Saturday, December 27, 2008
Selah ~ Contemplate
I testify the God I know is not boring. Look around you - creation declares His imagination, His creativity and His beauty. People who have not experienced Him personally - even within the church - perceive Him as boring (I did for a long time) as they have not truly experienced what it means to bask in His love and let it change you inside out. Those who have not learned to listen to Him, or who have a twisted perception of His character will misjudge Him this way. But for those of us who have tasted and seen that He is good will never be the same.
(Job 42:5 I had heard about you with my own ears, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. ... )
He is amazing, exciting and immeasurable in His mercy and love!
Having seen a little of who He is, I am abandoned to Him now, there is no going back.
As I have been prayer jouralling over the last month, the Lord has spoken to me many "poems".
To be honest, although I have always enjoyed poetry and took English literature as my major at University (I focused on plays and prose)- and so I have to confess to knowing little about the structure of poems. Hopefully the intellectuals of you out there can forgive my ignorance and simply let the simplicity, beauty and truth of the words He has spoken through my pen penetrate your heart (as they have mine).
"I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine."
exercised in the place of weakness,
fighting every battle and rejoicing in every victory
on his knees.
A man of God is loving,
he walks pouring out mercy and love,
uncontaminated from God's heart
through his, a pure vessel.
A man of God is honorable,
indeed he wears costly integrity as a badge,
its marks him as an abassador of Heaven,
he speaks words of truth and strongholds crumble
A man of God shines
He is one amongst 10,000 ~ he is a lantern,
the light of Christ shines through him,
he is a contradiction of strength and humilty.
A man of God is armed
with the sword of the spirit and the shield
of faith, he wars daily against our most
subtle dangerous enemy, protecting the flock.
A man of God is fearless
he walks with boldness and the confidence
of Christ, he is unashamedly different and magnetic~
people are drawn to the Jesus in him
A man of God is Joyful
he loves the place of worship before the
throne of God, with music and dance
he is unafraid to be undignified.
A man of God - bears His image
date: 11th Dec 08
Inspiration: King David - One of the most interesting men in history, he was given the high honor of being described as "a man after God's own heart". A hansome man, yet one of contradictions. He was deeply sensitive, artistic and abandoned in his love for God. Yet a strong leader and warrior who had the devotion and respect of his rough, tough, blood thirsty army. Imperfect, he stumbled often but confident of His creators love, once convicted of his sin, he always ran straight back to the heart of God. A poet, lovesick for God he is the author of most of the Psalms.
In her hand she will carry the
double edged sword of peace and love.
She will fight. With the power of the
Holy Spirit, with gentleness and mercy
she will overcome evil with good.
She will listen intently to her commander,
protected with the shield of faith
and the helmet of her salvation.
She will run to do His will,
on the sandals of peace
without fear, she will run into His heart.
She will rescue the oppressed and
destroy the stongholds of the enemy.
By the proclaimations of her mouth,
in Jesus name, they will fall.
Spotless and white, robed
in His righteousness, fearlessly
she marches daily to battle.
She was bought to be His, but is no slave.
She was transformed by His presence
and is sustained and satisfied by His love.
Loyal, she will be His warrior bride
and He will never forsake her.
Weak in herself, she will warfare
on her knees.
Date: 9th Dec 08
(Songs of Sol 4:9
"You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace."
"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints."
2 Corth 11:2
"For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ."
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
"Of course we are human, but we don't fight like humans. The weapons we use in our fight are not made by humans. Rather, they are powerful weapons from God. With them we destroy people's defenses, that is, their arguments and all their intellectual arrogance that oppose the knowledge of God. We take every thought captive so that it is obedient to Christ.")
Jonah privledged one
Jonah one who speaks with God
Jonah oh Jonah why do you run?
Jonah why do you doubt?
Jonah will you seek to be the one to counsel God?
Jonah seeing the mountain heads the other way
Jonah runs with human perception
holding the hand of logic
Jonah knows better than God
Jonah oh Jonah why do you run?
Jonah why do you doubt?
Jonah have you forgotten I am with you?
Jonah after the strorm,
swirling in the waves of confusion
Jonah remembers that the Lord
delights in mercy
Jonah cries out "daddy!"
Jonah oh Jonah why do you run?
Jonah why do you doubt?
Jonah, I have weighed the earth in scales
no mountain could ever be too great
Jonah, I am.
Jonah, oh Jonah run, yes run!
Run to these arms that long to hold you
Run to this heart that adores you
Run in faith to me.
date: 9th Dec 08
"Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?"
"I opened my arms to my own people all day long, but they have rebelled"
"He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God." )
Although Jonah was the main inspiration of my poem, I am also writing from experience. As Ginny Owens once put it.. "when did I stop asking for your wisdom, as if your words were meant for someone else." There have been significant times, where I have had a clear word from the Lord, but in my earthly logic/wisdom I argue with God in my heart, questioning why? Of course, He is all knowing and I am limited, and always right. But it has struck me that really by questioning I am distrusting that He is good on what He says (as Eve did in the garden when she believe that God was holding out on her), by questioning I am making God limited, making Him as a man. But He is not a man, He is God. If we stay within the boundaries of what we can do, budget-wise, logic-wise, ministry wise we will never see the glory of God on earth. We need to step into the realm of "Lord, if you don't show up - we're screwed." The realm that requires God to be God. To expect OT style miracles in our lives, to expect God to move and God to Speak. If we want a life ruined for the ordinary then we need to start looking for God in the ordinary and when He shows up the simplest thing can become an extraordinary time for testimony.
The bell that says I'm Yours.
I will call others to worship,
sounding out that He is worthy.
starling to attention,
the bell it does not hide
nor shrink from its calling.
It does not worry
about causing offense with its sound,
but boldly it calls out
with the song it has been given.
I will declare Lord and ring the bell,
I will tell of what You have done to me,
I will tell of a life changed in Your presence,
a heart that didn't know You,
"My ears had heard of you
but now my eyes have seen you.")
cleanses me from sin
Your Love is so beautiful
Purifies me from within
You are Yaweh - Mighty God
yet delight in the details small.
You are Jehovah - Emmanuel
Upheld, when I stumble I will never fall.
Why do You care for my brokeness?
Mighty Father, God of all~
Why does Your heart long for me?
How is it You hear a voice so small?
Robed in my Saviours Righteous blood
I enter Your courts with a song.
Assured of Your welcome my Mighty King,
as though I've done no wrong.
Worthy, my Jesus, beautiful one,
Saviour won't you draw near?
Saviour, my Jesus, perfect love,
humble King, Mighty Warrior.
Date: 7th Dec 08
"because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come fearlessly into God's presence, assured of His glad welcome")
no longer blown about by doctrine Lord,
but deeply rooted in Your love.
Nothing can separate us,
nothing can take away Your love.
Will I ever comprehend
the depth, the width,
the mighty power
of the love You lavish on me
Lord, open my eyes!
For Your love has changed my life
my heart - I am not who I was.
and Christ rose in me.
I walk, dance, run and sing with Him
And when I stumble,
He does not let me fall.
May my roots continue to deeper grow,
into the soil of Your unending love.
Let me draw my nourishment
from You, empower me by Your Word.
date: 7th Dec 08
(Ephesians 3 : 16-21 NLT
"16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!")
Monday, June 16, 2008
Words are so easy to say without thinking about what they really mean (especially words that are overly familiar from youth), its easy for us to become so familiar just skimming over the surface superficial meaning that we miss the actual message God intended. But God is also faithful that if we desire to know more about Him that He will indeed show us, revealing Him self more and more to us in all His kindness and splendor.
These last 8 months have been a growth spurt spiritually for me -especially the last 4/5 months - this is significant as the more I have obeyed and surrendered the more God has poured our His love, peace and joy on me, and so the more I have sought to hear His voice and obey and so the more He has blessed me. Its a snowball effect, starting small and getting bigger and bigger as I roll along with God (all praise to God in His patience with me).
I have learned more about the character of God and what He desires in the last 8mths than I have in the rest of my life combined. This year I have been baptized (both with water) but more significantly with the Holy Spirit and it is a powerful teacher.
I think its interesting that I feel like I have only been baptized in the Holy Spirit in the last 8 mths, given that I have been a Christian for almost 2 years now, and have known Christian values all my life. But when I look closely at Scripture I realize that this shouldn't be surprising. After all the disciples believed in Jesus Christ, they walked with Him everyday, were taught by Him, loved Him and were loved by Him, yet it wasn't until after the transfiguration that they received the Holy Spirit, during Pentecost, 40 days after Jesus death and almost 4 years after they would first have met Him.
Acts 1 "1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them."
When the Holy Spirit came it brought with it power and wisdom, both of which Jesus had demonstrated while He was here on earth. Indeed He used this to comfort His disciples when He told them that He would be going where they could not go yet. Telling them in John 14: 15,
"If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."
In Galatians it talks about living in the Spirit's power. It then lists the qualities that the Spirit living in us will inevitably produce. "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control." Before I totally surrendered to God and accepted the fullness of the Holy Spirit, I used to think that this was a list of qualities that Christians should aim for everyday.
But since being baptized with the Holy Spirit and personally experiencing life with Him I see this passage with new revelation (PTL). This fruit that is produced is not by our effort, we cannot make ourselves joyful for example, we cannot make ourselves gentle or patience. I have tried on several occasions but my true "old man" always comes out under pressure. The verse says "the Holy Spirit produces", it does not say "when you receive the Holy Spirit you will produce". I used to beat myself up, because I thought that my personality was not as naturally inclined to goodness and gentleness as some other people who I had witnessed, I tried to attain the standard by human strength and human reasoning (how prideful) and failed many, many times getting more and more discouraged with each failure. God know that the fruit of the Spirit is unnatural for our human nature and so He provides. His provision is our strengthener, our teacher and our guide - the Holy Spirit. This does not mean that we have nothing to do, that we can just rest on our laurels and let the Holy Spirit do the work. What this means is that we are like a seed, the seed only has to concentrate on growing - the fruit is a by product of growth. We only need to concentrate on hearing God's voice and being sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, every minute of everyday. If we seek to grow in this way, then the fruit of the Spirit living in us, comes naturally with time. God provides the sunshine and the rain (the good times and the challenging time) both are important for sweet, ripe fruit.
Interestingly looking back in retrospect these people who I so admired for their "good nature" were clearly being led by the Spirit, each of them had a personal relationship with God where they daily sought His face and will and obeyed and as promised in the word a transformation had taken place. We cannot know God and not be transformed. Obedience is such a key factor, Jesus said Matt 12 : 48 "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" 49Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. 50For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." By obedience and the death of Jesus on the cross we are adopted into God's glorious family, we are heirs with Jesus, by obedience I am His sister and God's beloved. A book I was reading recently summed it up beautiful "our unconditional obedience is a love response to God's unconditional Love." As simple humans we struggle to love what we cannot see. Loving God I believe, in my experience came from obeying God, and witnessing His faithfulness in what He asked me to do. Everything no matter how difficult or illogical at the time was for my good, was asked in love for me. By acting in faith, my faith increased, by obeying God because He loved me, I have learned (and am still learning by His Spirit) to love God. God delights over us and desires for us to delight in Him, this only comes by knowing God, which is a direct result of obedience.
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me. Psalm 18 vs 19
and for us...
"Trust in the Lord, and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper
Take delight in the Lord
and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37 vs 3-4
Once I myself surrendered and invited the Holy Spirit, I too became transformed. It was not an overnight process... I should say it is not an overnight process. Fruit takes a while to grow, and the growth period is important to the quality of the fruit. We can only have this fruit in our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit. We can only have the Holy Spirit by "follow(ing) the Spirits leading in every part of our lives". Again this sounds familiar, anyone with a Christian upbringing will know that we should submit to God and obey Him, but what does this really mean in a practical sense? Is it really just following a set of Does and Don'ts? For example "love you neighbour" very simple, very clear, very concise - a "do"... right? But what about the days that your neighbour is your enemy, your oppressor, is slandering your name, is seeking to kill you, still so simple? No, and I dare say impossible to do with sincerity... without the Spirit's power. Some said recently that "we need God to love God" the Holy Spirit is the third part of God" (Father, Son and Spirit) by accepting Him we open the door to know and love God.
This comes by spending time in prayer and sincerely daily inviting the Holy Spirit to have control over every aspect of our lives (actions, feelings, thoughts and words), He will take us up on our offer if we are sincere. Then by immersing ourselves in Gods word and meditating on the messages that He seeks to give us, we become tuned into God's guiding, through His Spirit. We then become aware of God's character through His word and so can use the wisdom He provides to indeed test the leadings we are being given. If it is inline with His commandments and His word, in keeping with His character and accompanied by a deep peace we can be assured that the leadings are from Him.
But Satan likes nothing better than to trap a believer in a web of deceit. Just like a spider he cannot wait for us to get stuck so he can suffocate us in lies and drain all the life out of us. What better way for Him to trap a sincere believer than to disguise Himself as an "angel of light", giving us seemingly godly leadings. We must be like the sheep that are familiar with their shepherd so when He speaks to us we can recognize His voice and not get led astray by an enemy is sheep's clothing.
What a great provision... a counselor, a comforter, a strengthener and a teacher. The Holy Spirit is our ultimate weapon in the Armour that God has provided us. It would be foolish of us to think that Spiritual Warfare is not a daily occurrence, even more so when we are truly running after God and obeying Him in all things great and small.
For this warfare - which takes place in different ways, God has provided us with protection, of course armor only works if we accept it and put it on. God calls us to accept daily the protection and leading of the Holy Spirit, to invite His full control over our thoughts and actions. The biggest spiritual change for me came when I decided to make this my prayer every morning. I am NOT a morning person, and indeed lately I have been so busy that I am rarely in bed before mid-night. But I felt God calling me to arise early in the morning (as the bible tells us Jesus did) and to give Him this morning sacrifice. This is still a fairly new thing to me, its been maybe 2 weeks. But these last 2 weeks have been so nurturing because of this early quiet time. By starting my day with prayer and worship, inviting the Holy Spirit to come and teach me and use me and reaffirming my commitment to take up my cross and walk with my Lord Jesus, I put on the armor of God. I am more prepared for the battles that will come and I have increased fruit in my life already. Joy spilling over into love and a deep settled peace.
"26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."
Let us accept this amazing Gift wholeheartedly, let us shed off failure and put on the provision of armor that our Loving Father has provided.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank-you Lord for in your infinite wisdom you have recognised our weakness and provided an awesome gift for us in your Holy Spirit. In Jesus name we pray that you will help us to surrender our wills (our actions, thoughts, words, hearts, hands) to Him each day, sensitise us to His leadings, promptings and correction so that we may walk with you all the days of our life.
Thank-you Lord for loving us this much.
In Jesus name,
As time passed though I have felt God asking me to share these, to "publish His glorious deeds amongst the nations" Psalm 96 vs 3. This is where it is all going to begin, where I begin to share my daily reflections on God's awesome self and his incomprehensible love for us even though we are like grass hoppers compared to Him.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I thank-you Lord for rescuing me, for drawing me close to yourself and transforming me in the light of your presence. Lord I thank-you for your love poured out so freely on me, and I long Lord that the love, mercy and forgiveness you have shown me could flow out through me and touch the lives of others.
Lord in Jesus name I pray that you would take the reins in this project and I would not type one word more or less than you have planned. Lord I give all the glory to you for I remember all too well that I am nothing without you and can do nothing spiritual without you, I remember with sorrow the pitiful, self-centered, angry kind of person I was when I was living life without you, when I was seeking only to please myself and to run after my own desires. I repent of how destructive that time was both to me and those around me. I thank-you Lord that you are a God of reconciliation, new beginnings and healing.
I now commit my day and everyday for the rest of my life into your hands. Use my words, thoughts, actions, hands, heart according to your will and purpose. I am your servant Lord Jesus and you are my Lord, I lay my life at your cross, because you are a loving Saviour and brother who loves and intercedes for me, even now you are praying for me in my weakness. I love you Lord Father and I trust you with my life, I will go where you send me, I will do what you ask me for I know you are a good and loving God who plans only what is good for me. Help me to be joyfully obedient in the difficult times, in the storms as well as in the sunshine that you might delight in me Lord, that I might bring Honor to your name.
Lord I know that I do not have all the answers, but I pray for the anointing of your Holy Spirit that I might know you more, that I might learn more about your character and learn to listen to and respond to your voice. I pray Lord I would be obedient to all you would ask me to write about and not hold back because I feel too vulnerable to reveal that part of my journey with you, help me to give freely Lord as you have given freely.
Finally I rebuke and silence Satan and His kingdom in Jesus name, that they would have no part in this blog, that you would silence their voices so that I would speak only what is true and what is from you Lord.
In Jesus Name I pray for your blessing upon this blog, that you might put your hand of blessing upon all who read here and stir their hearts to return when you have something specific to say to them through what You have written through me. Let me only be the vehicle by which the message is brought and not the author.
Lord I pray in Jesus name I could be like a mirror reflecting your Glory and not drawing any attention to myself. You are worthy Lord to be praised in my life and among the nations. You are worthy of time, meditation, prayer, worship and praise.
All glory and power be to your Lord.
In Jesus Name,