You realise that this is outrageous grace

I want God to steer the ship when the storm comes.  I want him to take control because I know him and I trust him to see me through each and every storm in my life.  Yes, it does sometimes seem hard and yes, sometimes I start doing it my way before I remember to stop and ask God what his way is.  But I am getting better at that and I know God is compassionate and also understands our human frailties so when I veer off in my own direction he waits patiently for me to hand the rudder back to him.

PROVERBS 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight

THAT MOMENT

That moment when you try to explain to Jesus how hard life has been lately and then you plainly see the scars on his hands and his feet, the gap in his side where he was maimed and the crown of thorns that framed his face and you realise that this is outrageous grace, the man who died on the cross for me takes time out to listen to my story, no judgment, no comparison with his own suffering, he sits and listens, he listens to me, he understands my need to be with him, he calms me, holds me close, carries me when he needs to, he made me new through his sacrifice, no price to pay back to him, my sin is gone, my shame gone too and now all he wants to do is calm me in the storm, lift me when I’m worn down and tired, he requires nothing of me, what grace, what sublimity, Jesus will never abandon me, his sacrifice humbles me, his love overpowers me.

Let’s bind, rebuke and curse the enemy

Had some tough news today from a friend and a few of us at church have been messaging and praying.  It’s good to know that when we get together and pray, when we stand in agreement with each other we magnify our petitions to God and we know that we will have a good return for our labour, that is our prayers.

A further reminder for us is no matter the situation, always praise God, never stop praying and always give thanks.  That is God’s will and that is what we will do.

  • Ecclesiastes 4:9 – Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labour
  • Matthew 18:19-20 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.
  • Thessalonians 5:16-18 Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this.

The following was inspired by an inspirational message received from one of our prayer warriors this morning in response to this news:

IN CONTROL

Let us not be controlled by our emotions, overwhelmed at the task when all we need to do is ask our awesome Father to intervene, I mean why would be concerned, after all we have learned about our God, God of mercy, God of grace, our God who fights every battle for us, let’s be victorious before we start, declare and decree that God is good, God is able to turn the tables on any situation, let’s pray on earth as it is in heaven, let’s bind, rebuke and curse the enemy whose sole purpose is to steal, kill, destroy, let’s not be coy in this situation, we take up the cause and we pray with purpose, with confidence that God is already fighting our battles, he’s got our backs, let us not lack the faith to ask big, let us not lack the confidence to believe in our God of love for we are anointed to proclaim freedom, anointed to release prisoners from the darkness, we are anointed to bring healing and there is no ceiling to our calling, nothing we cannot ask God in his name and whenever two or more ask the same they have a good return and let it be known their requests will be answered by our Father in heaven.

It’s not the load that will break you down but the way you carry it

I read a quote yesterday which said “don’t be quick to judge me, you only see what I choose to show you”.  I get to meet a lot of different people through working in a shop and some open up to me.  If you knew what a lot of people struggle with in their personal lives you would probably be a little bit kinder, less judgmental and more thoughtful towards them even if they struggle to be nice to you!  I think that there are a lot of Christians too who are struggling in one way or another in their lives and this morning I was just thinking about having the faith and the strength to hand it all to God.

Isaiah 46:4 – Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

CONTROL

Trust me says God, not once but like a thousand times, trust me I’ve got this, and OK so you may not feel in control of the situation but that’s cool cos that’s God’s way of showing he’s in control, do you trust him?  Embrace the life you have, embrace the change, it may well be the answer to prayer, and if not your prayer then someone else’s, this situation you are in may be God’s solution to someone else’s pain, so remain strong as you carry this burden and remember it’s not the load that will break you down but the way you carry it, and the way I see it, carry it to God in prayer and leave it there, trust when all seems lost, claim the plans he holds for you whatever the cost, he will sustain you to your old age and grey hair, he will always be there, fix your eyes on Jesus, praise him through this storm, trust your unknown future to the God who’s known you all your life, the God who planned your life for you, trust him to see you through, you may not know what to do right now or how to deal with your situation, but God is the definition of calm, God has your heart, he’s got this, Jesus overcame the grave to save you and you will overcome, battle on warrior princess and trust your God has got this.

Go face the day with joy, God’s got your back

God works everything out in our lives.  There was a time when I would have been sceptical at that suggestion but now, since knowing God I realise that everything happens because of his guiding hand.  People say, “I believe in fate” but really what that means for me is “I believe that God’s in control”.  We meet someone, see something, hear a word, read a passage and God speaks through it, he acts through it and slowly but surely this bigger picture starts to form.  Years ago, many years before I became a Christian I got a job in Australia but was refused a visa because of my sexuality.  At the time I was heart-broken, my dream in tatters.  Now many years on I see God’s hand in that.  I see that his plan was different, let’s face it I never consulted him about moving to Australia I just made the plans and dived right in.  Not long after I became a Christian I planned to move about 6 miles down the road, go to a different church and had got to a few days of exchanging contracts when I felt God saying NO this is not the path for you.  Whilst it was difficult explaining to my partner and then to an irate estate agent that we were pulling out it was absolutely the right thing to do because God wanted me right where I was to grow and evolve in the church family which had so lovingly supported me in my walk to faith.  So I suppose what I have learned is to give God the control because ultimately his plans are superior and he has the most awesome ideas for my life, better than I could come up with!

Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

FACE THE DAY

Go face the day with joy, God’s got your back, our heavenly Father does not lack control and there’s nothing you can’t overcome with God on your side.  Feel like a failure? Maybe this time is just part of God’s plan for your life, something will grow from all you are going through and that something is you, there’s a hidden purpose in adversity and God purposely chose you, every turn of destiny for your good, he promises to bring good from the storms and there is a purpose behind each situation, God’s plan is being perfected, negative to positive, using your experiences and if through brokenness God can bring hope then praise him for breaking you, for making you a vessel for his glory to shine through, not rejected, simply redirected to a better place, a better life, you better believe that God is in it, just let your mind be ruled by the Spirit, submit to God’s greater plans for you, don’t be ashamed of your story, your history equals my inspiration, go face the day with elation, continually praising Jesus our Saviour.

Trust God that when I open my mouth he speaks

So have been reading this amazing book by Robby Dawkins – “Do what Jesus did” and have come away inspired to take more “risks” for Jesus.  You know I just have to ask myself what’s the worst thing that can happen if I offer to pray for someone??  What’s the worst thing that can happen if I tell someone about my testimony, my faith or my God?

We are so blessed and we have amazing news to share, Jesus has taken away our sins, we no longer need to live lives of hurt, shame, or regret, “it is finished”.

Hebrews 9: 27-28 – People have to die once. After that, God will judge them.  In the same way, Christ was offered up once. He took away the sins of many people. He will also come a second time. At that time he will not suffer for sin. Instead, he will come to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. 

FINISHED

Once and for all it was finished, his dying breath brought life, and I want to see a generation waking up, getting close up and personal with the Lord, fighting for freedom and justice, looking after the world which God entrusted to us, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, not made fearful and wondering, so why am I squandering chances that God gives me to make advances for his Kingdom, we die only once to face our judgement and I want to stand there having played my part, imparted God’s gifts to those who I meet, I am not defeated I am ready to take a risk, to stand out in the crowd, to bring healing to the broken, good news to the lost, no matter the cost, I remember that I was lost but God found me, used others to gently help me see that God is love and God gives freedom, he wants to share his Kingdom with all humanity if only I would seize each and every opportunity God gives to me how many more would come to see that Jesus really died to set them free?  When Jesus died my life began and I can feel the power within me, I need to harness the power allow it freedom, trust in my God in every season to deliver true healing to all who I meet, trust him that when I open my mouth he speaks, his words flow so that others will know he wants to meet with them too, he wants a relationship to get up close and personal, his promises irreversible he is merciful, his love is terminal and it’s remarkable that I am an original sinner but in God’s eyes he only sees winner, so here I am sinner turned winner ready to serve the Lord with all my heart mind and soul, ready to put myself out there and let God take control.

 

God’s got my back, (and my front, my middle, my head and my toes)

So this one is a bit strange, God put in my head Habakkuk 3, wasn’t even sure there was a book in the Bible called Habakkuk and had to look it up in the index!  So there are lots of messages in this chapter but one that really stood out for me today was verses 18 and 19 showing me that God’s got my back, but even better than that he wants the best for me

Habakkuk 3: 18-19

18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.   19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.

Verse 18 self-explanatory, verse 19 well I read this as deer being animals that run about on all terrains, hills and slopes and they never lose their foothold, slip or fall.  Added to that deer sometimes almost prance or leap so expressing a fullness of life and joy so the way I see it is that God will not allow me to slip or fall and even better I will not just walk along in safety in the foothills I will positively skip and dance about filled with his Spirit in the heights referring to me getting the best that I can out of life

GOD’S GOT MY BACK

God’s got my back, (and my front, my middle, my head and my toes), God’s got this thing under control, God is unstoppable, does the impossible, he is phenomenal and God’s got my back.

God’s on my side, God never lied when he gave us the Bible, his word is undeniably reliable, God constantly tells me he loves me, he presides over my story and God’s on my side.

God looks out for me, God sees it all big or small, God’s been there and done it before I got started, he is big hearted and through his victory controls my destiny and God looks out for me.

God watches over me constantly, never leaves my side, never hides his face from me, shields me from adversity and he knows me personally, God watches over me.

God loves me, God loved me from the start of time, he wants me to climb mountains, soar like an eagle, he overcame evil precisely for me, so yes I’m right to declare that my God love me.

I may not be in control, but I am loved by the one who is

Sometimes I think I am not as in control of my life as I should be, but you know what, I may not be in control but I am loved by God who is in control and who cares so greatly about me that he won’t let me fail or falter if I am out of my depth.

IN CONTROL

I may not be in control, but I am loved by the one who is and this is the reason.

My God has a face. My God is not a faceless God, my God has expression, he expresses love, compassion and an understanding of our human frailty and it is an awesome reality that the Creator of our universe wants to speak to me, wants to stand up for me and welcome me and even when I turn my back his arms are open wide, when I turn back he wraps his arms around me and talks to me, tells me I’m safe, shows me what dependability really is, his faithfulness all consuming, his love proving that time and time again he can get rid of my junk, my baggage, regardless whether it’s of my own causing or the cause of others, he smothers the sinful urges and I emerge victorious because of his glorious love and grace, because my God has a face,

My God embraces me took on pain and suffering when he died for me and he is everything, he makes me complete, brings me safe through every day and as I pray to him tonight, I pray his light will shine so bright from within me so others can see that my God has a face, embraces our sinfulness, died to redeem us from our wickedness and I am blessed to be his witness.