Saturday, February 7, 2015
Remember, the Pharisees exalted their 'intellect' and that pride caused them to hypocritically hold people to the letter of the law and not the Spirit (Romans 7:6; 2 Corinthians 3:4-6). They chose the oldness of the letter over the newness of the Spirit, though it is the letter that kills and the Spirit who gives life. They thought knowledge of the law elevated them above the rest, but head knowledge is not the same as heart.
Outwardly they looked righteous but inwardly were full of extortion and self-indulgence (Matthew 23). They did all their works to be seen by men and bound others with heavy burdens that they themselves would not move a finger to lift. See to it that no one takes you captive and cheats you through philosophy and empty deceit according to the tradition of men and not according to Christ (Colossians 2:8).If they had humbled themselves and showed compassion they would not have been judged so harshly. If they had used wisdom and not just an appearance of wisdom then they would realise that the plank in their eye was far greater than the speck in their brother's (Matthew 7:1-5). Even when Jesus sees the oak tree in our pupils (loool) He loves us. Jesus was always moved with COMPASSION (Mark 1:41, Matthew 14:14, Luke 7:13, John 11:35). The Pharisees however had none, they watched Christ HEAL a man on the Sabbath and all they could think of was law to the letter. They had hardened hearts (Mark 3:1-6).
This is a call to check your heart (2 Corinthians 13:5). Don't get carried away with lofty thoughts, we cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5). True knowledge of God is not to know OF Him but to know Him, to know His Character (I AM____) and His heart, to have a relationship and not mere religion. Not to find yourself in a position where you have done all these works in His name and He says to you "Depart from Me, I never knew you" (Matthew 7:21-23). Jesus said they honour me with their lips but their hearts are far away (Matthew 15:8-9). Is it all in vain? The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, but God searches it and tests the mind (Jeremiah 17:9-10). He said "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh" (Ezekiel 36:26).
In a culture where vulnerability is seen as weakness we celebrate cold hearts by perceiving detachment as strength. We have become densentisized. Something has to move you, enough of tears that only fall in manipulation and selfish protest, if you only feel for yourself your heart is hardened. The funny thing is even a hard heart still feels. You are human, you cannot escape it. Even God came down in human form (Philippians 2:5-11) so why do we curse it? He took on the likeness of men because He loves the WORLD (John 3:16-17). He didn't come here to stand on the sidelines and condemn it but to walk among us and save it! Your Kingdom come Your will be done on EARTH as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). Trying to disconnect from humanity will only cause you to feel bitterness, hatred, anger and apathy. The Pharisees didn't see Jesus as God or a man, they simply perceived Him to be a threat to their kingdom. A hard heart rationalises wickedness, it was alright to kill Him because it made 'sense' (John 11:45-53) to eliminate the competition. Yet these were the same men who condemned others for far less? Legalism doesn't change your heart's condition.
You are human and you have been blessed with emotion. Closing yourself off and shutting people out doesn't make you exempt, it just suppresses what will always exist. If you're going to feel something regardless, you may as well TRAIN your heart and soul to be MOVED by the RIGHT things. Don't raise your finger to burden others, lift your hand because compassion moved you to share the load. Don't cry because it didn't go your way, weep because someone lost their way and rejoice because God kept you. There is nothing wrong with emotion, there is nothing weak about being moved. You don't have to follow your emotions, manage them and they will follow you. Balance in all things, while you're thinking it through don't forget to check how you feel. X
Sunday, December 28, 2014
Do not be afraid, for you have found favour with God (Luke 1:30).
I wonder, did Mary ever feel unworthy?
I wonder, did Mary ever feel unworthy?
- · A feeling of unworthiness - Not being acceptable, undeserving of position, unqualified for attention, unsuitable for the role, simply not good enough for the job.
- · Humility - Being down to earth and grounded, lacking pride and vanity, modest and meek, mindful of others, only lowering yourself to put love over ego and others before self.
- · False humility - Self-defeatist and in some ways self-absorbed as it is preoccupied with feelings of inferiority. False humility cannot receive, it cannot accept a compliment, it cannot be comforted by encouragement and it dismisses prophecies of good. False humility thinks shining is offensive, promotion is a temptation and that blessings are to be feared.
God says “Well done my good and faithful servant” for the works you have done (Matthew 25:23), and He calls you “Highly favoured one” for no reason at all, other than the fact that He chose you (Luke 1:28). You can earn a reward but you can’t earn favour. Favour is goodwill and generosity, it is down to the kindness of the giver, not necessarily the goodness of the favoured. Favour is an act of love and approval. Love is patient and kind (1 Corinthians 13:4); He waited for you to show you His favour. Patiently with loving kindness He has drawn you (Jeremiah 31:3). Hebrews 11:6 tells us that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” and He is, but He has and He will choose those who weren’t even looking for Him. After all isn’t that how you came into the kingdom? “I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me” (Isaiah 45:4).
Those we would deem unacceptable He called, those the Jews would have marked unclean based on law and traditions, those that men of great stature would think to be small and insignificant, He chose. What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For you have made him a little lower than the angels, and you have crowned him with glory and honor (Psalm 8:4-5). Like the disciple that Jesus loved (John 21:20), people may look for fault in you, “What about this man?” but what is it to them? (John 21:21-22). Only Jesus is perfect, you are beloved because He chose to love you. Even if it is through nothing but love and grace towards you, on some level you become deserving, you become worthy, and when you learn that you are worthy of love you grow in self-confidence.
Confidence is not the same as pride. Confidence is balanced. Pride is blind and will cause you to stumble (Proverbs 16:18). Confidence can say: I have flaws but I’m still beautiful, I make mistakes but I’m still skilled, I have room to grow but I’m still gifted. Confidence can honestly confess it's wrong (Romans 7:21) “Oh wretched man that I am” (Romans 7:24) and it meets with humility to express gratitude when it's sins are covered (Luke 7:47). Confidence can beat it's chest in repentance (Luke 18:9-14) but won’t ever walk away without receiving mercy. For, humility does not stop us from boldly going to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16). Humility did not stop Moses from asking “Please, show me Your glory” (Exodus 33:18).
God resists the proud, gives grace to the humble (James 4:6) and tells us not to cast away our confidence (Hebrews 10:35). Confident in this very thing that He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6). He will perfect that which concerns us, His mercy endures forever, and He will not forsake the work of His hands (Psalm 138:8). So though I am weak, I am strong (Joel 3:10) for “His grace is sufficient for me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). A Gentile woman showed her faith by persevering in the face of rejection. Jesus told her “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs”, and she said “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their master’s table” (Matthew 15:27). Even I can receive. Jesus answered and said to her “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you, as you desire”, and her daughter was healed from that very hour. There are some things you will only get when you confidently pursue them, and other things will seemingly drop in your lap, but it’s the same grace.
Luke 1:26-28 "Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, ‘Rejoice, highly favoured one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!’”. The angel told Mary that she would give birth to the Son of God, Son of the Highest, whose kingdom will have no end. When she asked how this could be, the angel told Mary that she would be overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and conceive supernaturally. With God nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37).
A gift is a gift because it was given freely (Matthew 10:8) you didn't buy it, but you gladly received it. You don’t need to wonder ‘Why?’ and you don’t need to worry ‘How?’ If she can say yes then so can we. We’re not birthing Jesus, how 'minuscule' is our destiny in comparison (if you compare). On the 29/08/14 I had thoughts on Mary the mother of Jesus in line with the concept of worthiness, I discussed this with a friend who was visiting me. On the 31/08/14 I read an Elijah List post (prophetic website) and the writer was sharing the baby dreams she had been having. She confirmed the train of thought I was on, and shared the lesson of the first dream: She had to be like Mary “who gave her will over to the Lord”. She didn’t speak on worthiness, instead she mentioned trouble.
"The promise is going to turn your life upside down, and you want to pretend it isn’t real". "There’s nothing you can do about it", you can only hide a pregnancy for so long. Just accept the call. In this life we will have many troubles (John 16:33), but I want to walk through those troubled times a blessed person (Deuteronomy 28:1-2). Mary was troubled for a little while but soon after she arose and acted on the word of knowledge by setting out to visit Elizabeth (Luke 1:36-45). She was troubled but obedient. The gift that was a joy to her and the world, also brought her great sorrow for the sacrifice that came with it. God’s grace is always sufficient. Because of the Lord’s great mercies we are not consumed, for His compassions fail not (Lamentations 3:22).
Mary did not despise the prophecy (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21), the fact that she was a virgin, could possibly lose Joseph her fiancé, and be falsely accused of promiscuity aside, she just accepted the call. There is only one mother of Jesus, and there will never be another. What a massive privilege, she was carrying the greatest gift to mankind. Did she earn it? How could she? When you can’t accept the grace of being chosen, gifts can be weights and burdens too. When you fear more than you believe, big dreams can be intimidating and great hope can seem foolish. When it sounds too good to be true, faith becomes a fairy-tale and manifestation a myth. And if it were true, what makes you worthy?
False humility will get you nowhere. Never think yourself unworthy of healing. Jesus asked “Do you want to be made well?”(John 5:6). When He saw that the sick man had already been in that condition a long time, He knew there was a chance that his broken place had become his comfort zone. Would he remain self-defeating and self-pitying or would he get up? Jesus is the lifter of your head (Psalm 3:3) and there is a time when He will simply tell you to pick up your mat and walk (John 5:8). From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force (Matthew 11:12); you will never get it cowering in the corner. “But Lord, how can I? I am the least of my house” (Judges 6:15), surely He will be with you. With God nothing is impossible, a virgin gave birth to our saviour, Mary the mother of Immanuel, which is translated “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).
Sunday, December 21, 2014
I was sent to London by an important employer. A colleague and I had important business to begin and both of us were keen to get there as early as possible. We were told last minute, so getting to the location on time would be a matter of organisation skills. On the morning of the day, I left out and everything imaginable went wrong, I even got distracted looking for food to buy because I was worn out from the stress of experiencing delay after delay. Buses at a standstill and trains I had to wait on. Then suddenly I was taken back to the day before, as if someone had pressed rewind. This was my chance to go ahead. I heard the words: "I sent you ahead so that you'd be on time."
I had this dream earlier this year but here towards the end of 2014, I feel like sharing it. Maybe because the end of the year and the beginning of another is often a time of reflection. You might not be where you want to be yet but you'll get there and you'll get there on time.
Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Sunday, November 30, 2014
God may answer your prayers by messing up your plans Just see it through to the end . He might just allow what you fear to come upon you (Job 3:25) so that when you come out on the other side you realize that what you feared could not stop you. It hurt, it even hindered but you can't taunt me with it anymore, I've already survived it (Isaiah 54:17). Perspective. God said Job was blameless and upright (Job 1:8) because he feared God (Proverbs 8:13) and shunned evil In all his suffering Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong (Job 1:22). Job didn't go through because he had fears, he went through because he had faith (James 1:2-4). It's just a test. When He has tested me I shall come forth as gold (Job 23:10) He knows the way that I take! You pray "order my steps" (Psalm 37:23) thinking He will align the stones you already planned to hop on (loool), only to have Him redirect you completely. THIS is the way, walk in it (Isaiah 30:21).
It's not just the plans in your own heart (Proverbs 19:21) you're praying the word, keep standing on it but know that WE know and prophesy in PART (1Corinthians 13:9). We only have pieces of the bigger picture, so I stare at the puzzle, squint my eyes and ask "God, what are you making ?" (Isaiah 45:9). The God who knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). Indeed He has spoken it, He has purposed it, He will also do it (Isaiah 46:11). Amen You know He's put a gift inside of you for a reason, but you modify it's use or deny it's true purpose, because that's not how you see yourself. God calls and He calls and He calls and you run and you run, all this running wears you out so you hide... Or rather His grace hides you in the 'belly of a fish' (Jonah) until you're strengthened (Isaiah 40:31) and submitted enough to run again this time WITH the vision (Habakkuk 2:3).
Let me make it plain, He didn't always do what I expected, but looking back I see the signs. Sometimes you think the word is for someone else but it's for you too. When my Nan was sick, I wrote Isaiah 43:2 inside of her card. When she passed that was the word I held onto. She had already transitioned, I was still going through the waters, the rivers and the fire. Be mindful, when you posture yourself to be productive and say "Lord cause me to grow" He will start cutting you, excuse me, pruning you (John 15:2) And yet I'd rather be cut down than cut off. Listen, my dad chopped away at the apple tree in our garden, and it looked so ugly and bare, we were side eyeing him like ()... But then it GREW back healthy and produced even more fruit. If it wasn't pruned it would have rotted! Yeah it looked like he messed it up, but everything will be made beautiful in its time (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Xx
Your new motto: see it through!
Thursday, November 27, 2014
I don't know what to do about how GOOD GOD is to me. I wouldn't even argue it... I won't debate, but I will express. I fear that *ponders* to say "God is good all the time *pause* all the time God is good" is taken as churchy and CLICHE... Some speak it and don't mean it, some only say it because it's what's expected of them. The religious honor Him with their lips but their hearts are far away (Matthew 15:8-9). So I'll say it... But I'm also gonna live it. I'll live out my appreciation in the way I do best, that might not be in the form 'they' expect.
I'll say it but I'll also sing it, in whatever genre I enjoy, with the lyrics and melody I'm inspired to create. I'll say it but I'll also write it... In stories that reflect His principles, in poems full of imagery, messages and metaphors, not just sermons with scriptures. I'll dance it not just in white gloves and flowing skirts, but like David as a display of joy and gratitude not worried about my garments being 'unpriestly' (2 Samuel 6:14). I'll draw it, not just in crosses and halos or lions and lambs. I'll carry it in my demeanour, my presence, my aura. Note that love fulfills the law (Romans 13:8) so even just walking in love (Ephesians 5:2) is a ministry (John 13:35) in that context you can just LIVE, you can just BE. The thing is many don't want to show love, they just want spotlight.
Well, if nobody else receives it, that's okay... I will let my peace return to me (Matthew 10:13), because I'm just being true to self by being true to what I believe. I won't sell out to 'the world' but I won't fit in a religious box either. Xx
Sunday, November 23, 2014
I was reminded that the prayers of the righteous availeth much (James 5:13-18)! Don't quit praying. Be persistent (Luke 11:5-13) as persistent as the widow who cried out day and night (Luke 18:1-8). Though He bears long with us His ear is not heavy that it cannot hear nor is His arm shortened that it cannot save (Isaiah 59:1). He is a rewarder of those who DILIGENTLY seek Him (Hebrews 11:6) this is evidence of your faith, that you believe and hope against hope (Romans 4:18). Though it tarries wait for it (Habakkuk 2:3). The prophet asked "How long shall I cry? And you will not hear? Even cry out to you 'Violence!" And you will not save." But the Lord replied "Look among the nations and watch - be utterly astounded. For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe though it were told you." (Habakkuk 1:1-5). He continues "For indeed I AM raising up..." He's working on it!! But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up on wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31). Xx