There is no victory without a battle

I can be quite an impatient person, I am like a child who is waiting for their birthday to arrive constantly asking my mother how many sleeps to go and talking all the time about all the presents I want to get and what flavour of cake I would like to eat and who I want to come to my birthday party. Everything else becomes so unimportant as all my focus and attention is placed on the up and coming birthday, how can I possibly do anything else but talk and dream about my impeding special event.

But I am learning that I can no longer stay that impatient little girl. I have big dreams and lofty goals that lay ahead of me but I am learning fast that I need to be present in the here and now and to lean in to the waiting process because by looking in to the future too much I am missing out on what is happening right here and now.

Does this feel familiar to you? Are you always trying to run ahead and are just waiting for time, circumstances and everybody else to catch up with you? Well there is no victory without a battle, no testimony without a test, and no miracle without an impossible circumstance (Kris Vallotton)

Here is my advice about what to do while you are waiting for your victory and facing your impossible circumstances…

Be present in the here and now. Don’t get ahead of yourself. It is so easy to want to jump ahead and know everything that is going to happen in your life. To want to know when all the words that have been spoken over your life are going to happen, when your dreams are going to come true, when the hard times are going to come to an end, but it is so important to remember that you need to stay present in your season and learn the lesson of being obedient and trusting in God without knowing all of the tiny details. Let go of the need to control and understand everything, just let go and let God be God in your life.

Lean into the process. The lead up to a dream being birthed or breakthrough coming is the most important part. It is not the dream coming true but the process of you getting there that is the most important thing. God is working on our hearts, stripping away things that need to come off of us or building us up, filling us with the things that we will need to sustain us in the wondrous thing that is coming for us.

The process is sometimes not the most fun thing to go through but I promise you that it is totally worth it. When God is calling us in to new things, having an unhealthy heart can get in the way of you fully walking in your destiny. It could be fear, anxiety, control issues, perfectionism, fear of man or offence. We all have things to work through and it’s important that you lean in to the process that God is taking you on in this season.

There are things that you need to learn now that you will need to know in the next season. Learn to trust God even when you don’t know the why behind things. If He takes you through a pruning process then let Him, He is a good Father and only wants good things for us so let Him take you on that journey, it may hurt at first but there is so much more freedom awaiting you on the other side of the pruning process.

It is in the waiting that the joyful anticipation of our dreams being birthed deepens. But the moment we get tired in the waiting, Gods spirit is right along side of us, helping us along in our journey. We need to stay connected with Him, having a present leading as we are going along our way. God will gloriously complete in you what He has begun, partner with Him in the process and keep going.

So what is God telling you to do in this season that you find yourself in?

Advertisements

I am no longer a slave to fear

 

One of my words for this season that I find myself in is fearless. I have the word fearless on a giving key necklace that I wear around my neck to remind myself that I am bold, brave, courageous and lionhearted. I am fearless. God did not create me with a spirit of fear, He created me to be powerful and have a sound mind. So when fear comes knocking at my door, which it still does, I do not have to answer it. I have all the power and authority over fear and the following is how I train myself to be lionhearted.

I read my bible. But I don’t just read the bible to get my quota of scripture in for the day but I really read it. I read until something jumps out at me, then I stop and read that bit of scripture over and over again. I ask God what He is trying to say to me through those words in that moment.

If I want to know how God thinks and how to hear the sound of His voice then I have to read His words. Then I will begin to understand His ways and His thoughts and His purpose for my life. It also helps me to put on Christ each and every day instead of my fears and worries.

I also find that I may not remember everything that I have read in the word of God right after I have just read it but I know that it is going in to my mind, heart and soul and that it will come to the surface when the enemy comes with his lies. I then have the discernment to know “wait a second, that’s now how God speaks or thinks so that must not be God speaking but the enemy instead”. I can reject destructive ways of thinking and not let fear and worry take a hold of me.

I pray and spend time in the secret place. It is in that place, being alone and totally focused on God that I become refreshed and filled up by the Holy Spirit. But I don’t just have a time of devotion but I am totally devoted to God. He is always there and He is always available to talk to me and listen to me. I can access Him anytime and anywhere. I tap in to Him constantly and as I acknowledge His presence more and I begin to see transformation take place within me.

I worship God in spirit and in truth, with my head and my heart. Worship is not just a service that I go to once a week at church but it is a lifestyle. When the fear and worry begins to creep in I change the atmosphere around me, I turn on worship music. I turn my mind, heart and affections towards God. I focus on His goodness and the ways that He has rescued me and provided for me time and time again. As I connect with who He is, I can begin to hand over my fears and worries to Him thus shifting and changing the atmosphere that surrounds me.

I think that we will always face fears but it is how we choose to respond to them that matter. Fear only has the level of authority that we give to it. Instead of giving in to fear, stay in connection with Gods perfect love. Recognising and discerning fear is half of the battle. Once you see the fear coming at you, you can take authority over it. Remember that you were not created with a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. You are bold, brave, courageous and lionhearted. You are fearless.

Uncover our hiddenness

“God did not send his Son into the world to judge and condemn the world, but to be its Savior and rescue it.  So now there is no longer any condemnation for those who believe in him, but the unbeliever already lives under condemnation because they do not believe in the name of God’s beloved Son. And here is the basis for their judgment: The Light of God has now come into the world, but the hearts of people love their darkness more than the Light, because they want the darkness to conceal their evil. So the wicked hate the Light and try to hide from it, for their lives are fully exposed in the Light. But those who love the truth will come out into the Light and welcome its exposure, for the Light will reveal that their fruitful works were produced by God.” John 3:17-21 TPT

I have been meditating on these verses a lot lately. How God sent Jesus into the world to rescue us, not to judge and condemn us, yet we are still hiding out in the darkness, hiding our true selves away, afraid to step out into the light because we do not like what is hidden in our heart and we are still afraid of what God might think of us. He came to rescue us from these very feelings so why are we still afraid?

Everyone wants to be fully known and fully seen, to feel valued, important and worthy of love and affection. We long to have someone know our hearts intimately, even the messy parts and still choose to love every part of us.

God designed us for intimacy. Intimacy is into me you see. It is having an uncovered heart, free from fear and shame and every part of you is fully known and fully seen. To be completely ourselves and not live with the fear that we are going to be judged or condemned for how we really feel or how we think.

Even though we long to be known and seen and that God has actually designed us for intimacy we don’t actually live this way. We are still hiding bits of our self, we are afraid of what He may see if we truly open up, so we stay in the dark and cover up the things that are messy or scary. By doing this we are missing out on the power of true vulnerability with Him.

We must remember, the light of God has now come into the world, and we must move our hearts from hiding in the darkness to living in the Light. We need to uncover our hiddenness. God wants to know us, every part of us, but He is waiting for us to invite Him in so that He can see what is really going on in our hearts. Not so that He can judge us for it but so that He can help us mend our hearts.

Being open and vulnerable with God is so powerful because it helps us to walk in freedom from our shame and freedom from lies that we may believe about our self. He will take all the mess and turn all the chaos of our hearts into order.

Vulnerability with God will actually move us out of sin and into freedom but we need to push past the discomfort of vulnerability and have some open and honest conversations with God.

Come out into the light and welcome its exposure. Allow God to search and know your heart and throw off the shame that you may be holding on to and find comfort in God’s words. Find comfort in His truth over your life about who you are and who you were created to be. His words of life and love will empower you into more freedom to be fully yourself.

Longing for breakthrough…

To be honest with you, at the beginning of the year I wasn’t too excited about the year ahead. I held God’s promises in one hand and my problems and fears in the other. I was focusing too much on the fears and problems and had forgotten to focus on my promises from God and all the good that He can do this year.

When you stare at your fears and problems too much then hope for a bright future fades. I needed a breakthrough. I have prayed so many times for breakthrough but what I have discovered is that you cannot just sit back and wait for something to happen, you have to start making changes yourself.

When I need a breakthrough I look for where Jesus is. I look back on my life and see where Jesus was in the hard times. He did not leave me then and He won’t leave me now. I try to stay focused on the ways that God has come through for me in the past and not on the problems or fears that are before me right now.

I make sure that I have a thankful heart. I make a list of the things that I am thankful for and I mediate on them often.

I surround myself with happy and life giving people, even when I don’t feel like it. Hanging around people who breathe life into me, who inspire hope and courage help to lift me up.

I have to remind myself that the circumstances that I find myself in right now will not last forever. This season will end.

I refuse to partner with any thought that doesn’t inspire hope in my life. I have the mind of Christ, so I should not allow any thought in my mind that isn’t in His. I must take captive my thoughts, filter them through hope, and refuse to listen to the ones that bring death and not life.

And I remind myself that everything works out for good in the end. So if it isn’t good, then it isn’t the end (Romans 8:28).

If you feel a lack of hope going into this year, then I encourage you to not let go of God’s promises for your life in the midst of your problems. Instead of focussing on your fears and your problems, take some time to imagine all the good that God can do this year. If you are longing for breakthrough then don’t sit back and wait, start making some changes today.

Redefining success

The world tells us that being successful in life is all about fame, wealth and social status. It is all about how much money you’re making, how many ‘toys’ you have acquired and how much influence you have.

These are the world’s standards for success but I do not believe that they are the standards of the Kingdom. I think success runs much deeper than fame, wealth and social status. I think that success is being faithful to do the things that God has called you to do and to do them well.

In 1 John 2 verses 15 to 17 in The Message translation it says…

Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.

When we chase down the worlds view of success we are losing sight of the things and the person that really matters the most. The love of the world’s success squeezes out the love for the Father and puts distance between our hearts and His.

So what is it that the Father really wants from us to be successful in life?

I believe that He wants us to love well. To really love, care for and honour those people who are around us. He longs for us to be intimately connected with Him and to partner with His truth.

I believe that He wants us to be obedient to what He is saying. The Lord is always speaking and He is looking for people who are listening and who are willing to step out boldly and courageously and do what He is asking us to do. It is not the outcome that He is focused on but just the fact that we were obedient and trusted His voice.

I believe that He wants us to steward well what He has given to us. Be faithful with the things that He has given to us whether they are a little or a lot. With the money we are blessed with to use it wisely, give to the needy, and sow into the kingdom. With the spiritual gifts He has given us to grow them, develop them and use them. With the people in our life to love them, serve them and protect them. We need to be faithful with the things that He has given to us.

I believe that He wants us to be thankful. To cultivate a heart of thankfulness so that no matter what is happening in or around us we can still choose joy and be thankful for what we do have and what is happening.

I believe that He wants us to persevere and finish well. To not give up when things get tough but to lean closer into God and to see the trials before us as a chance to grow and build character.

I believe that He wants us to be present and live in the here and now so that we can receive the fullness of what He has planned for us in each moment. To be focused in on the vision for our life, being focused on the vision will give our process and pain a purpose.

We all long to be successful in life but we need to stop measuring our success by the worlds standards. I encourage you to redefine your view of success, ask God how He wants to change some of your thinking in this area so that you can be successful in the things He has called you to.