Hearts hardened, ears plugged, eyes shut

Before I spoke my testimony last night I was given a word by a friend who had been praying for me – it was really a picture that had come into his mind from Isaiah 6:6 of the burning coal being touched to the lips.  I felt anointed to speak for God after that and it was a great feeling.

After the testimony I was disappointed when one member of the congregation came to me and started talking about her gay friends who had faith.  She was telling me how it was good that God had told me this was his path for me but that God calls each of us differently, basically that they were happy to continue in their physical relationship as they felt this was God’s calling on them.

I was initially shocked, had she not heard what I was saying, after all sin is sin, it’s not like God picks and chooses who can carry out a sin and who can’t.

Today having read the whole of Isaiah 6 I see that God calls us to speak out, but it doesn’t necessarily mean people will listen to what we say.  But that is our calling and as soon as we say, here I am Lord, send me, then we are putting ourselves into God’s hands and are not to worry about the outcome, that is for God, we are simply his servants.

BURNING COALS

Burning coals, refiners fire, the touch of God which inspires us to share his word, to share our story, all aimed at bringing God the glory, my eyes unveiled to the truth, yet some listen carefully but don’t understand, some watch closely yet learn nothing, hearts hardened, ears plugged, eyes shut, how long oh Lord, how long before they see the way, how many days until they turn away from their sinful ways, how long before their ministry reflects your divinity, may your words work through me, may you set them free from the lies of the enemy, may they hear the truth and feel the love, may they know your perfect ways oh Lord, may they feed from your word, receive from the Spirit, may they receive your blessings as they work their way through it.

He breaks down city walls, smashes padlocks and kicks down doors

I have just got through Isaiah on my read the bible in 90 days challenge, wow some fantastic messages from God in Isaiah.  I have highlighted 3 verses below that really excite me in a way that says, what an awesome God we serve, if he is for me who or what can be against me?!

  • Isaiah 31:4 – This is what the LORD says to me: “As a lion growls, a great lion over its prey— and though a whole band of shepherds is called together against it, it is not frightened by their shouts or disturbed by their clamour— so the LORD Almighty will come down to do battle on Mount Zion and on its heights
  • Isaiah 45:2 – I will go before you and will level the mountains ; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron
  • Isaiah 51:15 – For I am the LORD your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the LORD Almighty is his name.

 BEFORE ME

My God goes before me, clearing and paving the road, stopping the flow of the river if I need to cross over, he breaks down city walls, smashes padlocks and kicks down doors, the Lion roars as he goes before me, the Lord of heaven’s armies leads me onwards and upwards so that I can be strong and courageous, I am his pride, his joy, he destroys my enemies, God fights for me, every chain shattered at my feet, my heartbeat calmed, no longer afraid or alarmed cos my God’s got this, my God fights for me, battles hidden from my sight, battles of light against the darkness, mighty warrior King of Kings the Lord Almighty is his name.

In reality God’s already fixing the issues

Even before I open my mouth in prayer God has heard me.  Even before I ask he is answering my prayers.

Isaiah 65:24: – Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.

I think for me this verse is the reason why I should pray.  Yes God has already set the ball rolling in answering our prayers because he knows we are going to pray, he has put the desire and the will in us to want to get involved, to intercede and he sees how we are changing as we grow in our walk with him.  God sees that we long to reflect him more, we long for change, long for God’s will to be done and that’s why we should pray even more.  I feel like when I pray I really connect with God and that’s how I will become more like him, more “holy” if you like, and when my prayers are fervent am I not reflecting God’s love for each and every situation and walking hand in hand with him?

A REMINDER

God’s reminder for us, before you even call out his name he will answer and while you are still engaging in prayer he has heard your words, he knows, and shows compassion in listening when in reality he’s already fixing the issues, resolving the problems, providing solutions, we call, he answers, our transformation begins in his presence, in essence we need to spend time on our knees to become connected to our resurrected Saviour, changing habits and behaviours so prayer becomes multi-layered, fervent cries of a loyal servant connecting with their Lord and Master, so pray in confidence knowing that God hears every word and is already in action, reacting to our interaction with love and compassion.

I desire that all the lives I touch may see the Glory of God reflected in me.

Isaiah 60: 1-4 – Arise, shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

We talked about the Magi this morning in church today, following the star, the bright light, they were not even sure what they were searching for but none the less the allure of that bright star, the promise of something special was enough for them to seek to learn more, to find out the truth behind that light.  So what does that mean for me? Looking at our reading which was from Isaiah 60 it really said to me – you can be that bright light, you can be the answer to someone’s question, you can help them find God even if they don’t know that it is God they are seeking.  WOW… what a role God has given us in this world.  We also talked about our hopes for 2016, one hope stands out for me, one answer to prayer would be for my partner to come to know God and I see that I am part of God’s plan for that to happen, I am to be the shining light, I am to be the star that guides her to God’s promise for her life, I don’t know how, she doesn’t even know yet that she is seeking God, but God will make a path, and God will provide I have hope and I trust in my God.

ARISE, SHINE

Arise, shine, let my light radiate for all to see, for the Glory of the Lord has risen to shine on me and through me, despite the darkness that surrounds us, dark times, gloom and despair, wars and terror the Lord is still there and his glory appears over me, people will be drawn to the light and to the brightness of my existence, get to your feet people of God and let everyone see you, let them see that the Glory of the Lord has set you free from captivity , the Lord has set you ablaze with his light and your highest calling in life is to share the love of Christ with those who don’t yet know him, our light has come and we are one with the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit living in me, and see, he is making all things new and when the time is right the Lord will make things happen, rest and trust him, trust the Lord your everlasting light who will reign forever and ever and let your light shine before others so that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven, I choose to share what he has given freely, I choose to show others the effects of Jesus living in me, I choose to shine in the darkness and I will become a crown of splendour in the Lord’s hand, a servant fulfilling my part in God’s almighty plans, I praise and worship God with all my being, I thank him for seeing potential in me, for lighting a fire of passion in me that inspires me to desire that all the lives I touch may see the Glory of God reflected in me.

Prepare for the Best

So it’s Christmas Day and feel a real desire to spend time in God’s presence today.  My reading this morning was Matthew 3 – John the Baptist prepares the way which also referenced Isaiah 40:3

 A voice of one calling in the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God

Was thinking about preparing a way for the Lord and really interpreted it my way which is what can I do to prepare others for God, for his word and his presence in their life and it seems allowing Jesus to flood me with the best and the Holy Spirit to dwell in me is how I will be transformed and my transformation will enable me to witness to others, a real and true witness, actions and deeds changed, my life revolutionised.  I desire this so much, I know I have some way to go to change thought patterns and behaviour patterns but feel today that God is showing me that it will happen, he is working in me all the time and the more time I spend with him, the greater the work he can do in me and the quicker my transformation will be.

Happy Christmas!

Ask the Holy Spirit to prepare us for the best

Just as John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus we too can ask the Holy Spirit to prepare us for the best and it seems relevant on Christmas Day to recognise that the greatest gift we can claim, even greater than the baby who came to save us, is the presence of God himself in us, taking the promise of Emmanuel, God with us and recognising that John the Baptist invited us not to be religious but to be totally and utterly transformed, repent, turn around, revolutionise your heart, thoughts and choices, turn away from ungodly thoughts and patterns of behaviour, for the Saviour who is Christ the Lord wants you to become a world changer, experience a transformed life, God is with you, God lives in you, he has prepared a path for you, Lord change me from the inside out, may I not seek to conform to the patterns of this world for I am transformed by your death on the Cross and I repent, I know that the Kingdom of heaven is near, I repent and have no need to fear, for as I received the baptism of water so then I received the baptism of fire so here’s the question, do you desire God’s presence?  Do you want Emmanuel, God to be with you, if you do invite the fire of his Spirit to blaze in your heart as you celebrate Jesus’s birth, Jesus who comes with the Holy Spirit and with fire, oh Holy child of Bethlehem make straight our paths we pray, use today as a time of transition to create a transformation in us, may we come to the end of self, stop interfering with your work, stop following the crowd, step out of the mold, may we long for so much more and may our trust be in the Lord who owns the skies yet still wants our hearts and let’s face it we’ll never influence the world by trying to be like it, as we are made new our very character changes and we do not want to go backwards in our story, so this Christmas and for ever more may we be constantly changing, transformed by your presence and glory

Yes life sucks at times, but God’s gonna bless you

Had enough of my own self-pity and anger, really maddening that I lacked self-control and lashed out at myself yesterday, yet God is still there, he hasn’t left me, he hasn’t abandoned me.  In fact he used my friends to uplift me without them even knowing quite how much I needed it, some messages this morning have been so welcome and I know God given so praise God for his amazing grace and love, how blessed am I that even when I get it so wrong, he still reaches out his hand to me, wraps his arms around me and forgives me.

Isaiah 61:7 – Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion,and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance.  And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.

NOT FAIR?

Life’s not fair….OK so that’s a fact, in fact something we all say pretty much every day but why should we moan and groan, why not take ownership, change the record, change the attitude, yes life’s not fair, yes life sucks at times, but God’s gonna bless you because of your suffering and shame, he puts his name on it, he claims it and takes it away, God is faithful forever not just for one day, rise up out of the ashes, put on a new attitude and you know what, not only will he bring you out but he will give you a double portion, double what you had before, double the blessings, double the joy, let your hope make you glad , remain patient, pray without ceasing, rejoice in your lot, rejoice in your life and if life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life you have a thousand reasons to smile, oh Lord hear my cry, restore the joy of your salvation to me and provide me with a spirit of willing obedience, I know that the Lord longs to be Gracious and show his compassion, stop looking for a way out of each and every situation, just look to Jesus to bring you through it, if you stumble get back up don’t quit, self-control is the key to it, one of God’s gifts to us, grace means that all of your mistakes now serve a purpose instead of serving shame, God has already written the next page, trust and obey you are an overcomer, you will overcome by the blood of the Lamb so no more slamming your fist in frustration at a life of stagnation replace this by raising your arms in praise and adoration to our God and King for praise brings fruitfulness in all things.

His love for you isn’t optional

Suppose as we get closer to Christmas it’s inevitable that we will reflect more on the “story” and today I was looking at Isaiah and thinking about what his words really mean for me, and also just thought how awesome that this Prophet foretold so accurately of Jesus birth

Isaiah 7:14 – Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Isaiah 9:6 – For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this

WONDERFUL COUNSELLOR

The perfect gift from our loving father, not a baby born to be king, but a king born as a baby already set to change the course of history, his story written by his Loving Father, his role, to die on a cross, not just to die but he would be crucified his perfect life sacrificed for me.  Yes, simply stated it’s not complicated, he was born in a stable, grew up as a child of Mary and Joseph yet inherently knew that he had another Father who he would rather spend time with, he yearned to learn all that he could, read the scriptures, hung out at the temple, spent plenty of time in communication with his Father God our heavenly creator, he talked to the people, chose his disciples, these were people who he would lay down his life for, he treasured them, taught them, took them under his wing so when his time here on earth was over they would take over and share the good news, just as the prophets had done in the past the good news of God’s love would last through generation to generation, and as it was stated by Isaiah hundreds of years in the past a child was born, a son was given and now he is risen.  Not any child, not any son, the son of God, wonderful counsellor, and so we should be in awe, wonderful, his acts of love incomprehensible, incredible, beyond human understanding and he is a counsellor, a wise King wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom, so we can trust him to listen to our problems, he guides us in the right direction, wonderful counsellor, love in perfection and all this affection coming from a Mighty God, all powerful, a force to be reckoned with, our everlasting Father, his love is limitless, endless, his parenthood perfect and he is the Prince of Peace, his sacrifice permitting us to have a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit who fills our lives with love, joy and peace, an inner tranquillity living in me, a peace that surpasses all understanding, is non demanding and yet commanding, not the absence of troubles but the presence of God the author of my peace, and so you have it,  the virgin Mary conceived, gave birth to a son who will be the Saviour of all humanity, Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, God is with me and I am going to be with him for all eternity because he gladly gave up his heavenly throne to make himself known, to become accessible and so that we could see that with God all things are possible, his love for you isn’t optional, receiving his love, well that’s your choice, his gift given freely cos he really wants you to have the best, his counsel, his might, his peace and his parenthood all earnt for you on that Cross of wood.