Hi all. Have you ever been in a situation where God has been speaking to you and you say what about this person? Why do I have to do that? They are worse than me. What about when God tells you to change a behaviour or action but all your friends are doing it, even your pastor? We again say, what about this man, or woman?
Jesus had exactly the same question asked of him in John 21. Jesus was telling Peter about his future. Then Peter said in verse 21, what about this man referring to John. Jesus’ response to Peter is exactly the same as to us today. The response was what is that to you, you follow me. In other words, do what I tell you to do and mind your own business.
Jesus wants us to concentrate on our own walk with Him. The only thing He wants us to do to others is love them and encourage them. So how do we concentrate more on our walk with God than others’ walks with God. Some of the ways are:
1. Seek God for what He would have you do. In Matthew 6:33, the Bible says “seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you”. What are these things? Everything that you need to live your life abundantly and in God’s will for you. Don’t look at others and compare yourself (I have been guilty of this more times than I can count). God made you and He didn’t make a mistake. The only mistake is when we don’t seek God first.
2. Know that God has an amazing plan tailor made for your life. In Jeremiah 29:11, the Bible says ” for I know the plans that I have for you, plans for good and not disaster to give you a future and a hope”. God only has good plans for our lives and the plan He has for us is different to everyone else’s plan. But the good plan will only come to pass as we follow Him and not someone else.
3. Know that you are unconditionally and truly loved by God. I think that if we understood this more, we would know God is for us and not against us. We would know that if we follow Him, blessings will come. Sure there may be hard times. Satan is still ruling this world but as we stick close to God and hear His voice, this will over rule the enemy’s influence on our lives.
The thief of joy is comparison. Don’t ask “what about this man or woman”, ask God how can I do better. What about the plans for me? Show me Lord. It is when we walk and live in the perfect will of God for our lives that we will find peace and contentment with ourselves.
Let’s all practice that this week and let me know how you are going. Together we will keep living the life God intended for each of us.
In my church this month, my pastor is preaching on the heroes of faith. As I pondered this, I realise that my hero in the Bible is not mentioned in Hebrews 11 as a hero of faith, but she is the only woman judge mentioned in the book of Judges. Her name is Deborah. Who is this woman and what is her story. It is found in Judges chapter 4.
She comes to our attention in one of the periods of time when the Israelites turned away from God. When they turned away from God, they opened the door up for the enemy to come right in and do what he liked. In this case their enemy was a Canaanite king. The commander of the army was Sisera and he was fierce. He had 900 iron chariots and oppressed Israel for twenty years. That is a long time to be oppressed by someone. Oppressed in the dictionary means subject to harsh and authoritarian treatment. The Israelites living conditions were bad.
into this comes a judge appointed by God, Deborah. The Bible tells us she was a wife and a mother. So her life was busy. But God called her for such a time as this (like He does with all heroes). She was also a prophetess – she heard from God and spoke God’s Word to the people.
I like what verse 5 says – she was sitting under a palm tree between two places. What was she doing? Sitting in the position God gave her waiting for someone to pass by or come to her. She was sitting between Ramah (seat of idolatry) and Bethel (house of God). God had her positioned between these two places to lead the people back to God. This is like us – God has positioned you in your workplace, school, shopping centre etc. between the church and the world to lead people to church where they will find hope, purpose and a Saviour.
In verse 6, she heard from God and summoned a man named Barack to lead the armies of God to war against the Canaanites. However, he didn’t just go off and do it but asked Deborah, a woman, to go with them. Now one thing to understand, woman in those days didn’t usually go to war so this was an unusual occurrence.
Deborah agreed and went to war but Barack missed out on his blessing as Deborah told him that a woman would get the glory for the victory over the Canaanites. The end of the story is that the Israelites won and a woman named Jael received the glory.
What are some things we can learn from my hero?
1. Be positioned in the place where God wants us.
2. Lead people from the place of idolatry to the place of prayer.
3. Be ready and available to do God’s calling.
4. When someone needs a hand go.
5. Your present position may not be your calling.
6. God calls both men and women.
One thing from this story is that this is the only story in the Bible recorded about Deborah but it was recorded.
A hero in the Bible is an ordinary person who obeys God’s calling and does it regardless of fear or circumstances. That is the same for us today. We can all be a hero and get our stories written in heaven but only if we obey. Your calling is never going to be the same as someone else’s. You are unique and so is your calling.
Remember you too can be a hero to others. Bless you and have a great week!
How are you all? I am well and coming up to summer. We have already had one heatwave. Last week as I was reading the Bible, God spoke to me and said that His Word always works. I was reading the verse in Isaiah 55:11 which states “It is the same with My Word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it”. God’s Word never lies and if He says it will produce fruit, accomplish all and will prosper then it will.
You may be saying but my prayers never get answered. Neither did mine for a long time until I started praying the exact words of God. It is not my words that will prosper when they are sent out, it is God’s. So if God’s words always prosper I should be saying them.
But what if I am sick and I say by Jesus’ stripes I was healed but I am still sick, I will feel like I am lying. Not really! You are just saying what you expect to happen. Have you ever wished for something at Christmas and you went to school saying and acting like you already had it but you didn’t. Same thing – we are using our faith (the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen) to speak God’s Word over our situation.
Do we just parrot it off? For the word of God to work in our lives, we must get a revelation that God’s Word is true and will always come to pass. Sometimes when we parrot words off, we are still in the wishing mode and not in the faith mode.
So how do we get in the faith mode? We need to find a scripture and meditate on it or let it go around and around in our minds and hearts until we have the revelation it is true. Then we speak it out. If we do that, we will be speaking with God’s authority and power.
What happens then? Psalm 103:20, tells us that the angels of God listen to His commands (spoken out of our mouths) and carry forth the plans. This means we plant the seed of the Word of God by speaking it out with our mouths and then we let the angels get to work.
But we need to be careful we don’t dig it up with words contrary to the words we just spoke. This is really hard sometimes and I am still in training in this regard.
So after we plant our words, water them by continuing to believe God’s Word, then harvest time will come and your words will come to pass. This is what God said in the Bible “will He really find faith on the earth when He comes”. Yes He will, as we keep speaking God’s words.
So this week, remember the Word of God works when we speak the word and believe it. Have an amazing week and keep living the life God intended for you.
Habits are so easy to get into and hard to get out of. So what does habit mean? A habit in the dictionary means a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. Habits include sleeping, eating, showering and doing regular exercise. But these are not the ones I am taking about. I am talking about those habits that are done mindlessly and are not in line with God’s will for our lives. It might be watching television when you are not really interested but just like the noise. Maybe like me, it is scrolling through Facebook or Pinterest not looking for anything in particular just mindlessly.
What does the Bible say about this? In Hebrews 12:1, it states in part, let us strip off every weight that slows us down. What does the weight mean? It means every bit of baggage, hobbies, mindless scrolling that is slowing us down from reaching our potential in Jesus.
For example, in my life, I am writing my first book but I let other things (that are weights) get in the way and slow me down from fulfilling God’s purpose and plan for my life. I heard God say to me “it’s time to divorce your habits”. I feel that He is saying that to all of us for one reason or another. Jesus us coming back soon and we have work to do but these habits or weights are weighing us down. Weighing our time down, our energy down and our resources down.
What does divorce mean really? It means, in the dictionary, to separate or disassociate from something. The separation does not necessarily mean the thing but how we are using the thing. For example, if I am using Pinterest to search out children’s activities for school or Sunday School, that’s fine. But if I am mindlessly scrolling through and wasting my time, it may not be right and I should separate myself from that activity.
Hebrews 12:1 is interesting as it starts off with” we are surrounded by a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith “. There are people in heaven who are cheering you and I on in our walk with Jesus and some of the time they are wondering what we are doing.
Let’s all get, including me, back to living our life with purpose and intention. It is okay to have a rest day but let’s use that day to rest in God. How do we do that? By listing our priorities and being intentional with them. Being intentional in our walk with God, the time spent with spouse and children, our ministry for God and our leisure activities.
Let’s all stay accountable to one another in this. Let me know how you are going. I would love to know. Bless you heaps and keep living the life God intended for you.
I felt God minister these words to me this morning after receiving some devastating news from a friend. I was crying and in my pain, God spoke these words. He then led me to the scripture in John 10:10 – Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy but I have to come to give life and life more abundantly. When Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy, often we stop our stories there. But I want to remind you today that your story doesn’t stop there.
So what does Satan come to steal, kill and destroy. He comes to steal our children, steal our dreams and steal our identity. He comes to kill our relationship with Jesus, kill the purpose and plans God has for our lives and kill our relationships with others. He comes to destroy our self-worth, destroy our families and destroy our confidence.
BUT Jesus came to change our story. How did He do that? By dying on the cross and rising again, He gave us the gift of salvation. Salvation in the Greek means sozo. Sozo means nothing missing and nothing broken. It means whole in every sense of the word. If nothing is missing and nothing is broken it must mean whole. Jesus came to make us whole in Him. This transcends to our relationships, our family, our souls and our bodies. Whole all the way.
So what if we aren’t whole in areas yet? What if Satan has destroyed my confidence? Well, that is where this devotion began. Your story does not have to end in brokenness and defeat, but we keep having faith and trust in Jesus. In Phillipians 2:12, it states that we must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. This is how we do it, bit by bit, until we are whole in that area by standing on the promises in the Bible.
If you feel on your own today, God said that He will never leave you nor forsake you. If you need healing, God says by Jesus’ stripes, you were healed. If you are in a deep valley, God says reach out and hold my hand and I will lead you through to the light.
If you have lost a family member, your story doesn’t stop there. It continues by you treasuring the memories, standing up for any injustice done and allowing yourself time to grieve. God is always with us. Sometimes it is hard to believe, but the truth is the truth.
Don’t let your story stop when bad things happen. Take time to deal with it, if needed then keep walking. God will never let you down and He is always beside you loving you and comforting you. That’s what a good Father does. Bless you heaps and keep living the life God intended for you.