Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Will We Recognise Him?

Recently I have been mulling over all the happenings in the world.  So much tragedy!  So much hurt and pain!  So much devastation.  A lot of this is brought on by the evil in the world, yes, but it is in the aftermath of these things that we see so much of the heart that is in many men and women worldwide.  Those who give their time, their effort, their money, to help when they did not need to.  There are everyday heros that come to light in the aftermath of these events.

However, none of the above is my point today 😊.  I want to say though, that although the world is full of angst and trouble, the heart of many still beats for its fellow man.

So in my thinking and mulling I wondered about the end times and the various "prophesies" that people have, the dreams and visions being spoken of.  Some contradict one another!  Some are downright weird!  Some we truly want to believe, and others we fear for their content!  All these things led me to wonder if we would recognise Jesus when He arrives.  Not only that, would I have recognised that Jesus was the Son of God, had I been there back in the day?  Back when He walked among people as a man?  Would I have been in awe and wanted more, or would I have thought this guy is nuts and moved on?  Or would I have feared Him as other-worldly and run a mile?

His word says that many will come in His name (Matt 24 v 5:  "For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many,  
and
Luke 21 v 8:  And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them..
Today, would we know they are not real if they were not overly obvious in their speech and manner?  Would we know whether we were being fooled or not?


In my quiet time this morning I read John 10 and this is what it says:
John 10 v 5:  "Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers." 
Jesus was speaking to the pharisees.  They knew the word better than most, and did not recognise Jesus as the Son of God. 
Jesus says further:  vs 14 "I am the good shepherd;  and I know My sheep, and am known by My own."  
And again in vs 27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they know Me." 

As I was reading through this (read John 10 in its entirety) I started to realise that if I want to be able to recognise Jesus should He come and stand before me, I need to know His voice, and to know His voice I need to spend much time in the Word so that I will recognise what it is that He says.

My conclusion is this, Jesus wants me to recognise Him, He wants me not to be fooled, and He gives me the tools to do this, His word, His Holy Spirit Who lives within me, Who will be my guide and my conscience putting either peace in my heart or a stay, a warning, that all is not right. 

Learn to know His voice, so you will be among His sheep who recognise their Good Shepherd!

God bless
Tracy

Monday, 25 September 2017

Weapons of Spiritual Warfare - Love

1 Corinth 13 v 4 - 8(a):  Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; (5) does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; (6) does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; (7) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  (8a) Love never fails.....


Love suffers long,
Love is kind,
Love doesn't envy,
Love does not brag,
Love is not prideful,
Love does not behave rudely.
Love isn't selfish,
Love is not provoked,
Love does not think badly of someone,
Love does not think evil of you,
Love does not rejoice when evil is done,
Love rejoices in the truth,
Love bears all things,
Love believes in you,
Love hopes in and for you,
Love endures all things,
Love NEVER fails.....

Imagine living and breathing in this manner?  Where would be the opportunity for revenge?  Where would be the opportunity or ability to destroy another?  Where would be the ability or desire to hurt another?  Where would be the signs of selfishness and selfish ambition?  Where would be the desire to encourage evil?  Where would be the loneliness experienced the world over?  If we only but loved, we would have no battles to fight.  We would have no wars to contend with!  We would have joy, unity, faithfulness, service, willing sacrifice of time and resources!

We would have all the God desired for us to have.  It is ours for the taking... Let us do all, to love!

What a powerful weapon love is!

God bless
Tracy

See also:
Previous Warfare post - No. 1:   Weapons of Spiritual Warfare - Worship
Previous Warfare post - No. 2:  Weapons of Warfare - Prayer!

Coming Soon:
Next Warfare Post - No. 4:  Weapons of Spiritual Warfare - The Word, The Sword!

Friday, 1 September 2017

Weapons of Spiritual Warfare - Prayer!

There is no doubt that prayer is a power weapon we have in our spiritual arsenal.  It is however one that for me I find very challenging.  Mostly because I find myself listing all my woes, or wants, to the Lord.  But that is the great thing about being on a journey with the Lord as your Saviour.  That's the amazing thing about "running the race"!  You learn ALL the time!  You improve, you find lack and find a way to change things.

My prayer life has improved much over the years.  From moments of shear desperation, to  moments of joy.  I am learning that the model of how to pray that the Lord gave us, is a great one to follow.


Firstly, we honour God as our Lord and Saviour, maker of heaven and earth, 
Secondly, thank Him for all we have,
Thirdly, ask for His forgiveness, and extend forgiveness to others,
Fourthly, prayer of protection from the evil in this world,
Fifthly, acknowledging that all power and all glory is His...

That is my take on it at any rate.  There is so much power in prayer.  We can focus on WHO is in power, we can acknowledge to ourselves WHO has control of our environment and our circumstances.  We can choose to remove the power of the enemy over us by FORGIVING, and releasing the hurt dished out by others, to the Lord.  We release power into our lives by acknowledging that ALL power is from God. It is HE who is ALL-powerful.  It is Christ who delivers us from evil and He gives us the ability to forgive.  

And what a mighty weapon it is to be able to be thankful in times when things are hard, when things seem hopeless.  It changes our perspective, it shapes how we see where we are and what we are going through, and it helps us to continue on, knowing that God is with us always


How do we utilize prayer as a spiritual weapon:
  • Humble yourself and seek the Lord in Prayer.  It changes things.  2 Chron 7 v 14:  If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
  • Pray whenever, wherever, always, and pray not only for yourself.  Eph 6 v 18:  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
  • Pray - yes, in faith - yes, but do your bit too by striving always to live in the will of the Lord.  Job 22 v 27:  You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfil your vows.
  • Pray when things are bad, BUT also when things are great.  James 5 v 13:  Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.
  • A powerful tool is prayer when you pray for your enemies.  Matt 5 v 44:  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
  • Pray that you will be aware of any traps from the evil one.  He knows how we think so he plays to our weaknesses.  Prayer protects you.  Matt 26 v 41:  “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
  • Pray that when you read the Word it WILL do a work in the renewing of your mind because in the renewing of your mind to the Lord's will, it protects you from conforming to the patterns of the world which, due to media and peer pressure can be very hard to resist.  Rom 12 v 2:  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
There are many more scriptures which speak to the power of prayer.  We should also see prayer as communion with the Lord.  Spending time with your good friend, or your spouse, strengthens that relationship.  So too does spending time with the Lord.  As your relationship with the Lord strengthens, you become more aware of the spiritual warfare around you, and you are able to pray more effectively, in your own life and for others.

Prayer!  An awesome and powerful weapon of spiritual warfare, given to us freely!  Don't let the "how to" of prayer stop you from just "doing it"!

God bless
Tracy

Previous Warfare post - No. 1:   Weapons of Spiritual Warfare - Worship
Next Warfare Post - No. 3:  Weapons of Spiritual Warfare - Love 

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Weapons of Spiritual Warfare - Worship

Over time, A LOT OF IT, I have come to realize that a lot of what we go through is a spiritual battle.  I have learnt very very slowly, that I have weapons at my disposal.  This morning when I woke up I read Psalms 103.  It starts off with worship and praise for our God.  It got me thinking about worship and how at times in my life, when I had no other options, no other resources, no answers, I felt the Lord encourage me to worship.  I know eventually I will learn to worship before I run to the end of myself....😵

Ps 103 v 1:  Bless the Lord, O my soul;  and all that is within me, bless His holy name!

And it is in worshipping the Lord, that we leave the outcome of our circumstance to Him.  It is a way we can show the Lord that we trust Him and that we know He can do anything, no matter how things look.

We should have a relationship with the Lord and if we do we will discover some things that are our responsibility in this relationship.  One of those things is Worship.  When we worship, we are looking up (figuratively and possibly literally).  In doing this, we take our eyes off our circumstances and troubles and look to the One who can do whatever He feels is required in our circumstance.  Worship helps us to correct our focus.  It should be on Him!

Our relationship to God is, for me, one of Father and daughter.  I know that if I came to my father in need he would do anything in his power to help me.  I know not all people have a relationship with their father, or maybe not a good one, or maybe no relationship (or no father) at all.  But from a normal perspective, as children we can rely on our fathers to help and be a guiding hand.  Your father would not necessarily resolve your problem for you, but he may guide you and support you through a problem.  He would be there offering assistance and wisdom.


This is what I believe our heavenly Father does for us as well.  We worship Him, and He sees where we are, and what is going on in our lives, and like a good Father, He wants to help you.  But sometimes its not the help we wanted or expected, right?!  But we have to believe that as our Father He has our best interests at heart.  His word says that He will never leave us, nor forsake us (Heb 13 v 5)  We have to trust Him to His word and I believe that worship says that.  I believe when I worship the Lord I am telling Him that I trust Him, that I honour Him, that He is my Father, and that I know He will undertake for me in my circumstances.

I believe that worship is a weapon of warfare.  When I worship the Lord, I surround myself with the love of the Lord, and He protects me from the evil one.  Whether mentally, physically, or emotionally, I can trust that my worship of God, elicits His protection of me.
Eph 6 v 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

So I encourage you.  Utilize the weapons at your disposal.  Spiritual warfare is real, but our God is greater than anything in the world.  1 John 4 v 4: You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.  

Worship draws God to you, His power and might He brings to your defence, and He surrounds your with His love and protection.  What a great and powerful weapon He has given us.

God bless
Tracy

Next Post:   Weapons of Spiritual Warfare - Prayer







Tuesday, 8 August 2017

What you See is not always what Is!

10 years ago today, our little family was devastated by the beginning of an emotional tsunami!  Our greater family was split, our lives were smashed from all we accepted as the norm.  What we thought we had, we thought we lost!  It was crushing.  It was the beginning of 6 years of hell on earth for us, we thought!  Followed by 4 years of trying to pick up the pieces and begin healing....

But, what we thought of as devastation, was actually a rescue boat!  It was a way God used to separate us from a greater threat.  It was something so awful that nothing could prevent this family split!  But, praise the Lord, God used it to make sure we separated from that which was threatening to completely destroy my children!

Now, 10 years later, I thank the Lord for all that hurt and all that pain.  I thank the Lord for those who created this devastation in our lives.  Because God used them to keep a greater enemy away.  God used them to expose the true viper in the nest.  They were just tools He used to protect us.


We used to think that perhaps this all happened for their salvation.  The salvation of those who caused this destruction.  As it turns out, one of them did turn to the Lord.  But the day I learnt about the true enemy and what had been happening right under our noses, it hit me like a ton of bricks.  God used them to save us, not to harm us!

My point is that sometimes situations look like something that they are not and that the only way through is to implicitly trust God and know that He has the bigger picture that we do not.  I also believe that in time He reveals the bigger picture to you when you are where He wants you to be.

I think of Job!  Man, he must have been so confused.  So hurt!  So frustrated!  He was certainly not reaping something he sowed.  Yet his suffering had a purpose!  Centuries later his story helps people, heals people, guides people.  Our suffering this thing had a purpose!  We just could not see it.  We railed against it, but also chose to trust God along the way.  I cried buckets of tears.  I raged at the Lord.  I lost my sense of humour.  I lost my sense of value.  But we limped on!  Now, on the other side of it, God revealed the "why"!  And now I rejoice in all that we went through because of what He ultimately protected my family from.

Going through hell?  God has got this!  Trust Him.  He will show you when you can see!

Jeremiah 29 v 11:  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Psalm 38 v 18:  For I will declare my iniquity;  I will be in anguish over my sin.

Psalm 91 v 2:  I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;  My God, in Him I will trust.”

God bless
Tracy

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