Talk to God, let him refine you

There’s a song lyric that says, when the going gets tough, the tough get going.  I’m adapting that this morning to when the going gets tough, the tough get praying.  I regularly talk to and hear from people who are struggling for one reason or another and yet they often struggle or forget to spend time in prayer to address those struggles.  However, once we spend time in God’s presence we have an opportunity to find peace, to feel his love and those troubles appear so much smaller and insignificant once we hand them to our loving Father.

1 Peter 5:7-10 NLT – Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.  In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation

 A BATTLE

This is a battle to be fought on your knees, the enemy sees every opportunity to strike, he likes it when we moan and groan to our friends because that means we’re not on our knees talking to Jesus, he’s prowling, waiting to pounce, waiting for us to announce our struggles, our fears, wanting to draw near and cause stress, he delights in our mess, the best thing we can do is give it to God, give it to the one who really cares, stay alert and you won’t get hurt over and over again, God is compassionate, loving and kind, he doesn’t mind what you tell him, it won’t make him love you any less, in his kindness he called you to share in his eternal glory, your struggles, your fears all part of your story, don’t let this battle define you, talk to God, let him refine you.

Truth is he doesn’t need your support

Have you noticed how often you read a passage in the Bible and something jumps out at you as if you’ve never seen it before?  Today I was reading about the arrest of Jesus and how he tells one of his companions to put away his sword..

Matthew 26:53 – Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 

That message links to a message I was watching in a video of Rick Warren teaching which illustrates how we often try and fight the battles for God instead of allowing him to fight them for us.  God can call on legions of armies to fight the battles, God is able to do anything and everything he wants to do, the battle is his – relax.

  • Psalm 56:3 – When I am afraid, I put my trust in you
  • 2 Chronicles 20:15 -He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.

 WORRY TO WORSHIP

 From worry to worship, battles become blessings, everyone who lives in Jesus shall be persecuted, but we don’t live a secluded life, we are not alone in the fight, it is not right to be afraid or discouraged, instead be encouraged for the enemy is damaged, we have the advantage, we face a defeated enemy, God’s army at our disposal, and not being boastful but even Jesus spoke of the mighty army that surrounds us, be victorious, be confident as you approach the throne of Grace, boldly make your petitions known, believe that your God has already heard your cry, he has his eye on your situation, he fights your corner so raise your expectations, increase your faith, watch mountains moving as God moves in to your circumstances, relax as God exchanges beauty for ashes, let God fight this, the truth is he doesn’t need your support, he is King of Kings and he is Lord of Lords.

Emit the brightness that’s within as you run into battle

I was reading a really interesting article yesterday about how we cope when under attack from the enemy.  Remembering that the enemy attacks when he is worried about our work for God or even our potential to work for God it is a compliment in many ways when we are attacked because Satan can see the progress we are making for God.  However it is important that we work with God to counter these attacks and to remain strong, only through being grounded in God’s truth and through receiving the help of the Spirit can we overcome, and believe me we will overcome because our God has already won the battle, the enemy is defeated.

John 16:13-15 – But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.  All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.’

John 6:39-40 –  And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.

I took the inspiration for the following from the article I was reading:

PROTECT YOURSELF

Protect yourself with me, keep so close to my word that when darkness comes the light penetrates the darkness and you remember me, bind the truth to your heart, my word always on your tongue and when attacks come remember that I am bigger, my plans are better, and the battle is mine, never forget that I have already won, the battle done long ago and even though you walk through this time of trial I walk beside you every dark and arduous mile, you may not see me but I am there, follow my truth, my word, keep it in front of you at all times, protect yourself with me for the battle is not against humanity but against the rulers of the dark world, shroud yourself in my righteousness, emit the brightness that’s within as you run into battle, run as fast as your feet can carry you, building on my name, sharing my love, telling my story and sharing my glory, run and fight, do not be afraid, let your shield be faith as you stand behind the God of the universe, no need to fear or be afraid, fight the fight of a brave warrior, a soldier of the living God, fight for a cause that’s worth your sacrifice for your life here is but fleeting, fight for me, look to me, know I am with you, surrounding you, living in you, fight bravely for I your God am with you, the truth surrounds you, my love protects you, my word instructs you, speak of what you hear from me, receive what I make known, own my love, own my story, march with passion to claim my Glory.

 

Loneliness…let the battle commence

Have found the testimony of Michelle X Smith online.  I identify closely with her having a very similar background, church goer as a child, discovering my homosexual feelings, feeling that God could never love me and therefore taking a massive step away from God and then after many years God drawing me back to him and seeing the immense love and forgiveness he has for me, my realisation of the need to be obedient to him and ultimately gaining my salvation.

Reading her testimony has been an amazing experience, for the first time ever I feel like someone else “gets it”.  Someone else like me who understands all the difficulties, the almost forced separation from God and from family because of my sexuality the internal battles that raged and the frustration now with a church that seeks to water down scriptures.

Whilst I am surrounded by love and support, at times I still feel alone, the battles still rage in my head from time to time, the enemy taunting me with my past and with my future, am I good enough to serve God, could I ever be a role model, are people bothered about my story.. well I have news for you Satan – God made me, God has plans for me and God’s going to use me whether you like it or not, I am victorious, I am saved, I am changed and I am not going to be held down any longer.

BATTLE TIME

Loneliness…let the battle commence, let’s silence the voices in my head that take great pleasure in dissing me, telling me that I am not worth it, insignificant, never gonna make the cut, cut it out Satan it’s you who’s defeated, you were beaten before you started, so don’t get me started on where you belong, don’t expect me to say I am wrong about God and about his salvation, I am his creation and OK so I went astray and every day is one of grace since I claimed my place with Jesus and his team, you see Satan I am loved, saved, redeemed, God doesn’t care what I did or what I was because that was forgiven at the cross, your loss, God’s gain, he is training me, building me and when he’s through with me it’s me you’ll need to fear, the word of God my sword, I intend to serve my Lord with intensity and passion, bringing the truth to the masses, happen you will tremble as you try to come near so I no longer fear your taunting and your goading, overloading my mind with lies, you strategize to wear me down but God’s given me a crown, I am his daughter do you really think he’s gonna let you get the better of me, do you not understand that I am a child of the most high King, the sting in your tail no longer a threat, Jesus paid my debt at Calvary and I am free, I will not be put down, bossed around by a defeated enemy, take your leave, God has done more for me than you can ever imagine, answered prayers surrounded me with love and that’s enough.. but he wants to do more, God adores me, you see that’s the truth of it and you can never destroy God’s love for me, so tell me I’m lonely and I’ll show you an army ready to stand by me, accompany me on my journey, tell me I’m weak and I’ll show you an army ready to back me with spiritual power and prayer, tell me I’m nobody and I’ll tell you I’m not just somebody, my Daddy is God, tell me I’m going nowhere and I’ll share this truth, God knows the plans he has for me, to prosper me and not to harm me, Oh yes I’m going somewhere, I’m going places, so keep your eyes peeled and watch this space

Don’t underestimate the magnitude with which God pursues the enemy

I never cease to be amazed, awe-struck really at what God does for us, and I know I shouldn’t because he tells us he can do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine”.  So I have been reading Joshua and I had not read this passage before (sometimes find the Old Testament passages hard going), here we are another war, another power struggle but God has promised that he had given the enemy into Joshua’s hand.  So when the fight starts Joshua asked for the sun to stand still and the moon to stop

  • Joshua 10:12-13 – He said, “Sun, stand still over Gibeon. Moon, stand still over the Valley of Aijalon.” So the sun stood still. The moon stopped. They didn’t move again until the nation won the battle over its enemies.

Not only does God stop the sun in the sky in this battle but he also sent giant hailstones that kill many of the retreating soldiers, he provides all the support required for Joshua to be victorious against the enemy.

What does that tell me?  God keeps his promises, he protects and shields us, he will not let us be overcome and he is able to literally move mountains or stop the sun in the sky if it serves his purpose, he will provide me with all the support I need to overcome my enemy.  AWESOME

  • Romans 8:31 – What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
  • Romans 8:37 – No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

THE BATTLE IS HIS

A mighty battle rages, God engaged in a fight for life, don’t ever underestimate the magnitude with which he pursues the enemy, God protecting and shielding, building strongholds, we are more than conquerors through him who loves us, the sun and the moon bow down to our God, they are under his command, God stopped the moon and sun so we could gain a flavour of our Creator’s power, we are nothing without Jesus, if he departs from us we are lost, but God has promised us he will never leave us or forsake us, if he is for us who can be against us, for our battle as we know is not against flesh and blood but the dark forces of the spiritual realm, with God at the helm we are safe, secure in the knowledge that he’s freed us from bondage, our chains are broken and we are soaking in the Spirit’s power, fire of God surrounds us, protects and binds us with the heavenly forces, God reinforces our combined resources as we stand in unity against the enemy, Spirit of God living in me, uplift, empower and strengthen me, open my eyes to your love for me, for I know you’ll never stop fighting for me.

I wake, I pray and I slay, sword of the spirit in hand I prepare for battle

Been continuing to read Fervent and at the end of each chapter it encourages you to write your prayer for the subject covered, today I have been looking at focus.  When we pray it’s important to stay focussed and to me Ephesians 6:12 sums this up, we have to focus on who the battle is with.  However I found a number of other verses that helped me to write this prayer which I have referenced below.

  • Ephesians 6:12 – For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
  • Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things
  • Colossians 3:2 – Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things..
  • Matthew 19:26 – Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
  • Zechariah 2:5 – And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will be its glory within.’
  • Psalm 32:8 – I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
  • James 5:16 – The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective
  • Psalm 105:4 – Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.
  • Revelation 22:12 – Behold I am coming soon

FOCUS

Father, you are coming soon, AMEN, Father I thank you for that truth, I praise you for your redeeming love, Father I set my mind on things above, whatever is noble, pure and right, I thank you for being the light of this world, all you have done is excellent and praiseworthy and only you are worthy of my praise and adoration, I thank you for my salvation and today I focus on truth, I focus on you and I see that the fight is not against flesh and blood, it’s a spiritual battle against darker forces and today I wake, I pray and I slay, sword of the spirit in hand I prepare for battle, where there is fear I give thanks, where there is anger I choose joy, I trust in your power and not in my plan and I know that a breakthrough is on its way, thank you that all things are possible through you, thank you that we know that our prayers are powerful and effective, thank you that as I look to you I gain strength, and Father place a wall of fire around me as I pray powerfully for my friends and family, as I intercede for others, for persecuted sisters and brothers, as I pray for my future, my walk with you help me focus on the truth, counsel me with your loving eye upon me, instruct me and teach me, free me to be a mighty warrior, strategizing against the enemy, focused on my purpose, determined, unwavering in my prayer, engaged for you in spiritual warfare.

I fall to my knees, the grace is palpable

So finally got to watch the film “The War Room” last night at our ladies group.  Wow, what an inspirational film, so much to process and take on board.  A couple of things stood out for me immediately – do not be lukewarm in our prayer.  Amen to that, and you know what I believe we even know when we are being lukewarm, when our prayers are on fire we can really feel it, the power of the Holy Spirit is in us, let’s not waste that power.  The second thing that I loved was the whole concept of a battle strategy and recognising that the battle always was and always will be against the enemy. Going to be working on my strategy over the next few days and weeks.  Loved the scripture at the end of the film which God had given me the day before when considering an image I’d received in church.  Let’s unite in prayer, pray powerfully and God will do great and mighty things.

2 Chronicles 7:14- if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

HUMBLE

Humble, I fall to my knees, Jesus please forgive me for I have sinned, I am full of sin I do not deserve your grace and yet that is what I face when I fall to my knees, the grace is palpable, your love unstoppable, nothing impossible when placed in your hands, and now I stand up for the battle is yours and you never give up on us, Jesus you are victorious and that’s what inspires us, my battle plan is ready, my sword is drawn, for there is power in your word, power in my words spoken out loud, and as I shout down the enemy he can’t attack me, as I pray intently he can’t stop me, I am on fire and the spirit within me is working in unity to bring change and healing to our land, so I plan and I scheme and I work in your ways, my strategy devised, I am ready to pray with heat and passion and a desire for action, Father God I am praying for your stuff to happen.