.
Ok, so this Scripture is one that we don’t like because it challenges us to our core.
Enemies could be defined as a family member, ex-best friend, rivalry gang member, different culture, etc. – the list could go on.
But the point Jesus was trying to make, was that, when we love and even pray for those we hate, we overcome evil with good.
Also, Jesus does us a big favour here, because by telling us not to retaliate in this passage of Scripture, He keeps us from taking the law into our own hands.
How many of us dreamt of a way to not get caught, but have run scenarios in our head, of hurting those, who have hurt us? 🙋🏼♀️ How many of us have actually then gone that one step further and those scenarios, become reality?
Satan’s plan is to take over our mind. It seems too simple when you say it out loud, but there is a reason that Scripture tells us to take every thought captive and that we need to renew our minds, daily.
A single thought is a seed in our mind that we can choose go cultivate and then it becomes our identities…
”If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is still living in darkness. Anyone who loves a fellow believer is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. But anyone who hates a fellow believer is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness.” 1 John 2:9-11
Lightness vs Darkness…
Love vs Hate…
Jesus vs Satan…
God gave us freewill to choose good over evil and when we choose Jesus – we walk in true freedom.
I remember a time when my little Girl was scared and I would hold her tightly but I’d instantly feel her relax in my arms – because she felt safe, she knows that I love and care for her, so, therefore, she trusts me.
Yet, it can be difficult to do the same thing with God.
I had so many walls around my heart, for years, and because of this, I felt alone. But, when I began to trust God and allow Him into my life, I received His love, which then bought a calmness and peace that passed all understanding and that is when I truly felt safe.
Today, I encourage you to let go and run into God’s arms, because He’s ready to hold you tightly and remember…His perfect love will cast out all fear.