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Dayle's Blog

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January 2018

31 Jan -Let not your hearts be troubled

One of perhaps the things I find difficult to do at times is to keep my heart from getting troubled. Probably because there is a lot we can be troubled about. Just read a newspaper, face book, listen to the news or people’s conversations and we will surely find, hear or see something that has the potential to trouble our hearts.

However Jesus said something to guide our hearts and minds. He said, “Let not your hearts be troubledBut believe and trust in God” (John 14:1) Meaning don’t worry and be troubled, but have faith, hold onto, rely on, keep going and believe in Me.

When Jesus said those words to His disciples they were about to face more trouble than many of us could imagine. Jesus was aware of His impending death and crucifixtion, His friends were all about to flee for their lives, there was uncertainty, death, disease, poverty and exhibitions of harshness and cruelty by the ruling Romans and society as a whole that we can scarcely comprehend in our modern times.

Yet Jesus said to His disciples, as He still does to us today, “Let not your hearts be troubled.” He goes on to teach us why we don’t need to be troubled. For He:

1. Has prepared a place for us, so that where He is, there we may be also. (John 14:3)

2. That those who believe in Him will assuredly do greater works than He has did while walking the earth. (John 14:12)

3. Holy Spirit will abide with us forever, and God Himself will make His home with us if we ask Him to be part of our lives. (John 14:17-21)

We don’t need to be troubled because if we have a relationship with Jesus He promises He is with us, that we have open access to heaven and we know where we are going when our time here is done. That if we believe in Him and His words remain in us we will also minister and see amazing miracles, provision, healings, outpourings of power, wisdom, strength, and comfort.

Jesus is faithful. When He says, “don’t let our hearts be troubled”, it’s because He knows we don’t need to allow the crazy things of this world to steal our peace from us.

He is our peace, and He expects us to do the works and miracles He did, instead of coming under the trouble, turmoil and wickedness of the world. The works Jesus did, He said we will do, and even greater. The peace He gave, we can minister to others; the comfort and strength He carried wherever He went, we too carry if we determine to abide in Him, and let His words abide and settle down on the inside of us.

Today, discover and know who God is, and the truth that He is greater than any wickedness, evil or trouble we may face in this world. Abide in Him and let His words abide within you; for as you do He will teach you His ways and give His assurance and wisdom so you’ll  know what to do, and not to do. Then you too can share wherever you go the truth of His love and goodness, and that none of us needs to live perpetually troubled.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let it be afraid”. (John 14:27)

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” (John 15:16)

Prayer: Lord I choose to let your love and words rest in me today as you teach me your ways and wisdom. I do not let my heart be troubled because I trust and abide in Jesus today. In Jesus name Amen.

30 Jan – Let go, so the good can come in!

I’ve learnt that one of the most important lessons we can learn is to, “let the bad out, so the good can come in”.  We can’t expect to experience the life God wants to give us, in all its goodness if we won’t let go of the negative “bad” things in our lives, so as to make room for the good things. There just isn’t room for both in our hearts and minds.

We essentially get to choose everyday whether we will of let go of and stop dwelling and being dictated to by the bad experiences, emotions and circumstances of life so that we have room in our hearts for God to fill us with His goodness, and to shower us with His kindness.

To make room for the good I’ve discovered that I must choose to cast or roll over onto Jesus all the hurts, worry, disappointment and negativity of my day, rather than choosing to hold onto it all. Otherwise I’ll spend my days and nights re-examining and reliving every negative aspect of my life which only magnifies the “bad” and diminishes and overshadows anything “good” in my life.

God says, “cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5: 7) meaning we cast aside like an unwanted garment those experiences, thoughts and emotions that try to crowd our lives, seeking to steal our joy and to cloud our view of God’s love, care, provision and protection of us. Sometimes that means being pretty honest with ourselves about what we are carrying around on the inside of us. But if we make a decisive decision each day to let go of the “bad” and make room for the good, seeking after God and His ways He will help us to focus on Him, and will fill us with hope and an expectation for good things in our day and future.

Today take some time and ask God to help you examine your heart and thoughts. Where you are holding onto hurts, disappointments, unforgiveness and burdens, let them go. Ask God for His forgiveness if you need to, and for Him to fill you with His peace and love.

What God has for you is never in your past. He has something better for you and He is greater than your worries and fears. Choose today to let go of the “bad” and make room for the “good,” because when you do God promises He will flood your life with  “rivers of living water” bringing life and health to every part of your being. (John 7:38)

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing!  (Isaiah 43:18)

“You keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you”. (Isaiah 26:3)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope“. (Romans 15:13)

Prayer: Lord help me to let go of the “bad” things that I am holding inside myself so that your goodness can flood through every area of my life. I let go, and let you and your goodness in. In Jesus name Amen

 

29 Jan – Like a box of chocolates

“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” (Forrest Gump)

Life is like a box of chocolates, loaded with surprises, some delightful and some downright disagreeable. The yummy ones, of course, are easy to swallow, but the ones we don’t like so much are sometimes hard to stomach.

Those yucky ones however, determine our depth of character and can help shape who we are. It’s in the moments we would rather spit out and forget about, that we either choose to run to God or run away from Him.

It’s in the bad times that our faith often grows and we mature. We learn to rely on God through everything. He is there. He never promised He would lead us “around” every trial, but that He would be “with us” in every trial, leading us through. That He would never leave or forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)

What you do in the midst of trials and how it will change you is up to you. We can sit there sucking on the bitter moments, reliving them over and over. Or we can face it, pain and all; allow God in, and work through it with Him.

It’s in that space you learn that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).

Let’s make a decision not to live in silence, fear or bitterness but to make the most of every opportunity and the most of our lives.

We are alive. So let’s find out what God’s plan and purpose is for our day and life and then go out and “just do it”?

Is that always easy? No. But if you walk long enough with Jesus you start to discover that “He will make everything beautiful in His time”. (Ecclesiastes 3:11.) Even if at times you just have to go to a place of trust, knowing God loves you and it is going to be ok. That He has a hope, plan and a future for each one of us.

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.

“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the daysordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be”. (Psalm 139:16)

Where are you in your walk? Are you enjoying the sweet taste of good times, or a series of unexpected, unpleasant events?

Today whatever you are going through, rely on Jesus and His love for you. He will get you through the distasteful portions of life and make the sweet ones even sweeter.

Life is like a fantastic box of chocolates. (I happen to like the Vanilla caramel ones). It’s loaded with surprises, opportunities and challenges.

But remember it is like a box of chocolates, so it’s worth unwrapping!

Prayer: Lord thank you Lord that you have given me life. Help me in every season of life; that I’d be grateful for the sweet times and learn to trust you in the distasteful moments. Thank you that you are faithful, and work all things together for my good. In Jesus Name. Amen.

 

28 Jan – Take time to listen and you’ll know what to do.

Before refrigerators were invented, in colder parts of the world  they used ice houses to preserve their food. During the winter, people cut large blocks of ice from the frozen lakes and streams. They hauled them to the ice houses and covered them with sawdust so the ice wouldn’t melt.

There is a story of a man who lost a valuable watch while working in an ice house. He searched carefully raking through the sawdust but failed to find it. Others helped look but they also failed to find the watch.

One day a small boy quietly went into the ice house during lunch break. After a few minutes, he came back out with the watch in his hand. Amazed, everyone asked how he found it. “It was simple,” the boy replied. “I just closed the door, lay down in the sawdust, and kept very still. Soon I heard the watch ticking.”

How many of us fail to be able to hear like the men who couldn’t find the watch. We aren’t taking the time to be quiet and listen. Or we’re only listening for the things we want to hear, and we ignore the rest. Or maybe we are listening, but the noise of everything and everyone else is so loud that we couldn’t hear the voice of God even if we wanted to.

There is no substitute for taking  time to be quiet and listen. With the constant daily activity we can find ourselves in, it’s so important to find times of quietness and rest. Time when we can sit and listen to our hearts, and God speaking; to consider any challenges, and to take our concerns to God. For time to sit and listen to His guidance and receive from His strength.

This is what the Sovereign LORD, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength (Isaiah 30:15).

Today take the time to sit and listen. As you read His word, and sit in God’s presence just listen. As the young boy in the story found the valuable watch, you’ll be amazed with the valuable treasure you’ll find.

Prayer: Lord help me to simply stop, rest and listen in your presence. Please direct and guide my every step today. In Jesus Name Amen.

 

27 Jan – Everything will be okay, just trust me

Trusting is choosing to enter a place where we cease our striving and labours, and decide to rest in the confidence that God’s got it all in His hands, and we can trust Him that everything will be okay.

Many times I’ve struggled to enter that rest. I’ve tried, as many of us do to figure it out for myself, to make it happen in my ability and strength. I’m pretty stubborn or tenacious, and so I will get a hold of something and not let go easily once I’m let loose on it. Our kids tease me that people “don’t want to poke the Mamma bear,” as once they do I won’t stop until I get things resolved and sorted out.

However I have grown to understand that all of us would be far more peaceful, calm and have a greater inner strength if we learnt, and chose to trust God to sort out and resolve things on our behalf. Where we learnt to Trust and obey His directives.

Trust includes waiting on God to get His perspective on our circumstances, and to hear His instructions. Sometimes He may say, “Stand-up, speak up and act”, and other times He may say “Stand still, keep quiet and watch me sort this out”.

I love the account of Moses in Exodus in the Bible. God’s people had finally been released from bondage and captivity in Egypt. They had followed God’s instructions and were now standing on the edge of a large expanse of water called the “Red Sea” with no way to cross. Suddenly they hear the chariots of the Egyptian army coming towards them. They feared for their lives, and the lives of their children. They had no means of escape or defence. What are they to do? Trapped with nowhere to go are these terrified three million people; men, women and children.

And that’s when trust comes into play. Moses lifts his face and calls out to God “What do I do now?” The answer comes, “Do not be afraid. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which I will accomplish for you today. I, the Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace (Exodus 14:14). He instructs Moses to stretch out his staff over the water, and then to watch what God will do for them.

The army is fast approaching; fully armed, their swords ready to cut them down, or at best return them to a life of bondage and slavery. All the prayers, all the crying out to God, all the hopes for freedom, everything now hangs in the balance. But this one man Moses stands His ground and trusts. And because He trusted the waters parted, the people passed safely through on dry ground, and the ocean engulfs the Egyptian army as God accomplishes what He has promised. “I will fight for you, and you will hold your peace”.

Over the years I have discovered some keys to help me trust God more. Trust gives us confidence to believe, too act when we need to, to stand when asked, to trust that God will get to us what He has promised.

I have found it helpful to:

1. Take hold of God’s Word.God is in His word, and when you know His Word, you know Him. We gain an understanding of His character, of how He acts, and what He will do for us. Knowing His word gives us a confidence and causes an inner strength and calm, even in the midst of difficulties.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)

 “The LORD said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” (Jeremiah 1:12)

2. Write down when God does something “specky” for us. When we’ve prayed and seen God answer, when we’ve had a breakthrough; when we have received what we have believed for. That’s when we write it down so that we can recount it later, or the next time we are faced with a challenge and need to put “trust to work”.

In our family, and also within our church family we make the effort to remind and tell each other when God has answered. We share testimonies of His goodness. We tell stories of others we know, or we have heard about who have trusted and seen God move in their lives.

I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us– yes, the many good things he has done.” (Isaiah 63:7)

What does this do? It builds our trust. It expands our thinking of what God is and will do for us. We think and expect too small most of the time! Telling and retelling about when He has shown Himself strong helps us to take our eyes off our circumstances and onto God. Then we pray more expectantly, and are able to look and see things through His perspective and not our own. We, put simply are able to Trust Him.

Today, write down all the times you can remember when God has shown His love and care for you. The times He has shown Himself strong for you or those you know. Talk to those around you and ask them to tell of a time when God took care of them or moved in their life. It’s amazing when you start to talk to people how many awe inspiring real life stories people have to tell.

 We trust because we learn that God is trustworthy. As we spend  time reading His Word and growing our understanding and relationship with Him,  we can trust Him more everyday.

Prayer: Lord I thank you for your word which reveals who you are and how you show yourself strong on behalf of those who love and trust you. Help me to take the time to get to know you, to learn why and how to trust you, and to remember all the good you do in my life. In Jesus name Amen.

26 Jan – Use it or lose it!

I have a new goal for the next few years. It’s that I will be “fitter at fifty”. Fifty is a few years off but I know if I don’t start now the years will just wizz by without me doing anything. I can run 8 -10km as my daily run now, although only a few years ago I couldn’t run a kilometre without feeling exhausted. However as a result of staying consistent I have seen huge changes in my overall fitness. Fitter at fifty is my next challenge and I’ve engaged the help of my exercise physiologist daughter to get me stronger and tougher, which she is happily doing with the instruments and exercises of “torture” regularly found and demontrated on in gyms.

What I have discovered in my new regime is that one side off my body is alot weaker than the other through only carrying six babies around on my right side for so many years. I literally start wobberly after lifting a weight on my weak side, and can’t believe what a difference there is in my strength.

The whole concept of getting stronger or weaker as we use or don’t use something is also mentioned in the bible. It talks about “through reason of practice or use” we learn how to walk in the things of God and his Spirit. However without choosing to put into practice and focus on walking in the things of heaven we won’t really grow in the amazing things God wants to show us. For it’s by reason of practice – doing and being that we grow, develop and discover anything in life, both in the natural and supernatural realms. If we use and practice we go from strength to strength, and if we don’t we get weaker.

Today I encourage you to practice walking in the things of God. Push yourself a little each day to press into His presence, His word and all that He wants to reveal to you. Then as you discover and experience new realms and the things God reveals and challenges you in make time to share, honour and use it, for “its by reason of practice” that we grow, strengthen and develop in life. So let’s make a decision to get fitter and stronger today!

But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Hebrews 5:14)

Prayer: Lord please help me to put into practice and use the things you have taught and revealed to me in both the natural realms as well as in the realms of the supernatural. Help me to honour and make the most of what you have given and revealed to me. In Jesus name Amen

25 Jan -love makes it work

The thing that makes life work is Love. Things work as they should when founded in Love; our faith, our hope, our relationships, even the plans for our lives.

Focusing on Love affects how we think, act, what we plan, everything!

 

God wants Love to be our focus because love causes compassion to rise up in our hearts, to care about things, about others. Our hearts become engaged!

If we focus on cultivating love it makes our faith work and when our faith is working nothing is impossible!

Love activates our faith to start believing, to start reaching out, to love in action.

I love the account of Jesus Feeding the 5000, in Matthew 14:13-21.

Jesus exhibits a faith that’s motivated by a genuine love for people.

In Jesus feeding the 5000 we see that love was the motivation behind the miracle. He had compassion for them.

Read through the Gospels. (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the Bible). Jesus was always motivated by Love.

Some people have never experienced real love like Jesus loves.

But He is love. Love compels Him. Love compelled Him to go to the Cross. Love still compels Him to reach out to each one of us.

 I was reading about Heidi and Rolland Baker. They are doing some amazing work in Mozambique and have set up Iris Ministries. Heidi’s motto is “Stop for the One”

It’s become a catch phrase seeking to inspire us to simply take a moment and love the one in front of us. The pressures and busyness of daily life too often create a self focus mentality that hinders us from “stopping for the one”.

But God’s love is revealed through simple acts of kindness.  When you love God first and then love the people He puts in front of you each day, the Gospel becomes simple.

STOP FOR THE ONE!

“Stop for the One could look like a million different things, simple or extravagant, but God is calling each one of us to love each person we cross paths with because He loves them.

“Stop for the one” and practicing acts of kindness” has to be based in love, and not legalism or good works. For us to think “How can I love someone today?”

Why not encourage someone today. Everyone no matter who they are needs to know that God is real and that He cares. They’ll know through us loving them.

Today look out for and “Stop for the one”, knowing that as you do your faith is being activated, because love makes your faith work.

As Heidi says, “I pray that you would be overcome by His spirit, surrounded by His voice and interrupted by His love!”

Prayer: Thank you Lord for your love for me. I ask for your love to cover me, to flow through me, and to fill my heart with compassion for whomever you lead me to today. In Jesus Name. Amen.

24 Jan – Using your measure

There’s something about living in Australia that helps us appreciate the wide-open spaces.

When you get out into the countryside, or even just to a place like the beach, hills, or anywhere where you can stand and see the horizon, there is space; and with space comes the feeling of having room to breath.

Having space is something most of us crave, because when we feel that we connect with freedom.

And it’s in freedom that we find the ability to dream, to vision, imagine and unlock the deep things within our spirits, which God has placed there. It is very hard to focus in on that place if we are feeling enclosed, and surrounded by unhealthy boundaries and limitations.

God wants us to have vision: To “see”, and call those things that are not yet manifest as though they are. That is the dynamic of faith. (Romans 4:17)

We are created in the image of God and we just need to take a look around us to see that He is a creative God; He had a vision for the universe.

Because we are made in His image, in His likeness we have hardwired into our very being creativity and the ability to see, and speak into reality those things that are not yet seen or manifest. 

Faith is not believing in only what we can see with our natural senses, but believing that what we see within us, with the eyes of our spirits, our future, will be made manifest – that we can then see, feel, and touch it in this realm.

As it is written, I have made you a father of many nations, before him whom he believed, even God, who quickens the dead, and calls those things which be not as though they were.” (Romans 4:17)

God wants us to go from “faith to faith”, ever increasing in our ability and capacity to believe. When we’ve climbed one hill, to go to the next one, continually climbing higher until we are not just standing on the top of little hills anymore, we are now standing on the mountain summit.

The Lord GOD is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places.” (Habakkuk 3:19)

He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.” (Psalm 18:33)

You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, And Your right hand upholds me; And Your gentleness makes me great. You enlarge my steps under me, And my feet have not slipped”. (Psalm 18:36)

We have all been given a measure of faith. God expects us to do something with that measure. He expects us to grow it, and use it to call those things that are not as though they are. That’s the process that God uses to bring the revelation or vision he gives us to pass.

When we look at some of the mighty exploits of people in the bible, when we read about the men and women who believed God in our own time, we can sometimes feel inadequate. But we shouldn’t. They have simply grown their measure of faith to believe for what they “saw” was possible in God. They held onto God’s promises, fed their faith and got some faith muscles.

It’s not a secret for a select few; we can all do something with the measure of faith we have been given. Use it and grow it!  God says He is not a respecter of persons; He does not show partiality, but He does reward those who diligently seek Him. (Romans 2:12)  

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him”. (Hebrews 11:6)

Today God wants each one of us to wait on Him for the vision He has for us. It will no doubt be bigger than your faith right now; but don’t be discouraged or let go of the revelation He reveals to you because it seems impossible or too hard. Build your faith by going to God’s Word and finding out what He says about your vision. When you do it will grow your measure of faith, and cause those things you “see” to come to pass.

But the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.(Daniel 11:32)

Prayer: Lord reveal to me the vision you have for me. I take my measure of faith and choose to use it and grow it, so that I too can carry out great exploits and fulfil all that you have planned for me. In Jesus Name Amen.

23 Jan – What do you see?

see

What do you see? How do we see ourselves? How do we see our life? These are pretty important questions which we often don’t ask ourselves enough.

When you read the bible you will discover that what we see is really significant to how our faith works, and subsequently how we live our lives.

When the children of Israel were standing on the edge of the land God had promised them they hesitated, and then completely stopped on their journey. Why? Because when faced with the question of how they saw themselves they were confronted with the reality of their poor self image, weaknesses and fears.

Before them was a land “flowing with milk and honey”, a good land as far as the eye could see. God had spoken, promised and was with them. But all of that didn’t matter because apart from a few men, all of them felt incapable of taking the next step to possess the promise before them. The inhabitants of the land terrified them and they were paralysed with self doubt and fear. They said, “we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in theirs.” (Numbers 13:33)

The reason the Israelites were so terrified to fight the giants in Canaan wasn’t because those giants were so big. It was because the Israelites saw themselves as so small. It was what they were in their own sight that defeated them.

The same can be true for each one of us. It’s what we are in our own sight that will make all the difference. If, in our own sight we see ourselves as weak and powerless, then for one the devil will take delight in running all over us, and two we will never step into all that we are capable of and called to become.

How often do we miss out on the unique and special life that God has planned and created for each one of us  because we don’t take the time to discover who God made us to be? Sadly some people never take the time to find out. Instead they live in fear, confusion, sickness, and complacency, far from the plan and purposes God had for them.

It’s too easy to never step into our “promised land”. We just go through life believing what the world and it’s system says about us, only ever looking at the possibilities of our “promised land” before us, but never taking any steps to enter and possess it.

If you are not strong in who you are in your own sight, and see yourself as a grasshopper, you can change that.

  • Spend time with Jesus every day, and read His Word – the Bible.
  • Ask God what His plan and purpose is for your life.
  • Start to agree with what God says about you. Reject the negative words and images and visualise yourself succeeding, and being healthy and whole, and seeing your prayers answered.

Before you know it you will start to see yourself as God sees you; a conquering, victorious, healed, whole child of God with the power of heaven behind you.

 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. (Philippians 4:13)

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)

“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)

Prayer:  Lord help me to see myself as you see me. Let your Word renew and heal my heart and mind. Thank you that I am forgiven, healed, whole, victorious, and have all I need in you. I refuse to see myself as a “grasshopper” any longer, and take the steps to become all you made me to be. In Jesus name. Amen.

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