If I am to be a slave let it be to the one who made me

God gives us free will.  We have choices and with God’s grace should choose wisely.  Whilst we are saved it doesn’t mean we are free to continue to sin (and actually, I am not sure why we would want to).  But so many Christians are not living the life God wants for them because they choose to abide in old sins or perhaps are too timid to step out of the shadow of sin into the light.  God did not give us a spirit of timidity, he wants us to be slaves to him, not to sin, and in choosing to serve the Lord, to in effect become his slave, we are actually choosing real freedom, no longer slaves but sons and daughters of the living God.  The key to true freedom is obedience.

Romans 6:15 – 16: What does all this mean? Does it mean we are free to sin, because we are ruled by God’s wonderful kindness and not by the Law? Certainly not! Don’t you know that you are slaves of anyone you obey? You can be slaves of sin and die, or you can be obedient slaves of God and be acceptable to him.

Joshua 24:15 – But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”

 PROUDLY ADDICTED

Proudly addicted to becoming stronger, to choosing more wisely, obsessively seeking the light, choosing to abide in him, if I am to be a slave let it be to the one who made me, the one who saved me, no longer a slave to fear, no longer a slave to the past, choosing to serve the Lord, refusing to hear the words of the enemy who wants only to destroy me, taking a step of faith, not knowing which way it will lead, but believing that God’s all over it, he’s planned it, he’s got it, as for me I will serve God faithfully, obedience written on my heart, set apart for greater things, daughter of the King of Kings.

Ask like you believe that he’s going to give

Was again reading the story of the loaves and fishes and reflecting on our God being one of abundance.  It follows on from yesterday’s Blog about our expectations being too small.

2 Corinthians 9:8 – And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work

We serve a God of abundance, and we should not forget that in our day to day life and our prayer life.  Ask big, ask from the heart, pray with trust and belief..

ASK BIG

Ask big, ask from the heart, for a start ask like you believe that he’s going to give, knowing that he wants us to live a life of joy and abundance, don’t be so reluctant to request a miracle, it’s not like he’s not capable, maybe it’s a faith issue, a matter of trusting that mustard seed, not being greedy just helping the needy, praying for the sick, the poor, asking God to change their lot, to give it all he’s got, don’t let your humanity cramp your style, ask God to go that extra mile, ask in faith, when you’re faced with a mountain to climb, God’s got you every time, this is the God of loaves and fishes, so be ambitious as you speak, don’t be weak or stick to what you’re comfortable with, God can do abundantly more than all you ask or imagine, suppose you really trusted his vision, suppose you understood your role in his mission, ask and you shall receive, have faith in God, trust and believe.

Not striving to reap but simply to sow,

I was thinking this morning about sharing our faith.  One comment I read earlier said:

“It was impossible to feed 5,000 until one shared the little he had. Without even realising it, Andrew’s faith had found the key to the storehouse of God’s ample supply for the needs of the day. What do I have a little bit of today?”

Sometimes we may feel pressured to share with others, it then becomes a kind of false scenario, me trying to tell you how great God is when you are sick of hearing about a God you don’t even believe in.  Sometimes sharing our faith is easy and God opens a really big, well sign-posted door.  Other times it’s about using our giftings from God, quietly influencing and impacting lives by the way we behave, react and share God’s love.  If we make an impact on all we meet God will use that, he will use other experiences in their lives too and eventually it may be that small act or another’s recognition of your faith that helps them turn to God.

Acts 13:15 – “If you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak.”

SHARING

Sharing, talking about or maybe just going about my faith in an honest way, providing friends with an easy camaraderie that provides times of naturally going deep, not striving to reap but simply to sow, to encourage others to grow, my personality is of value, my transformation a statement of your redeeming grace, a place to start the conversation, my obsession to take broken hearted smiles, human stresses and trials and drip feed in your love, a shower of blessings from my God above, gradually filling the void with perfect joy and peace, rubbing shoulders with friends who notice the crumbs and find their way to the plate, it’s never too late to demonstrate God’s outrageous qualities by being all he chose us to be, each of us blessed with a different personality, each of us a shining light and yes there are so many types of light there’s not one right or wrong way to be, just ask the Holy Spirit to be your guide, don’t try so hard, don’t force the chat, just give it to God and sit back and see how he makes a path in the wilderness, see how he gives you opportunities to address your friends and family, see how he uses your unique ability to share your hope with grace and humility.

He may be planning a hostile takeover

I was using the Lord’s Prayer as my basis for prayer this morning and when concentrating on the “lead us not into temptation” part, the verse from Corinthians came into my head that tells us God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.

Was interesting then that doing my daily reading they highlighted the verse before it, “So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall..”

1 Corinthians 10:11-13 -These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

If you take all that in the context that sometimes when we stand up for Jesus we are making ourselves more of a target for the enemy.  It is a fair warning, although I know I am strong in my faith I also know that Satan will use thoughts, the words of others or maybe the lack of words of others to try and upset me or tempt me and I have to keep my armour on at all times.  God is faithful and he will provide a way out, trust him on that.

LEAD ME NOT

Lead me not into temptation, may Satan’s lies get lost in translation, I have no hesitation in telling Satan his time is over, for I’m no pushover, he may be planning a hostile takeover, but I am covered by the blood of Jesus, resuscitated, brought back to life, this is my life, my choice, my voice and yes I rejoice at my God’s faith, Jesus already pleaded my case and I am not guilty, free and redeemed,  looked after, looked out for by my God and my friend.

It’s time I turned up the volume

Expect the unexpected.  That’s my covenant with God today.  When I pray I’m going all out to expect the unexpected, to return to a childlike state when it comes to my faith, to pray in thankfulness and trust, to request and expect miracles, to rise up, rise above and claim breakthrough after breakthrough.

Ephesians 3:20 – Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

2 Peter 1:3- His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence

Isaiah 61:1 – The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,

EXPECTATIONS

Expect the unexpected, the expected well that’s just the beginning it’s the unexpected that changes our lives, remain focused on God in prayer remembering that he has layer upon layer of gifts to lavish on us,  the first gift, well that was Jesus and look what he did, he died on a Cross, unexpected, Son of God who could have overpowered his guards and fled the scene, would you ever dream that he would allow himself to die for you, unexpected, and doesn’t that just illustrate the point, we are anointed to do God’s work, anointed to proclaim freedom and I am going to start dreaming big, believing in God’s covenant that he will do even more than we ask or imagine, so it’s time I turned up the volume and declared my faith in God, nothing too hard for him, nothing too demanding and I am demanding this of myself that I never ask for less than the best, I never rest in lukewarm prayer but that I am always there asking big, believing in God’s power and might, getting right to the point, claiming God’s promises for every situation, rocking the foundations, serving my Father in praise and adoration.

I know my time to dance is just around the corner

Our sermon this morning was about faith and the following verses were included.  It spoke volumes to me at the moment as I struggle in this storm of grief and I just realised that Jesus was in the boat with me if only I would keep my eyes fully focussed on him.

Matthew 8:23-27 – And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him.  And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.”  And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.  And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

I was also thinking about the shortest verse in the Bible, John 11:35.  Jesus wept, it doesn’t say Jesus cried, it says Jesus wept and to me that shows me that Jesus really knew the kind of grief I am feeling.  Thinking of that is a great comfort, Jesus knows what this feels like and he is totally in the boat with me.

IN THE BOAT

Jesus you are in the boat as I hold on during these storms, I keep my eyes on you, knowing that with you I am safe, I am secure and blessed, the storms may mess around with my head but the enemy’s lies, well they’re dead, they can’t touch me cos I am daughter of the living God, however hard he tries to pull me down he won’t remove this crown from my head as I wait to cast if before you in eternity, and I have a certainty that you understand the weeping and the tears, I know that this time of grief is something you relate to as you wept too, you wept in sorrow and anguish, grief something which you have felt and I believe as I grieve now you reach out and grasp my hand, you understand and demand nothing of me at this time, a time to mourn, I know my time to dance is just around the corner, living water wash over me, sustaining and restoring me, comforting and reassuring me, staying in the boat with me until I’m ready to be called out onto the sea.

He took me from that place of death

Just love reading Ephesians I think it’s the most inspirational book in the Bible for me.  I have just taken Ephesians 2 and interpreted it from my perspective in life.  Before I met Jesus I knew my life wasn’t complete but I don’t think I realised then that I was “dead” in my sins.  But now I am free I can look back and totally get it, wow praise God for the gift of faith he has given me.

Ephesians 2: 1-10 – As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

NO LONGER A FOLLOWER OF THE WORLD

A follower of the world, gratifying the craving of my flesh with impure thoughts, adulterated desires, I was dead, my prospects hopeless yet I didn’t notice as I followed the ways of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, he who delighted in my fall and like all those other sinners I was by nature deserving of God’s anger, like a dagger piercing my heart I start to see how my sin defined me until God who is rich in mercy forgave me, all this because of unconditional love, outrageous grace that saved me, raised up by a compassionate God, raised up with his own son and seated with him in heavenly places so that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, an expression of kindness, a healing of my blindness, he rose me up, took me from that place of death, rescued through grace, through faith given me as a gift by God who loves me, I cannot boast, I cannot claim that this was me, this was of God and for his glory, me, God’s handiwork, me, created by him to do good works, me, finally face to face with the plans he prepared in advance for me to do, alive with Christ, seated in heavenly realms, overwhelmed, a follower of Jesus, dead to my transgressions and my sins and now at last my life begins.