Wednesday, 19 December 2012
It is time to have a break over the Christmas and New Year Season. Thank you for all your support and encouragement over this past year and in all that the Lord has been doing. It has been an amazing year full of challenge and change and seeing God do all that he said he would do as we stepped out in faith in what we believed he was saying and seeing him come through. It has been an eventful year! We wonder what will be revealed over the next month or two?
We are excited about 2013 and as He shows us more we will keep you to date step by step as He reveals it. So far just continuing on the words of 'preparing for expansion' and more recently believing for 'surprising and perhaps radical changes' but have no idea what that looks like yet. So its like opening Christmas presents as you shake the package, get excited about what it is and try to work it out but just make guesses, but at the proper time all will be revealed. :) And so its a bit like that at the moment with the Lord, we are excited about what it is to come, have some idea of the shape and what it may be, but waiting for the full revealing of what it is.
So many blessings to you all this Christmas as you look toward what the Lord has for each one of you this coming year and give thanks for what has been.
With love to you all,
Jim, Sarah and Kate
Monday, 3 December 2012
In writing this I too realise that I have judgements on a daily basis that I make towards others but as the Lord is teaching me, I am releasing others from the judgements I am making toward them. God is growing me as I learn the revelation of how it feels towards me and so I am trying not to do it to others and he enables me to see others how he sees them.
Sunday, 2 December 2012
Just to let you know I am going to make mistakes, say the wrong thing, possibly offend you with something I may say but know that my heart, along with most other people's hearts out there, is not to offend you, is not to say the wrong thing, is not intentionally doing these things but unintentionally I may do and when I do what are you going to do with it?
Freedom is allowing yourself to make mistakes, say the wrong thing, not have it all together, allowing yourself to get it wrong, not question every word you have spoken wondering if you have said something right or something that might offend. Freedom is the ability to go to someone and say they hurt you by the comment they said and know that when you do that you will still have a relationship with that person because there is grace and understanding that none of us get it right all the time, that none of us are perfect although made perfect in Christ. Freedom is to bring a word in church and have someone question something you brought and not feel condemned because theologically you didn't have it all right because you learnt something that might help you grow or challenge you to what you believe. Freedom is to be who YOU are the way that God made YOU to be. You are not someone else, you are YOU, uniquely crafted, completely different from someone else and how they think, work or act. You are beautiful, you make mistakes, you grow from those mistakes, you learn, you change, don't run away when you might get it wrong, or say the wrong thing but come into freedom in those areas because Christ doesn't condemn you, he picks you up when you fall down and you learn.
Gal 5:1 "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery".
Thursday, 22 November 2012
Monday, 19 November 2012
Hard heartedness, blame shifting, not taking responsibility and pride! 1 Peter 5:5 "All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because ,"God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
Blame shifting, not taking responsibility and a hard heartedness toward the things of the Lord and others. Big heavy topics but ones that need addressing I believe and ones we all have issues with at some time in our lives, but topics which all lead back to pride. But when we keep out hearts soft and open to the Lord and to others, we release heaven to earth and we see things shift for the better in our circumstances and in our relationships, in fact in everything.
There have been many times in our lives where things have come at us that we had choices to make. To follow what the word of the Lord said, trusting that he would work all things together for good, or to follow our emotions, our hurts and move on, or seek justification/retribution for actions done to us or whatever the case has been. Its also a place where we can choose to stay in 'self pity' because it is actually easier than forgiving those who have hurt us or asking for forgiveness for what we have done to others.
1 Peter 5:5 All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble".
James 4:6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble". Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you."
Grace is the key. We cannot do it. We need God to come into our situations and when we wait upon him we begin to get an understanding of actually what Grace is. Grace is a word we hear a lot about but to really understand what it is we have to walk of journey where we need God to step into things and see his hand in it. Where we see his provision come in a way we never thought possible. Where we receive strength to forgive someone who has harmed us. Where we can love someone who may have damaged our family. Where restoration happens because God does something in us to love and forgive others that we could not do ourselves.
In Jonah 2:8 "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord."
When we hold onto worthless idols such as pride, self righteousness, selfishness, finances, anger, unforgiveness, whatever it may be, we forfeit the grace from God. We forfeit his help coming in to our situations. But when we let go of those idols in our lives and allow him to come in, we see amazing things happen, not only with us but also with those around us.
We have had some times in our lives where it has been so 'black' we have not seen any way through anything and that place has been absolutely horrible and if God didn't intervene I don't know where I would be today, but I choose to trust in the Lord and his word and we saw his grace come in a way that was unbelievable, that turned everything around from a place of total despair and hopelessness to one of a hope and a future.
I looked back on the last blog about the storms coming, and our foundations needing to be secure and I want to encourage you again today that if you fear the Lord, if you open your heart to him and his word and choose to stand on his word, you will not be disappointed. You may not see through the place you are in at the moment, but the Lord is able to give you grace for the day which will enable you to stand and see the deliverance of your God. But if we harden our hearts toward God, towards others, we will never see the deliverance that is at hand.
When a hardening of heart happens we need to ask ourselves and the Lord some questions and when we get the answers, we need to listen to them and do something about them.
Sometimes when we don't feel like praising God, then that is the very thing we need to do. A sacrifice of praise because it truly is a sacrifice because it is the last thing we feel like doing, but when we do that our eyes are turned away from our situations and put back on God who is our deliver of that situation. When we keep our eyes on those things that are causing pain, that is all you will ever see and you won't see the deliverance when it comes.
Trust me when I say, Jim & I don't have it all together and certainly teenagers show you your own areas that need a 'readjustment', and those hard hearts that can be put up because you want your way as it says in James 4:1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight." And teenagers certainly test your hearts on some issues of authority, respect, honour etc. but I now see all of these as times of growth, or breakthrough, of shifting things that will bring an inheritance in our lives. Once I would have seen it as failure as a Christian when I got it wrong in the Lord and I would have stayed in that place of condemnation but not any longer. When we fall over in some area in our lives we also see God's grace there to pick us up and forgive us and say "Come on daughter, lets have another go at this" You fell over in this area but my grace is sufficient, let's try again. I do not stay in condemnation any longer because that is not God, but I do have a choice to make when conviction comes, to do something about it.
And so Lord help us today to receive Grace from you and to give Grace to others. Lord we can't do it, we need your help to come into our situation today. Lord I open my heart to you today, show me the areas in my life that there are walls that need to come down and Lord help me to let them fall. Lord forgive my pride, my selfishness, my need to be in control when you want to be in control and realise your ways are better than mine. Lord help me to love those who hurt me, to forgive them and to see them how you see them. Lord if there is someone I need to forgive today, please show me. Lord if there is someone I need to ask forgiveness of Lord, help me to go to them and ask forgiveness for how I have hurt them because I can't do that in my own strength. Lord thank you that you have forgiven us our sins so that we can forgive others theirs. Thank you for your grace and your mercy, your love that covers a multitude of sin, your love that casts out all fear. And Lord for those who don't know how much you love them today, please give them a revelation of that love for them today. That they are the apple of your eye. That you delight in them even when they don't feel that delight. That nothing they could ever do will ever push you away from your love toward them. That you love each one of us unconditionally!
Thank you Jesus.
I was looking for something else but stumbled upon this after writing the blog and thought this is a good word to add that would bring encouragement! Psalm 112 "Praise the Lord. Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands. His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house and his righteousness endures forever. Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righeousess man. Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice. Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. He will have no fear of bad news, his heart is steadfast trusting in the Lord. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes. He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever, his horn will be lifted high in honour. The wicked man will see and be vexed. He will gnash his teeth and waste away; the longings of the wicked will come to nothing."
Tuesday, 6 November 2012
I was reading this morning the story of the Wise and the Foolish builders and I was reminded that although the storms may and will come, I don't need to be concerned because my foundations are in him.
Matt 7:23 Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
The key in this scripture is putting into practise what we hear from the Lord. If we don't put into practise those things that we are hearing from the Lord we are leaving ourselves vulnerable and when those storms come our foundations are weakened.
Yesterday I was looking at a scripture in James 2:14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a bother or sister is naked and destitute for daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
So when reading the scripture from Matthew about putting into practise what you heard I was reminded about faith without action is dead. Both are saying the same thing. We need to do what we believe otherwise what we heard, what we believe, is actually of no value at all and it doesn't profit us or anyone else anything.
There are times in our lives when we are questioning what we are hearing from the Lord and until you get that clarity it is better to wait. But in learning to hear and discern his voice and putting into practise what I believed I heard, there have been many times in my life that I have just stepped out in faith believing what I thought the Lord was saying and trusting in that and so my clarity and discernment of hearing his voice has grown. And in the stepping out the Lord is able to direct our footsteps but when we don't step out he can't direct anything. In stepping out you will either find a way through or a blockage and so you know.
Sometimes I don't need to ponder or question anything before doing it, simply because the word says what we need to do and so just do it. For example Matt 5:42 "Give to the one who asks you and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you." Easy, that's what his word says and so therefore that is what I need to do. I don't need to question whether or not to give. Other times we might get impressions, or whatever that we believe God is saying to do a certain thing but it is not written in the word specifically your situation. Often if you believe you hear something, if it would be a good thing in the Lord and lines up with scripture, if it is out of your comfort box but would build his Kingdom on the earth, then it is probably from the Lord and in stepping out in those 'promptings' and then seeing his provision or his direction in something then we learn more to hear his voice. If you are unsure it is always good to seek wise discerning christian counsel.
Faith is believing in what you cannot see and so stepping out in faith is a challenge but the more you put into practise what you believe in the Lord, what you believe in scripture and seeing God's answer and provision in those things, the more you know with a surety your foundations in the Lord are secure and the storms will not touch you. God has been redoing our foundations and showing Jim and I all the weak areas that needed strengthening because his desire is that when those storms come we will be able to stand in him and be secure.
A scripture someone sent me this morning after I wrote this which fits in beautifully is Isaiah 33:5-6 "The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness. He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure."
Sunday, 4 November 2012
And then later in 4:14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. (Be worth getting the message from Life Church if you haven't heard it)
Jesus was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit and he was led out in the Power of the Spirit.
In and out of the wilderness experience but still in all times in the Holy Spirit.
No matter where we are at in the Lord, whatever revelation I have or don't have yet is, whether moving in the power of the Spirit or led into the wilderness, we are all still in the Holy Spirit.
I find there tends to be superior spirituality within the body of Christ when terms such as "religious spirits" are bandied about. We elevate one person over another because one has a 'religious spirit' but to me that is not love. We step into pride thinking we have something more than someone else. Love is lifting the other person above myself.
It is only by grace that I am where I am at, everything I have I was given by God, every bit of revelation I have is only because the Lord allowed my eyes to see the things I see. I can't even have faith to believe without the faith first being given to me. Apostle Paul is thankful for the thorn in the flesh because of the revelations he was receiving because it kept him in a place of humility and weakness before the Lord and before man. As we are in a time where revelations are being poured out and understanding is coming, please be careful not to think you have more than someone else. Please be careful not to 'label' things because each person is his beloved and we are all in different places and walks with the Lord. We are in a time where the Lord is bringing things to the surface and that is not to judge it and condemn, but to allow the Lord to heal things in people's lives and bring them into freedom in Him. He brings to light the things hidden in the darkness for healing and wholeness to come and so when we see that happening with others lets be quick to love and support and help in whatever way and comfort that the Lord has given us that we can give others.
Love is covering someone else's nakedness and shame, not pointing it out and making it plain for all to see.
I look back on my life and the experiences I have had, every experience has added value to who I am now, every desert and wilderness time, every misunderstanding, every hurt, every judgement has all brought wisdom and understanding in my life, every lack of revelation and I am thankful for everything I have been through. In those times it has brought me closer to God and who he is and the truth that sets me free when I choose to believe his word. None of it was wrong, it was where I was at, at the time and I value it all. I prayed for wisdom and that is how you get it, through the experiences you walk through in the Lord in the Holy Spirit and you come through it in the Power of the Holy Spirit.
Tuesday, 30 October 2012
This morning the Lord has been challenging me and showing me and asking the question – “Why am I doing what I am doing? Am I doing it for Jesus or for man?”
Thursday, 18 October 2012
Sunday, 14 October 2012
Thursday, 11 October 2012
This morning I was reading in Mark 7:32-35 "There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man... Jesus put his fingers into the man's ears. Then he spit and touched the man's tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him "Ephphatha!" (which means, "Be opened!). At this the man's ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.
I was reminded of the other night as I read the story above, would people spit and touch a man's tongue in the belief of seeing it healed? There are things the Lord is going to ask us to do that is out of our comfort zone, makes no sense and yet if we are asking to see the things that are talked of in the bible, if we are asking for deaf ears to be healed, blind eyes to be opened, legs to grow etc then we need to learn to step out on what we see in the spirit by faith so that our faith is activated through humility and allow the Lord to do what he said he can do. If we will only do what we know we can do in our own strength and ability then we will I believe not see the miraculous things God wants to do. If we are a people who believe that "I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me" not because of my own ability but because of God's ability through me as an empty willing vessel then we will see those things because God wants all the glory and to do that it must not rest on man's ability or strength.
God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things and the things that are not to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.......Therefore, as it is written: Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.....1 Cor 1:27- 2:5 ......my message and preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power."
The other day at our home I now believe there was a worship angel in the room and because Jim stepped out in faith our household received that gift because the next day Kate who used to play the piano and hasn't for a long time and she was not a part of the meeting just started playing the piano again and it was so nice to hear it being released again in our house. But I also believe there were others that were being challenged to move out in that arena to another level so if you are musical in any way I encourage you to step out in faith and pick up those instruments you haven't played for a while and start to practise them and be willing if the Lord asks you again to play, then play not resting on your own ability but trusting that God will give you what you need when you need it and it will be like the angels worshipping before the throne day and night.