There is Something in the Air

I have been really enlightened this week to realise that Satan really is “…the prince of the power of the air!” There is definitely something in the air this week, I’ve been having nightmares regularly and it has been a hard week of depression.

In this state of mind, it is really easy to give up on fighting the good fight. But, that’s just what the enemy intends when he sends even the most subtle of attacks.

It is quite scary thinking about letting the enemy take a hold, giving up and just leading an easy life. Or, a seemingly easy life, going the way of the world and suffering the consequences. I read this this week, “Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve” (Luke 22:3). I shuddered at the thought, Judas was taken over by the enemy and then he betrayed Jesus.

I think it is no coincidence that in the same chapter of Luke that it says Satan entered Judas, Jesus tells Simon Peter: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32.

We have our Lord Jesus who can pray for us that our faith does not fail. Jesus, our Saviour wants us to keep on fighting the good fight. In fighting this fight, we need to understand that it isn’t us who fights, it is our Lord. We may struggle with this, but giving it over to the Lord is actually how we fight. We need to rely on Him to fight for us. We can be used as his tools, but He is the one who does the work.

Exodus 14:14

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Oh the peace of God, knowing that it is our Lord that fights for us. Thank the Lord that He is good!

Advertisements

Who Do You Identify With?

We all want to find our identity. We can find our identity in things like religion, clubs, groups, communities, and even family. A label over us eases the cry of our heart. God gave us a cry in there, you know.

It is the search for love, reassurance, camaraderie, and belonging. We might think that if we have an identity to pour into, maybe we can change our little part of the world. That feels good. We all long to belong, and long to express ourselves, to be made known to others. Hence social media, a place to express who we are, to be made known.

But, unless we are placing our identity in Jesus, it is all for nothing.

God put these longings inside us for a reason. He created us to have a relationship with Him! God, Himself knows every part of us, and He wants us to know Him.

“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3).

God sending His only Son to die for us, to make a way for us to go to heaven is such good news, the best news that we could ever, ever hear! When we give our life to Jesus, it is replaced with a brand new life, true hope, eternal security, and a beautiful, meaningful identity. It is secure happiness!

When our identity is finally rooted in truth, it is as if a light bulb illuminates every area of our life. And guess what?? God is still in the business of saving people, drawing them into a relationship with Him.

“but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence” (1 peter 3:15).

People are thirsty for God. They are looking for something to place their identity in. Let us be ready with gentleness to tell the good news of our secure hope, an identity lost in Truth.

Unity is Very Good

Unity is the opposite of discord and division. Take a look at the news or social media and you quickly realize we don’t see much of it in our culture today. Everyone has their opinion and no one wants to listen to anyone else. People are fighting and bickering about everything. It’s heartbreaking because that is not how we should act toward each other. Where is the respect and honor for others? Where is the love? Where is the unity?

It should be different with believers. Jesus wanted his followers to be united. He prayed to the Father for us, requesting that we be one. When we honor, love and respect one another in unity people see God rightly represented through us.

The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. John 17:22-23

Once a month I experience this unity when I meet with a few women for dinner and a chat. It’s always a wonderful time of catching up. We talk about pretty much everything, sharing the high points of the previous few weeks of our lives. Whatever we feel is important is a reason to share with each other. We honor, we encourage, we listen and we pray for each other.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers (or sisters) to dwell together in unity! Psalm 133:1

Spending time with these women, delighting in each other, is like a soothing oil. It brings healing to the soul. I leave these gatherings with a fresh sense of being loved on and of belonging. I’m thankful for these ladies. I love them and they love me. It really is very good to dwell together in unity.

I Am Who I Am

My heart beat with an anxious flutter for a brief moment. Boom, boom. I had found myself lost in my thoughts.

Months ago, a specific name of who God is kept showing up in my life repeatedly. It followed me everywhere! God was displaying His love over and over, reassuring me. He continually reminded me, “I Am I Am.”

“God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 13:14)

I Am is complete authority, because I Am is God!

Fast forward many months and I find myself with that flutter of angst again. Similar to the previous unsettling circumstances. My heart had forgotten that God still sees.

As I felt the quicken of my heartbeat, I looked up just beyond my steering wheel and there I saw “I A M” on the vehicle directly in front of me! What?! God is so cool!

He continually drapes a beautiful tapestry of security, around the heart that trusts in Him.

What will you do if God asks you to do something crazy?

Does God ever lead you to do things that just seem insane?

For me, the answer is a big fat Yes!

It started with facing the fear of public speaking. It has always shaken me up. My stomach gets all tied up in knots, my hands start to shake, and I trip over my tongue. It’s not my favorite past time as you can imagine. But, one day I was asked to speak in front of a group of women and as my mind shouted, ” I could never! No way!” I heard a gentle voice in the back of my mind say, “Who made your mouth Mary?”

“Well, you did Lord.”

I agreed to speak and what a blessing it was to proclaim God and His grace over my life to others! Did I have butterflies in my stomach and stumble a bit? Yes! But I followed His request and there was no turning back! In the end, He poured such blessing over me for being obedient. It changed how I saw God and the challenges He placed before me. It set my path straight to His next request.

We were given the insane idea to be foster parents. “To him who has been given much, much is expected.” God spoke this over us time and time again. We said yes and I haven’t slept since January! 😂 But God has transformed our hearts and home in ways only He knew we needed. It’s like we never knew the depths of Gods love for us until we walked this broken road in need of His grace and mercy. Today, I speak Jesus into things and people I didn’t know existed. It has been hard, but such a privilege. I can see God moving and to be a part of that…Wow!

We live in a world that is hurting and broken. Hopelessness is as contagious as a cold and as deadly as poison. Only love, radical, sacrificing, Christ compelled love can bring true hope and transform lives. I am convinced that if we are willing to walk in His steps and love with His love, God will use us to shine His glory and grace in ways we can’t even fathom. So convinced that I’ve invited 250 people to my house for soup…at once. Insane! But God wouldn’t have led me to do it if He didn’t have a reason and a purpose! So pray for me y’all!

Let’s love like Jesus today. Let’s take risks and say yes even if it’s crazy! What’s more crazy than God Himself being made flesh, living with us dirty people, and then dying to save us?! Makes the crazy I’m led to do seem not so crazy after all.

God Hears All Our Prayers

God truly hears all our prayers, 1 John 5:15 says He hears us in whatever we ask. We do not need to worry that our prayers are a message in a bottle that we just have to hope reaches Heaven. God hears all our prayers and he answers them.

We have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit living within us, so that God is always with us. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever.” John 14:16. This Helper is the Holy Spirit, helping us through everything we face here on earth.

Not only do we have the Holy Spirit, but we have the Lord Jesus: “Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” Romans 8:34. The Lord Jesus intercedes for us, he takes our prayers and speaks to the Father on our behalf.

God wants us to know that He hears us and have confidence in praying to him. “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” 1 John 5:14. We need to pray in his will, and this means knowing our Bible, reading it and praying it to our Lord. The perfect words of the Bible gives us all we need to say in our prayers.

Often, I pray in my anxiety, I pray that whatever is worrying me will turn out okay. Anxiety is not something God wants for us: “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6. God wants us to have peace by praying to Him and He listens to us.

Prayer is a wonderful, beautiful thing! And God hears everyone of our prayers and he answers them. Keep praying to the Lord, He hears you.

The Complete Cure for the Groaning of this World

The blood of Jesus speaks more of a word over me than anything. At times, I am just looking for a word from Him and He always comes through, what He did on the cross for me is all I need to remember. He pours heaps of peace over my soul and it is well again.

I sought God and said, “Please lift the weight off my soul.” It is not just one burden, but all of the trials around me. It gets to me. My glass is usually half full, that’s just my peaceful nature I suppose. But, the chaos and sad things of living in a world in turmoil swirl from every direction. Thoughts spinning circles in my head and they say “get off technology,” “but, don’t put your head in the sand.” Hurricane Florence, the death of a loved one, a cancer diagnosis… the spinning through our brains, it can all be too much. Wild fires, suicide, trafficking, persecution, devastation unfolding at every corner. The news, it can be perplexing, and scary and leave us feeling hopeless.

We live in a time where creation and even our souls groan while we wait for Jesus.

“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God;” Romans 8:19

Yet, the blood of Jesus is always there and it speaks more a word over me than anything. So, He reminded me of this hope. We need to focus on this hope. The hope found in the blood of Jesus who made a way for what is to come. The hope we have of a future being in the presence of the Holy God Almighty, where every loose end is tied and every bit of glory is revealed.

“and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies” Romans 8:23

So, I sought Him. And He met me there, like always and He filled my heart with peace. And it is well with my soul. For when I look to the living Hope, where the blood of Jesus was poured out, I know that while we groan to see God’s glory in all of its fullness, for now we need to be here among the chaos and the trials. But, it’s okay. The news that swarms us, the sad things that we see from a distance or that come our way, will be nothing compared to the glory that is coming, because of the precious blood of Jesus.