Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Have indisputable faith

Last night, I was up thinking, having a conversation with and being taught by the Holy Spirit into the early hours of the morning, when I should have really been sleeping. But it was probably the most worthwhile late night I have had in a long time. It was a POWERFUL night. So just wanted to share some of the thoughts and lessons I learnt for your, and my own, encouragement.

We need to know who we are in Christ and to know that our identity is found in Him and Him alone. It is absolutely imperative for every Christian to be sure of this and it is urgent because we are in a spiritual war and the battles are daily; there are no days off. God has given us His words in the bible. He tells us about ourselves. We should use the bible as a reflection of who we are supposed to be, who God has called us to be and who God has already stated that we are. And we have to choose to believe that His words are 100% true, despite any lie we may have heard from anyone else about ourselves, or even the lies that the enemy tries to deceive us into believing about ourselves.

In Isaiah 54:17, the Lord said of His people:
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgement, you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from me.”

Therefore, no weapon – not even the SMALLEST, MINUTEST or LARGEST, DEADLIEST of weapon – formed against YOU, a servant of the Lord, shall ever prosper. It is your heritage as a servant of God and your righteousness comes straight from the Lord Himself; not from works or from good deeds. From God! It doesn’t matter what you may have heard. The LORD has said this and I choose to believe it. We have two choices: whether to believe in the lies and negative, condemning things that people or society tell us about ourselves or the enemy tries to deceive us with OR to believe and wholeheartedly trust in the word of the Lord God, the ever faithful, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, almighty, creator of this world and our very own lives. I choose the latter. People will always let us down; nobody but the Lord can truly satisfy our hearts, so it makes no sense to trust in the words of people above the words of God. And it ESPECIALLY makes no sense to believe the lies of the enemy.

The enemy knows scripture too. He knows what the Lord has said. One instance in the bible where we read the dialogue between the enemy and a human is in Genesis, when the enemy said to Eve:
‘Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
This is what he is even doing today with believers. He leads us to question God’s word. Is it really so? Did God really say that? Meanwhile, he knows fully well that the Lord said it, but that is his scheme and we need to realise that and be aware. He plants seeds of doubt in our mind, and that’s where it all begins; we begin to lose faith and hope, and we ourselves begin to doubt God’s word to us.

These lies and the doubt that follows are like weights put on an endurance runner’s back, making it harder and harder to finish the race well. See Romans 12:1-3. Weights on an endurance runner’s back would make them become weary and tired; they may fall; they may get up again, but the longer the weights are there, the harder the race will remain for them and falling again is very likely.

So, Eve told the serpent what God had said:
“We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat of it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
Then the serpent said:
“You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

!!!!!!! The enemy actually said to Eve that God’s word was not true. God said they will die; the enemy said you will not surely die. He basically goes on to say that God said that only because He knows the consequence of eating it - that they would become like Him. Obeying God’s word is not up for discussion with the enemy. God’s word is not up for discussion. It is not a matter of reasoning what the consequence of disobedience may be to justify whether we really should obey Him or not. That is what society does. I have been asked why Christians are not supposed to have sex before marriage; what’s the problem. And I have stated consequences of sex before marriage, like soul ties, STD’s, unwanted pregnancies…etc. But the actual reason is merely that….God said so! Reasoning about the consequences is what the enemy wanted Eve to do and it still happens today. The only thing it will lead to is compromise, with us figuring out a way enjoy the pleasures we desire whilst avoiding the consequences that we know of. And side note: there are many consequences that we do not and will never know….because we are not God.

So, when Eve saw that:
1.       The tree was good for food
2.       That it was pleasant to the eyes
3.       That it was a tree desirable to make one wise
(These were her reasonings which led to compromise) She took of its fruit and ate it. And when she had given it to Adam and he also ate, their eyes were both immediately opened and they had the first negative emotion recorded in the bible….fear! Exactly what God had said would happen happened; they did die, but not just a physical death. They became separated from God. They were barred from His presence. That is spiritual death – being separated from God -, which is the consequence of those who do not believe in God; eternal separation from God, in hell.

He has given us a second chance to spend eternity with Him. It is our choice whether we will accept His Son’s sacrifice, believe and obey His Word. We just need to stop allowing the enemy to deceive us and lead us to question the truth of God’s word, and we need to focus and fix our eyes on Jesus, so that we can run this race with endurance and finish well. We need to cast down ’every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ’ – 1 Corinthians 10:5 (NKJV).

Other versions phrase it: ‘demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God...’, ‘destroy every argument and lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God…’, ‘destroy every proud obstacle…’, ‘refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the true knowledge of God; and WE lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ…’

We do not need to converse with the enemy and reason or let any form of doubt reside in our minds about the Word of God. At all! We must take wrong thoughts captive. We have been given the authority to, through Christ. And the enemy knows this, but the longer he can deceive us and cause us to doubt the Word of God, even to neglect reading the Word, the longer we will find ourselves in a state of confusion and doubt – lacking faith. Do not be a sitting duck for the enemy.

Feed your spirit man, feed your faith, read God’s word, apply it to your life and make sure to converse with God and God alone though prayer. Then, when the enemy fires a dart in the form of a negative, false thought, you will catch it and take it captive.

Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Love your enemies (or frenemies)

Romans 12:17-21 NKJV
Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

The scripture does not say that we should act like besties with those 'friends' who use us, are ungrateful and unappreciative of our goodwill towards them or are plain old haters of us, literal enemies. The term 'frenemies' I used refers to so-called 'friends' who disguise themselves as friends but are actually not on your side at all. Sometimes you need to stop trying to maintain certain bridges in your life and just let them go. Burn them. Don't hate on the person; love on them, but just do it from a distance.

Sometimes a person might be going through a hard time which is the root cause of their messed up attitude towards you but at the same time it is just not wise to try and mantain the relationship if all you put into it is your best and good things and all you ever receive from the relationship is bad, negativity, criticism, disrespect, etc... This is completely in reference to platonic relationships (friendships). Pray for that person. Love them. Bless them. But don't stick around for them to corrupt you and bring you down, because the enemy's strategy is to steal, kill and destroy us and you can't let him use a 'friend' to achieve that goal.

Remember, Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6:12 that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Paul then goes on to instruct us to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might and to put on the whole armour of God. So when somebody is causing you trouble in life, rebuke the enemy. Rebuke him. And rebuke him with the WORD of GOD. Put on the armour of God so that you can deflect the fiery darts he tries to throw at you through people sent to rid you of your spiritual gifts of love, joy, peace and temperance.

Always remember, he is trying to steal from you. The bible says that he is like a roaring lion, walking about the earth and seeking whom he may devour. Lions lie in wait for vulnerable, unknowing prey with no obvious defence against a predator. Which is why we need the armour of God and His Word as our defence. 1 Peter 5:9 says to resist him (the devil), STEADFAST in faith - we need the shield of faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.

Furthermore, look at this phrase specifically: 'as much it depends on you, live peaceably with all men'. An excerpt from Lysa Terkeurst's book 'Unglued' explains this phrase well. She states:
'I can't control another person, but I can control whether or not I repay evil for evil. I can be careful with my actions. I can do what is right. But only as far as it depends on me - in other words, I can only make this progress on behalf of myself. I can't compel other people into this kind of progress if they aren't willing to pursue peace with me.'

She also states in another paragraph something that reiterates what I'm trying to say in this post in relation to FRIENDSHIPS; NOT in marriage or family relationships, but in relation to FRIENDSHIPS. 'If you try to establish healthy boundaries with a toxic person and the person continues to abuse,  criticise, threaten, tempt or harm you, it's time to cut off the toxic relationship. The right thing to do is sever the relationship to protect yourself'

I'd recommend anyone to read Lysa Terkeurst's book 'Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions'.

Saturday, 1 September 2012


Sunday, 19 August 2012

In the light of His glory

Just a while ago, I was sitting facing my open window and I was fixing myself ready for church. So I was holding my mirror in my hand, seeing my reflection in a different, clearer light than I had before. This lead me onto contemplating about how we need the light of God to shine in on our lives, so that we can see clearly and not have a distorted or false view of our situations.

Without the light of God in our lives, we can be oblivious to so many mistakes we are making or, more fittingly to my scenario, we can be blind to God's divine plan that He is working in our lives. We can look at our situations and think to ourselves...oh, this is terrible, where is God in all this?, what have I done to deserve this?, my wilderness is hopeless...etc, etc. But when the light of God's glory is shining in our lives, we can start to see what God is trying to achieve through us, how we can bring Him glory through our situations and how He has never let us have more than we can bear.

Most of the time, however, we are very similar to the Israelites, who were travelling through the wilderness, yes, but they were in darkness (not literally). They forgot where God had brought them from, His promises to them, the fact that He chose them and that every good work that He began in them He was faithful to complete. Instead, they murmured, complained, made idols for themselves...etc. Geographically, the journey they took in the wilderness was an 11 day journey, but it took them 40 years to get there and, because of their ways during the journey, they didn't even get to see the promised land. If they had just looked past the surface of all their problems, trusting in God and letting His  glory shine the light on their every move and in areas where it may seem to be negative or troublesome (ref. to the manna from Heaven incident), fixing their eyes on the glory and light of God, they would have seen how God is providing for them and they would have made it to the promised land and it wouldn't have taken a month, let alone 40 years!!!!

Proof that complaining never makes a change and it can actually delay the promises God has made us from being fulfilled in our lives. Let's not elongate any journeys we make or any trials we face. We just need to fix our eyes on Jesus and everything will turn out fine!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

What is the purpose of life?

This is such a common question and I want to share my view here.

I believe that, as Christians, the purpose of our lives is to glorify God. I read this study on 'Giving Glory to God' by Andrew Berhardt - (please read it) - and it was very eye opening and made me realise that my life is not actually my own and I should live to glorify God in everything I do. But first and foremost, we all, including myself, need to really develop a love and appreciation for God, because then, as the study also says, we will have the desire created in us to bring as much glory to Him as we possibly can. Without love, it's all in vain.

 This is a section of the study text about our role of stewardship

What do we think of when we hear the word 'stewardship'? Tithing?

That's what I thought it meant until I learned its true meaning from J.R.R. Tolkien's Return Of The King, the final part of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. In the book, the country of Gondor had been without a true king for a thousand years, but it was ruled by stewards who were to govern Gondor until one who could rightfully claim the throne returned. When the king finally did return, the last steward did not want to give up his position but thought that he deserved to rule on the throne himself. His pride had caused him to forget where his authority came from.

A steward is a manager of someone else's property. No matter how much time elapses, a steward must take care of the property given to him, and always be ready to return it to the owner when asked.

God owns more than our money. He owns all of our material possessions. He owns the whole world (hence the first commission God gave to man - to take care of the earth). And He owns us. We are only stewards of what God has given us. At the final judgement, we believers will not be judged on what we did for ourselves but what we did for Jesus Christ. We will have to give an accounting for what we did with what God gave us.
In Mark 12, some of the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus with a question about taxes.
And they come and say to him, Teacher, we know that you are true, and care not for anyone; for you regard not the men's person, but teach the way of God with truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not? Should we give tribute or should we not give? ...

- Mark 12:14,15

Jesus knew they asked the question to trap him. However, He didn't just answer the question with a yes or no answer...
...Why do you tempt me? Bring me a denarius that I may see it. And they brought it. And he says to them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said to him, Caesar's. And Jesus answering said to them, Pay what is Caesar's to Caesar, and what is God's to God. And they wondered at him.

- Mark 12:15-17 

The Pharisees' question dealt only with rendering what was due to Caesar, but Jesus' reply lead them to a much more important issue - our stewardship of what God has given us. Just as the coin belonged to Caesar because Caesar's image was on it, so we belong to God because we were created in His image.

Think of yourself as a steward of God's image. The image is not yours. What you do with your life will either tarnish God's image or glorify it.

Friday, 6 July 2012

A Psalm of encouragement

Psalm 27: An Exuberant Declaration Of Faith

A Psalm of David

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.

Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.

One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.

For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.

And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

Hear, O Lordwhen I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”

Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.

10 When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the Lord will take care of me.

11 Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.

12 Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.

13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

14 Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012


Forgiveness is so vitally important, for many things: our own mental health, our progression in life and ultimately in receiving forgiveness of our sins from God. For many many years in the past I have prayed the Lord's prayer and said those words - 'forgive us of our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us', without full knowledge or realisation that I have not forgiven. Of course God does not condemn us for something we did not know or did not hear and so I won't condemn myself but I just think to myself...if only I had knew then what I know now. I have been through a very rough journey so far in my lifetime and recently I had a situation which resurfaced some negative memories of the past, in relation to a frenemy of mine. Recalling my memories led the buried frustration and hurt to rise to the surface again, and I began to think through all those expeiences, the way I felt... I've realised that all this time I have been in the wrong mindset in that I have kept all these negative emotions inside of me and not just left my burdens at Jesus' feet:
- 'Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved' (Psalm 55:22)

Also, the next reason is that God commands us to fogive, no matter how terrible we feel about the situation or some personal issue. Many scriptures tell us that we should forgive one another and as Christians we need to be obedient to His words. one of which is:
- 'And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you' (Ephesians 4:32)
- 'For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments...' (1 John 5:3)

After all faith isn't even about feelings and God is no respecter of persons, so if we do not forgive it's not as if God is going to look at our circumstances and decide that in light of our situation, if it doesn't feel okay with us, we can get away with unforgiveness. In our efforts to live more Christlike, we will have to sacrifice the way we feel about some things and do what He would do in our situation. Also, God does not discipline us because he hates us or wants us to have some sort of miserable life. It's out of love that he disciplines us and instructs us, to protect us and to enable us to live abundant, kingdom lives. He knows what is best for us and He knows our futures and the result of our every action; He sees the bigger picture
- 'For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.' (Romans 8:18-19)

- '"Be angry, and do not sin" : do not let the sun go down on your wrath' Ephesians 4:26