Sunday, 25 September 2016

A trap in sharing your faith or your opinions.

When we share our faith or things we know in the Lord, we can so easily find ourselves considering ourselves better than others, and fall into a trap without even realising it.

This scripture that came to mind this morning as I was pondering on this was in Romans 12:3
"For by the grace given me I say to every one of you:  Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given each of you.  Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us."

What does it look like to look at yourself with sober judgement?  Everything we have received has been received as a free gift given by the Lord, not because of anything we have earned or deserved it, but freely given, and in that place we become thankful for all that the Lord has given us, and not proud because we could not attain it on our own.  In looking at yourself with sober judgement you realise there is still much to learn, that you don't have it all together, that without Christ we have nothing.

Often in trying to help others or share with others the things the Lord has taught us, we may find ourselves entering into 'spiritual hierarchy' without even realising it, and in that place you are thinking of yourself more highly than you ought.     Recently Jim and I have been in discussions with several different cultures and walks of experience of faith in the Lord, in trying to see a vision that God has given fulfilled.  And although there were things we didn't yet see 'eye to eye' in, because of our different journeys in the Lord,  if we let those things divide us as people, we are no longer walking in love.  And yet they have things we need to learn, and we have things they need to learn.  If we enter into a place where we think we have all the answers and we can't learn anything from them, then we have entered into thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought.

Each of us has walked a different journey, each of us has been given different gifts and levels of faith.  So in this place its very important to look at yourself and not others and where they are at.
Romans 14:1-4  "Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgement on disputable matters.  One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.  The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him.  Who are you to judge someone else's servant?  To his own master he stands or falls.  And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand."

Through the passage above its not just talking about the food we eat but the judgement we put on another because of the things they may or may not do, the things they say or not say, the things they step out in and the things they don't in faith.  It covers every spectrum of our walk I believe where we want to judge and condemn another or ourselves and enter into disputable matters and fall into a trap of thinking one is more spiritual than another.  Yet we cannot judge God's servant because that person is accountable to God and not to us.

Romans 13:8  "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.  v10 Love your neighbour as yourself.  Love does no harm to its neighbour.  There love is the fulfillment of the law."
A debt remains outstanding if we can no longer have fellowship with another because of a difference of opinion, because of disputable matters, because of spiritual knowledge that separates instead of unites and we have fallen into a trap of considering ourselves more highly than we ought.

So I encourage you this morning, to take time on a regular basis to sit with the Lord and allow him to show you any area that you may find yourself thinking yourself more highly than you ought as it is so easy to do as we share our faith, our belief, our opinions with others.

Monday, 5 September 2016

The Dinah Sheets need changing.

Have you ever gone into a Hotel Room and smelling the smell of fresh clean sheets and a bed beautifully made?  Or even hoping into your own bed after you have changed the sheets and have beautiful fresh pillowcases?  Well this morning in a vision I saw a Hotel Room and the word that came from the Lord was - "The Dinah Sheets need changing" and knowing there was blood on the sheets and calling for a Hotel porter to come and bring new sheets. 

Dinah was Jacobs daughter and her story is told in Genesis 34.  She was a virgin, pure, but then Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, took her and violated her.  I encourage you to read the whole story and to see what takes place in retribution for her defilement.

But the point that I believe the Lord is wanting to show me and to bring, is that once we were pure in Christ, but things have happened to us that defile us, make us ‘unclean’, where we are no longer ‘pure’ and the Lord would say to you this morning, “change the sheets”, do something about it, take action, to become a pure bride again.  Like Dinah with Jacob, she was still his daughter, as we are still sons and daughters of God, but there are things we can do to remove and to change the ‘violation’ or the ‘defilement’ that has occurred in our lives.

When we become defiled we no longer see things from a pure heart, from a place of innocence and childlikeness, for example perhaps we have been disappointed where we haven’t yet seen something we are believing for and so we go  into the next situation that requires hope to be there and we no longer have the hope or expectation of a child that we once had because we were disappointed before.
Once we have become defiled we no longer see what the Lord showed Peter in his vision in Acts 10:15 "Do not call anything impure that God has made pure".
In Titus 1:15 “To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.”

Many years ago people prophesied over me and said “protect your childlike faith”.  That is a place of protecting the simplicity and purity of childlike faith in the Lord and that has been extremely hard to do when people misunderstand you, judge you and your motives of your heart of which the Lord is not judging, when people say all kinds of things about you to others that is not true etc.  And so on a daily basis I need to come to the Lord and sit with him for all that ‘defilement’, that ‘violation’ of my purity and innocence that is being stolen, before the Lord is removed.  On a daily basis, I need to change the sheets where I have been soiled by life.  Many people wash their towels on a daily basis, or their underware and it is a bit the same in the Lord, daily we need to cleanse ourselves of the muck and the grime that wants to settle.  Because I find that if I do not, I find myself like Dinahs brothers who with their mouths gave consent and agreed to intermarry to heal and restore the situation within the tribes, but in their hearts they carried deceit and they were still seeking retribution so when the opportunity came, they killed every male of Shechems tribe.

It is so easy if we are not changing our sheets, cleansing ourselves, then we carry deceit in our hearts, we say one thing with our lips but our hearts are far from it.  And then when the opportunity arises we take retribution instead of giving grace and forgiveness which we have received from the Lord.
2 Tim 2:21  If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.” (NLT Version) 

When we carry deceit in our hearts we are no longer seeing things clearly, seeing people around us from pure eyes, the eyes of the Lord, we end up judging everything without even realizing it and yet the Lord is saying this morning – change the sheets, cleanse yourselves of the later and you will be made pure, you will be made useful for every good work that He has for you.  Take some time with the Lord and ask Him to come and show you where you may be defiled, and ask him to give you new sheets, a new heart, a pure undefiled heart and like me calling the porter in the Hotel Room who came instantly, the Lord too will come and give you everything you need in order to do this.

The Lord would say -   “I love you my child, you are still my sons and daughters, you are still my children despite the defilement but there are things that have happened that its time to let go of and move on.  Time to cleanse yourself of those hurts, of those woundings and become as I made you to be, become once again pure in me and then you will see clearly to remove the speck in others.  Then you will see others as I see them, then you will see the hope and the future that I have for you.  It’s time to let go of the past and move into the future with me as a ‘pure bride’ in your heart.  Forgive those who have hurt you, as I forgive you.  Trust me that I have good things for you to walk into.  I am going to take you places you have never been before but if you are still carrying the baggage its going to be a slow journey and I have many things to show you for you to see with awestruck eyes.  I love you my child, trust me, let go of the past, change the sheets and come to me once again pure, of which I have made you in Jesus.  I love you, remove the soiled sheets and come to me and I will show you a new way.”

With love from your Heavenly Father.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Two Visions that I pass on for your encouragement.

I was sent two visions in the last couple of days, one that confirms what we as a ministry have been believing for and standing in faith to see.   Along with another word which I share,  both for your encouragement and edification.

1.  Last week we saw several earth tremors in NZ, this was a significant moment.... these were not the same tremors as others. There was great significance in these.... i felt the Lord speak to me about this happening a while you would know Justine. I saw the hand of God in a vision and he dropped a pebble in the water i saw what was a vibration hitting the Shores of NZ....but today... i see something rising out of the waters. Something is about to Hit New Zealand... like a crystal stalactite  it will rise into a tall building... as i looked up it grew and grew.... like a tower..... far and above all buildings....

People were surprised because it came suddenly and it grew sooooo quickly......  as i looked again, it reminded me of a castle.. tall and thin.... and then likened to a sculptured Ice Sculpture....

Again people just looked at it....

I then saw people right at the top shouting " Get up here!!!!"......   people were wondering how to get up.... down below there was a door, suddenly it reminded me of a lighthouse.... I then saw two great birds.. a phoenix and an eagle.... they were circling the building.... it sort of made me a little dizzy.... 

Then I saw the ox and the Lion.... then I realised it was the four living creatures..... against the leopard  the bear and the tiger... there was a war in the heavens or just above this building...... many buildings fell but this one stood tall.... 

Strange because then I saw the building start to melt.... as I watched it melt.... I saw the people who were in the building turn to eagles.... white pure eagles.... and they flew....into the distance.

I watched these eagles.... and as I watched... they were cir clinging the city ... they continued.... and strangely many buildings began to arise again... but it reminded me of Bright City... almost like Vegas Lights were everywhere....they were blinking like Christmas trees....

He is calling His people into a place... they will start to gather in.... this building was a hub.... many came....many were protected... many were taught....

I call this the Crystal City.......(Alexandra Bekiaris)

2. "I saw an ancient book positioned as if being read and as I watched a mighty wind arose and began turning the page.  I was reminded of Psalm 139:16 where it speaks of how all our days were written in His book.  We (the church) those who have been sealed with the Holy Spirit have a new chapter in the life of His church (His bride) as as the Spirit moves so we are to move in unison with Him.

(Esther Diprose.)

Thursday, 1 September 2016

The cost of unconditional giving/loving and growing into maturity in the church?

We give and we give and we give - expecting something in return and when that something in return doesn’t come, whether it be appreciation, honour, finances, time, recognition, whatever it may that hurts our heart, then we tend to move away from those relationships because they are just using us, or we feel like we are being used.  And yet God says in His word “Give, not expecting anything in return”.
How do we do that when we are feeling hurt, used, abused, wanted only for what we may have to give, it is not a two way relationship and yet is that not what Jesus did on the cross, gave and gave and gave and everyone walked away from him, disowned him on the cross as he poured out his life for a people who didn’t deserve it, who didn’t recognise what he gave them, who didn’t honour him?

It’s a hard call but it is a call where we learn what true love really means and actually that most of us live from conditional love without even realising it as we live in a world where we can just walk away from those people in our lives where this becomes an issue.  But if the Lord is one of reconciliation and restoration, unity, of family, of laying down your life for another then we would see less of broken families, broken marriages, depressed and suicidal people because our love for one another would break these issues that are so prevalent in our society down as we show unconditional love to one another, acceptance, value, honour all the things people are truely wanting and searching for.

And yet something I have struggled with of late in stepping into ‘church’, where is the point of encouraging people in maturity and growing up so that they are no longer remaining on milk because like children in family, when they are young they just take and take and take yet when they become adults they start to contribute to the house, they start to take an active part in the family, in the house and bring their gifts and talents, their finances into the house to help with the expenses.  The parents no longer bear the weight of continually giving  and covering the costs with children taking, but the children recognise and start to contribute.  So at what point do children have to leave home in order to recognise and value the home in which they come from - or do they?  At which point do the parents need to encourage the children and if nothing is forth coming or changes into maturity happen, to encourage them to move on so that they learn the lessons that they need to learn?  And yet remain in unconditional love towards those ones?  And in the encouragement to leave home for their benefit to remain in relationship and love toward them because like any parent you want your children to remain as you love them so much and it breaks your heart to bring a discipline that may hurt them and you and yet always believing the best?

For me as a parent my daughter has moved to another city and she is growing up, she is having to take care of her own finances, she is having to cook and clean, be responsible, all the things you were wanting and desiring her to step into at home and which she did to a level but not as much as I wanted or hoped for but in leaving home she is growing into maturity in these things and our relationship together is growing and at a better level of understanding where when they are young they ‘know it all’, they are always right, they don’t listen often to the parents because their parents don’t know anything and there doesn’t seem to be much respect for the parents and yet now is coming understanding and respect and a listening to the advice given.

So in all of this I guess patience plays a huge part as we learn to love unconditionally, as we give and give and not expecting anything in return remembering that in due time we will reap a harvest.  That every seed sown will bear fruit, that our labour in the Lord is not in vain and so I encourage you to keep giving, even when it costs you, to keep loving and serving, even when it is not returned in the natural when you would desire it, it will surely come.  And as we serve, as we love, we are not serving or loving unto man but unto the Lord who is our great reward, who sees our heart and our hurts.  Who will be in the one in which our greatest reward comes as we look to him and not to man or put expectation on man because when we trust in the Lord we will be blessed in ways that will far outweigh what we will receive from man.