Why are we falling into Satan’s trap, I can’t do this, I can’t say that

Frustrated is a word I would use for my emotions today and this is all borne out of my own issues with struggling to understand Christians who seem to lack an external passion for God.  Now I’m really trying not to sound judgmental and I have been talking to God about this and repented of my feelings this morning.  What I am saying below is just a word maybe of encouragement to not wait, because we all know tomorrow never comes.  It’s good that we’re all different, if the world was full of people like me I hazard a guess it would be chaotic, however I know that God can use every single one of us right how we are now, if we just ask him to use us.

  • Matthew 5:15 – Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
  • Matthew 5:16 – In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
  • Matthew 28:19 – Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
  • Romans 10:14-15 – How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”

BORN TO BREATHE FIRE

Born to breathe fire, born to fly, not born to sit back and take it easy, born to live, born to give, chosen, anointed, designed for success, it’s less about you and more about God, giving him the glory as you work out your story, don’t look back, don’t lack ambition, God is with you in each situation, no fear, no anxiety, hasn’t he told us that he is trustworthy, give it to him, give him your worries, relax your grip, don’t flip out, don’t scream and shout, give them to God, it’s really not hard, what are you scared of, why all the angst, think about that while you stop and give thanks, anxiety, a human emotion of which God has spoken, do not be afraid, why don’t you hear him, what part of his words are unclear, he longs for you to give him your fears, step up to the plate before it’s too late and you wonder why life’s passed you by, we have a calling, we have good news, why are we falling into Satan’s trap, I can’t do this, I can’t say that, stand up, take a bow and tell others of your love for God right now, share what he’s done for you, share how he loves you, will you take the first step, please let it be so?

They probably don’t even recognise the sin that they’re entangled in

Was reading Mark today and Mark 1:3 jumped out at me

– The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord,

Since becoming a Christian I increasingly notice two distinct circles that I walk in, my church family and friends and then my non-Christian friends.  Sometimes I will say something to a non-Christian friend and it feels like I have said something very strange or odd which they don’t want to talk about.  At first I would not continue but now I feel increasingly that these conversations are often led by the Holy Spirit and we need to be open.  After all who else is going to tell them the great news, if I don’t then maybe no one will.

VOICE IN WILDERNESS

Do you ever feel like that voice in the wilderness, when you talk about Jesus do your friends look at you a bit gone out, like you’re losing the plot, I urge you don’t let that put you off, OK so they may scoff (and they may not) sometimes we feel like we’re a lone voice, but surely you will stand up for your beliefs even if it means standing alone, taking the narrow road, not following the path of least resistance but becoming persistent in our mission to share God’s vision, to share his love, to share the message that has power to change, the power to bless, it is not the healthy who need a doctor it is the sick, not those who are already saved but those who are enslaved to sin and this is the thing they probably don’t even recognise the sin that they’re entangled in, the behaviour that strangles their freedom, they don’t know about God’s heavenly Kingdom and whose job do you actually think it is to tell them about Jesus, to show them what you believe, don’t leave it to chance, don’t leave it to others, stand up for your God, don’t deny him, stand up for you God, magnify him, glorify him through your actions, don’t let the silent assassin get his way with your family and friends, their life depends on your choice, their life could change because you used your voice, rejoice freely, love deeply and witness intentionally.

Let our lives showcase the faith we have in Jesus

2 Corinthians 9:22-23 – …..I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.  I do all this for the sake of the gospel that I may share in its blessings.

Been thinking about how we witness and to be honest there are so many opportunities daily that we probably just let pass us by.  Witnessing isn’t just about evangelising or talking directly to someone about God, it’s so much more.  In Corinthians It says “by all possible means”.  To me that could be through our behaviour, through one random act of kindness, through how we talk to someone, walk away from gossip or non-Christian conversations, what we post on social media and what we don’t post, making ourselves stand out for all the right reasons so on the day one of our friends really hits rock bottom they know who they can turn to, or when they need someone to confide in someone they know who they can rely on they know where we are.  That then paves the way for further witness.  Of course when the obvious God given opportunities arise to offer to pray for someone we should not be shy in coming forward, let’s win some people for his Kingdom.

WITNESSING

Witnessing, bringing God’s love to every situation in every location by all possible means, I mean it’s not about forcing the gospel on those unable to interpret its relevance to their predicament, but through love and persistence trickling the message of the gospel into their hearts, standing apart from the crowd, the message becoming louder as our lives showcase the faith we have in Jesus, as our behaviour mirrors that of our Saviour as his love shines through our actions, our satisfaction seen as desirable, as God turns around the impossible we can show others that his love is unstoppable, unchangeable and whatever label they put on their lives it’s nothing he cannot forgive, nothing he hasn’t already forgiven and through us being so committed our witness will speak for itself, share in the blessing of the gospel, become a modern day apostle.

What good am I if I cannot distinguish Satan’s lies from God’s truth?

I was reading the story of Joseph this morning and it came to mind that it could have been such a different story had he not been “strong and courageous”.  This is a recurring theme for me at the moment probably to do with some of the challenging stuff I am reading and watching, but also I feel probably a natural progression in my walk with Jesus.  If Joseph had not been courageous in speaking out in prison or in interpreting Pharaohs dream or even as a young boy speaking out to his brothers he may never have found himself in the position he did where he was able to carry out God’s will from a position of authority.  I also read the following in Joshua 1:6-9

  • Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

So it’s not just about having strength and courage but also to be obedient which means knowing God’s word, or how else can we be obedient to it, meditating on it, thinking it through and then we will be prosperous and successful.  And I don’t red that prosperous as a financial prosperity but being prosperous in our gifts from God, from receiving his love and blessing in every aspect of our lives.

HOLD ON TIGHT

Be bold, be strong, hold on tight cos it’s going to be a bit of a ride but God never lied, when he said, be strong, be courageous he was talking to us, and in a way that paves the way for us to see that he never said it would be easy, courage a necessity to fight the enemy, boldness required to spread the fire that burns inside of me, but all will be in vain if I fail to know God’s word, if I haven’t heard of all his promises, haven’t understood all that Jesus did, what good am I if I cannot distinguish Satan’s lies from God’s truth, or fail to hear the still small voice of God within because I am not tuned in to all he has to say, see like a sheep I need to know my shepherd’s voice, I have a choice and I choose to run with God, co-labour in his workplace, I choose to seek to see his face and I long to be strong for God, I long to spread the joy that I enjoy, I yearn to speak out loud , to lift black clouds, see people healed, for God’s love and grace in me should never be concealed.

A fearless testifier of his desire to save all nations

I read some wise words this morning that spoke to me:

“We need to know and understand the people we want to witness to, in order to be sensitive and appropriate to their world view and needs”

I think this is so true.  In many ways we can and should be a witness to anyone we meet however are we more effective when we witness to people we empathise with or we understand better?  Are we more effective when witnessing to friends and family or work colleagues than to strangers?  And are we called to witness to people who have a similar background to us, maybe we knew them before we became Christians or maybe it’s a “group” that we relate to, so for me it feels like one group I relate well to is “Prodigals” those who grew up in Christian homes then turned away from God.

Sometimes (quite often!) we need to be bold when witnessing and often we can be fearful of the reaction we will get and how we may answer questions or criticism.  But the Bible makes it clear we should not worry because God himself will give you words and wisdom than none of your enemies can resist or contradict. How awesome is this verse?

Luke 21:13 – 15 – And so you will bear testimony to me. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.  For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.

WORDS AND WISDOM

Do not worry, don’t be anxious about how to handle reactions you think will be fractious, make up your mind to only find good in your witness, accept your fitness to serve God as a fearless testifier of his desire to save all nations, approach your task with elation, joy overflowing cos you are showing others what love looks like, striking at the heart of the matter so maintain your swagger you are the child of a King, stirring up passion so that others can cash in on God’s amazing gifts, lifting up God’s name, increasing his fame, igniting flames of power and glory, sharing your story, your testimony a light in the darkness breaking through to burdened hearts, reaching parts that others cannot reach, breaching the barriers as carriers of God’s great message, a vessel for God who will give you the words and the wisdom that can never ever be contradicted.

Even the tiniest light can dispel darkness

Was led to this verse in Matthew before I went to church this morning and a quote by CS Lewis – “Don’t shine so that others can see you.  Shine so that through you others can see HIM”

Matthew 5:16 – In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Isaiah 60:1 -Arise, shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.

Yes to God be all the Glory, whilst we can shine in our lives shining for him that’s what it’s all about, shining for Jesus and bringing others closer to him by our witness. Interestingly I was approached in church by a lady who heard me speak last week, she thinks I  have the makings of an Evangelist and now that’s the second time this has been mentioned to me …mmm perhaps God is telling me something!  We prayed after church for someone to come alongside me to help me see how that could happen and now I leave that in God’s hands but you know what God if that’s what you want “bring it on, I’m willing (not sure I’m ready but I am willing!)

LIGHT

Let there be light… no matter how dark it seems even the tiniest light can dispel darkness so I’ve got to let my light keep shining, nothing can dim the light that shines from within me,  let it shine so brightly that it leads others out of darkness into the light, yes Jesus your light shining through me like sunshine, let it be a source of strength and courage, of wisdom and love, I was born to shine, you chose me, destined me to be filled with your Spirit and love, I arise, I shine, for my light has come and the glory of the Lord is upon me, all the glory is yours Lord, all glory and power to my Father in heaven, all praise and worship to the Lord who is risen, no longer prisoners of the darkness your light reflects before all others and glorifies our loving Father for ever and ever AMEN

Have you seen my crown of beauty?

How amazing to think that God has anointed us but also a great responsibility.  We have a message for the world and we should not shy from delivering the message at every possible opportunity, that’s what I aim to do every day yet sometimes it is hard to seize the opportunities and I resolve to try harder to seek out opportunities to witness for God.

Isaiah 61 – the year of the Lord’s Favour

BLESSED

I am anointed for God’s favour cos I have a message the world needs to hear, a message that speaks to all, that drives out fear, hearts may ache but God brings joy, good news for the poor, freedom from earthly anxieties and needs, comfort for the bereaved, a release from darkness into light, God fights for us, we just need to be still and allow his will to be done, God turns the bitter into sweet, only my God can bring beauty from ashes, have you seen my crown of beauty?  Have you heard what he did for me? Jesus set me free from so much trash, he took the ashes of my life, shone his light into all the dark places, his grace is enough, enough to wipe your slate clean, I mean the whole thing, delivering me from what I’ve done and what others have done to me, he will restore, rebuild and renew every part of me, I will be as a mighty oak tree displaying his splendour, praise replacing sadness, gladness overflowing from every part of my being, I own nothing yet I have everything, instead of my shame I proclaim God’s mercy and love, receive double the blessings and eternal joy, all who see me will know that I have grown, I am a new creation and the elation I feel in my heart cannot be held down, I are blessed, clothed with salvation, dressed to impress with robes of righteousness, I have been planted for God’s glory and God will use my story to illustrate his healing power, his mercy and grace, his favour is on me and I am blessed.