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August 2021

31 Aug – How To Shape Your Future

What you believe is a product of what you focus on. Focus on your circumstances in the context of failure, fear and disappointments, and you will begin to think these things about your life and future. Whereas if you look for the opportunities and potential in your circumstances you will begin to believe for and attract great things into your life.

What’s in your line of vision, because this FOCUS will govern your beliefs, future and destiny.

A great illustration of the correlation between focus and belief is the account of Moses’s twelve spies sent out to survey the land after the Israelite’s deliverance from Egypt and slavery. (Numbers chap 13-14) These twelve men were all “giants” in their own right, being leaders of their tribes and renowned as men of courage whom everyone looked to for guidance and protection. They were essentially the “cream of the crop”, chosen from a community of over three million people for their leadership skills and ability.

Yet sadly, history doesn’t remember most of these men as great men of faith and leadership, but as individuals who focused on their weaknesses and caved under pressure. They even plotted to kill Joshua and Caleb, their fellow spies, when they refused to tremble in fear and unbelief regarding the land God had led them so miraculously to.

The difference between Joshua and Caleb was that they refused to focus on the strength of their enemies fortified cities, the fierceness of the people who lived there or the vastness of the land and all the possible what-ifs.

Instead, they focused on the potential and opportunity God had brought them to. They looked at the land and saw its fruitfulness, the blessing, the provision and the great vision and plan God had for them as a people.

Joshua and Caleb didn’t negate the challenges they would face regarding the land’s inhabitants. However, on acknowledging the problems, they then chose to extinguish doubt and unbelief from their hearts and minds by focusing on God’s blessing and ability and remembered what He had already brought them through.

The choice of their focus shaped what they believed and, consequently, everything they saw, heard and spoke as a result. This choice enabled both them and their immediate families to enter the land, while everyone else their age and older died, having never lived the life for which God had planned. (Read the account in Numbers 13:1-31; 14:1-36)

Be careful what you are focusing on because it will shape your future, because what you “see” will either enhance or limit your ability to possess your promise, or keep you wandering in a “desert” of fear, indecision, lost dreams and potential.

We are all called and chosen for something; But it’s whether we are both individually and corporately brave enough to focus on what God says and is revealing and then decide to step forward when He says, “move!”

Choose well what and where you focus today and determine to stick to the path of truth and confidence in God. Then just as Caleb and Joshua did, you will inherit your own promised land.

“Set your gaze on the path before you. With fixed purpose, looking straight ahead, ignore life’s distractions. Watch where you’re going! Stick to the path of truth, and the road will be safe and smooth before you. Don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked for even a moment or take the detour that leads to darkness.” (Proverbs 4:25 TPT)

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NLT)

“So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised.” (Hebrews 10:35 NLT)

Prayer: Lord, please help me learn the lessons from your Word and choose wisely what I focus upon. Forgive me for when I have stepped back in fear and believed a “bad report” regarding my future when you repeatedly say you have plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future beyond my wildest dreams and imagination. I believe for great things to unfold in my life today. In Jesus name. Amen

30 Aug – Faith and Patience

Caleb is one of the great men of the Bible. He and Joshua were two spies sent out to report on the land that God had led the Israelites to as they came out of Egypt. They chose to believe what God said rather than looking at the giants in the land” before them.

Amazingly for 40 years, Caleb believed “one word” from God. He believed that he would inherit the promise of land for his family, and for 40 years, he continued to believe God would do what He had promised in his life. 

At 80 years old, after forty long years wandering the desert Caleb finally went up and took what he had been promised. You can read Caleb’s story in the Bible (see Numbers 14:24, 30, Deuteronomy 1:36; Joshua 14:6). It’s worth the read.

Caleb’s life is an example of faith and patience working together. Faith to trust and believe what God has spoken and patience to keep standing and believing while you wait.

Patience by itself,  without Faith, has no power to call into reality the thing desired. Faith is the substance of things we hope for. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1) 

But faith without patience at work in us will many times fail to hold steady and will instead allow sensory knowledge; “the things we see” to overwhelm our faith and cause us to give up.

We can get impatient – and our emotions, instead of our spirits, start to dictate our actions, speech and beliefs.

When your natural eyes can see only defeat and failure, that’s when your faith needs to speak up, and it’s patience which works to undergird and keep you standing while you wait for things to happen.

Romans 10:8 says, “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the Word of Faith which we preach).

Pressure will try and shake you loose of God’s Word and the hope it givesSatan loves to do everything he can to stir up things around you. He’ll try to get you into fear, and he’ll push all of “your buttons” in an attempt to get you to let go of what you’re believing for. However, patience encourages you to stand. To NOT let go! Patience says, “keep your eyes on what God has promised until it comes to pass”.

Today determine to hold steady in your faith. Base your faith in God’s word, think on and speak His promises and know that He is trustworthy to do as He has promised. It is, “through faith and patience we inherit the promises of God.” (Hebrews 6:12)

Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

Prayer: Lord, by faith and patience, I inherit your promises. I’m choosing to remain constant and consistent as I believe your promises more than my circumstances. I ask you to continue to give me strength and patience to stand. In Jesus Name Amen.

29 Aug – How To Be Nicer

I was riding on a New York subway a few years ago and a sign on the wall caught my attention. It said, “Be nice, people like that.”

Be nice, people like that” sounds like a very obvious way to live, but how often do we forget or just can’t seem to find it within ourselves to to be nice in our daily dealings with others?

How often do we fail to be caring, kind, polite, patient and considerate of others, especially those close to us, and instead behave far from nicely?

When some of our kids were younger, they were known to be absolute angels at school, yet all their angelicness disappeared on coming home. I would ask in exasperation why they were so good at school but seemed to find it so difficult to be nice once they arrived home? They’d tell me it was because they’d used up all their “niceness” during the day.”

I think we can all feel to some degree like we’ve used up all of our nice reserves at times. We can get exhausted by other people and their drama, have unresolved hurts of our own or the circumstances of the world around us cause us not to want to be so nice anymore.

Fortunately, God is not phased by our inability in ourselves to be nice and pleasant all the time. He says that as we draw close to Him, He sheds His love abroad in our hearts, which means we no longer need to try to love or live only from our capabilities. Our niceness will run out, and the more pressure we find ourselves under the quicker it will happen. However in Jesus we have an unlimited reserve as we allow His power and love to fill and work in our hearts.

The more we spend time with Jesus and realise who we are made to be, the easier it is to act and speak with love and “niceness” continually. It just starts to flow out of us, and the more we draw near to Jesus, the freer it flows.

Today, if you are struggling to be “nice”, ask Jesus to remind you of who you are in Him and what He says about you.

Let go of any negative self talk about your life and future and start to focus on what God says about you as you make fresh plans with Him. (It’s often when we feel disappointed or hopeless about our future that we start to turn on those close to us in not very nice ways).

Open up your heart and invite Jesus to fill your heart with His love so that it overflows in every area of your life; in your thoughts, emotions and heart.

Be encouraged that as you grow to understand who you are in Jesus, discover His plans for your life and allow His power to work in your life continually, you need never worry about your niceness ever running out again. Instead you will start to be someone whose life is full of the fruit of being connected to the ultimate source of all that is excellent and true.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

For we know how dearly God loves us because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. (Romans 5:5)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Prayer: Lord, thank you that I don’t have to go through life trying to be nice alone, because when I open my life up to you, your goodness is able to flood my heart. Please help me every day to take the opportunity to be nice to others, because not only do other people like that, they also need it too. In Jesus name Amen

28 Aug – Don’t Swallow The Bitter Pill

There is a saying, “it’s a bitter pill to swallow,” which means something unpleasant but that must be endured and accepted. Most of us know what it is to have to face difficult or uncomfortable situations or be told something we’d rather not hear. However, I wonder how often we “swallow” things we were never meant to “eat” of or that Jesus wants to carry for us so we don’t have to?

However, instead of casting our cares and worries upon Jesus, we “swallow the bitter pill” and find ourselves in a place of accepting or enduring life’s tough places rather than seeking to appropriate the truth of what Jesus has done for us?

Jesus doesn’t want us to have to carry or “swallow” the bitterness of life, because when we do we are partaking of that thing and it can become a part of us, when in fact, Jesus “swallowed” and did away with the weight of all our bitterness and pain already when He carried and died for our griefs, sorrow, sin, sickness and pain. (Isaiah 53:4)

The question then to regularly ask ourselves is what are we accepting or enduring? Is it pain, disappointment and bitterness like the bitter pill, or are we eating those things that are good, true, pure, lovely and worthy of shouting about?

Today don’t feel like you have to keep eating the hard things of life or that it is always necessary to endure and swallow a bitter pill. We were never created to live like that, and Jesus went through a lot on the Cross to ensure we didn’t have to live afflicted and beaten down by life.

He swallowed the “bitter pill” of a wooden cross so that we could live free, casting our cares upon Him and receiving in return His strength, comfort, peace, joy and fullness of life. Choose to “feast” on Jesus and His goodness and throw that bitter pill away.

Surely He has borne all our griefs and carried our sorrows….He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes, we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5 NKJV)

Jesus said, “ I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect – life in Its fullness until you overflow.” (John 19:10 TPT)

Prayer: Lord, thank you that you have already carried and bore every grief and sorrow I could ever face. You took the “bitter pills” so I wouldn’t have to. Today I’m choosing to “eat” of the life you have for me. In Jesus name amen

27 Aug – The Power Of God’s Name

Over the years, I’ve discovered that one of the most powerful methods of overcoming anxiety is to turn your worry into worship. One of the best ways to do that is to have a growing understanding of who God is, His different names, and what they reveal about Him.

In the Bible, a person’s name usually said something about that person’s character or destiny. This is why the many names of God are vitally important for you to see and understand. Each name of God reveals something about His character. At the same time, God’s names show you many different ways in which He is there to help you in your time of need or worry.

Here are some of the names of God:

  • Elohim (God)
  • Yahweh (Lord, Jehovah)
  • El Elyon (The Most High God)
  • Adonai (Lord, Master)
  • El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty)
  • El Olam (The Everlasting God)
  • Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Provide)
  • Jehovah Rapha (The Lord Who Heals You)
  • Jehovah Nissi (The Lord Is My Banner)
  • Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Lord Who Sanctifies You)
  • Jehovah Shalom (The Lord Is Peace)
  • Jehovah Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts)
  • Jehovah Raah (The Lord Is My Shepherd)
  • Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord Our Righteousness)
  • Jehovah Shammah (The Lord Is There)

You can see God’s names revealed throughout the Bible, usually when people either faced a great need or when God spectacularly blessed them.

It’s the same today. God still wants to reveal Himself to each one of you. In Psalm 91, there are some amazing promises for those who acknowledge and know His name. 

Because he set his love on me, therefore I will save him;

I will set him [securely] on high because he knows My name [he confidently trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never abandon him, no, never].

He will call upon me, and I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble;

I will rescue him and honour him.

With a long life, I will satisfy him

And I will let him see My salvation.” (Psalm 91:14-16)

God wants you to know Him and His name so that you will confidently trust and rely on Him, knowing that He will never abandon you.

For you to know: He is Jehovah Rapha, the Lord, your Healer; He is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord, your Provider; He is Jehovah Shalom, the Lord your peace. He is Jehovah Raah, your Shepherd.

When life begins to press in, you can draw upon the knowledge of who God is and declare His names back to Him. (“Lord, You are holy, you are Victor; you are Sovereign; you are the Way; you are the Truth; You are the Life; You are my provider, my healer, my strong tower, my peace.

When you worship and declare who God is, all of heaven responds, and His power is released to defeat every weapon that may have been formed against you. It defeats fear, worry, anxiety, sickness, lack, and anything else that rises against the promises of God.

Today, I encourage you to start discovering how to become a worshipper instead of a worrier. Learn the power of His name and the promises and one behind it. Then choose to worship, knowing that it leads you into His presence, silences the enemy, and releases the power of heaven on your behalf.

You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you.” (Psalm 8:2)

Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods. Rather, worship the LORD your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.” (2 Kings 17:38-39)

“Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendour of holiness”.(Psalm 29:2)

 “Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!” ( Psalm 95:6)

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” (Psalm 100:40)

26 Aug – How God’s Word Works

I discovered over 30 years ago that if I took hold of what God said in His Word and applied it to a need or situation in my life, then things would change. Even things that the world said were impossible would change, and amazing things would come to pass.

I put this truth into practice when at 20 years old, I was pregnant with our eldest daughter Anna. I’d heard a tape sharing a woman’s testimony talking about truths in God’s Word that stated that when we know Jesus, we have been delivered from the curse of pain in childbirth. Something went off on the inside of me, and as I researched the Bible, I discovered that Jesus did deliver us from every pain – childbirth included.

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”) that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith”. (Galatians 3:13)

So I pressed into that truth; I got every verse in the Bible that referred to the curse and pain been broken off our lives; I read and listened to the testimonies of other women who had given birth pain-free, and as I shared with my husband he started believing with me too.

Now years later, I can say the Word works. Not once, nor twice but with six children did I prove this particular promise out, and as I’ve shared my story, others have experienced this truth also.

God always wants us to go from faith to faith, ever-increasing in our capacity of what we can believe for. Just as I learnt to believe for pain-free childbirth because of what Jesus has done for us, I now have the opportunity to apply those same principles to sickness, finances, family issues, pursuing my goals and dreams, and any breakthrough I need.

Is that always easy? No. Sometimes it’s really difficult to stand and believe when the world and our circumstances are screaming otherwise. But just as I discovered in giving birth to our six children, if we will make an effort to build our faith; to see and hear what is possible in and with God, and to press into His promises, we will learn that the Word works, and life is also never boring.

Sometimes life will be stretching, but never boring. Plus, the victory and joy we experience when we do breakthrough are worth any effort and discipline we may need to keep standing on the goodness, promises and blessings of God.

An important and powerful point to think about is that “The material universe is temporal, and it can and is subject to change. If we take something unchangeable and use it to apply pressure to something changeable, it’s obvious which one of them will yield. The changeable one! Therefore, whenever we take the Word of God and apply it in faith to this temporal realm, that realm must give in and conform to the Word.” (K. Copeland)

Today take the unchanging Word of God and apply it to your life. Where there is sickness, lack, relationship issues, any needs, or simply desiring to experience more of God, go to the Word apply its pressure to what you face or desire. Those things that are temporal and subject to change must yield to the unchanging nature and promises of God.

Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations”. (Duet 7:9)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

“Every good and perfect gift is from heaven above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows”. (James 1:17)

“Forever O Lord, your word is fixed in the heavens“. (Psalm 119:89)

Prayer: Lord, thank you that you are unchanging and constant and that anything that I can see, hear, taste and see in this temporal world must yield and conform to your Word. Help me take the time to research and understand it to apply your Word to every area of my life. Sickness, lack, and poverty of any kind must bow its knee to you today. In Jesus name Amen.

25 Aug -How To Fight

Often when I talk to Jesus, He encourages me to be very deliberate about writing down and sharing all the good things He has done and is doing.

He reminds me of His promises, words and the revelations He has downloaded into my life and encourages me to live out of these truths rather than be governed by my circumstances or any difficulty I may be facing.

There is real power both in the promises in God’s word, other people’s stories of the good things He has done for them and my own accounts of God’s goodness. They help me stay patient and confident whilst waiting for a breakthrough or when I’m facing tough decisions or trials of some sort. It’s like having an “arsenal of testimonies and prophesies” to help me be able to stand and to warfare with.

Paul encouraged Timothy to have this same arsenal when He said, “Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well”. (1 Timothy 1:18)

It’s what David would have done whilst fleeing for His life after Saul tried to kill Him. Chosen by God and anointed to be the next King, David had to wait, keep believing and stand with only a prophetic word from God to help him.  He had to be proactive and have a strategy of praise, thanksgiving, of thinking about and acting upon the previous exploits of God and His prophetic word to him. (2 Samuel) These similar revelations from God are what many of the great men of women of faith have also stood upon to see their promises manifest – people like Noah, Moses, Abraham, Joseph and Mary.

Today, whatever you are facing, praying for a breakthrough or waiting for things to arrive in the natural realm I encourage you to be proactive and deliberate, using the strategies that these great men and women of faith overcame with.

Think on and talk about what God has said both through His Word, revelation and prophetic words given to you.

Write them down and look at them often.

Meditate on what God has done, and you will have success. “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” (Joshua 1:8)

Whenever you are facing a trial, take your situation and sandwich it between your testimonies (what God has done for you), and your prophetic words (what God has said He will do)… then decide how you will think and talk about your situation.” (Kris Vollotton)

Don’t just be content to let life happen to you. Happen to life and make an effort every day to focus on those testimonies and prophesies from God, designed to direct and accelerate you towards all that He has planned and purposed for your life.

“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)

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

Prayer: Lord, would you please help me remember the good things you have done for both me and others. What you have promised you are faithful to accomplish in my life so I’m choosing to think, speak, sing and share about these things today, in expectation of my breakthrough. In Jesus name Amen.

24 Aug – God Has A Word

In our house, we have a saying that there is a song for every occasion, and routinely someone will suddenly break into a musical number to back this up.

Just as our family have a song for every occasion, I’ve learnt that God has a Word and promise for every circumstance, challenge and season we will ever have to face and walk through. There is no situation that He has not anticipated and provided for both now and in the future. He is the Alpha and Omega – the beginning and the end, and in Him, all things are held together.

 “For in Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all thing hold together.” (Colossians 1:17)

God’s Word is living, and He is watching over it to perform it. Angels act and move according to what it says, and even if the mountains tremble, governments render laws and the media peddles fear God says He has a way through. The world may be shouting disaster everywhere you look, but God’s promises will not pass away.

God has a Word for everything so we can stand upon and declare His promises so we can have hope and direction.

I was recently led to read Psalm 37, a great example of God having a Word for our circumstances. If ever there was a kick-butt piece of scripture for some of the things we are facing in the world right now, Psalm 37 is it! (I highly recommend reading it and putting it to memory).

Because of God’s promises, Psalm 37 declares that you need not worry about the wicked or fret about their schemes. They may plot against the godly and snarl at them in defiance, but the Lord laughs at them because He knows their day is coming. You will look for them, but you will not find them, for they will be gone…

But when you trust in the Lord and choose to be still in His presence, He will make the justice of your cause shine like the noonday sun and cause you to possess the land and live in peace and prosperity.

You will not be disgraced in hard times and will have more than enough even in famine. For the Lord loves justice, and he will never abandon the godly but will be your fortress in times of trouble as you find shelter in him. He promises that He will direct your steps and delights in every detail of your life.  

If you are facing a situation or need some encouragement and guidance, seek God and what He says in the bible until He speaks to you. When He speaks specifically it will feel like the words jump right off the page and into your heart. It’s called a Rhema or Living Word and is God’s promise to your need and situation.  

Today be encouraged that God has anticipated everything you will ever need or face in your life, which means you can rest on what He says, trusting that everything will be okay.

 For, “All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.” (1 Peter 1:24-25)

“Though the mountains be shaken, and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.” (Isaiah 54:10)

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble.”(Psalm 46:1)

Prayer: Lord, thank you that you speak and promise to lead and guide me. Would you please encourage me today by your Word. In Jesus name Amen.


23 Aug – Map Out Your Life

Late last year, I finished over 18 months of counselling for PTSD. One of the first things we did during the group counselling sessions was to map out our lives on a large piece of paper. We were asked to draw and itemise both the highs and the lows of our story.  

I had experienced repeated sexual abuse, sickness, feelings of abandonment, fear and all the issues that stem from those emotions and beliefs.

Creating a life map was a difficult task for everyone in the room, but as I pushed myself to complete my the task, I saw something I had not recognised before. Whilst there had undoubtedly been many lows, there had also been countless highs and overcoming of my circumstances. As I mapped my life story, I was able to acknowledge that I wasn’t a victim but a fighter, overcomer, and survivor.  

Once completed, we were each asked to share what we had drawn, and as I spoke to the room, I  concluded the account of my story by saying, “I didn’t realise it until I did this, but now I can see I am quite spectacular!

As I studied my map, I recognised God’s hand on my life, working, strengthening, creating beauty from my ashes, and making everything work out for my good. (Romans 8:28; Isaiah 61:3)

God says He will, “bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair, and my life in so many ways is a testimony to that. (Isaiah 61:3)

Take some time and map out your life because it is a powerful tool to enable you to see your life in perspective and to understand that part of living is that we all have our highs and lows – the key is to balance it out and to keep running our race.  

Start from your earliest memory and recall all the things you remember that are significant or have impacted you somehow. Be honest about both the negative and the positive aspects of your story.

You are still here, and since you are reading this, I know already that you are an overcomer and someone who has kept on going and holding onto hope. Today I encourage you to gain some perspective and see how amazing you are, what you have lived through, where you have had victories and how you have grown and survived.

Once you have completed your map, ask God to help you understand the parts of your story that are difficult or traumatic in some way and invite him to heal you where needed so you can move forward healthily. God says, He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds and that he makes all things new.” (Psalm 147:3; Rev 21:5)

And remember, you are spectacular and amazing, and God has a plan for your life.

Prayer: Lord, I ask that you help me gain perspective as I map out my story. The enemy may have tried to rob and destroy, but you specialise in making things new and working miracles out of the mess. Would you please help me see you in every piece of my story today and move forward? In Jesus name Amen.

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