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Dayle's Blog

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August 2020

7 Aug – Walk Through It

never give in

Winston Churchill once said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”  Two weeks after Churchill became Prime Minister, France was overrun by occupying forces and 340,000 British troops had to scramble over the beaches at Dunkirk. All of Europe had succumbed to Hitler’s forces and it looked impossible that Britain would survive.

However instead of giving up in defeat Churchill delivered his now famous speech to rouse the hope and courage of a nation. He said, “we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” He may have been going through “hell” but he refused to stop there.

Churchill’s plan for success was simple: Complete and total defiance against the enemy. He believed we must,never give in, nevernevernevernever—in nothing, great or small large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.”

In the face of seemingly impossible odds and the threat of enemy invasion Churchill’s voice and belief emanated a calming, immovable strength that inspired, motivated and ignited courage.

He quite simply refused to see that giving in to an enemy army or even his own fears was an option. Faced with one of his nations darkest valley’s he chose to not stop in this “valley of death”, but to walk through it!  He boldly declared that, “fear is a reaction, but courage is a decision – and that it is the courage to continue that counts.” 

Right now I want to encourage you that if you, or someone you know is walking through the valley of the shadow of death – the darkest valley you have ever faced, don’t camp out there, don’t be paralysed by fear. Do not stay in that valley! Walk through it!

Miracles happen as we walk – as we put “legs on our faith”, and take what God has promised and refuse to give in. Jesus said we would have these valley’s (these trials and tribulations), but He also said to walk through them with courage, for He is with us and His presence and His provision will strengthen and comfort us.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, (the darkest valley)
I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me
for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:4)

Today determine in your heart and mind that you will continue to walk through whatever you may be facing. God is with you and therefore, “who can stand against you”. Lift your expectations and determine that, you’re not going to only survive your darkest valley, you’re going to thrive”. (Psalm 23:5; Romans 8:31)

‘You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.” (Psalm 23:5)

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you are with me when I walk through the darkest of valley’s. Thank you for your strength and courage to keep going, and please help me to fix my eyes on you as I walk through the valley’s into victory. In Jesus name Amen.

6 Aug – Great Expectations Bring Great Results

god is for us

Great achievements are usually the result of great expectations. Yet right now the world is yelling don’t expect much of anything good to happen. Instead people are being conditioned to expect more trouble, lockdowns, financial woes, fear, lack and stress.

However even though that is what we are surrounded by, God has spoken something in His word that gives us great hope and a reason to expect great things. God says, “He works all things together for our good” and when God says he’s working things out for our good you better believe He’s working behind the scenes on something amazing and exceedingly more than we could ask, think, pray for, dream or imagine. (Romans 8:28; Ephesians 3:20).

We are not mere victims of a germ, virus, monetary system implosion, government decisions, fear or whatever else is being thrown at us at the moment.

If you know Jesus then you are part of the most powerful force on the planet. We just have to remember that Jesus is with us in the boat; He is walking alongside us, He has overcome the world and He has dominion and the victory over every sickness, disease and any other stinking thing that the devil may try to throw at us.

Jesus said, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NLT)

I love the account of Paul in the bible. Paul was a prisoner on a ship full of people headed to Rome when a violent storm threatened to end all their lives. Whilst everyone else was fearing for their lives, throwing their belongings overboard and generally freaking out, Paul was calm because He wasn’t believing or thinking what everyone else was. Paul wasn’t moved by the storm – He was saying and therefore expecting what God said as He chose to trust in God and to speak His word. Paul expected great things and as a result not a life was lost, people were saved, comforted and on landing ashore those who lived there were even healed. (Acts 27)

“In the midst of any storm, whether it’s physical, spiritual or financial, when we believe God, we can have and show great calmness, great comfort, and great strength.” (Jesse Duplantis)

Paul was a prisoner on the ship and of little importance to his captors, yet because he knew who He was, and was sure of his relationship with God he didn’t think, speak or behave like a prisoner. He knew one word from God can change even the most hopeless situation. No prison chains, no storm, no voices of fear could move him. He knew Jesus was with him in the midst of the storm and he believed God rather than what he was seeing and hearing from others. As a result Paul not only survived the storm, he also exhibited great calm and was able to offer comfort to others. 

Paul boldly and cheerfully said, “So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.” (Acts 27:25)

Whatever you are facing; whether it’s that you are in lockdown, limited in your movements, financially stretched, struggling in your relationships and feeling surrounding on all sides, know that God is with you. He is right alongside you in “your boat” and wanting you to lift your expectations of what He can do.

Look to His word and His great promises, be calm and at peace and seek to add value to every conversation and room you walk into. Start to speak God’s words rather than agreeing with the voices of the media, fear, death and destruction. For,“If God is for us, who can be against us, and no weapon formed against us will prosper, for all those who rise up against us will fall – viruses, disease, threats, money worries and lack of any kind included. (Romans 8:31; Isaiah 54:17)

Today be encouraged that God is with you and then boldly shout, just as Paul once did, “I believe God!”

“I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved by what I believe.” (Smiths Wigglesworth)

Great expectations bring great results!

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Revelation 12:11)

“He has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:4)

Prayer: Lord I thank you for your great and precious promises in which I believe and expect great results. Thank you that you are in charge and that no weapon formed against me will prosper. I declare I am protected, I am healthy, I am healed, I have every need met and I have plenty more to put in store. Thank you that I walk in your favour and blessing today. In Jesus name Amen.

5 Aug – Hold Steady

hold steady

This is a repost but I’ve been thinking again about how important it is to hold steady. To hold steady especially when things in our lives get busy, we come under pressure or face anything else that might cause our world to become unhinged.

As I was contemplating this I came to the conclusion that as long as we are anchored to something steady and reliable we will ourselves remain steady. It’s much like a sailing boat which has a sail designed to catch the wind. Without the sail up a boat gets buffeted about by the wind and the waves and doesn’t really go anywhere fast. Yet when the sails are in place and the boat is facing the right direction it catches the wind and travels where the sailor wishes it to go.

However an important part of the whole process isn’t just about the sails being up, but also what the sail is attached to. On every vessel there is a vertical pole called a mast and a horizontal pole called a boom which the main sails are anchored to. If the sail isn’t anchored properly to the mast or the boom it will flap about in the wind and do very little, and more than likely cause injury to those on board. Yet when the sails are anchored firmly to both the mast and the boom they are able to catch the wind and travel at amazing speeds across the water.

When things feel out of our control and we feel buffeted about by the “winds of life” there is something we can do to steady our world. The key is to know what our anchor points in life are. For me Jesus and what He says in His word are my mast and my boom is knowing and walking inmy purpose. If I keep my focus and heart anchored on Jesus and my purpose I know I will be okay because all my choices are anchored on a firm foundation and everything I do and am is attached to those points. As the wind of opportunity and God’s hand on my life moves and blows I can simply catch the wind and enjoy the ride.

Today I encourage you to secure your “sails” to firm anchor points so that you might have a firm foundation to hold you steady as you catch the wind and travel forward into your destiny.

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)

He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.” (Psalm 62:2)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you are in control and in you all things hold together. Please help me to have the wisdom to know who and what my anchor points are and to secure my life to those things, so that I am not buffeted around by life but instead will catch the wind in my sails. In Jesus name Amen

4 Aug – What Are You Eating?

Looking after our physical bodies and choosing wisely to put good things in them is what cause them to operate at their optimum strength and health. What we eat is so important to who we are and how well we live our lives.

We can perhaps get away with eating badly or irregularly for a while but eventually bad habits and carelessness will catch up with us and then we will have to deal with the consequences and no doubt have to work twice as hard both physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally to make things right again.

The same can be said for our spiritual lives. We may wonder why we often feel tired, weak and buffeted about by lives circumstances rather than being an overcomer and living victoriously like God says we can. We internally struggle with the gap between what we see is possible in God’s Word, and own circumstances and what we witness in other people’s lives and as a result we can end up feeling disappointed and despondent.

The question I ask myself when feeling like this is, “what have I been eating?” For just as our physical bodies eventually show what we put in our mouths, our spiritual lives also reveal what we’ve been “eating” spiritually. We become what we consume and allow in our hearts and spirits.

Consider what are you feeding on and putting before your ears and eyes? What are you thinking upon day in and day out?

God has supplied everything we need for life and godliness and He has given us His Holy Spirit to lead, guide, counsel and encourage us. He will if we listen direct us so that we are surrounded by uplifting, inspiring people, places and experiences which are designed to spur us on in our journey and which help us  “feed” on God’s goodness.

“For His divine power has bestowed on us (absolutely) everything necessary for a dynamic spiritual life and godliness through true and personal knowledge of Him..”(2 Peter 1:3 AMP)

If we need regular healthy meals every day to be operating at our optimum capacity physically, it makes sense that we also need regular healthy “meals” for our spiritual lives too.

Today I encourage you to not only focus upon taking care of your physical bodies and health but also your spiritual life too. Jesus said, “For what does it benefit someone to gain the whole world and yet lose his life?” (Mark 8:36 CSB)

 Consider and choose wisely what you “eat” and put in your heart, mind and spirit, for it makes you who you are and eventually emanates out of your heart and mouth to bring either life or loss.

Today begin to make it a habit that just as you eat healthily physically that you will also take the same amount of effort and time to feed yourself spiritually.

If you feed yourself spiritually at least three solid meals a day by reading the bible, taking the time to talk and listen to God, declaring His promises over your life and listening to faith filled, inspiring teaching and preaching, you’ll soon become spiritually strong with some serious faith muscles, which will subsequently change your expectations and the way you think, speak and live your life.

 “So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honourable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always. (Philippians 4:8 TPT)

“Our marvellous God whose gracious Word can make you into what He wants you to be, and gives you everything you could possibly need.” (Acts 20:32 MSG)

Prayer: Lord I pray that you would unveil within me the unlimited riches of your glory and favour until supernatural strength floods my innermost being with your divine might and explosive power. I trust that as I constantly use my faith that your life will be released deep inside me and that your love and promises will become the very source and root of my life. In Jesus name Amen. (Ephesians 3:16-17)

 

 

3 Aug – Living Letters

living letters

There are some letters that were written many years ago that if we cared to read them would give us some priceless advice and wisdom. They were penned by a man named Paul who was willing to die for the words he shared and the convictions and beliefs that he lived by.

Paul wrote about how to live above our circumstances and at peace, free from selfishness and thinking we are better than everyone else. He encouraged compassion, giving and kindness, and for people to work together with a purpose and to know what really matters in life. He advised to do everything without complaining and arguing and to live like shining lights in a crooked and perverse world. Paul advised his readers to give thanks, to pray about everything and to watch out for those who would try to steal their joy and value before God. He wrote that we can do all things through Jesus who gives us strength and that the work God starts in us He will be faithful to complete so that we become the person we were created to be. (Philippians 1-3)

The thing about Paul’s words is that they were inspired and revealed to him by his relationship with Jesus and times of encountering Him. They weren’t merely a man’s words, but God’s and therefore worthy of our attention.

Read for yourself the words penned by Paul who was willing, and did eventually die for believing and sharing them, and consider as he advised how you are living with regard to your relationships, behaviour, words and attitudes.

(You can read Paul’s letters in 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Phillipians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Timothy in the bible for a start)

The world around us is a very poor measuring stick on how to live well. However Jesus’ example and the words and lives of those who followed after him are not. They demonstrate lives well lived, full of purpose, kindness, humility and power. They’re living letters of a relationship with God and what and in whom they believed.

Perhaps it’s time for each one of us to look deeply and intently to Jesus, (the one who Paul knew, wrote about and was prepared to die for), so that He might instruct, challenge and guide us with His words and ways. Then perhaps we too can become like living letters, written out clearly for all to see in the way we move, talk, relate and treat others.

 “If someone claims, “I know him well!” but doesn’t keep his commandments, he’s obviously a liar. His life doesn’t match his words. But the one who keeps God’s word is the person in whom we see God’s mature love. This is the only way to be sure we’re in God. Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived.” (1 John 2:5-7 The Message)

Prayer: Lord please help me to spend time with you, to listen to your words and to follow your example so that I can become like a living letter that talks about you. Forgive me where I haven’t been doing that, and help me as I draw closer to you and allow you to work more deeply in my life. In Jesus name Amen.

2 Aug – Best Possible Outcome

god's plan

God does have a plan for each of our lives, and it always contains the best possible outcome for us if we’d only learn to keep in step with Him. He promises in His Word to direct us in our journey and to guide us away from pitfalls and mistakes. When we miss it He is faithful to pick us back up again but He loves us so much that He really doesn’t want us to have to go through anything needlessly.

One of the things I have discovered is that no matter how hard we push and strive to make things happen by ourselves, if God is not wanting that to unfold in our lives it usually isn’t going to  happen – no matter how much we want it to. If by chance He allows us to “stubbornly go where we want to”, we are bound to discover sooner or later that the things we struggled to obtain so much don’t contain half as much joy or fulfilment in them as we expected.

If you have a decision to make or you are unsure of what to do, ask God for his advice and direction.  He says He will  instruct us in the way to go. Often if things are unclear or we feel “heaven is like brass” over our heads it’s because we haven’t been listening, have undealt with issues from the past clouding our view or we’re not going to act upon what God says anyway.

One other key is not to rush things. Stop, breath, and trust that if God says He will guide you in the way to go He will. Seek Him and trust in His promise that He will lead you in exactly the right way to go knowing that He always wants the best possible outcome for your life.

“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.” (Isaiah 48:17 NLT)

“Guide me into the paths that please you, for I take delight in all that you say.
Cause my heart to bow before your words of wisdom and not to the wealth of this world.(Psalm 119:35)

Prayer: Lord thank you that you promise that you will direct my steps and that you have the perfect plan and best possible outcome for my life. Help me to deal with any fears and confusion, so that I would be able to hear clearly from you today. In Jesus name Amen.

1 Aug – Me And My House

Recorded in the bible is the life of a guy called Joshua. He was a tough, resilient, committed, God seeker, who wasn’t afraid to be His own man even if that meant going against the general consensus.  He believed God and His word and was prepared to put His life on the line if necessary to act upon his convictions.

Joshua’s stance in life was, “you can do what you want, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. We will follow after Him, we will obey what He says; no matter what that looks like, or how far that takes us, we are for God 100%”

That sort of lifestyle and commitment challenged people then and it still does today. It’s always inspiring when you meet people who have stood up against popular opinion and stated, “I’m going to live God’s way. I’m not going to follow after the crowd if that crowd isn’t going the way God is leading me. I’m going to live for Jesus. Whatever he says I will do. What I see in His word I’m going to believe; wherever He directs me to go, I will go; when He says speak or act or do, that’s where you will find me. 

When you look at the world, with all it’s “truth is relative, and everyone else is doing it, drinking it, taking it, thinking it, speaking it, living it, so maybe I should too” attitudes,  it’s more important than ever that we begin to seek to have the same heart as Joshua. For us to have the “guts” to stand up in the crowd and declare, “you may be happy to think and act the way everyone else around you is, but as for me I am going to live wholeheartedly for Jesus. I choose to follow what He says in the bible, even if that makes no sense to anyone else. If I see it I will do it, believe it, and speak it. Even if that means I have to keep believing when I cannot it see it happening, I will keep standing for Him and His word until my life lines up with what He says.”

When people start to live with conviction and wholeheartedly, it’s inspires others to do the same. Joshua’s example lead the way for a whole community to follow God and even after he died the people kept on living lives of Godly conviction.

Today, take a look at your life. Are you compromising or settling for what everyone else does or thinks? Or are you seeking after Jesus no matter what? It’s a choice we make everyday; so let your choice today be, “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord”.

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15)

Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.” (Mark 8:34 NLT)

 “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Prayer: Lord thank you for your great grace for me and that even though I may at times mess up and fail to follow you with conviction and my whole heart you still love me. Would you please give me strength Holy Spirit to live for Jesus today, even if that means  going against the crowd. In Jesus Name Amen

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