Uninvited: Lysa TerKeurst

I’m just going to get to the point.. This has been one of the best booked that I have read for a long time…

Possibly due to the time of life that I am currently in (Recovery and Healing).. and maybe just because it’s just a very well written book. She has a very personable tone to her writing that makes you feel like one of her sisters or a close friend. She remains warm and welcoming in each of her chapters.

The book takes you through how she has managed and dealt with different aspects of rejection stemming from the absence of father as a child, friends, colleagues, loved ones and heartbreak. Each of these experiences she has walked through and she takes her reader through them in such a real way – literally inviting you walk through it with her. She then stops to invite you to a better way of viewing rejection.

Many of us resist the opportunity and chance of rejection by living in isolation, but all that really does is frustrate and lock the call of God on our lives. Lysa makes it clear that rejection is something that we all must face in life, however our perception and mindset is so important in how we respond to it. She invites you to reinforce your truth and foundations of your belief so that when rejection comes you are not shaken by it but can actually be built by it.

In previous blogs I have talked about the importance of what you hold true and this book reinforce that for me. It is really important that you are aware of what you hold true, what you consider fact and how you allow those things to govern your life. She touches on the effects of “Stinking Thinking” and how the contents of the heart can impact your life.

My key take away from this book: God is Good, God is Good to me, and God is Good at being God. This statement really stood out to me. It really challenged and questioned if I really trusted God to be God. If I did, truth is, I would worry a lot less about the future because God is good to me, and He is very good at doing His job at being God.

A really good book for those who are struggling processing rejection, feeling left out and feeling unloved. Something most encounter at some point. It also support those who’s faith has been shaken by repeated encounters with rejection. Helping us understand that God does not have it out for us and is not trying to take us out, rather refining us because He is looking for pure gold. He has an aim to present us back to Himself without spot and without wrinkle. He loves you – dearly – genuinely and uniquely. It is a really supporting read for healing of our thought processes when dealing with rejection.

Highly Recommended ..

Uninvited

 

 

Strength of your Heart

Wait on the LORD. Be courageous, and he will strengthen your heart. Wait on the LORD! Psalm 27:14

During morning devotion – and no – that doesn’t mean I was sat on a beach front, watching the sunrise winging on a hammock in blissful silence. . . More like sat at my desk, in front of half eaten breakfast taking the few minutes I had between my 7 year old asking me to locate his left shoe, my 12 year old needing to be reminded to use deodorant today and me remembering to pack my lunch.. that I was caught by the scripture. 

You know when you are sat minding your own business and all of a sudden there is a flurry of activity and its like someone hit the download button and all of a sudden there is a surge of information and encouragement. Scriptures are just flying through your head, thoughts are being lined up that are then being layered up with more scriptures.. You don’t.. well I don’t.. even know where the scriptures are taken from but they are coming thick and fast. Almost like the Clark Kent to Superman transformation in a phone box. Often times I don’t even know what to write on which is why I have pens and post-it notes all over my home.. these moments of inspiration just take off and I need to be able to write them down as they come.. I don’t want to miss a single crumb..

So this particular morning, back to the half eaten breakfast – I hear “Wait on the Lord.. Be of good courage, and He will strengthen your heart. Wait I say on the Lord”. I asked myself one question.. – Why, when I am waiting would my heart need strength? Why would it be promised that in my time of waiting that God would be the one to strengthen my heart while I am waiting?

I was reminded of Proverbs 13:12 that states that “Hope deferred, makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life“.

There is something somewhat sickening about waiting..There – I said it.

There is just something about waiting that is unsettling when it has been going on for some while. The proverb suggests that your heart becomes sick when something you have hoped for is delayed, and this is fact. Whether you are waiting for a bus, a delivery, or the microwave – something happens to our hearts in the state of delayed expectations. A strange mix of anxiety and confusion takes us. We know something should be happening about now, we are looking for it, listening out for it, but it’s not turned up. Then here comes the questions – Why has it not turned up? Where is it? When is it coming? How much longer will I be without? what’s going on?

All these are valid questions when waiting, however, after having asked yourself the same question for 5 minutes, 5 days, 5 weeks, maybe 5 months, or the last 5 years, for some decades..(you get the picture) – something happens – literally – something damaging starts to happen. The questions that were once logical and rational have morphed into swards of furry that poke holes in our once whole and sound heart. Turning joyful hope into a toxic slurry of confusion and doubt if we are not careful. Having waited “too long” our heart has become sick..

broken heart.PNG

Proverbs 4:23 states this: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it“. When your heart has become sick – believe me – its evident in almost every area of your life. Jesus while talking to a group of Pharisees notes that “..out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks..”(Mthw 12:34). Our heart and its contents are directly linked to what we do and what we say. A sick heart can lead us to do and say some out of Christlike-Character things.. Proverbs 15:13 tells us “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit”..

heart and mind

And this is why our heart needs strengthening – and reinforcing while we are waiting. God in His wisdom lets us know that if we can do the waiting – He will do the strengthening. This is His promise to us. He is well aware of the potentially effects of waiting for a promise given. He knows we have the tendency to become impatient and flustered and loose hope while waiting. Doubt is both toxic and hazardous in the life of the believer. As is fear – and guaranteed where you find one.. the other wont be far behind.

We owe it to ourselves to check the content of our heart and mouth in relation to things we are still waiting on God for. Have we started speaking negatively about that deferred hope? Have we sided with doubt and decided that maybe God cant? Or maybe you haven’t taken it as far as God can’t.. because that would be unheard of to find something God cant do.. so that cant be it – maybe we have consoled ourselves with the thought that God simply wont..we’ve sold our hopes because they cause us too much pain to bear. I dare not get my hopes up..

I’ll share a thought process I had concerning a wait of mines .. “I can’t, in fact I refuse to go to another wedding without a husband of my own…At LEAST a boyfriend.. and dare anyone ask me to be a bridesmaid… again.. in fact, please don’t even invite me to the wedding.. I don’t really want to know – I just can’t. I don’t want to hear how you wasn’t even looking for a husband .. “but look what the Lord did”…. No .. I’m not shouting with you, put down my tambourine and go away please.. and thank you.. #truestory .. one I’m sure a few of you can relate to. My heart had become so toxic in the season of waiting that I found it difficult to honestly (the key word there) and genuinely celebrate others who had received the answer to MY prayer…  err – excuse me!! – Anyways.. we thank God for deliverance.. I’m still single, but my heart isn’t toxic about it.. !

Now, He didn’t promise to speed things up, or put an automatic end out our wait. That wasn’t the promise. He promises to give us the ability to endure. Not something we do ourselves – something He says that He will take care of. However, should we become weary in the waiting – trust me – it happens.. Psalm 147:3 reminds us that He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”.

You’ve still got to wait though. I know.. hardly the happy ending you were looking for – but know that God has prepared strength for you in His presence and His word that will strengthen and reinforce your heart while you are waiting. Even if doubt turns up with it’s BFF fear – God has the remedy for both of those.. and its usually wrapped in the demonstration of His love towards us.

Wait on the Lord.. Be of good courage .. and HE WILL strengthen your heart. Wait I say on the Lord..

Until next time..

 

 

Battlefield Of The Mind – Joyce Meyer

 

So this is the first of many book reviews that I will be writing.

I have been reading a lot lately – but let me make this clear, there is nothing with as much impact and informational effect as the word of God. While all these books I read and review are good and supporting to ones life, I am a witness to the life changing power of the undiluted word of God.

Battle Field Of The Mind – Winning The Battle Of The Mind – Joyce Meyer

The Author:

Joyce Meyer is one of the world’s leading practical Bible teachers. A New York Times bestselling author, her books have helped millions of people find hope and restoration through Jesus Christ. Joyce Meyer writes having suffered sexual abuse as a child and the pain of an emotionally abusive first marriage, Joyce discovered the freedom to live victoriously by applying God’s Word to her life and in turn desires to help others do the same. She also survived her battle with breast cancer and she speaks openly and practically about her experiences so others can apply what she has learned to their lives.

Why I Picked It Up:

I have recent begun listening to Joyce Meyer’s podcasts in the morning and I have really taken to her style of speech and ability to just say what needs to be said without the hype. I was listening to a podcast about emotional health and I related to some of the experiences that she shared from her own life. Something that struck out for me was a point of having emotional balance. Something I have been looking for.

Often times our feelings and indeed our emotions have way too much control of our lives. This seeps into our decision making, our reactions, our character all based on something as changeable as our emotions. I was encouraged to establish a base line to my mind. This baseline was rooted and grounded in the word of God. One that says irrespective of what’s going on, who loves me, who stays, who leaves, whats in the bank – my joy isn’t in these things but in God. I can hold my head up high every day because God’s word is settled – His view of me is set – His love for me is everlasting. I have hope, I am blessed, I am loved and these are FACT! Everything else is changeable – if you ground yourself in moving objects you will fall .. painfully and will spend a lot of time chasing after fluctuating images and feelings..

This book reminds you of the power that you have to act on the word of God and take charge over your mind. The devil is after your mind – he knows that if he can take your mind captive he can stop you from believing in God and having faith in His word, and we know from Hebrews 11:6 it is impossible to please God without faith.

Consider this. Romans 10:17 states that Faith comes by Hearing, and Hearing by the word of God. How many times have we sat in a service, or even been home “reading” the bible. And due to the volume of things going on in your mind you haven’t seen or heard a thing that you are listening to or reading. How many times have you come to the end of a chapter and thought.. I have no clue what I just read. The devil knows that if he can stop the word of God getting into your spirit – which works via your soul and is expressed in your actions he has won half the battle. The seed cant take root if it does not get the chance or even the time to take root. (Reed Matthew 13). The devil knows the power of the word of God and the power just a little bit of it can have.

Daniel 7:25 exposes a plan of the wicked one – “to wear out the saints”. How often do things disturb your peace to the point where even after a full nights sleep you do not feel rested. Your mind is non stop with worry, fear, distress, fuss, wondering about this and wandering around in that – no peace, unsettled..the battle is in the mind. Even your prayer life is consumed with complaints and personal stress to the point where you cant even weep for the nations because your mind is taken over with cares – when 1 Peter 5:7 says we should cast our cares on Him because He cares for us, and Psalm 55:22 says that if we cast our cares on Him that He will sustain us… but oh what peace we often forfeit and what needless pains we bear.

Joyce Meyer encourages us to be mindful of the things that are in our mind.. not everything that is found wondering around in there a) belongs there and b) deserves to stay. She reminds us that we have the power to do exactly what 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us: “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”

This basically means that we have the power to control the contents of our mind. We have the right to question the motive of these thoughts – where did you come from? What is your business here? Do you mean me any good? Are you aligned with the Word Of God..? and if the answers are not good.. you have the right to cast it down and bring it into captivity. I have a whooooooole post on this one scripture – last year this scripture literally saved my life having been tormented by what I THOUGHT were my own thoughts… but the devil IS a liar..!

Who Is This Book For:

If you have ever felt as though your emotions and your thoughts seem to have too much control of your life.While we need thoughts and will and feeling and emotions.. they have their place.

If you feel as thought your thoughts turn up and create pure havoc and chaos – feeling as though you just cant get them in check and they quickly become your master with you feeling enslaved to its every will and motive.

If you are genuinely just looking to get a grip… this could be the book for you..

 

What you hold true governs you.

Truth affects our belief systems. What we believe of God is a base on what we know and what we hold to be true of God, or the version of truth that we hold about God.

What we hold true affects our Belief Systems and also governs a lot of who and what we are. It is important that we have full comprehension of where it comes from and what we hold true. Prov 23:23 suggests we buy the truth and sell it not.

In the days of the Apostles the challenge was not about believing if Jesus was who he says he was, as he was with them. The challenge was more physical torment and captivity. However, Jesus was sure to ensure his followers were very clear as to who he is when he asked them “who do YOU say that I am” Math 16; 13-20. I always find that scripture interesting as Jesus starts of with asking Peter about what he knows of the opinion of others. While this is good to know, Jesus changed the point of the question to a more important point – who do YOU say that I am? While the opinion of others is great, and being able to regurgitate the thoughts and opinions of others if finr.. when all that is done with… where do you YOU stand regarding who God is?

The enemy is looking to challenge what we know to be true about God. Knowing that he can not change who God is, he has no power to do that, but what he will do is question our understanding in aims of loosening our belt of truth with hopes that things will start to slip and drop out of place.

If the truth is compromised it has the direct reflection on the belief systems and perceptions. This was evident from the very book of Genesis. Gen 3: 1-4 the devil entered into dialogue with Eve. Now while he did not call God an outright liar, neither did he hold eve at ransom until she took the fruit, he simply suggested an alternative to what it was that God had said. He simply planted a seed. This is how quickly our belt can be loosened. And just like the natural belt when its no longer functional, parts of the garment started to drop and all of a sudden they have disobeyed God and are now hiding because they felt naked.

Their nakedness was never a problem before because they were in the presence of God, they were covered, being engulfed in the righteousness of God. Their belt was tight all this time as there was no question in who God was or what God had said, and this was evident in their belief system, and as a result governed their actions. However, as soon as that belt was made defective, the covering was dropped, and they felt naked.

2 Cor 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Jesus provides us with an example of how to handle these situations. After 40 days of fasting, the devil looks to have a conversation with Jesus. He makes several offers to him, but each time Jesus responds with the undiluted, unquestionable word of God. This is indeed the Sword of the Spirit, sharper than any two edged sword. When these things come to challenge what the knowledge of God that we hold true, we use the word of God. Our own words wont cut it. Our own opinions wont cut it. Use the word of God.

We need to be real careful of the things that run through our mind. Rom 7:25 lets us know “So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God”. The mind is very much a battle ground. The enemy is looking to plant seeds that will simply challenge our knowledge of God. From the beginning the enemy was looking to exalt himself above God, but since that plan failed he is now looking to challenge what we know about God. He cant defy God, but he will look to loosen our belts any way he can.

My beloveds – guard your minds. Remember is a battle ground.

What Do You Have?? – Red Sea Faith

Exodus 14 tells us of the account of the Children of Israel having come out of 400 years of slavery and now in some what of a predicament. They had made camp on the side of the sea, during this time the heart of the king of Egypt was full of regret for having let them go in the first place and had gathered 600 of his choice chariots and men of war and were set to recover the Children of Israel.

The children of Israel seeing these men in chariots and horses were very afraid. So much so they turned on Moses and asked him why he had taken them out of Egypt in the first place. They asked him if there wasn’t any graves in Egypt for them to die in why he had taken them to die in a wilderness! Moses did his best to encourage them to stand still and see the salvation of God, but at the same time he turned is concerns to God.. I often think that he too must have seen the army coming, the mountains on either side and this HUGE sea in front of them.While telling the people of God to be calm I can imagine that his own heart must have been going a mile a minute wondering to himself “God.. what now??”

This is a common position for the believer. Feeling like we have no where to turn. We cant even go back, because of the evil that way. Many of us would never consider going back due to the people and lifestyle that occupy those paths.. Cant go left or right because there are mountains there. These represent large blockages, things that seem bigger than us, situations that seem to tower over us with an impenetrable presence. Fear.. Doubt.. Shame.. The Past.. you know the mountains I talk about. In front of you .. a Sea. This can often times represent things that would look to drown us, carry us away, sweep us off our feet.. for me this is things like emotions, perceptions etc. These things move and change and can be of silent but great force if allowed the freedom to do so. They were at what seemed like a dead end.

bible-archeology-red-sea-crossing

Sometimes we are come to these dead end places in our lives, just so that God can get our attention. Moses and the Children of Israel had no where else to look. The Children of Israel had followed Moses out of Egypt. He had been the instigator of this move being driven by God. Physically they had followed him out, hence why at the first sign of trouble (and often times in there 40 yrs of wondering) they turned to Moses and looked to blame him. But Moses, knowing his position had no where else but to turn, but to God.

Sometimes we too get reliant on individuals being there to lead us out of a situation that we forget that it is GOD who has called us, its GOD who has made all the promises to be there and help us, its GOD who has seen our end from our beginning.. Sometimes these dead end situations come where we have no where to look other than UP!

And the interesting thing about it. While Moses is looking up and looking for God to intervene – God is looking right back at Moses and asking him what he has in his hands.

You see sisters.. we are a finished work. Jesus uttered three words before He died on the cross.. It, Is, Finished. All that was needed to be done was done. This plan of redemption that was put in place before the foundation of the world (remember there are no surprises to God, so the fall of man from the Garden was not the start of the plan, just part of the plan). God hasn’t got anything more to be doing now. He’s finished. This situation was not a surprise to God for Him now to try and figure a way out for them.. Moses had this rod.. probably of no real significance to him – until now..!

God told him to stretch out the thing he already had in his possession. This is an example of the finished work of God. Our deliverance is often time in our own possession. That little pot of oil that the woman had in her house – likely she felt it was of no use, not what she needed being in debt and her sons about to be taken from her. It was of such little value that when she was asked what is in your house she said – nothing.

Sisters – the means to your deliverance is already in your possession. Often times its that thing we have been doing for years, that thing we do without thinking, that little praise that you have left in you, that verse of scripture that you have remembered from Sunday School that just turns up, the one and only verse of the song you know, even the one line of a song. The rod was not only for the deliverance of Moses, but the Children of Israel. The pot of oil the mother had didn’t only get her out of debt and save her the heart ache of loosing her children, but it saved the lives of her sons.. and buy selling the oil, she was making provision for others!!!!

If you have been brought to a situation – remember the work of Calvary is one that is completed. God is not watching you enter a situation and then having to try and figure things out, your deliverance is already at hand, its already present, its already available.

I will leave you with the same question the Prophet asked the woman.. and God asked Moses… what do you have!!??

 

 

Create Your Own Opportunity

The woman with the issue of blood. One of the accounts in the bible that gives me life every time I read it. Amazingly, it’s always new life. There is always something else that I see that encourages me to live again, press again, stretch again, reach out again, live again!

This woman shows that Desperation = Deliverance. Being casual and indifferent about a situation won’t get you to your breakthrough. You’ve got to really want it and at times do things outside of the norm to get it.

Maintaining your composure as if you don’t really care either way wont really get you anywhere either. Desperate people will constantly be listening and waiting to hear and feel that God is near or that He is passing their way just to get something from God. They are just waiting for the opportunity to get in the same vicinity as the only one who can make a difference to their situation, and if they have to they will create the opportunity themselves.

We read about how this woman had suffered for 12 years. The account from the book of Mark tells us that she had suffered at the hands of many and had also lost all her money. So not only was so socially unaccepted, ostracised, considered an out cast, considered unclean buy all, she was BROKE! Hardly a good mix of conditions, but she was not about to let that stop her. She was desperate now.

Jesus was on his was to another man’s house. He had been sitting to a meal when another desperate man turned up asking for help for his daughter who was dead. While on his way the crowds as per usual around Jesus, but there was desperate woman among them today. This woman was doing SO much that seemed SO wrong for her and her condition

A woman in her condition was not supposed to be out in public unannounced. She was to announce her self wherever she went so people could move out of her way. She was not supposed to be in crowds, peradventure she touch someone, or someone touch her. This woman wasn’t even going to talk to Jesus about her condition. We see often times when Jesus performed miracles there was some kind of engagement, some kind of dialogue between Jesus and the person being healed, but this woman was too desperate to even engage in conversation. Her moment had come and she was looking to maximise this opportunity.

She had already made up in her mind what was going to happen. She had already created the opportunity and environment all by her self and she was ready to go and get what she needed. She wasn’t going to ask, she was just going to go and touch Jesus. Such was her assurance of the power that was in Jesus. Such was her faith, that she wasn’t going to ask him to touch her.. she was going to touch him!

I’ve been encouraged, so I’m sharing my encouragement (Caring is Sharing right!)… Don’t get into the habit of waiting for things to happen before you think God can deliver you. When Jesus died on the cross – that moment the curtain was split – we were all automatically given free access to Jesus and all the power that He holds. Some of us are wrapped into the traditions of needing a particular day, and a particular service, with a particular preacher who needs to preach a particular message. They then have to then call a particular alter call, and have to be prayed for by a particular person for deliverance. No way would God make deliverance so complicated!

All you have to do, like the woman, is make up in your own mind that today – right now- this instance, is my time to be delivered. So long as you and your faith are ready, deliverance is available to you.

 

Its a done deal

Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) reads this: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope”. The KJV calls the future and hope an expected end. Expected for who? He who sits within and outside of time..

Just a reminder that God does not need our assistance in bringing us to the expected end that He has for us. All He requires from us is love which comes in the form of obedience (“If you love me, obey my commandments” John 14:15) and a purpose driven life that seeks His kingdom ( Romans 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”) and His Righteousness.

If we stick to the plan that God has for us we are bound to reach the expected end. Now, this is not to say from time to time we wont get lost along the way, and deviate from the plan. This is not even to say that all of us will be able to resist the temptation to take the wheel ourselves – thinking we know how this should go. How many of us have put in a post code into the SAT NAV – it’s suggested a route and we think… Naaaahhh… I’ll go my own way… and boy do we regret it in the end!

The same works for the will of God for our lives. He is the Author and Finisher of our Faith. This would mean that from the beginning to the end of our walk of faith is known by God who has written it Himself. We are just characters in a finished story. Imagine characters in a story book one day deciding they don’t want to play the roll they were given!

Psalms 119:89 David says Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the Heavens. This is to tell us that the words of the Lord are firmly fixed – a done deal in the Heavens. Matthew 6:10  details part of what we consider The Lords, it says this “your kingdom come, your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven”. We are asked that the will of God be made manifest on Earth as it is in Heaven. This means what we see taking shape here on Earth concerning us is a double up, an echo, of something that’s already settled in the Heavens. Indeed Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but the words of God’s word will never pass away. (Matthew 24:35). Why? John 1:1 tells us that in the beginning was the word (run over to Genesis), the word was with God, and the word was God. God and His word are ONE.

So when God speaks a word to you about our future, its not an unfinished work that now needs your assistance to get it to come to pass. Nope.. its just a sneak peek at what is already settled and completed in the Heavens concerning you. All you are required to do is make ready to receive from God. If we comply with and stick to the SAT-NAV of our life which is His word and the leading of the Holy Spirit there is no way that our lives wont go according to His plan – bringing us to our expected end.

God is merciful in that He is always waiting to receive those who have deviated from the plan. I can testify of deviating from the plan for many years – but I am grateful that I can also testify that He has restored my connection with my path – it, like most things is a process and a development of my trust in God that allows me to say “ok, I think I know what this should look like – but God I trust your route, I trust your plan, I trust your leading”. I have found it better to just do what God says do. It may not always make sense to us, but we have to learn to release our will and align ourselves with the author and finisher of this our walk of FAITH!

Much love from my heart to yours x