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July 2018

22nd July – Guiding Hand

guidance

God promises that He will guide and direct our steps and lead us in the way we should go.

Primarily He leads us through His word the bible. It’s our life instruction manual on relationships, how to handle our finances, be a great friend, partner, follower of Jesus and on understanding how heaven and God’s kingdom works.
The bible says that, “His Word is a lamp for my feet, and a light on my path.” (Psalm 119:105).

The Holy spirit, who once we choose to be a follower of Jesus, abides within us, will remind us of God’s word and speak to our thoughts and heart. He also gives understanding and revelation through dreams, visions, and inner promptings or knowing. He leads and guides through our natural surroundings and circumstances, supernatural encounters and a spoken word by someone you may or may not know. There is no limit to what God will do to keep His hand on our life, and for us to hear His voice directing our steps. (John 16:3)

The question for each one of us is whether we will sensitive to His hand upon our lives and choose to listen and submit to His guidance, or will we run off doing our own thing?

Sometimes the guide lines God gives are very tight as He makes it abundantly clear that to stay in step with Him we need to allow His hand to remain firmly on our lives. This may feel constraining at times, but that’s usually because where we are or what we are going through requires the Lord to teach us and the more constrained we feel by His hand the more we probably need His protection and wisdom to travel through the space we are in.

The trouble is that a lot of the time when we feel God’s hand firmly on us we want to shrug off His guidance, mistaking it for God being hard on us, rather than understanding that its because He loves and is trying to bless and protect us. His hand protects us from both the enemies tactics and, if necessary, ourselves.

God disciplines those He loves, and if today you are “feeling” that discpline and you’re frustrated and wanting to run from his loving guidance I recommend you don’t. Even if you can’t see the point of having to wait, walk away, let go of, or be directed to or from a specific place or person, know that God always has our best interests at heart and a plan is in play for you to get to the place and opportunity that He has destined for you to walk in.

We can waste alot of time and even risk holding up divine moments and blessing because we are too busy fighting God’s hand rather than living knowing that when we rest and trust we will find ourselves in exactly the right place and right time.

Today trust God and allow Him to be in control. Make a decision every day to rest in Him so that He can guide and protect you, rather than being like an ass who needs a bit and bridle to direct it where it is to go.

“Don’t be stubborn like a horse or mule. (They need) a bit and bridle in their mouth to restrain them, or they will not come near you.” (Psalm 32:9 God’s Word translation)

“For whomever the Lord Jehovah loves, he instructs, and draws aside his children with whom he is pleased.” (Hebrews 12:6 Aramaic bible)

Prayer: Lord please help me to trust you and your guiding hand to lead me. When I am struggling to surrender please remind me that you instruct and discipline those you love. In Jesus name amen

21st July – Healing the Pain!

Healed HeartNobody likes to hurt, but we all hurt sometimes whether we like it or not. Unfortunately not everybody recognises the important and need within our souls to face the pain we may be experiencing or have gone through in the past. For it’s how and what we do in the midst of pain that shapes our future and destinies.

There is no easy way to go through pain, it is either faced, acknowledged for the hurt it is causing and processed, or we get as far away from it as possible through such things as denial, burying it down deep, or self medicating in an effort to numb the hurt. At it’s worst pain if allowed will become a permanent resident in our souls where it begins to both control and shape every relationship, circumstance and dream within its reach.

However the amazing truth is that we are able to recover and bounce back from pain. Firstly we have to make the decision that regardless of how much it hurts, and it is going to hurt, that we will choose to look pain full in the face and get to the root of our hurt. When we choose to do that God promises He will work in the process of our restoration and reveal a renewed purpose as He heals our wounds.

He promises us that, “He is near to the brokenhearted and all those who are crushed by pain.” (Psalm 34:18)

It’s important to acknowledge that without engaging in the process of facing and processing pain we run the risk of it always remaining somewhere in the depths of our souls where it can manifest into fear, selfishness, anger, bitterness, self pity, low self esteem and depression.

However when we choose to face our pain something amazing happens. Much like precious metals which only show their true worth after being forged in the fire, or a diamond that reveals its beauty only when it is placed under pressure, as we face and healthily confront pain our souls are purified and our faith, beliefs and who we are, are formed and established. In the process God works out His purpose in us as we gain perspective, strength, and hopefully a greater compassion and empathy for others. In facing pain we find both who we truly are, and if we look God himself. In His hands there is purpose wrought from pain and a strength and joy we would never have discovered without it.

Today I encourage you to face your hurts. Don’t deny their existence, bury them or keep so busy you don’t have time to examine the root of your pain. Trust God with the process, knowing that in His hands He will reveal, guide counsel and heal your wounds, and then bring you out the other side.

For, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you are my comfort and strength no matter what I am facing. I’m asking today that you help me face the pain and help me to trust you to reveal, counsel and heal any wounds I may be carrying. I trust you today to renew my direction and purpose in you, knowing that you make all things work together for my good. In Jesus name amen.

20th July – Keep Walking

WalkingOnTheBlogThe world we live in seldom wants to wait for anything, and many of us don’t prepare or think too far ahead. We often want things to be different in our lives and for our dreams to come to pass, but we don’t or won’t walk the process that brings the needed transformational change.

When it comes to our spiritual lives we may hear about people who are doing amazing exploits for God or have great faith and boldness and we wish our lives could be more like theirs.

But what we don’t often realise or acknowledge is that when it comes to transformational change it doesn’t all happen overnight, especially when we are doing things God’s way. If we are going to grow, reach our goals and do great things in our life it will usually be accomplished a little bit at a time.

God’s been writing our story within His story since the beginning of time, and even if we are in a hurry, He doesn’t ever seem to be. What God wants us to understand is that with Him there is always purpose in the process.
Even we don’t know what lies up ahead God does and He promises He will walk right along beside us. The key is to day by day and step by step trust Him to help and guide us through the process.

Whatever you are facing today, whatever your past looked like or how uncertain you are of the future God wants you to keep looking at Him, at the promises in His Word and the goals and dreams He has placed in your heart. With Him by your side you can scale any wall, climb that mountain and overcome every obstacle. Even if you do stumble or fall if you choose to lift up your head and to fix your eyes and heart upon Jesus rather than any problems or fears you are facing you are going to be okay. Jesus promises He will build a solid fountation and life for you little by little and piece by piece in Him and things will work out in your favour. So just keep walking….

” I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted”. ( Job 42:2)

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21)

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called to his purpose.” ((Romans 8:28)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you are in the midst of the story you are unfolding in and around my life. Please help me to remember to trust that whatever I am facing today you are walking right alongside me, and that everything is going to be alright because there is always purpose in the process. In Jesus name amen

19th July 2018 – Don’t Be a Passenger (I Refuse Part 2)

mindIt’s up to each of us to choose what we allow to be part of our lives. Granted there are those circumstances that may be beyond our control, but we all do get the ability to choose how we respomd and whether or not we take these things into the core of who we are or leave them out of our life.

We get to choose whether we accept or refuse the thoughts we have every day, the emotions we express, the friends we have and the affect other people are able to have upon our mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.

We get to largely choose how we care for our bodies, eat, exercise, and use our spare time. As we mature we choose if and when we will make the most of the talents, skills and the opportunities presented and bestowed upon us. We get to choose how we process our past and how much we will allow it to dictate to our future. Which is where our choices to refuse, allow, accomodate, or be negotiated with when it comes to our thoughts, others treatment of us and our relationship with God.

Unfortunately a lot of the time we can treat our life like we are just a passenger, where we allow life to happen around us rather than making life happen, and exercising and operating within our God given authority, purpose and calling. We can fail to choose and refuse wisely. It’s much like when you ride a horse. My riding instructor constantly reminds me that I can’t just sit on my horse’s back without giving any definite instructions my horse will simply go where it chooses and if its feeling cheeky I could end up on my butt on the ground. If I do that I’ve become a passenger, or at worst a casualty, rather than being the one operating and directing my ride in authority and confidently going where I’m meant to be.

God doesn’t want us to constantly go through life with regrets and approach life and the destiny we have in Him like a passenger. He wants to partner with us so that we might fulfill all we were created to be, which means we are going to need to keep the vision and dreams He has placed in our hearts firmly before us. It means we’re going to have to stay connected everyday to God our “riding instructor”, and listen up when he wants to teach and direct us.

God encourages us to refuse to just “go along for the ride” like a passenger failing to understand who we are and passively accepting the “whatever” happens mindset or the influence of people and circumstances which are not God’s best for us, which will more often than not cause us to be “bucked” off the right road and then cause us to land firmly on our butts.

“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give hope and a future”. ( Jeremiah 29:11)

Today choose well what you will accept and refuse. Don’t waste time negotiating with anything or anyone that doesn’t look like God’s best for you. Spend time discovering what dream God has placed inside you, the assignment he has called you to fulfil and the overflowing life He has for you. Then make sure you refuse, reject and say No to anything else.

“I have set before your life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants. (Duet 30:19)

Prayer: Lord I don’t want to be a passenger in life and simply go through life passively . Instead I want to fulfill all that you created me to be and I’m asking that you help me to walk in the authority and destiny I have in you. In Jesus name amen.

18 July – Writing your story

writing your story

I think we all like to know what is going to happen next. Some of us even want to know the end of the story before we’ve even read the introduction. However life is usually not like that. We do at times have to take a step of faith, and if need be a leap! We may not always know how everything is going to turn out.

But, God does. He knows exactly how everything is going to turn out; the end from the beginning and everything else in between. Which is why He asks us to put our trust in Him. To rely on the fact that He sees and knows all and promises He will lead and guide the way if we let Him. That means we may not know about every bump or turn in the road before we begin moving in a certain direction, but that’s okay because we can be sure that if we’ve made Jesus a part of life our final destination is a great one. Plus as we learn to trust Holy Spirit to be our guide and instructor we are in for one amazing ride along the way. (John 16:13)

Today as you set out in your day, or choose a course or direction for your life, first stop and pray. Inquire of the one who sees and knows all. Check in His Word to see that the road you are on or are looking at is in line with the written wisdom and guidelines in His Word, and then follow the opportunities, open doors and promptings He brings your way. Sometimes that may mean taking just one step and instruction at a time (like baby steps), and other times it can mean we have to take a giant leap of faith. But we can be sure either way that God will be there to catch us if we look like falling and that He will steady our feet and always guide us safely home.

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

The Lord says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. Do not be like the horse and mule which have no understanding, whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check, otherwise they will not come near you”. (Psalm 32:8-9)

Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path”. (Psalm 119:105)

Prayer: Lord please help me to trust that you know the end from the beginning and all of my story in between. I choose to trust you to lead me step by step, and if I need to at any time take a leap of faith that you’ll be there to strengthen and help me not to fall. I choose to trust in your love and goodness to write from start to finish a great story for my life. In Jesus name Amen.

17 July – Things I Refuse (Pt 1)

i refuse

I woke up this morning thinking that there are some things in life we need to refuse.
The definition of refuse is: to indicate or show that one is not willing to do, accept or offer something. Essentially when we refuse to engage with something or someone in our life we are actively choosing to decline, turn down and to say no.

However the decision we face each day is what are we going to accept in life and what are we going to refuse?

One of the first things I personally set out to refuse is to “stay down” after a hard knock.. No matter how many setbacks, disappointments and hits I have experienced I know that God doesn’t want me to give up or to stay down. Even when I feel like or I have literally fallen in a heap He always reaches out a hand and says, “Come on , let’s get up and get out there again”.

I love reading the account of Jesus after his close friend Peter had denied knowing him publically 3 times. Even though Peter had totally messed up Jesus didn’t rub it in. He didn’t remind Peter of his failures and the hurt he must have caused him. (Mark 14:66-72)

Jesus didn’t do any of the things we would expect of someone when a friend lets us terribly down. Instead Jesus made all these guys who had left him in his absolute hour of need breakfast. He then gave Peter the opportunity to make amends and to restore his confidence in himself and their relationship. Jesus helped Peter get back up. (read John 21:12-17)

The issue most of the time is not how hard we fall, how disappointed we may feel or how broken we are. The important, crucial thing is that we get back up! When Jesus called out to Peter he responded not by looking behind at his guilt, but at Jesus. Peter chose in that moment to say sorry for his mistake and this enabled his relationship with Jesus to be restored. Interestingly Judas Iscariot who also betrayed Jesus only regretted his mistake but never said sorry. Judas kept looking back while trying to move forward, and it was this action that failed to lead him to look toward Jesus and repentance, to the cross (wrought from a tree) and the forgiveness about to be bought and paid for by Jesus. Instead Judas chose a different tree and in despair hung himself. (Matthew 27:3-5)

The problem with not dealing with and being drawn to continually look back at our sin and failures, while still attempting to move forward from our past is that we can end up focusing not on Jesus and what He says about us and our future, but on the very thing or circumstance that caused us to stumble or fall in the first place. We can end up stumbling over and over rather than walking forward in victory.

Today, like most people you may have stumbled, fallen, let yourself, Jesus and others down. You may have suffered hurt, failure and disappointments, but the good news is that just like Peter we can all get back up, and we can all move forward.

The past can’t be changed, and the key thing I have learnt is that we can face the pain, accept responsibility and choose to acknowledge to Jesus our disappointments and messups. Then  we can freely choose to reach out and to take His hand of love, mercy and grace knowing He loves us just the way we are, but He also loves us far too much to leave us like we are, when he has so much more on offer.

I encourage you to make a decision to get back up today. Refuse the temptation to give up and to stay down. JESUS is calling and he’s saying, “ let’s get you up from down there because we’ve got places to go, people to meet and a wild, crazy joyfilled life in me that you cannot even imagine.”

Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energies you”. (Ephesians 3:20 TPT)

Prayer: Jesus I’m deciding today to stop living in the regret of my past. I’m choosing instead to face it, to give it over to you, and to recive your grace and forgiveness. Thank you that I can enjoy today and look forward to tomorrow because you are right here with me guiding the way, and I’ve got too much life to live to keep looking back. I’m moving forward today. In Jesus name. Amen.

16 July – God knows every detail of your life

stars

The universe is quite an incredible place. Just contemplating the immensity of the number of stars is mind boggling. If every person were to count different stars each person would have to count over 50 billion stars without counting the same star twice.
A snowflake is created from a water droplet forming around a minute dust particle which then freezes. Amazingly each is unique from the other, yet all have six sides. What incredible beauty and detail each individual snowflake exhibits. If you were to pour a small amount of salt into your hand and then look at one grain of salt, each grain has many, many atoms inside it. Everything is made up of tiny, tiny atoms, including us.

God who created the universe in all it’s magnitude says that He knows the number of stars and yet calls each of them by name. (Psalm 147:4) He also says that He knows every hair upon our heads or the lack of, whatever the case may be. He know when we sit and when we rise. He knows our thoughts before we speak them, and the hidden things in our hearts. He sees and knows everything, and in the midst of all of this greatness, and majesty He loves us. (Psalm 147:4; Matthew 10:30)

“You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar.You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.…” (Psalm 139:2)

If He knows us and loves us that much should that not help us to trust Him? To trust in His strength, goodness and plan and purpose for our lives.  To trust that He has it all covered. I find it helpful to regularly meditate on the greatness of God, because when I do I soon realise that He is more than capable of handling my and every one else’s every need and prayer.

Today I encourage you to take some time to think upon how powerful, creative and unlimited God is. There are no limits or boundaries He cannot cross or override. There are no limits to His love. It is unfailing and faultless.

Have a listen to this song to encourage you to remember the bigness of God today by Hillsong called “So will I”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfVd5x9W1Xc

Prayer: Lord I’m going to take some time to think about all you have done and to acknowledge your greatness because when I do it helps me to trust you with my life. Thank you that even though you created the universe you still know every detail of my life.  In Jesus name Amen.

 

15 July – Never too lost

back to you

Many times in life we can get lost and off track. We can start off so well, knowing where we are going, and what direction to take. We have direction and purpose and know in our hearts that God is with us. But then life happens, and we can lose our way. We get blind sided, distracted or lead astray by our  own desires, or the influences  of others who aren’t on the same path as we are. If we are not careful we can find ourselves completely off track, and trying to find our way back to where we are meant to be. For some that is only for a short time, and for others it can sadly ends up being years before they find their way back to where God wanted them to be in the first place.

Today, if you feel like you have lost your way or you don’t know which direction to go next, I want to encourage you. Jesus is calling and He knows the way. He always helps us find our way back to Him, (or to Him in the first place.) It’s so easy to get distracted, or lead up the wrong path, but no matter where or what you have been doing, or where you have missed an opportunity to follow Him, Jesus has the way back. If you listen, you will hear Him calling, and all you have to do is be brave enough to follow. I’ve discovered if you look for those who know Jesus already it makes the right path easier to find, plus you can ask them to help and pray for you.

Don’t waste another day being lost, or knowing that you have taken a wrong turn somewhere. Turn, and look to Jesus and He will show you the way home.

“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 29:12-13)

“Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls, says the Lord”. (Jeremiah 6:16)

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

Prayer: Jesus thank you that I can never get so lost that you can’t find me. Help me to be brave enough to admit that I lost my way, or taken a wrong turn and to stop and get the right directions. Please lead and guide me so that I can find my way back to you. In Jesus Name Amen.

14 July – Don’t believe the “bad press”

good press

Don’t believe you own bad press! What I mean by that is, don’t believe what your own or other people’s negative, limiting, and condemning words, thoughts and emotions try to tell you. Why? Because if we begin to believe these things about ourselves that is who we will remain or become.

It’s important to face up to our failings, mistakes and sin, but the whole point of Jesus coming to earth, his message and ministry, his death on a cross and his resurrection is that he doesn’t want us to stay stuck with our “demons”. He came to free us from them. All he asks is that we acknowledge our mistakes, ask for his forgiveness and receive the clean slate and brand-new life He has to give us.

He says, “Therefore, if any one is in union with Christ, he is a new being! His old life has passed away; a new life has begun!” (1 Corinthians 5:17 TCNT)

“Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1 Amplified version)

Any “bad press”, where we have negative thoughts, or even people around us trying to remind us of our past or saying anything contrary to what and who God says we are is “bad press”. We actually need to do what we do with all “bad press reports”, simply decide to press the delete button, throw it in the bin, or turn it off!

Today, don’t keep listening, believing or becoming who the “bad press” says you are. Challenge any negative thoughts in your head and the words and expectations of who others say you are. Surround yourself with people who encourage you to keep moving forward and believe the best of you, and take some time to read and listen to Jesus and His words as you believe His “good press” about you instead.

Prayer: Jesus please help me to throw out and press the delete button on any “bad press” about me. I’m choosing today to only believe what you say about my life and to surround myself with people who will encourage and inspire me to keep moving forward into all that you have created me to be and do. In Jesus name Amen.

 

 

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