Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Cling to God, with everything in you!

This past weekend I felt the Lord tell me that I had hardened my heart towards Him in that I no longer had hope in His word.  Not that I don't believe the Lord is capable of all He says He will do, but I was feeling He won't do it for me.  The Lord reminded me to soften my heart and remember that His word is true and alive and He is not a man that He should lie, but He will do as He says He will do (Numbers 23 vs 19).


I wrote down all the scripture I had read of late that I felt I could hold onto in the circumstances we are experiencing and started reading them out aloud.  Reminding myself that God's word is true, its alive, its real, and He does as He says He will do.  I must remain hopeful, and faithful and trust Him and His word with everything that is in me.  

I wrote this down:  Your word says:
  • You will restore to us what the locust has eaten (Joel 2 vs 25) 
  • You will expose and destroy the liars and their lies (Prov 19 vs 5)
  • You will silence the lips of the liars (Ps 31 vs 18)
  • You will expose the lies and reveal the truth (Prov 19 v 9)
  • You will not let us who believe in You be put to shame (Ps 25 v 3)
  • If we tithe of our first fruits You will open the windows of heaven that we cannot contain the blessings (Mal 3 vs 10)
  • You will not let our foot slide ((Ps 121 vs 3)
  • You will protect us... (Ps 91 vs 14)

I was so encouraged!

Then, I woke up this morning!!!! 😉

I woke up trying to encourage myself with God's word.  I reminded myself that all the Lord says in His word is true and I can trust Him.  But you know that feeling of doubt, insecurity, that feeling of "will He do it for me?"   Well, those feelings were niggling in the back of my brain while I read my quiet time.  

Then, I read my devotional!  Oh.My.Goodness!  Does God not just read our minds and hearts so well?!

I am going to quote my devotional word for word and I hope it encourages you as it has me!  It is from the devotional by Angus Buchan, Called A Mustard Seed


"Clinging"
 Genesis 32 vs 26(b) - "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me."
"JR Miller says that Jacob won the victory and the blessing not by wrestling with God but by clinging onto God, holding onto God in faith.  The Lord is too big and too strong for any man to try and wrestle Him.  He is God.  He is so big, so huge, that He said one Word and this universe came into being. There is no man that has ever lived who can wrestle with God and win.  Jacob's  hip was displaced but, as Miller says, he got the Lord around the neck, as it were, and he hung on.  The Lord was so impressed with his perseverance, that He said, "Your name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed" (vs28).

Christianity is not a case of a once-off experience.  Sometimes we need to hang on literally by the skin of our teeth until God comes through for us. And He will. He’s come through for me and He can come through for you. Sometimes you cry out, “Lord, where are You?” because the going is so tough.  maybe you feel like that this morning.  God says, “Cling onto Me and I’ll take you through.”

When my younger son Fergus was a small little boy, he had an obstruction in the bowel. The doctor said he was in a very serious state.  He was running a fever and needed to be operated on immediately. I was absolutely shattered.  My life came to a standstill.  I was busy harvesting maize at the time.  I was dirty, full of chaff and dust, and when I was called to the phone, I asked, "well, do I have time to have a shower?"  he said, "No, you don't.  Go to Pietermaritzburg immediately," (this was the nearest city) "and they will be waiting for you at the emergency entrance.  If the boy is not operated on immediately, he will die."  

I will never forget driving those forty kilometres with my son lying in the front seat. The doctor had put a drip into his arm and sedated him.  The little sachet was stuck to the windscreen of the car.  My wife and other children were weeping when I left them behind on the farm.  On that road I cried out to God. I wrestled with God. When wrestling no longer had any effect, I clung onto God.

I remembered just the week before at Bible Study we had been talking about Abraham and the incredible faith he had, that after a hundred years, God gave him his heart's desire, a little boy named Isaac.  When Isaac turned thirteen God said, "I want him back."  Abraham didn't hesitate.  At that moment a peace came over me and, in the Spirit, I gave my son back to God.  I just remained clinging onto Him.  

When we got to the hospital they examined my son. They were going to operate the next morning. I sat by his bed the whole night, totally at peace but clinging onto God. The next morning the doctor could not believe what had happened. The obstruction of the bowel had cleared itself.  There was nothing left on the x-ray.  He said, "You can take your son home."
Just cling onto God today. He won’t let you down."

Just cling to God!   In Faith!
Just cling to God!   In Faith!
Just cling to God!   In Faith!

If we trust God on His word, we need to just cling to Him as Jacob did, and God will honour our perseverance and our heart's desire, and He will work in our circumstances!

Just cling to God!

God bless
Tracy



My ABIDE scripture today is:
Psalm 130 vs 5:  I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His Word I do hope.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Old School Photo Albums

I miss old school photo albums, don't you?  Its not that I don't appreciate that I can take thousands of photos on one memory card now (thank goodness, because usually I only love love love 45 of them 😜) and keep them on my computer.  Its more that I love to sit down with a cup of tea and page through an album slowly but surely and absorb all the good memories they bring to mind.  Memories of where we were when we took that one, and remember how we laughed when we took that one, an oh my, remember when you tripped and we caught that look on film, look how young we were then.... you get my drift?

Those old photos bring back lots of memories and how can that be a bad thing right?!

This brings me to the Psalms I've been reading lately:

Ps 105 vs 17:  He sent a man before them - Joseph - who was sold as a slave.

Ps 105 vs 37:  He also brought them out (of Egypt) with silver and gold, and there was none feeble among His tribes. (parentheses are mine)

Ps 105 vs 41:  He opened the rock, and water gushed out;  it ran in the dry places like a river.

Ps 106 vs 9:  He rebuked the Red Sea also, and it dried up; so He led them through the depths, as through the wilderness.

Ps 106 vs 11:  The waters covered their enemies;  there was not one of them left.

Ps 114 vs 3:  The sea saw it and fled:  Jordan turned back.

Ps 114 vs 7 - 8: (7)Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, (8) Who turned the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a fountain of waters.


Do you see what I am getting at?  The Israelites remembered what God had done for them.  They remembered His faithfulness toward them and it encouraged them in their journey.  David remembered what the Lord had done for the Israelites and it encouraged him.  Other Psalm writers did the same thing.  Looking back at the "photo album" of all the Lord had done for them brought them joy, and encouraged them on their way!  It made them confident of the future the Lord had promised. 

My encouragement to you today is when you look back, look for all the Lord had brought you through, look for all He has done for you, look for all He has given you and saved you from.  It will bring you joy and great encouragement to move forward.  In those low moments when you want to give up, draw strength and confidence in what the Lord has promised you, from all He has done for you in the past.

God bless
Tracy



My ABIDE scripture this week is:
Ps 105 vs 5:  Remember His marvellous works which He has done, His wonder, and the judgements of His mouth.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Digging Deeper 2018

At the beginning of last year I wrote a post ➨ Digging Deeper 2017 and in that post I referred to a great book my daughters gave me for my birthday called "Unlocking the Bible" by David Pawson.  I have thoroughly enjoyed it as I start the reading of a new book of the bible and found some interesting nuggets of info I never knew before.  However, I am still hungry!  I am still thirsty!  I want more!  I want to dig deeper still.

So, in light of that, I began a ladies group in my home.  My desire is to dig deeper.  I have never led a ladies group and so its taking some settling in and learning of some new skills, but one is never too old to learn right?!  But what to do to dig deeper?  Firstly, I searched high and low on google for free bible study guides.  Some interested me, some did not.  I printed out one on David which we have started but we all agree its very light, very "I just became a Christian yesterday" level.

So, I googled further!  I landed up at some interesting blogs.  Google "Digging deeper into God's word" and some really lovely ladies' blogs come up.

In light of my search I have found a bible study guide/book, written by Everett P. Hill, called "James, Exploring the Elements of an Authentic Christian Lifestyle."  What grips me about this book is that Mr Hill breaks down each and every verse of the book of James.  Can you imagine the amount of precious knowledge one can gather in that manner?  I am so excited to start this study...



Thus,
  • Our Ladies group (God's Girls 😊) will be studying the book of James in the near future.  
  • I will be blogging about James as a further way to absorb all the info into my heart and soul.
  • I have created a new tab for resources I find as my desire to dig deeper continues.  You will find it HERE

2 Timothy 2 vs 15:  Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

I hope you join me on this journey of digging deeper and feel free to comment and discuss on any and all posts, as Christians do of course!

God bless
Tracy


My "ABIDE" scripture for this week is:
2 Timothy 3 vs 16:  All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

God's Strength - Not Mine!

I find I am often in a place of feeling weak and unprepared for all that comes my way.  I feel vulnerable and persecuted.  It is in these moments we need to remind ourselves that we do not need to be STRONG to overcome our issues.  We do not need to be a mental and physical warrior to get by in life.  We need to be a spiritual warrior!

How? 

We only need God! 

God's word says many times that we are to trust Him, stand firm on His word and let Him fight for us.  Exodus 14 v 13 - 14: (13) And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. (14) The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”    (Italics are mine)

2 Chron 20 v 17:  You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.  (Italics are mine)

Psalm 46 v 10: Be still, and know that I am God;  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!  (italics are mine)

Many of us are in a battle and we do not know where to turn, or how to fix it, or how to fight!  But God instructs us that we need not fight.

What are we to do then?
  • We must stand firm.  For me this means trust God's word!
  • We must stand still.  I believe this means we should not be all over the place trying to find solutions.  Asking this one then that one for advice.  Seek wise counsel, yes, but train your brain and heart to test everything against God's word for clarity and confirmation.
  • Clothe yourself with the armour of God, so that you can stand in the strength of the Lord to do battle spiritually. (See note below 💦)
  • Do not be afraid!  Why?  Because God has your salvation at hand and He will not let you be delivered into the hands of the evil one.
  • Hold your peace.  I believe this means keep quiet, don't go stir up emotions and muddy the waters.  Don't try to justify yourself, don't try to convince those who hurt you.  Allow God to speak for you.  He will!  Vindication and victory will be yours, and if you are in the wrong, and you are seeking God in these matters, trust that He will be gracious and He will have mercy with you as conviction comes on your heart.  
  • Examine your own heart!  Make sure you are not being self-righteous or letting past hurts colour a present circumstance and in so doing, find you are hard-hearted or reacting wrongly.
  • Forgive constantly.  We are commanded to forgive others for what they have done to us.  To do so keeps us from closing communication between us and the Lord.  Forgiving others releases us and releases the other person to the Lord's mercies.
  • Pray for your enemy/person who has hurt you.  (see note below 👀).  Praying for them opens your eyes to the possibility that they are not just attacking you for no reason, out of a place or unfairness, but they too are being manipulated by their hurts and their past.
  • Be Still.  Be still and know.  Be still and know that God is, and He will!  He will never leave you nor forsake you.  You have to have confidence that the Lord will undertake for you.

We as humans want to be independent, we want to be self-sufficient and we want to be able to handle whatever comes our way.  I think sometimes God lets us try, and he allows us to fail, so that we realise that we should rely on His strength alone.  He alone can fight our battles for complete victory.  I have learnt that when you choose to do your fighting God's way, standing still, waiting on Him, trusting Him to undertake and fight on your behalf, He gives you victory.  And do you know what He wants in return?   He wants only the glory.  He wants you to acknowledge that victory was achieved by His hand and His hand alone.  

So, my encouragement for you today is in your circumstance, stand, stand still, be still, put on the armour of God, examine your own heart, pray for and forgive your enemy, and KNOW God will fight your battle.  He will give you victory and you will not need to be strong on your own.  HE WILL BE YOUR STRENGTH!  Only, give Him the glory!

God bless
Tracy



My ABIDE scripture for this post is:
Joshua 1 v 9:  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”




------------------------------------------------------------------------

Additional Notes:

💦  The Armour of God (Ephesians 6 vs 10 - 18)
  • The belt of truth
  • Breastplate of righteousness
  • Feet fitted with the gospel of peace
  • Shield of faith
  • Helmet of salvation, and
  • The sword of the Spirit which is the word of God

👀  I am being hurt by someone who loves the Lord and who it appears extends only hatred to us and it hurts and confuses me.  Someone, whilst praying for this person, saw a picture of her surrounded and covered by thorn bushes because of who she lives with and that the spirit that is in this person was entering her.  It was a reminder to me that although it appears she hates us, she has been blinded where she is and I need to pray for her, pray that the Holy Spirit release her from that bondage and cover her with the blood of Jesus and protect her both spiritually and physically.  I need to pray that her eyes be opened to the truth and that the Lord protect her and have grace with her.  This whole thing about this person has taught me not to make assumptions based on what I think, that things are not always what they seem, and to pray for those who hurt me and it has given me the grace to have compassion for her.  God will reveal the truth and expose what is hidden to the light.  I need just stand, stand still, trust and pray!

Monday, 29 January 2018

Economics - God's Way!

God gives you seed, (money, time, equipment, ability, opportunity)

He expects you to sow that seed, (work hard, take each opportunity, utilize the equipment, use the money wisely, etc), no matter how inefficient, ineffective, insufficient it might seem!  Or just plain crazy (am I right?!)

And HE GIVES THE INCREASE on the seed sown!  Supplies and multiplies!!!!

It is that simple!

It is us who mess the whole system up with our doubts and our fears.  I think it is very profound and telling, that God tells the Israelites to consider all that He has done for them in the past.  David did this too.  He kept repeating all that God had done for their nation before, all He had done for David before.  Its to build your faith up.  Because God is able!  He has shown us this through scripture, through our own experiences, through what we see happening in the lives of others.


Why do we doubt then?  I would say it is human nature (with a little added help from the devil's whispering).  We just don't do well when we don't see the whole picture.  But we have to trust the One who does.  Really, what is the worst thing that could happen?  We lose it all?  We lose man's favour?  We lose face in front of friends and family?  I think we can all attest to the fact that despite all that, we have survived so far!

It is time to take the seed that God has provided you with, you know what it is, you know what is in your hands, and sow it already!  In FAITH!  Yes, its hard!  But God says that He will not leave us nor forsake us, and His word is proven and tested, not only by those in the Bible, but also by ourselves.  We have all experienced God's goodness.  Remind yourself of those times!  It builds your faith!

2 Corinth 9 v 10:  Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness.

It is important too,
  • To always be thankful to the Lord no matter the circumstance, 
  • To always express gratitude to the Lord,
  • And to speak God's word over your life and situation, and remember,
  • The power of death and life is in the tongue, use it wisely!
God bless
Tracy


My ABIDE scripture this week:  Psalms 40 v 5:  Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done;  And Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order;  If I would declare and speak of them,  they are more than can be numbered.






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