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January 2017

31 Jan -“You said!”

god-said

My kids have a “come back” line that they often use on my husband and I, which  if we are not careful can leave us in a predicament. I’ve learnt that our children do actually listen to what we say, and they will waste no time in reminding us of what we have said if we don’t follow through. Their favourite line in case we get busy or forget something is “But you said!” And indeed we usually have said; and if we want them to believe our word we have no option but to back up our words by action.

Today I opened up a book I have beside my bed and a little piece of paper slipped out. It had been put there by one of our children, and on it were a drawing and two little words. This time it wasn’t, “Mum, you said!” It was instead a prayer request and the words, “God said!”

It made me stop and ponder, “what indeed has God said?”

From the very beginning God has said some things! He said when He created the universe out of a dark void, and He said it was good.

The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. (Genesis 1:3)

He “said” when He created mankind, and He “said” when He blessed them and “said” “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.

He “said” when He declared that, “he knows the plans He has for us, that, “they are plans for good and not for disaster, to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11)

 He “said”, “He gives power to the weak
 and strength to the powerless. 
Even youths will become weak and tired, 
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
 They will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:29-31)

 He “said”, Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29)

 He “said”. “That He will supply all our needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

And He “said”, “that nothing can ever separate us from His love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from His love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)

He “said”,  “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

God has said many things, and His great and precious promises He has declared so that we can know He is dependable. He is not a man that He should lie, or go back on His word. What He has said He means 100%. (2 Peter 1:4)

Today no matter what you may be facing, know that God has said some things to you. He has promised and declared some truths over your life and your future. If you take hold of His invitation to walk with Him, and trust and listen intently to what He has said in His word, He will guide you through your life both now and forever. What He has said, and promised you, He has the power to accomplish, otherwise He wouldn’t have said it in the first place. 

Just as our kids remind us of what we have said, I encourage you to remind yourself of what God has said, and His great and precious promises. God is listening when we remind Him of them, and the angels are ready to act when they hear them, so it’s more than okay to remind God as  one of His children of what, He has “said.”

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)

“Bless the LORD, you His angels, Mighty in strength, who perform His word, Obeying the voice of His word!” (Psalm 103:20)

 

30 Jan -Get off my boat!

speedboat-wake

Do you ever get weary of all the fuss and bother around you, or how you may feel internally at times?

I’ve discovered, and unfortunately often have to be reminded to take my eyes off the problems and drama’s happening around me, and instead look firmly ahead to what God’s purpose and plan for my life is.

When we do that we begin to concentrate on what we are meant to be focusing on, instead of being distracted by the “noise” all around us. Knowing what our purpose, passion and God given gifts are causes us to be motivated and empowered to move forward, rather than looking behind, or to the left or the right at what everyone else is saying or doing.

The “force” of our purpose and knowing what we are made to do and be, causes a momentum within us that protects us from the things or people who may drag us back or down. We’ll leave them in our wake, like a speedboat in motion leaves a wake in the water. A speed boat’s “wake” causes turbulence that is difficult to get over or through. The more momentum we have the bigger our wake, and the less “stuff” is able to attach itself or get on board the boat.

We are like that speedboat, when we have momentum and keep moving forward. Life’s drama’s, negativity, and the cares and concerns of the world are much less likely to get near us or drag us down when we are focused, and recognise what really matters in life.

However if we are constantly listening and looking at all the problems, other people’s issues, or just the noise around us, these become like weights climbing aboard our vessel. They serve as distractions and we can easily run the risk of entertaining these “weights” when we lose focus and start listening and looking at them.

The bible talks about the importance of keeping momentum in what God has called us to do and be. Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,”

 “Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.” (Hebrews 12:12-13)

Today make a decision to focus on your God given purpose and what you are motivated and passionate about. Focus on those things that bring joy, fulfilment, and are God’s plan for you. Think on, “whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” and leave the rest in your wake. (Philippians 4:8),

Prayer: Lord please help me to remain focused and free from the weights that so easily try to entangle and drag me down. Give me strength and endurance to gain the momentum I need, and then wisdom to keep moving forward. In Jesus Name Amen.

29 Jan -When things don’t work out as planned!

gods-plan

What do you do when things don’t work out exactly as you’ve planned, expected, or prayed for?

The fact is life doesn’t always go the way we planned. Sometimes unexpected things happen. We receive bad news, there is trouble at work or home, cars break down, and family members say and do things that hurt or annoy us. We can suffer disappointment, loss and even failure.

Jesus never said we wouldn’t have trials, in fact He warned us we would. But He did promise that when we walk with Him, we will overcome them, and that “ALL things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

I’ve learnt that we can’t judge how much God loves us by our circumstances. God loves us regardless of our circumstances, and His plan is always good even when we don’t understand why some things happen.

When something in our life fails to go according to plan there are a few things we would be wise NOT to do.

1.Don’t throw up our hands and give up. There is no point in quitting. Sometimes we may need to adjust our course a little, but if we know that God is in what we are doing, and we are praying and seeking to live His ways, we can’t just give up. Our answer and our results just haven’t shown up yet. It’s God’s job to keep His promises, and ours to keep believing.

 2.Don’t get angry and throw a “hissy fit”. We can all be tempted to get angry when things don’t go our way. But anger just leads to strife and fear, and those two things hinder the working of our faith. God is busy behind the scenes and there is a lot of activity and work that goes into making God’s plans for our life come about. Stay out of anger, in faith and trusting God.

 3.Don’t panic. God knows the beginning from the end and everything in between. He has the answers, the way through, and the break we need. He promises that He knows the plans He has for us, plans to give us a hope and a future. So we just need to relax and rest in the knowledge that everything is going to be all right in the end. (Jeremiah 29:11)

No matter what happens it’s important that we don’t throw away our confidence in God’s goodness. There are times in life where we may not understand what is happening, but we can’t let what has or hasn’t happened dictate what we are going to believe. Psalm 27:13 promises that, “we WILL see the goodness of God in the land of the living”.

 Our second daughter Shara is a few months off completing her Exercise Physiology degree. If you’d asked her 5 or 6 years ago if she could have imagined undertaking such a degree she would have laughed and said “not on your life”. Shara had planned to complete a singing, dancing and acting degree, and had her life all mapped out. But then things didn’t quite go as Shara had anticipated, and her plans started to unravel. Problems arose in the school she attended, and issues and strains on her body and voice soon closed the door to her plans. She was left at graduation from High school with very few choices for further study, except one. Go to university and enrol in a course for a semester and then transfer over into the only other field she’d even had the slightest interest in at school – Sports science.

Nearly five years later Shara’s life has mapped out very differently to her initial plan. She has discovered a whole part of herself she never envisaged. Because of her studies she has changed her lifestyle and outlook. She is healthier, stronger, incredibly fit, much smarter than she at first thought, with an understanding of her body, and what it can and can’t do. She recognises and knows how to prevent injury while dancing and exercising, and has embraced and is benefiting from a healthy, balanced lifestyle. In addition she also has part time work as a singing and dance teacher and regularly gets employment singing, dancing and being on stage.

Things didn’t work out as first planned, but God’s goodness has prevailed. And God has hardly begun the good work He has prepared for her yet.

When things go wrong or not according to our plans, we’ve just got to trust that God has it under control. Trust is a choice to believe that God is good, and that he’s working things out to our advantage. Trust means holding onto what His word says regardless.

We must be patient and give God time to work on our behalf. We are always in such a hurry, but I’ve discovered God isn’t.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, …He makes ALL things beautiful in His time”. God specialises in the business of restoration and restitution, promising to work all things together for our good. (Romans 8:28)

“The LORD says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts.” ( Joel 2:25)

Today if you have been disappointed, or things have not worked out as you planned. Take heart, the journey isn’t over yet, and God says with Him your life has good things up ahead. So don’t have a “hissy fit” and give up; keep trusting God,keep believing, and you will see the goodness of God in the land of the living.

Prayer: Lord thank you that no matter what I face, you make all things work together for my good. Help me to trust in you, to keep believing and standing on your promises, until I see your plans and purposes for my life fulfilled. In Jesus Name Amen.

28 Jan -What’s your one word?

one-word-for-the-year

Every day, week, month, and year God wants us to have things to look forward to. When we complete one adventure or challenge He always encourages us to look to Him and enquire, “What’s next?” Without the “what’s next” moments with God, we will begin to wonder why on earth we are even here? As a result we can very quickly become despondent and depressed.

Everyone, no matter what stage of life they are in, needs something to make them glad they are alive. We are creative beings, made by the Great Creator. When we no longer have anything to create, or to envisage, it is far too easy to get “bogged” down in the trials, tribulations, and stressful things of life. God doesn’t want that. He desires that we live our lives using our gifts, knowing our purpose, and being passionate about everything we are and do.

We are made to live meaningful and purpose filled lives where we have something to look forward to in our day and the year ahead. I’ve discovered that having a particular word for each year helps me to have a focus for the year, and a word to define what God wants me to concentrate on. It’s takes faith and courage to not just go through our days existing; and it takes knowing our power, purpose and passion to live a life that makes a positive difference in the world.

Having a word for the year, where we have inquired after and listened to God about what He wants us to focus and grow in, helps us filter all of our busyness through this “one word” to ensure that we are not getting off course. Having a word that gives direction as to how, what and where we invest our time, energy and money, motivates us to spend our life on what matters.

Imagine if everyone had a focus and vision before them that caused them to live out their destiny in God. Imagine if everyone was excited about the journey they were on, and were making a positive impact on the world by using their gifts and abilities.

I love the apostle Paul’s passionate words about what his life was all about. He knew what   he was alive to do and be. His purpose was to know Jesus. To know how much Jesus loves us; what He has provided for us through His death and resurrection? To know the power of Jesus’ name, and Him as counsellor, friend, encourager, leader, and peace giver?

Paul said, “For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognising and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly]”(Philippians 3:8 AMP)

Paul lived an amazing, exciting, meaningful life. Regardless of the high and lows he remained steadfast, and fulfilled His calling. And as a result he was able to say towards the end of his life, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)

Today take the steps to discover the simple, powerful tool of identifying a “one word” vision for your life and year. Ask God about possible words that might define your gifts, your purpose and the things that inspire you to live your best life, so that you too may run your race well.

Prepare your heart and ask God to reveal your word to you with the simple question, “What do you want to do in me and through me this year? Then write down what comes to your mind and heart.

Keep your “one word” where you can see it as a regular reminder of your vision for the year. Share it with those who will support you, as you live it out with conviction, purpose and passion.

Prayer: Lord thank you for vision, and a focus for the year ahead. Please help me to discover my one word for this year, so that I will make the most of every day and opportunity before me. In Jesus Name Amen.

27 Jan -Finding your passion!

passion

It doesn’t matter who you are, how smart you are, how young or old, tall or short, educated or not, there is something within each one of us, that we really care about; a place that makes our eyes light up, and that can at times move us to tears. It’s a subject, a something, an interest that gets us excited; that can make us “over the moon” with enthusiasm, excitement and fulfilment. Put simply, it’s what we are passionate about.

Jesus said something that always catches my attention and imagination. He said, “The thief comes only in order to steal, and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full), till it overflows). (John 10:10 AMP)

God plan for us is far above and beyond anything we could hope, think dream, ask for or even imagination. (Ephesians 3:20). He wants us to have a reason to get out of bed in the morning, to count every day a blessing, and to have joy in being alive. He longs to expand, increase and broaden our horizons; to take the limits off, and to reveal to us far more than we could ever possibly dream of.

On the other hand the devil’s whole plan is to cause us to fear. He loves to steal from us, to diminish us, to limit, to kill off, and to destroy. He is a liar, a thief, and there is no good in him at all. Where there is lack, you can be sure he is involved, where there is brokenness, fear, lost dreams and vision, you’ll find him at work.

I am convinced that the greatest, most effective way to push back at the devil’s stinking, thieving schemes is to stand up and say, “enough is enough, you will no longer steal, kill and destroy anything in my life”. We’ve got to get a little feisty, and take hold of the life that Jesus went through so much to give us. It’s ours; and it’s ours to live. Nobody else can live it for us, nobody else is meant to fill the place that God designed specifically and wholly with us in mind.

I am convinced that God wants us to live, and not just exist. I am convinced that he wants us to find fulfilment in our life, and that when we do He is glorified. I am convinced we are to shine like stars in the universe, and that our very life is to shout, “look at how good my God is, and to cause others to say, “look at them go!  God wants us to find our power, our purpose and our passion, because in doing so we will find our place; where and to whom we belong, and how we can make a difference.

I believe passion is God-given, and it must be protected to allowed it to mature, because God given passion causes us to gain clarity and direction, and it’s one of the things that the devil loves to steal from us. That’s because when passion is directed productively for the benefit of others, it can literally change the world. It gives us the fuel we need to overcome obstacles and challenges, and enables us to rebound from disappointments or failure. Passion helps us to fulfill our God given purpose, because passion operates in the realms of faith, and belief.

The bible encourages us to do everything with passion and enthusiasm; not for others, but for God. (Colossians 3:23)

In a world where many people feel “under their circumstances,” where it is hard for some to get out of bed in the morning, where the enemy has being stealing, killing and destroying, it is crucial that we live with passion. That we take the time to remember what makes or made us smile, what causes a spring to be in our step, and what makes us glad to be alive. It’s important that we dream again, and ask God to open up to us the ability to see visions, and reveals to us His plans and our future. Because when we do, God will start to ignite a passion within us. He will stoke the fires of our heart, and give us the energy we need to live on purpose, and to maximise our gifts and abilities.

Today take the time to dream; to imagine; to think about what you are passionate about. As you do, ask God to ignite a fire in your heart. He made you with a power; that with Him becomes a super power. He made you with a purpose, and something specifically in mind for you to do and be. And He is the one who can, and will give you the passion to fulfil that for which you were born.

For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.“ (2 Chronicles 16:19)

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He will do it. “ (Psalm 37:4-5)

 “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us. “ (Ephesians 3:20)

Prayer: Lord please help me to dream again, that I may know what I am made to do and be. Light a fire in my heart, rekindle my passion if need be, and help me to fulfil those things which I am made for, and the person I was created to be. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

26 Jan -Finding your purpose

 

purpose

One of the greatest feeling as a parent is when your kids discover what they are made for, and find their joy in a particular pursuit in life. They have found the thing that makes them feel alive. That’s because there is a fullness of life and joy to be found in finding our purpose and direction.

Everyone is created by God with purpose. We are all unique and our birth was no accident. However at some stage in life most of us ask the question, “Why am I here?” But perhaps we should instead ask, “What am I made to do?” “What has God created me to do and be?” How can I bless and make the lives of those around me better? What is my calling?”

I believe when we ask Jesus to be part of our life, He starts to reveal to us who we are, and our purpose for life. He helps us to be focused and spurs us on to make the most of every opportunity in life, even if that means pushing us out of our comfort zone on occasion. He is our compass, and guidebook and if we listen He will direct our steps, our vision, and our future.

When it comes to living that purpose out I have found it helpful to have one word  which encompasses my power (gifts and talents) and my purpose or calling specifically for the year. In a sense it’s giving me a focus each year of how I can live out my God given “power, purpose and passion”.

If we wait and ask, God will cause that word and subsequently direction to spring up in our hearts and minds. He wants us to grow and develop us into all we were created to be. He longs to share, and reveal mysteries to us. It’s just most of the time people don’t stop long enough to take a breath to check they are on course and focused on the things God has for them in life, let alone the year. It’s far too easy with all the demands and busyness to get off message and lose track of our purpose in life.

Having one word for the year creates a point of focus and contact, where we filter all our activity and energy through our “one word”. My word this year is “expansion”, so when I’m assessing my week and schedule I ask myself “Is this helping to expand and enlarge my capacity, am I growing and experiencing God more, is what I am doing the best use of my time, focus and energy”?

God even encourages us to write down our vision, in this case our one word, so we might run with it and remain focused.

Then the LORD answered me and said, “Record the vision And inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it may run. (Habakkuk 2:2)

Living with a purpose is about investing our life in the things that matter most, so that we can live with a sense of direction and meaning. Our purpose should inspire, ignite, challenge, and give us each a sense of meaning.

Today take some time to ask yourself, “what does the world need, and how can I help fill that need?” We can all make a positive difference, and God promises He has, and will give us everything we need to fulfil that need. There is in fact a lot at risk to both us living a meaningful life, and also to those things that will be left undone if we don’t step up and fulfil that for which we were made. We all matter, and have our part to play.

I’ve learnt that the more I know God, the more I discover who I truly am. I encourage you to draw close to Jesus today, and in the process discover your purpose, and what you were made for.

God says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” (Psalm 32:8)

 “For You formed my inward parts;

You covered me in my mother’s womb.

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made]

Marvelous are Your works,

And that my soul knows very well.

My frame was not hidden from You,

When I was made in secret,

And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.

And in Your book they all were written,

The days fashioned for me,

When as yet there were none of them.” (Psalm 139:14-16)

Prayer: Lord thank you that I have a purpose and reason for being here. Help me to draw closer to you today, and in the process discover who and what I am made to do and be. In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

25 Jan -What’s your superpower?

whats-your-superpower

Within each of us is the desire to have a better year than the last. To grow from strength to strength, and never get to the stage in life where we are just waiting to die. Living within each of us is the desire to live a life that truly matters.  God has a plan and a purpose for each one of us, and our being here and who we are matters.

A New Year is a chance to begin afresh; to aspire for more, for better, for increase. However we can have so many thoughts, dreams, and aspirations buzzing around in our heads that it all seems too hard, and we don’t even know where to begin to make a change or particular focus. That’s where the technique of just having one word to help us identify what we hope to focus on for the year can make a big difference.

Having a one-word vision defines and motivates us to live our best life, and to not waste any moment. The year passes by quickly, and having a focus can help keep us on track. Life is precious and God encourages us to take every opportunity to live a meaningful, purpose filled, life where we do shine like stars, and build a God honouring legacy and example to follow.

Our power, passion and purpose are the three areas we need to discover to reveal our gifts, the fuel for our soul, and the purpose for which we were made. Out of those three areas we can then ascertain what is the one thing we need to focus on and ask God to do in our lives now.

My one word for the year is “Expansion”. I want God to expand my life and to take limits off. That He would work on the things I have been afraid of; the areas where I have lids on, and where I need to grow in my capacity, that God will expand and increase. I’m excited because I can already see and sense God moving as I lift my expectation and faith for Him to expand my life. That One word – “expansion” has given me a focus and a “word” to keep me moving.

In setting our “one word” vision it’s important to discover our “Power”- our gifts and talents. They are a little like our own superpower. God can and does take our natural powers – our gifts and abilities, and adds His “super” to them. We can in Him, do far more than we could ever think or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)

Ask yourself “What are my strengths, and what do I naturally excel at; what are my unique qualities. What gives me joy and makes me feel alive?”

These qualities and strengths help us know what to focus on and pray into. When we combine these with our passion and purpose (we’ll discuss these in the next blog), we can start to live more fully the life for which God created us for.  

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)

 “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:6-8)

Today spend some time considering what your “power” is. What are your unique gifts and talents that God has given you? Write them down and talk to God about them. No gift is insignificant, and everything we do can be used to bless others and to glorify God when we give it our best.

“Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being, for the Lord and not for men, because you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as your reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 2:24)

Prayer: Lord help me to know what my power is; those gifts and abilities that you have uniquely given me. Please help me to use and grow stronger in these things, so that I would have a focus and vision for the year ahead. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

24 Jan – Who’s speaking in your Dreams?

god-speaks-in-visions-and-dreams

Have you ever wondered if the dreams and visions (dreams we have while awake) are somehow God speaking to us? The answer would be yes. God does actively speak to us through visions and dreams, and these can have significant meaning.

Often God will use our dreams and visions to challenge us about things in our hearts that we have left unattended. Other times He will release the ability for us to “see” the future and where and what God is leading us to.

A few years ago I had a vision -a waking dream, of myself running. When I was 11 years old I contracted a painful condition in my knees that prevented me from running or participating in any sports. I was in constant pain and had several operations, and numerous treatments and therapy throughout my teenage years to fix the problem, all to no avail. Then when I was 18 years old I had prayer for Jesus to heal me, and was instantly healed and pain free.

However I never went back to running. I got married, had six babies, and was always somehow too busy. About two and a half years ago I started to repeatedly have a vision of myself running. This went on for months, until I conceded God must be trying to speak to me. You see I’d shut down that sporty part of my life. God was speaking to me about running again, and so finally as a result of that vision I brought a pair of running shoes and started to run. At first it was only 30 seconds at a time, but I persevered. I experienced some setbacks and disappointments at my bodies lack of coopeation, but that vision kept me going.

I had received the vision from God in my spirit, it was translated to my soul (my mind and emotions), and then my body eventually came into line with what God had spoken. In the process my heart was healed, and the Lord restored what had been stolen from me as a child. I now look when I run, like the vision God gave me, and my family says I must be training for a half marathon, as I’m running over 10km at a time now. But it all started through God speaking in a vision.

We aren’t always open to hearing what God has to say to us, often because of our busy schedules or the state of our internal world. We can fail to take the time to listen or set aside time to hear God speaking. Or perhaps we don’t want to listen because what He has to say is difficult to hear. There are areas of our hearts that our minds don’t want to acknowledge, but God will reveal these things in visions and dreams.

Through visions and dreams He is able to get past our conscious self-defence mechanisms and go right to the heart of the matter, revealing the true condition of our hearts. This gives us opportunity to pay attention and listen to God, so that we can face these hidden areas in our life, and be healed and set free. He can also speak in a vision or dream to someone else, with a specific message for us.

All through the bible God used visions and dreams to bring direction, revelation and instruction. He still endeavours to instruct us through our visions and dreams, and uses them to imprint things upon our hearts and minds. The images we see may reveal a coherent message, or seem to make no sense. In my experience of interpreting dreams, there are often particular objects, people or places God uses to symbolise specific things. Initially it may make no sense, but if we wait and ask, God will usually bring revelation.

Both Joseph and Daniel had visions, dreams and interpreted theirs, and other people’s dreams. The dreams revealed peoples hearts and told of the future. God will even speak in a dream or vision to those who don’t profess to know or believe in Him so as to fulfil His purposes and/or to draw them to a revelation of His existence. (Genesis 37:5-9; 40; Genesis 41 Daniel 1:17)

It is however important to understand that we can all have what I call “pizza dreams”, like when we’ve eaten too late, and experience a disturbed sleep. We can have jumbled dreams from a busy, over anxious mind, which is our mind trying to sort out our previous day. It’s why its a good idea to spend some time before we sleep reading the bible and asking for forgiveness and healing for any mess up’s, or struggles we may have faced throughout the course of our day. We can also give any busyness and concerns of our day over to Jesus before going to sleep. Then when we dream or have a vision, we can be more confident that it is God revealing and speaking to us and not just “the pizza”.

If we think that God has communicated with us through a dream or vision, the Bible is the best place to confirm whether the message we have received truly came from God. If it doesn’t sound like how God speaks in His word, caution is always wise. It’s also worthwhile sharing what has been revealed to us with other Christians who know God and His Word well.

Biblically and historically visions and dreams have been a legitimate method God uses to impart visionary revelation, and it continues to be today. Ultimately Gods desire is to bring us closer to Him so that he can impart His plans and purposes for us, and our communities. He also wants to enable us to communicate with others with wisdom and revelation. Dreams and visions are designed to speak directly to our hearts about our lives, others we know, about our church, city, nation and the world.

Today, consider the dreams or visions you may have had. Write them down, pray and seek God over them and what they may mean. God never does anything without a purpose, and if we have had a dream or vision from God, you can be sure it is for a reason.

We can also ask God for the spirit of revelation, and wisdom that we might know Him better. Ask today, and expect God to speak, and for you to begin to see visions, and dream dreams.

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.” (Ephesians 1:17)

For God does speak—now one way, now another—though no one perceives it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they slumber in their beds. Then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction”. (Job 33:14-16)

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you desire to speak to me, and draw me closer to you. Please remind me of any visions or dreams you have given, and help me to understand and grasp hold of what you were saying. Please release to me in greater measure visions and dreams from heaven. In Jesus name Amen.

23 Jan – In the know!

god-speaks-through-impressions

Have you ever felt you know something even though no one has told you, or sensed something about a person or place? When we know Jesus, and/or He is trying to catch our attention these impressions are one of the ways God speaks to us. He frequently speaks  through impressions, but we can dismiss them as stray thoughts, feelings or merely coincidences. But when God is speaking to us, He will often “quicken” something,  or whisper gently or direct our thoughts to a certain subject, person or event.

It is often quite unexpected that we can hear from God this way, letting us know details of a situation or person when no one else has told us. The Holy Spirits role is to reveal things that are to come, and to lead and direct us. God’s Spirit speaks to our spirit, and then our spirit speaks to our soul – our mind, will and emotions, which is why it often sounds like us talking.

God will influence our feelings, physical senses, and minds to communicate direct supernatural knowledge, which differs from natural intuition.

Jesus said, “I still have much to tell you, but you cannot yet bear to hear it. However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come. He will glorify Me by taking from what is Mine and disclosing it to you.” (John 16:12-14)

I often say “I have it on my heart, or I’m feeling and sensing this about a person or particular situation. I’ve learnt my impressions are more often than not God speaking, and if I listened more often I would be far better off, and more effective in what I do.

Jesus knew in His spirit what the religious leaders were thinking in their hearts before they said anything. Often divine impressions are like that; we have an immediate knowing in our spirit and heart. Suddenly we just “know that we know.”

Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this is what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things?” (Mark 2:8)

God speaks to us in these ways all the time, but many people have trained themselves to ignore their impressions, and relegate them to just “feelings”. Possibly because our society gets offended, and does not esteem any knowledge that bypasses the mind. Our proud minds tell us that everything worth knowing must pass through our intellect. However God at times will bypass our intellect to get what He wants to say through to us. The key is to strengthen and tune our spirits to Holy Spirit, by spending time with Him, and reading God’s words in the bible. As we do that our mind and emotions are also strengthened and brought “into line” with what God’s word says, and we are less likely to have our own opinions, fears, prejudices and judgments rise up within us, which can cause us to “hear” incorrectly.

God created us with a spirit, feelings, a mind and a body, and if our motive is to listen and hear from Him and to always build others up, then we are far less likely to get it wrong. 

The bible explains “the (Holy) Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.” (Romans 8:16) As we grow more attentive and sensitive to God’s ways of communicating with us we will become more accurate and confident in what we are sensing in our heart or spirit is actually a divine impression and message from God.

I think it is best to learn and be sensitive to these impressions from God is in the little everyday areas of our life. Today practice by asking God for direction and insight into everyday things like; where to park the car, how to solve a problem at work, or home, or while talking with friends and family. Perhaps listen on who to call, visit or help with an act of kindness? Once we start to listen in all the different ways God speaks, its amazing to discover just how much He does desire to lead, guide and share with us everyday.

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3)

Jesus said, “my sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)

Prayer: Lord please help me to listen in all the ways you are speaking to me everyday. Help me to strengthen and tune my spirit, emotions and thoughts to you today as I spend time with you and read your word. In Jesus name. Amen

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