Monday, 25 April 2016

Has your problem moved into your neighbourhood?

So you think you have overcome a "thing"?  You feel free and joyful about it all and looking forward to new things and not looking back on unpleasant "things".  And then your problem moves into your neighbourhood!

You THOUGHT you had dealt with all that!
You THOUGHT those "things" were things of the past!
You THOUGHT you had overcome!

Well, in some ways this may be true.  There is probably stuff you have dealt with, stuff you have overcome.  But maybe, just maybe, there are residual issues just under the surface.  Our God wants you to have complete victory over those "things" and the only way to do that is to have them move into your neighbourhood.  Forcing you to confront what needs to be confronted.  Be it a fear, a person, unforgiveness, hurt... Whatever it is, if it moves into your neighbourhood and FREAKS YOU OUT, it is NOT dealt with.

I found this out at the end of last year.  I thought I had dealt with stuff, come to a place of contentment in it and then all that stuff blew up into a myriad of emotions that just came out of no where!!!?  But it did force me to confront those emotions.  It did force me to come to terms with my half-hearted forgiveness and it did help me come to that point of contentment in Christ that no matter what was done, no matter how I had been hurt, I could leave all that to Him and let Him deal with it.  I DID NOT have to solve any issues, I just had to lay down what I was harbouring and holding onto, at His feet!  At the foot of the cross.

Now I was not able to do any of this without much reading of the Word.  I can't say that any great solutions sprang up from the pages of the Word, but just the act of obedience of going to the word in the first place, God honoured that by dealing with my heart.  I do not know the hearts of those who have hurt me, but the personal pressure I placed on myself to resolve and restore things was removed from me.  All that was left was to leave them to God.  Let Him deal with whatever it is that is in their hearts.  I also came to that place of rest, knowing that even if I were to never receive the vindication my heart so longs for, its okay, because I have Christ.  He is my strength, my rock, my fortress, my DEFENSE, and my vindication.

Because I started letting go of all of these unresolved issues, I have been able to hear the Lord a little more clearly I like to think.  For example, I was having a quiet time the other morning when I read the following:  (now keep in mind I have been trusting and desiring and wanting and seeking for vindication, an apology, an acknowledgement of wrong doing - I know, I know, I expect a lot!!)
Isaiah 54 v 17:  But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgement you shall show to be in the wrong.  This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced];  this is the righteousness or the vindication which they obtain from Me [this is that which I impart to them as their justification], says the Lord. 

Did you see that??!!!  

When I read this I nearly fell off my chair!  Based on the scripture above we ALREADY have received our vindication.  Why?  Our enemy tried to form weapons of lies and deceit and false claims against us, and they did not prosper in that.  They took us to court and the court found them to be WRONG.  We retained our peace and our security as children of God and because we are God's children our heritage is this vindication that we will not be dragged through the mud wrongfully.

I had such a moment of release in the realization that the vindication I have sought, I have already received.  So my problem moving into the neighbourhood lost its power to concern me or hurt me anymore.  God is in control and they are His problem, not mine!

He is faithful and just to do as He says He will do.

I hope the above has given you the encouragement to know to lean into God as much as possible and when your problem moves into your neighbourhood, He will deal with it, and He will remove its power to hurt you!  It is your heritage as children of God, in Christ!

God bless

Monday, 11 April 2016

What Pattern are you following?

I am currently reading the book "The Harbinger" by Jonathan Cahn.  I am finding it interesting reading to say the least.  I did read the second book first, "The Mystery of the Shemitah" also by Jonathan Cahn, but it was much more in depth and involved.  The Harbinger was much easier to follow and understand.  I suppose that is why it is first and not second, lol!

Firstly I am no Jewish scholar or knowledgeable in Hebraic roots or history and secondly my passion is to learn all I can in the Word and grow as a child of God.  As interesting as these books are, they are to flesh out my knowledge, and not the source of God's Word.  There is only one WORD, God's Word, the bible, for me!

So why am I going on about all this?  The above is just to give you background into where I am getting my meandering thoughts from :)

In the book, The Harbinger, the writer is sent on a bit of a journey to discover, with a help of a "random stranger", the 9 harbingers.  Harbingers are warnings, sent by God to redirect ancient Israel back to Him.  In the book the writer and the stranger, lead us to see the pattern of these harbingers and Israel's reaction to them, and... how (for the purposes of this book) that pattern is being followed closely by America.  Now I am South African, living in South Africa, and as these harbingers unfold, in the time of Israel's falling away, and today, in America, I can see these patterns being played out in the lives of any Christian.

For example, the first harbinger, as per this book is that God allowed a breach in their defenses, a breaking down of their walls.  The writer lines this up with the Twin Towers.  The second harbinger in the time of Israel, was the Syrian nation - the tool allowed by the Lord to set about Israel's defeat, should they not turn back to God.  In that time, like now, the Israelites said they would rebuild, they would use stronger materials, they would build taller, stronger, higher!  They would NOT turn back to God.   Today, that tool is the terrorist, who, when you follow their path back into the past, their roots lead back to the ancient Syrians.  The third harbinger is the falling of the walls, the breach being broken down completely.  A warning becoming a judgement!

Now it is at this time in the book where the writer shows that ancient Israel, and today America, had a choice.  They could turn back to God, ask His forgiveness and rid their lives of idols etc.  He would then restore to them His protection and restore the breach, or they could become even more independent of Him, even more arrogant and self-sufficient, less in need of their creator, their God, their rock!

It is here that I thought how this applied to us as Christians.  How often in our lives do we become too comfortable within our circumstances, how we lean less on the Lord and more on our "things", our "friends", our "comforts", our jobs, etc?  We start making trade-offs and compromises and stand up less for our morals and our foundational Godly roots!  I think it is at this point that God often allows a breach in our protection.  He allows a loss of finance, a loss of standing with our friends, a hardship, an event, illness maybe, something that gives us a kick in the pants!

It is at this point where we make one of two choices,
1.  We choose to get closer to God eventually after trying every other solution immediately, or
2.  We choose to go the way of the world, in other words, we DO NOT CHOOSE GOD!

It really is that simple.  We come to a point where we have to choose God, or NOT choose God.

That is what I am seeing in this pattern of harbingers in this book.  It is reality.  It happened to Israel and is currently happening to America and I include in that any previously "Godly" nation and at one point South Africa was such a nation.

Why are we so surprised when God removes His protection, His presence, His blessing?  At first He does it to get our attention.  After that we get more chances.  God is certainly a God of many chances.  But there is a point where those chances, for us, for our countries, run out, and those breaches become judgment!  Hard to read?  Imagine how hard it is for our God to watch as we choose the world over Him?  But He loves us anyway!  He keeps knocking anyway!  And those who are already won to Him, He wants to keep us close and God is sometimes rough with the flesh, to win the soul.

I think as each of us chooses the path that leads back to closeness with God, and our numbers grow, we can at least be a light to our nations, that may encourage the same.

God bless

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Heart Health!

My physical heart is very healthy, despite how I abuse it with bad food and very little exercise!  I am truly grateful and need to start looking after it a lot better so it stays that way!!!!

But what about my soul heart?  What about the condition of that place in me that suffers loss, experiences hurt, feels disappointment?  What about the damage done there?  There are changes that take place.  A hardness can set in.  Bitterness can take root!

What is more relevant than the health of our hearts?
  • They need to be worked on daily!
  • Out of the abundance of our hearts we speak (Luke 6 v 45)
  • We need to watch and guard our hearts (Prov 4 v 23)
  • We need let the Lord examine our hearts (Ps 26 v 2)
  • We need to make sure our hearts belong to the One who created us! (Prov 23 v 26)

My spiritual heart, my soul heart, has many wounds and bruises that I have allowed to fester, not allowing it heal.  I need to start taking better care of my spiritual heart.  
  • I am going to feed it God's word daily.  
  • I am going to practice Godly principles, like guarding it, examining it, loving it and keeping it clean.  
  • I am going to watch for hardness of heart and try my best, through prayer and faith to keep it supple and ready to give and receive mercy and grace.
  • I will pluck out those roots of bitterness as soon as I recognise them.
  • I am going to daily offer my heart to the Lord in thankfulness.
  • I must be consistent, intentional, resolute and deliberate about my heart health.

Yes, my heart needs some royal treatment because in doing so, my heart will be able to hear and help the hearts of others.  It will be strong in the Lord and healthy enough to carry the scars that shape it.  God says He heals the broken-hearted and my heart needs and wants His healing.

My encouragement for you today is that if you are breathing, your heart is alive, therefore, why don't you, with me, start to give your heart a little Godly TLC?

God bless


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