the promise will provide

There is growing evidence that when a woman is pregnant the baby will provide healing to organs and also help heal tissue. This is amazing to me and parallel to how it is spiritually when we are pregnant with what God has for us to host. I truly believe that the natural speaks of the spiritual. So let’s rest assured that what God has called us to host during a promise season, will in itself bring healing and strength and resource for what is needed to grow and develop.

platform or position?

If you have spent much time in church then you may have felt that the platform can seem to be where you need to head towards- getting hold of the mic, being under the bright lights, having an audience of people listening to what you have to say.. But where has this come from? I don’t believe it is from God, and in all honesty, I believe this is detestable in His sight (Luke 16.15). It seems that the platform can make people feel great or rubbish- both all about performance and pride.

Let us live from our position- as sons and daughters of the Living God. This gives us access to God Almighty with an audience of all of heaven! It is not about how slick we are, or how well we talk, or how we can move the hearts of man, but about the authority of our true identity and not perceived identity.

What on earth could possibly compare?!

hidden for seeking

When we read that it is God that hides a matter for kings to search it out, how does this look in our lives? How are we when we don’t understand what God is doing, or where He is?

A visual to help me understand this verse is a treasure hunt that kids would go on. The ‘treasure’ is hidden and God our Father has placed it all over for us to ‘search it out’. He doesn’t leave us as we do this but is with us and enjoys our company as we excitedly try to get clues and look for where the treasure can be found. God is smiling and sometimes maybe chipping in with a “getting hot….” Or “ getting cold…” bit of advice.

But how are we during this time..? Are we on a time schedule and don’t ‘have time for all these clues’ and just need to get to the treasure? Are we frustrated with the ‘games’ and annoyed at the Company that is too relaxed for us in our busy and full diaries? Or are we so interested in the treasure that we listen to all the advice given because it will get us what we are so fixated on so we can then move on and proudly show off what we have ‘achieved’… Or are we delighted and wide-eyed to spend unrushed time with the Father who has got treasure all around for us to seek out while He Himself is with us to lead and guide us..

I’m sure we are all of the above, but let’s be aware of our heart’s condition so that we can be aware that the best Company we could ever have is with us; unrushed and full of all knowledge and wisdom and treasure.

the work can’t be outsourced

Unfortunately(!?) none of us can outsource the work that we need to grow for strength. We cannot ask someone to go to the gym for us or to eat healthy for us while we get on with our days. We can’t just watch youtube on healthy living and fitness programmes and become healthy and fit- we must participate, invest, make sacrifices, make good judgements, learn to say no.. And this is the same for spiritual strength, character, marriage, raising children…

Let us not be deceived into thinking that a pill can make us healthy and we can go on eating what we want, or even that knowledge will help us in our marriages without us having to work it out.. Youtube cannot grow our spiritual muscles, and our kids won’t be raised on money being thrown at them in place of time and teaching.

There is a deep deception in the western culture that it is always someone else’s job, and we have become lulled into thinking that we hold no accountability and that we can throw money at stuff and everything will be okay..

Strength, character, perseverance, revelation, relationship, wisdom.. None of these are microwavable, outsourceable, or anybody else’s responsibility but our own.

The great thing about this- is that whether rich or poor- we all have the opportunity to grow and develop what really matters in life. Not one of us can buy what really matters.

same same but different

As I was speaking to a friend the other day, I was getting passionate about how I felt it was a shame when singles can’t enjoy their freedom as they are fixed on pining to be married. Then in a short time of the conversation, God held a mirror up to me.. it wasn’t about relationship status where I’d been pining, but location.. 

Years ago I moved from my home city to a city less than 2 hours away for work. At that time I was looking for work wherever I knew someone who I could stay with while I could relocate if necessary. My city didn’t seem to have jobs in the area I was looking for (weirdly and strangely).  I ended up coming to a city that I had spent loads of time in growing up, as a family member lived here. I moved in with them and had a car to visit my old city.. 

It should have been such a simple and fine transition but it was the start of 7 years of painful, lonely and dark isolation. I didn’t need to learn a new language but I felt like I settled better when I went to live in Spain without knowing Spanish! 

At every opportunity I tried to leave to go back, or move on to somewhere else, but every door was unyielding to any movement. It was like there was a ‘no exit’ which made me feel so desperately low. 

My life was in God’s hands and in my deepest core I had a peace that this was where God had placed me. But the torment and storm around that peace was a long and drawn out season.

One Sunday in Church, we prayed for a couple who had found work and were moving to my old city.  The wife was so upset about leaving to go there! I felt so gutted. I felt like the Spirit of God walked past me totally ignoring me. I felt like my heart had been slapped. I was desperate to leave and here is someone who is going and doesn’t even want to go!

And there, in my mirror, I saw that we probably all have the same pain for longings and desires.. but that they are all for different things.  We may not understand someone’s longing if we love the opposite of what they are desperate for, but we can truly empathise because we have had our own painful desires for something more.. 

We are all ‘same same but different’.

outside the law

The earth and everything in it has laws- laws of gravity, of time etc, but God is outside of all this and bound and limited by nothing and no-one. He Himself created the laws for there to be an established order and not chaos. 

This means that we can be confident that the Lord God Almighty is greater than any limits that we ourselves come under in these bodies and on this planet, and have also been given incredible invites to live beyond ourselves too. 

How about when the Bible says that we will have renewed strength like a youth? If we believe that the Bible is Truth then this is something that is ours to take.. or what about renewing our minds.. being able to have strong healthy minds that aren’t under the consequences of alcoholism or trauma, but that we are working to renew.. 

There are many promises from God and His Word and yet as believers we seem to not take hold of many to them at all. But God’s Word is true for anyone who accepts and His principles are true for anyone who takes them to use. 

The Bible gives us examples of outrunning chariots, food going further than it ever should, eyes being opened to see what it going on in the spiritual realm, angel contact and communication, men not being burned by fire, lions not eating prey, giant fish stomachs not digesting swallowed humans, dead people coming to life… 

All of these are unbelievable because they are outside the natural laws that God has put in place, but what about when He calls us to believe in Him and His Word? Will we only allow our intellect to read and connect with Him or will we ask for increased faith to actually believe in the Creator God who tells us that nothing is impossible…

bootlegged power and blessings

There are many others who are desperate and eager to claim the promises and blessings of God that, without it coming from God, can be dangerous as then it becomes counterfeit. 

How about rocks and crystals.. the Word of God says that everything has been made for God and by God and if we don’t cry out then the rocks will.. or what about fortune telling instead of prophecy, or meditation without it being on God’s Word (which is where the cleansing is).. And it is not only in the “spiritual” or “supernatual” area.. how about the intimacy of sex that is created for high exclusive connection between a man and his wife but now is cheaper than fake with no boundaries of who.. Or mindfulness and being present.. God’s Word has all that we need to live for our highest benefit and yet we fill our minds, lives and relationships with anything and everything but. 

If we, as believers in Christ and His Word, don’t take hold of what He has given us then the devil will take hold if it and it will become ‘bootleg’- just like sex, gender, identity, purpose.. 

purpose over potential

Everyone has potential and everyone has purpose. 

In our society (and also in our own minds) we want to reach our full potential. But what about our purpose? These two are not necessarily the same. 

What about the mum who wants to “throw away” her career to raise her children? Or the business man who “gives it all up” to volunteer abroad? 

Is the mum really “throwing” her career away, or is she aware of the greater (and so much more unthankable and unseen) work of raising up secure little ones so that they may be secure big ones who know how to lead their own lives well. 

Is the business man really “giving it all up” to volunteer, or is he actually gaining so much more than money or networks could ever provide..? 

Both are living for beyond themselves, and even beyond others. If this is where God has positioned them then they are in the most powerful place of blessing for themselves and for their legacy….

Know your difference.

is He really welcome?

So often we say and pray that God is welcome in our lives… but how true is this, and to what level? 

I can invite someone to my place and say they are welcome but what if I just keep them at the front door? Or if I don’t have anywhere for them to sit? Or have any cupboards stocked to offer any food or drink? I could invite them into a great house, fully furnished, fully stocked with delicious food and drink, but what if my attitude stinks; then am I really ‘welcoming’? 

So often we can pray great ‘theory’ prayers but then struggle to pick up the personal responsibility that comes with it. 

If we pray and ask God to come and be welcome in our lives, how is this looking- in actual reality? Are we actually pursuing Him? Creating time for/with Him? Listening to Him? Being relaxed and unrushed with Him? Are we following the lead of His guidance? 

So often we pray and leave everything to God. But the Bible says we co-labour with Christ. This means we have our role to play too. 

Are we praying to be married yet not working on our selfishness? Or what about praying desperately for a child and yet living in a toxic environment, or for healing and yet keeping holding of our sick mat? 

God is the God who hears and answers prayers, but He is Wisdom, and how wise would it be to give us what we’re praying for when we have no capacity or muscle to hold or steward it? 

When people win the lottery, their lives are been said to be more depressed a couple of years after than the couple of years before they won. Is this because the lack of capacity to steward maybe? 

Our character and our internal being needs to be able to grow for us to withstand the blessings that God has for us.  His blessings and favour are massive!

No discipline feels good at the time, whether from God or ourselves, but afterwards we can see the reward and benefit. Like Paul says, we need to discipline our bodies/lives into submission if we want to live fully and exuberantly by the Spirit of God. (This is a Biblical principle for life in every area that works for diet, exercise, talent, strength..)

We are to be living sacrifices. This hurts. But if we know God then we know that He blesses everything that is offered to Him, nothing is rejected or turned away. 

How much do we really want of God in our lives? Let’s be honest and then stop asking Him where He is.  We are always the ones who have moved away.

more than religion, art or poetry

The Bible is so much more than a book, or poetry, or is store room full of healing, wisdom, direction, relationship, and promises, and basically everything and anything that is needed for this lifetime, as well as the next.  

There are so many arrows of faith that we can take for using to fire into the enemy camp to take back what has been stolen.. For example David taking some of his men to reclaim what had been stolen from him (1 Samuel 30), or when we read that what the locusts have eaten will be repaid (Joel 2.25), or the years of mental health and demonic takeover will be brought into right mind and deliverance (Mark 5).. 

There is healing and health that can be declared over us that is way above being vaxed or not vaxed- Jeremiah 30.17, or Exodus 15.26, Exodus 23.25, Malachi 4.2, 1 Peter 2.24.. Like medication, nothing is going to serve you unless you make it! Medication needs to be taken, faith needs to be applied, the Healer needs to be invited to give instruction.. He made your bespoke body and mind and so knows exactly what to do. Maybe healing will come with the wisdom and instruction from your Creator who knows what to eat or not eat etc.. He is not a sugar daddy- wanting to come in a ‘fix’ us. He wants to teach us. He’s the One who is the most invested in us, and has even paid the price for all our healing needs, as well as every other bill.

There are promises that can be taken for our personal and specific worlds of hope and prosperity (Jeremiah 29.11) and so many other examples… 

There are impossibilities that can be superseded by applying faith and not being limited by the laws of the earth realm- that God created Himself so is more than able to authorise- such as barren women becoming mothers, walking on water, time travel, the blind seeing, deaf hearing..

And what about when God asks you to do something crazy, that even your family in Christ may think you’re crazy?? Look at Noah (building for something that had never been seen before (rain)), or look at Paul who was determined to go on his journey against all wisdom and advice from his Christian family (Acts 21), or take even Mary- an unmarried one who believed God over all circumstance, logic, possibility, cultural appropriateness… (Luke 1).. All of these are our encouragers in the faith. Of course, we need our family and wisdom, but God supersedes all of this and is able to lead and guide us.

There is safety that can be declared and taken hold of from Psalm 91, identity and value is there in Psalm 139, gender identity is shown simply in Genesis 1.27 (which also says that we have been created in His image!!), salvation can be found in Acts 4.12, deliverance in Joel 2.32 wisdom from the proverbs, emotional honesty from the Psalms..

And if we are made in His image, then this is very powerful.. He spoke all life into being… “Then God said….” (Genesis 1) Could this mean that we also carry the power of words on our tongue??

This is our Book! This is our inheritance! Cash it all in! What good are riches if we don’t take it to the bank??

The Bible tells us that the Word of God is living and active and sharper than a two edged sword. Swords are meant to be held and used not merely put on the wall to be looked at. If that was the case, the edges don’t need to be sharp. The sharpness is for it to be used as it has been designed for. And I believe more and more that this book is exactly like that: designed to be used and applied practically; not merely read and applied for our theoretical understanding of who God is. 

It is to be used over hanging upon walls to look at and admire. It is a weapon of warfare and strength, refuge, healing, power, wisdom. It is a seriously dangerous book and yet only harms the darkness.

We were born for more, so let’s claim it all!