Posts

Restoring The Flow

The Lord wants to bring a word of comfort and restoration today. He is restoring the flow of the oil of the Spirit.

Psalms 34:18 (NIV) The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

It seems almost daily that I am hearing about more people going through challenges in every possible area. Whether or not difficulties are increasing, I’m not sure – but the past few years have certainly been extremely tough for many.

Let’s get real. There are times as believers when we feel on fire, full of passion and life, and energised about God’s kingdom and His purposes. Then there are other seasons when we feel dry, discouraged or hurting. That abundant life can seem unattainable, and our joy can get squashed.

The wonderful news is that the same mighty God who rules with great power and justice also tenderly gathers up His family when they need care. I was recently drawn to this scripture in Isaiah:

Isaiah 42:3a (NIV) A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out.

This scripture gives us an image of a smouldering wick – an oil lamp in which only an ember or slight glow remains. The verse speaks of one whose zeal might be waning, yet it highlights the tenderness of Jesus, the Good Shepherd caring for His flock. Jesus does not cast aside those who are bruised or struggling. Our Father speaks to us as His loved children, those he cares for deeply.

The Lord gives us insight into His intention in the spiritual realm through what we can understand in the natural or physical realm. If we look at a candle, we tend to see the wick as the part that is burning. But in fact, it is the candle wax that provides the fuel. This is the same principle as an oil lamp. The wick is soaked in the oil, and as the oil draws up the wick, the oil burns at the end of the wick.

In an oil lamp, the wick can burn out too fast – because the wick itself is being used as fuel, rather than the oil. And if a wick is too long or too short, the flame will smoulder or go out. A poorly trimmed wick will result in a flame which is dim or smoky. A wick must be close to the oil and well soaked in order to burn. And of course, an oil lamp needs to regularly have the oil topped up.

The Lord is gently leading you today to lighten the load and to remain close to the source. God doesn’t need us trying to add more fuel in the natural. We don’t need to strive or do things by natural efforts – we need the Spirit of God to pour out fresh oil. Father wants to lead us to rivers of living water, that we would receive life for ourselves, and that we would overflow with that living water to others. He is restoring the flow.

Revelation 7:17 (NIV) For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”

John 7:38 (NIV) Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

If you are feeling bruised or broken, the Lord’s desire is to refresh you and strengthen you. For those of you who feel like your spiritual passion has been waning or your flame is smouldering, the Lord’s desire is to breathe new life into you. He has the power to restore the flow of oil and to rekindle your flame.

The Spirit of God is hovering over you, and His desire is to comfort you. The Lord is present to restore hope for your disappointments and hurts. The Father is here to remove guilt – for those who have been far away, as well as those who have been soaking in the oil yet wondering why you don’t feel connected to the Lord. The Spirit is present to breathe life and fresh oil into your reservoir.

When that wick is smouldering, there are two ways that ember can come back to flame. Firstly, some gentle blowing can bring that ember back to life. Take time to allow the wind of the Holy Spirit to refresh you and minister to you today. His breath gives life. Secondly, another source of flame can also help spark and nurture the fire. God created us for relationship, and there is a beautiful strengthening that occurs when another believer comes alongside us to encourage us, pray with us, and comfort us.

If you are feeling thirsty or dry, then the Lord has fresh rivers of living water for you. If you are feeling like you have been trying to constantly add more fuel, then Father invites you to soak in His presence and receive some fresh oil. And if you need someone to stand with you, then reach out for prayer and encouragement. The Holy Spirit is ready and waiting to restore the flow.

 


MORE BLOG POSTS

Discipleship

Discipleship is an essential part of being a follower of Christ. But what does it really look like to be a disciple – or to make disciples?

Matthew 4:18-20 (NIV) As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.

There is a call to be a disciple of Jesus before we are commissioned to make disciples.

  • “Come” – leave your position.
  • “Follow” – let me lead.
  • “Me” – shift your focus.

“Come follow me” is a calling out. “And I will send you out” is a calling out that results in a sending out. “To fish for people” is a calling out that results in a sending out on a spiritual mission.

To be a disciple is to be a student, a pupil, and a learner. You can’t be a disciple if you are not teachable. And you won’t be teachable if you think you know best. A disciple is marked by humility, surrender and discipline. Discipleship is not about life skills – it is about spiritual growth. So, how closely do you follow Jesus? How completely do you follow Jesus?

The call to be a disciple precedes the commission to make disciples. We must follow before we lead; and we must follow as we lead. The commission to make disciples will always be the result of the call to be a disciple. There comes a point in our spiritual journey that if we are not making disciples, then we are not being a disciple.

MAKING FRIENDS OR MAKING DISCIPLES?

God created us for relationship, and friendships are important. Yet within the Church, and within groups of believers, friendship can easily rise to the forefront of our focus and intention, and discipleship can get neglected or ignored. One of the main reasons that we may not be making disciples is that we focus too much on being liked.

If we are doing what God has commissioned us to do, not everyone will like us. We need to settle this issue. Have you read about the life of Jesus and the early apostles?! The world won’t always like us.

John 15:18-19 (NIV) If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

But Jesus likes you, and Jesus calls you friend! Jesus commissioned us to make disciples, and He chose us to go and bear fruit that will last. There are certain things that you won’t say or do if your primary focus is on making friends rather than making disciples. The moment we make it more about making friends than making disciples, we lose our way.

WHAT DOES MAKING DISCIPLES LOOK LIKE?

Making disciples is walking with people towards God. Making disciples involves corporate learning and private learning. Making disciples involves baptising people into the fullness of who God is.

Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV) Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Discipleship should explore the question, “Who do you say God is?” Discipleship involves talking about the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Making disciples includes teaching people to obey everything God has commanded.

  • Explore questions such as, “What has God said about…salvation, righteousness, sanctification, justification, atonement, forgiveness, grace, faith, love, purity, spiritual gifts, eternal life, etc.”
  • Look together at truth that matters from the Word of God, and look at present issues through the lens of what the Bible says, not through what other people are saying.

The primary commission of a godly leader is to make disciples, not to lead a department or to make decisions.

Discipleship means that every believer is:

  • Equipped to have a deepening relationship with the Father
  • Equipped to be a more accurate reflection of Jesus
  • Equipped to have a greater dependence on the Holy Spirit

WHO ARE YOU BEING DISCIPLED BY?

  • Being discipled is not vague, it is intentional and relational.
  • Discipleship means giving someone authority to speak into your life.
  • A disciple submits to their teacher’s authority, and receives insight, training, and correction from them. Submitting to authority is God’s protection in our lives – it helps us to see our blind spots, and therefore, helps us to walk in greater freedom. Submitting to authority guards against pride and helps us to walk in humility.

WHO ARE YOU DISCIPLING?

  • Discipling others takes time and intentionality.
  • Discipling others involves living a life worth following.
  • Discipling others involves speaking prophetically into God’s intention for them.
  • Discipling others involves direction and correction when necessary.
  • Discipling others is always fueled by love and by a holy sense of divine commission.

Imagine what the church globally would look like if every believer picked up the commission of discipleship! The Church is Jesus’ bride. We want to be prepared for the return of Jesus – and our role as believers and disciple makers is to prepare as many others as possible to live in the divine power of the Holy Spirit and to walk in spiritual authority.

REFLECTION:

What is the next step that Father wants you to take on your journey of being a disciple?

What is the next step that Father wants you to take on your journey of being a disciple maker?


HEAR STEVE SPEAK ON DISCIPLESHIP HERE.

Memorial Stones

Father gave me this word to bring to you:

‘Celebrate memories that will empower your future!’

Memories can either empower you or disempower you. They can either build your faith or destroy your faith. And the memories we carry into our future are the fruit of choice. That’s why it is vital to tomorrow’s success that we choose wisely which memories we starve and which memories we feed.

In Israel, God had his people erect memorial altars. These altars were to remind them, in days of challenge and overwhelming odds, that the God who had supernaturally intervened yesterday was still the God who could supernaturally intervene today and tomorrow. The same God who brought down the walls of Jericho.

Joshua 6:20

So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

This is one of the greatest miracles in the Bible! It’s a miracle that led to the Israelites going on to possess the land of promise. But it was so illogical, so unreasonable that it required such enormous trust, not only in God, but in that Joshua had heard from God!

Joshua 4:1-3

And it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over the Jordan, that the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying: “Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from every tribe, and command them, saying, ‘Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight.'”

Joshua 4:6-7

That this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”

The context of these memorial stones was a celebration of God’s divine intervention. A miraculous day which birthed a new era for God’s people finally possessing the land of promise. When the Israelites faith began to waver at Jericho, at the impossibility that God asked them to do, all they had to do was look at those memorial stones and know that ‘our God parted the river Jordan at flood time… these walls are coming down!’

Later, in their future conquests, when confronted by the united armies of five kings, all they had to do was look at those memorial stones – ‘Our God parted the river Jordan at flood time… these five Kings are going down!’

My friends, make today a memorial!

A memorial is for two purposes:

  1. A celebration of the past: gratitude and thanksgiving.
  2. A faith-building for the future: that infusion of courage when vitally needed!

The stones speak to us of memories.

Each one was taken from “the place where the priest’s feet stood firm”. In blind obedience to the word of the Lord, through Joshua, those priests stepped into a raging torrent of water at flood time… carrying the ark! Imagine the guys up front. It was an act of incredible courage. And it led to an amazing miracle. That’s what those stones of memory brought back into focus for decades and generations to come – they served a God of the miraculous!

Which brings us to today, a memorial.

When you look back on years of Father’s faithfulness and grace, for many there has been occasions when awesome, supernatural things have happened. But there have also been times when in the midst of impossibility, it required a standing firm. Times when everything around you screamed “IMPOSSIBLE!” This is a time to remember Ephesians 6:13: “having done all, to stand!”

Thank God for the mountains, but they are only made possible by the valleys.

Thank God for the victories, but they are only made possible by the battle.

Thank God for the miracles, but they are only made possible by the challenge.

In those times when nothing makes sense – stand firm. Those times when the loudness of the opposition seems to drown out that inner voice of peace. Those seasons when the breakthrough seems to linger, and linger, and linger. Those days when you must smile and minister to others despite desperately needing someone to minister to you… “having done all, to stand!”

In the middle of Jordan, stand firm and see the miracle of God!

We should all be celebrating the miracles of His grace that have triumphed to bring us to this day – those incredible memorial stones. As an individual, as a family, as a business, as a ministry, we should develop a culture of gratitude and worship, constantly acknowledging our Father’s amazing interventions. If we do not celebrate yesterday, we will not anticipate tomorrow!

Which brings me to tomorrow! The reason the Israelites crossed that Jordan was to possess the land that God had promised them. And I want to declare over you, that you stand poised to possess the land of promise. A place that, for generations to come, there will be the witness and demonstration that Jesus is alive and that He has a heart for your community and a heart for the world.

Joshua had to encourage himself for the battle by remembering those memorial stones. In the same way, you need to record and remind yourselves of the miracles of yesterday, so that your faith might soar to new heights as you embrace the challenges of faith, tomorrow!

It honours our Father when we experience the mountains and valleys, war and peace, and yet keep our integrity intact. Oh, how that causes the angels to sing and the demons to cringe. Above all, it represents Jesus to this world, and it positions you in the spirit world to carry the authority of the Christ into the days and years to come.

With much love,

David.

What Do You See

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we just leapt from one glorious mountain top to the next? Birds singing, sun shining, flower blossoms and the sweet smell of summer… Then you wake up!

The valley is real, the clouds are real, the birds sometimes just squawk, and you start to question the seemingly perpetual winter. So, how do you handle that? How did Paul honour God in the prison?

For me there are many keys, but today I wish to share one of them:

  • What fills your sight, fills your heart.
  • What fills your heart, determines your future!

The truth is that restrictions & darkness are God’s opportunities! So, the real question is not your circumstances, but what do you see? Are you looking through the eyes of your humanity or are you looking through eyes anointed by the eye-salve of heaven, the Holy Spirit? What do you see? What is it that fills your sight, your perception, your worldview, your focus, and your vision? It is what you see with your natural eye that will seek to intimidate you; but it is what you see with your spiritual eyes, anointed by the Holy Spirit, that will empower you!

You might say, “But David, we live in the midst of restriction and contradiction – that’s reality!” My friends, restriction and contradiction have never been able to restrain a God that can open prison doors and bring Lazarus out of the tomb. Restrictions and darkness are His opportunities!

My friends, it was in the darkness of Gethsemane and the cross that Jesus brought redemption to mankind. Why? Because of what He saw! His eyes were not fixed on the agony of the Cross, although He was acutely aware of it. His eyes were focused on the atonement of mankind.

Heb 12:2 (NKJV) looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

JESUS triumphed! Why? Because of what filled His sight. Jesus triumphed because of what He chose to focus on. He was not focused upon the rough sawn timbers nor the spikes in His hands, but He was focused on the hope set before Him. It was because of what He saw! Jesus never surrendered his spiritual authority for a single moment. The cross did not take His spirit, He offered it up when HE was good and ready!

The darkness of Satan’s intention has always provided our Father an opportunity to work miraculously for His own purpose. Right now, in the midst of your circumstances and the unrelenting barrage of news on your TV, what is it that you choose to focus on? Yes, that’s right! What we focus on is a choice! Satan may have his objective because he so hates mankind, but I assure you, GOD has HIS objective. Not only for the planet, but for you, for your family, and for your life! This is not a moment to be intimidated, this is a moment of potential destiny for you – if you can but see it!

My friends, the Bible is full of men and women who refused to be intimidated by their circumstances, and their courage was because of what they saw, that which they chose to focus upon.

DANIEL refused to obey a royal decree and continued to pray to God. It was in the darkness of the lion’s denthat Daniel was used to change the heart of a king and turn a nation to God. Why? Because of what he saw! His courage was because of that which filled his sight. He saw the supernatural capacity of his God to protect him and prevail over every opposition.

MOSES was confronted by the red sea in front and the Egyptian army behind, but he was not intimidated. Consequently, he walked in the authority of his God. An authority that could not be shaken!

JOSHUA was confronted by the impregnable fortress of Jericho, an impossible task, but he was not intimidated. Consequently, he walked in the authority of his God. An authority that could not be shaken!

DEBORAH had to accept the role in Israel of prophetess, judge, and warrior leader in a time of great oppression and evil against God’s people, but she was not intimidated. Consequently, she walked in the authority of her God, an authority that could not be shaken. She shattered the forces of hell and evil!

PAUL faced many persecutions. It was in the darkness of the storm and shipwreck that Paul brought redemption to Malta. Why? Because of what filled his sight! Not the rocks and the waves, but the unrelenting pursuit and intervention of God to keep him on assignment. Paul knew that God had a purpose for him, and that is what he chose to focus upon. Consequently, he walked in the authority of his God. An authority that could not be shaken!

JOHN WESLEY in the mid 1700’s, rode on horseback through sleet and ice in an English winter. He was violently opposed by churches and society at large, often isolated, abandoned by many members of his family, and without support of any kind. And yet he brought revival to England and the world. Why? Because he was not intimidated! The circumstances did not fill his sight, the greatness of his God and his commission filled his sight. That’s what he chose to focus on. Consequently, he walked in the authority of his God. An authority that could not be shaken!

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Because of the risen Christ, you and I now possess a spiritual authority that cannot be shaken. But we also must understand (see Hebrews chapter 12) that shaking and severe testing of that authority will come! The cross and the tomb were a reality.

Will the storms come? Yes! Will the shaking of opposition and circumstances come to us all? Yes. But we must settle the issue once and for all. We do not walk subject to human frailty and vulnerability, rather we walk under the divine command of a King who is absolute in His power. In the spirit world, right now, there is no dispute about the absolute power and ruling dominion of Jesus as absolute king.

Some of you right now, reading my words, need to identify those areas that have undermined your faith, shaken your convictions, or intimidated your decisions, or qualified your future expectations. You need to reach out and receive His divine grace, a fresh infilling of His divine power, a moment of truth and revelation, a re-alignment of thinking so that your anticipations come in line with His prophetic intention for your life, your vocation, and your calling. It can only come by the Holy Spirit.

Join with me and declare that you will embrace and obey everything that Father gives you to initiate! He wants to give you bold, faith-filled initiatives!!

“I walk under the divine command of Jesus, King of Kings!

And HIS authority, which now becomes MY authority, cannot be shaken!

I embrace decisions of faith!

I embrace future expectations of the miraculous!

I will not be intimidated!”

Love and God Bless,

David.

Watch a one-minute video from David: ‘What Do You See’.

Do Not Be Intimidated

My dear friends, what an incredible hour we live in! It is no exaggeration to say that the Church is now the last ray of hope for a planet that hell has decided to take over and control. And yet, when I listened to the voice of the Holy Spirit, I hear him thundering out the battle cry of God, “Do not be intimidated!”

I want to declare right at the beginning that at no time am I referring to people, politicians, or movements of any kind. I speak about a spiritual warfare!

Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

But in order to control this planet, Satan and his hordes must first intimidate its people into a conformity and submission to his own agenda. Satan cannot rule the minds of those he does not first intimidate! But the blood-bought, Holy Spirit empowered Church of royal sons and daughters now raises its voice to loudly declare, “We will not be intimidated!”

We speak it into the cosmos, we speak it into the heavens, we speak it into the unseen spirit-realm! “We will not be intimidated!” Why? Because Jesus has made us a promise:

John 14:27 (NKJV) “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

The dictionary tells us that ‘peace’ is “freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, intimidation or obsession; to be in a state of tranquillity; serenity, of mind.”

Take note of ‘freedom of the mind’. My friends, there is a spirit let loose in our planet right now that seeks to imprison the minds of God’s people. It seeks to rob us of our peace, our faith, our initiative, and our boldness of spirit.

You have to see what is behind it: Satan fears you! He fears the initiatives of faith and conquest that God is giving His people to possess in their vocations, their places of influence, their cities, and their nations. He fears the initiative of God in YOU!

And so, he has let loose the spirit of intimidation. Which he must first establish in order to impose a spirit of manipulation and control. Your spirit, your heart, cannot be manipulated and controlled unless you have first been intimidated. But Jesus has powerfully declared that we are not subject to that spirit.

John 8:36 (NKJV) Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Spiritual freedom is part of our inheritance as a believer.

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

The spirit of darkness speaks intimidation to you. But Jesus declares freedom to your spirit, to your heart, and to your mind! Tragically, many Christians today are being subtly affected in both the decisions that they are currently making and the vision that they are embracing for their future… the faith initiatives of tomorrow! Satan’s goal is to shut down your faith initiatives, your spirit of conquest, and the taking of new territory. But he must not succeed!

Let me give you some words that help identify that the spirit of intimidation is at work.

“However!” “But!” “If?” “Maybe?” The introduction of a question, “Has God really said?”

These four words try to qualify that which God has clearly told us to do.

The message I have been given to declare to you today, as a Prophet, is twofold:

  1. Do not be intimidated – in either your present decisions or your future vision.
  2. Realise that any shaking that God does allow, if correctly responded to, will always result in a greater spiritual authority, for the believer, for that church, than previously ever experienced.

Hebrews 12:28 (NKJV) Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

It is important to understand what this is saying. The Greek word for ‘kingdom’ is the word ‘basiliea’. Literally this means ‘the authority to rule over’. We need to be reminded of the incredible spiritual authority Jesus gave all those who are fully submitted to His own authority.

My friends, the kingdom of God has always, and will always, operate on a very simple principle: “The authority you are under determines the authority you carry”. Every demon of hell knows that!

  • Circumstances do not determine your spiritual authority! (your ‘kingdom’)
  • The opinions of others do not determine your spiritual authority!
  • The prevailing opposition against biblical truth does not determine your spiritual authority!

The kingdom of God CANNOT be shaken. Regularity of meetings for Christian activities may be shaken, perceptions of how we do church in any given season maybe shaken… but the kingdom of God (the authority of Jesus to rule over) can never be shaken!

And if we so choose to walk in daily submission to the lordship of Christ, we also carry an indestructible, undeniable authority that the vast bulk of Christians totally under-estimate.

The degree to which we carry that authority and exercise it effective is now, and will always be, determined by the degree to which we are fully submitted to the lordship of Christ and the truth of His unqualified Word. It is only as our decisions are an obedient extension of Father’s own will and purpose, that His authority is granted to us to execute that task!

But that kingdom authority itself cannot be shaken. We need to be reminded of this today!

The kingdom authority of God that we carry, is eternal, omnipresent, global, and it has existed from before the beginning of time and will continue beyond time as we know it. It emanates from the throne of heaven and fills our hearts by the Holy Spirit. It cannot be shaken! It’s the authority of God, it’s the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ that we carry!

My friends, under the authority of the King, arm yourselves with His written Word and stand tall in the authority He has given you.

 

Watch a four-minute video where David shares about An Indestructible Authority.

 

End Times

A Word About The End Times

People love to speculate on the End Times. I have heard many opinions from different people. Some have fought for the truth of their convictions, while others hazard a guess at what might possibly be. Many predicted dates for the End Times that have since come and gone… and we are still waiting.

Does God have anything definitive to say about the End Times? Is there a prophetic word of encouragement for us all today?

While having my own devotional time with God recently, I heard the Holy Spirit tell me to go to a certain scripture reference that I did not know by heart. In obedience, I turned to it and the following is where He led me. I believe it is God’s perspective for us about the End Times.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-2 NIV Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.

God’s word to you for the End Times is “Live ready!” God is not going to make the date of Jesus return clear to any person. It is a mystery and it will remain a mystery. Our responsibility is not to work out when, but to live ready now.

When Jesus says “Come” are you ready to go? Here are three things the Holy Spirit spoke to me. Each point is relevant for every person that wants to be ready when Jesus triumphantly returns as King of kings and Lord of lords.

  1. Live in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 1:8 is often quoted when it comes to receiving the Holy Spirit, and it is a very powerful verse. What is not often stated is the preceding verses which give the context to which Jesus spoke. Let’s take a look together.

Acts 1:6-8 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

The disciples of Jesus wanted insight into the Father’s timeline of when certain things would happen. Jesus response is to be our focus today. In effect He said, “Don’t focus on trying to work out when my Father will do what He said He would do. Rather, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and through Him, be my witnesses all around the world.”

The instruction hasn’t changed. We are all called to live full of the Holy Spirit and to be witnesses of who Jesus is. The Father will do what He said He will do and He will do it in His time, but this is not to be our focus.

  1. Live with your bags packed.

When we go away to another place where we are going to stay for a while, we pack a bag. In it we take what we need for where we are going. We don’t pack things that we need in our present location. We pack what we need for our intended destination.

This life is not our final destination. Yes, God provides for our needs here on the earth, but they are physical things that we cannot take with us. They are important in this moment, but they are not the most important.

The things of the Spirit and the things of the Kingdom are most important. Doing the will of our Father now is what we are to pack into our bags for our ultimate destination. Living for the glory of God now is an item worth packing for eternity. Passionately loving God and selflessly serving people will also travel well – we should most definitely pack these!

Here’s what the Bible says:

Matthew 6:19-21 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 16:24-27 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

Is your focus on accumulating what you want for here and now, or is it on having what you need for all eternity?

  1. Live with your affairs in order.

We are called to live right with God. We are also called to live right with people. One of the things that empower both of these principles is our commitment to keep short accounts. 1 Corinthians 13:5 tells us to ‘keep no record of wrongs’. When it comes to relationships, don’t put off until tomorrow what you should do today.

Ephesians 4:26-27 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

2 Corinthians 6:2 For he says, “In the time of my favour I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation.

We have today. In fact, the only guarantee we have is right now. Therefore, the focus of the One who holds the times in His hands and who knows the beginning and the end is for us to live ready now. Jesus is coming again – of that we have no doubt. When? Well, this is what Jesus said:

Matthew 24:36 But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Let God do what He said He will do, and let us do what He has called us to do. It’s time to live ready for the return of the King!

The Call of God

Don’t Postpone the Call of God

The call of God is anything God asks us to do; it’s God’s will.

There are general calls: come to the Father through Jesus, talk to God in prayer, discover God in His Word, love people like Jesus loves us, be gentle, patient and kind, be self-controlled, live life according to God’s Word etc.

Then there are specific calls: God may have asked you to go somewhere in particular, call someone to encourage them, forgive someone who has hurt you, or change careers. Father may call you to go to Bible school, lead a home group, get involved in youth ministry or children’s church, give a certain amount of money to a specific cause, stop something you have been doing for a while, or start something new.

Do you know what God has asked you to do? What is your commission? And are you postponing the call of God?

The word postpone means “to cause or arrange for something to take place at a later time than that first scheduled.” (Lexico online dictionary)

The first thing I notice is that when we postpone, there is an intention to do the thing which is asked or planned. Many people have the thought that they will do what God has said…but just not right now. There’s a thought of “I will do it…one day”. However, the longer we delay, the more likely we will disobey.

Why do we postpone what God asks us to do? Might I suggest that it’s because we don’t really trust Him. I’ve learnt that to know the Author is to trust the Author. God’s Word shows us that when God calls us, He enables us to fulfill that call. Therefore, I’ve learnt I can always trust Him!

GOD IS A GOOD GOD:

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

GOD IS A GOD OF INVITATION:

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery.

GOD IS ALWAYS WORKING FOR MY GOOD:

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.

The enemy tries to convince us that by postponing the call of God we are protecting ourselves from bad things. The truth is, when we delay obeying God’s will, we are keeping ourselves from God’s best. But we need to understand that obeying the call is not always easy.

God’s Will

God’s will comes at a cost – to God and to us

Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?

Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me.”

  • God’s will doesn’t come at a convenient time – to God and to us

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Luke 9:59-62 He said to another man, “Follow Me.” But He replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.” Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

  • God’s will in our lives will be contested

God’s will is contested through contradictions (Joseph and his God-given dream)

Genesis 45:5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.

God’s will is also contested through disappointments (Job lost almost everything)

Job 1:21 He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

I have a conviction that we cannot lose when we do God’s will at the time He asks us to do it.

On your way to discovering God’s specific will for your life, commit to being faithful with God’s written will which is found in His Word. We have a call to be about our Father’s business: “Not my will but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42) We also have a call to be a part of God’s family: “Our Father” (Matthew 6:9) We are adopted as sons and daughters, dearly loved children, friends of God.

The Lord speaks to us in the book of Jeremiah about His wonderful will for our lives. “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.”(Jeremiah 29:11) God’s will is always the best place for us. God will always bring His good work in us to completion. There comes a time when we must make God’s will and His call our first and greatest priority.

One Handful or Two

One Handful or Two

God asked me one day, “What do you have in your hand?” Not literally in my hand, but what was I juggling in my life? And when I answered the question honestly, I realised that it was not just one handful that I was carrying, but actually I had both hands full. And my hands were full to overflowing. I was so busy doing things for God that I had been distracted from chasing after God himself.

I have found myself at times chasing many things. And they may have been good things – related to family, ministry, or church life. But as a bit of an over-achiever, I can easily find myself with too much on my plate. I say yes out of enthusiasm to help others, which can result in feeling worn out or depleted.

Ecclesiastes 4:6 Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.

When I was younger, my Dad used to have a bit of fun when offering us certain foods – such as a slice of cake or slice of cheese. He would ask whether we wanted a one-handed slice or a two-handed slice. Of course, if my friends were around, they would always ask for a two-handed slice – it sounded like it was going to be so much bigger and so much better! But in fact, a two-handed slice was so thin and fragile that it needed to be held with both hands. It would crumble at a moment’s notice. The one-handed slice was the one you really wanted – it was thick and stable and easily held in one hand.

When both our hands are so full of stuff in our lives, it is like that two-handed slice. Life seems like it will be so much better when we have two hands full – but in fact, too much and our lives feel thin and as if things would easily crumble. We end up chasing after the wrong things, and it takes all of our energy to ensure that things don’t fall apart. But we don’t want to drop the ball or let people down, so we keep straining to juggle our many responsibilities. As a result, our life feels unstable and uncertain.

When I chase after many things that are not in God’s plan, I lose my tranquillity. I forfeit that inner state of being calm and settled. I end up toiling and working so hard I lose my joy. And if we are honest, amidst the many good things in our lives, we can end up a slave to what seem to be good things. But too many seemingly good things are not always right if they are not in God’s plan.

Matthew 6:33-34 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Jesus teaches us not to worry about tomorrow, and to seek Him first. God’s ways are always higher than our ways. If we stick to one handful of the things in life, we have the other hand free – to hold God’s hand. To allow Him to lead and guide us. To ensure that we have the margin and space in our day to hear His voice and be led by the Holy Spirit. With one hand full, our lives are stable and secure in Him. And with just one hand full, we also have the other hand free to help others along the way as He directs.

So, allow Father to speak into what you have in your hands. Don’t get caught up in meaningless toil – live your life with one handful, not two.

Philippians 1:6 (TLB) And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.

Humility and Righteousness

Humility and Righteousness

What is the connection between our humility and our righteousness? Let’s look at the life of Jesus.

Matthew 3:13-15  Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptised by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptised by You, and are You coming to me?” But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.

The Eternal Word and Son of God came to his natural cousin to be baptised. What a picture of humility!  John understandably kicked back against this because he knew that Jesus was far greater than who he was. John had received a revelation that his cousin was the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world. But Jesus knew that this was His Father’s will; that this needed to be done to fulfil all righteousness.

For each of us, humility declares “I am not good enough in and of myself. I need God.” For all of us, humility is an essential doorway to walk through and lifestyle to live if we are going to truly walk with God.

For Jesus, humility was a little different because He was good enough; He was sinless, and therefore, He was perfect. For Jesus, humility was putting aside His will, His desires and His rights for the sake of His Father’s will to be done. For us, this is also an essential element to humility; a submission of our will to our Father’s will. But how is humility connected to righteousness?

The word ‘righteousness’ means ‘a condition acceptable to God, the state of being as we ought to be’ (Strong’s g1343). Jesus knew that being baptised by His cousin John was His Father’s will. Therefore, submitting to His will and doing what His Father said was an expression of His righteousness.

Now let’s lean back into the fact that Jesus was baptised by His natural cousin, and combine it with the following statement by Jesus:

Mark 6:4 But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honour except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house.”

Jesus knew that people often miss God speaking and moving due to over-familiarity with the vessel through whom God is speaking and ministering. This happened continually with Jesus. And this is why it is so powerful that Jesus was baptised by His natural cousin John. Jesus saw John as His Father saw John, not just how His natural childhood experiences saw him. John also saw Jesus as He was, not just as His cousin. This shows the humility of John too.

Is there someone in your family or in your close friends that is Father’s intended vessel to speak to you and minister to you? Are you missing out on Father’s will because you see “them” as “just them”?

Humility is needed for all righteousness to be fulfilled in our lives. It was true of Jesus. It was true of John. It is true for all of us.

Woman with bible seeking God's revelation

Divine Revelation

Where do we get our interpretation of the Word of God from? Is it divine revelation, or is it our own opinions and ideas? It is important to have a correct definition of interpretation and to realign to what God authors.

“What is your interpretation of this verse?” to most people would mean “What do you think this verse means?”

But this is not what the word ‘interpretation’ means.

‘Interpretation’ from the Oxford Dictionary is defined as:

  • The action of explaining the meaning of something.
  • An explanation or way of explaining.
  • A stylistic representation of a creative work or dramatic role.

‘Interpretation’ from the Oxford Thesaurus is defined as:

  • ‘the interpretation and application of the Bible’s teaching’.
    • explanation, elucidation, expounding, exposition, explication, exegesis, clarification, definition
    • simplification

Other words we see are: ‘meaning, analysis, decoding, translation, transliteration, and paraphrase’.

Here is the bottom line truth about ‘interpretation’:

‘Interpretation’ is about ‘our explanation’, it is not about ‘out opinion’.

Let me put it this way: If it’s not accurate to the original intention, it’s not an interpretation, it’s a distortion!

2 Timothy 2:15 says, Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

We have substituted ‘Handle the Word of God correctly’ with ‘Interpret the Word of God as seems best to you’. Interpretation that comes from divine revelation is accurate because the Source is God. Interpretation that does not come from divine revelation is dangerous and erroneous because the source is us. We cannot handle the Word of God correctly outside of divine revelation from our Father in heaven. Our application is aligned to our interpretation, and this is why it must be founded in divine revelation.

We do what we believe, therefore, if our belief is incorrect, our doing will be incorrect. Trying to change what we do without changing what we believe will result in ongoing frustration and disappointment. True freedom is connected to right believing, and right believing is connected to divine revelation, not natural interpretation.

John 8:31-32 states, To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

I fear too many Christians are coming up with their version of truth, and it can never lead to lasting freedom. Only God’s version of the truth can result in true freedom.

We must seek the truth.

We must pursue the truth.

We must deeply desire the truth.

We must position ourselves to receive the truth.

God may say different things, to different people, from the same scripture, but He will never contradict Himself from the same scripture.

It’s time to know THE TRUTH and to get our interpretation from divine revelation.