Do not be afraid to ask again

the-lord-is-with-you-mighty-warrior

I love the story of Gideon found in the book of Judges chapter 6. Gideon is found by an angel in a winepress hiding from his enemies. God appears as an angel and He approaches Gideon and says “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior” (verse 12). Gideon is hiding, a behavior that doesn’t seem to be very warrior like and yet the Lord addresses him as who God has created him to be and not by what he actually is in the moment. The Lord is calling forth Gideon’s destiny as a mighty warrior.

The Lord tells Gideon that He wants him to go and defeat his enemy the Midianites.  The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” (verse 14).

Gideon couldn’t believe that the angel was addressing him as a “mighty warrior”. Gideon doubted his own abilities. He couldn’t believe that God was calling him out to do something so bold and so brave so he needed to hear from the Lord again just to make sure. He had to hear from the Lord not once but three times to be sure that he had heard correctly…

Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised- look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said. (verse 36-37) …

And God did just that. But Gideon still needed more confirmation so he asks God if he can ask Him one more time to do the opposite of what had just happened and of course God answered his requests and did it again.

God was patient with Gideon because God had chosen him to defeat the Midianites, Gideon did not yet recognize that in fact he was a mighty warrior, the Lord called forth His destiny and He strengthened him and went with him into battle and Gideon did indeed become the mighty warrior and defeated the Midianite army.

I love how Gideon was not afraid to keep asking the Lord for confirmation. I believe that this story also gives us permission to keep asking God for confirmation of the words He has given us too. The Lord might be calling forth our destiny but we do not quite believe it yet and need to hear from God again.

Like Gideon, we are not perfect and nor does God expect us to be. Sometimes we need to be told a couple of times before we get it right, or before we can step out into our destiny. I am sure that the Lord would rather that we ask Him again for confirmation then to do nothing with the word at all.

God is always speaking and He has a message for us. He will do anything He can to get it to us. He is patient and kind and gentle with us in our learning to hear His voice. Do not be afraid to ask the Lord for confirmation on a word or promise that He has given to you.

And then when you have asked for confirmation, listen out for it. Spend time with people who hear from the Lord, they may get a word from God too that confirms what it is you have been asking the Lord about or for. Begin to write all of these words and promises down and you will start to see a pattern in the things that the Lord is saying to you.

The Lord has a message for you. He is trying to call out the destiny in you and He is doing everything He can to get that message to you. Do not be afraid to ask Him again, He will answer you and then you can begin to step out and into your destiny as the mighty warrior He is calling you to be.

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Hold onto your hope

This is my song at the moment. I find myself in a season of waiting for my promises from the Lord to come to pass and this song just encourages me to hold onto my hope. When you get a promise from God it is beautiful, it is sweet and it gives you hope for your future but when you are in the waiting for that promise it is hard.

The waiting is where hope, trust and faith can be lost and abandoned. During this time we can either walk away from the Lord or we can lean in closer to Him, fix our eyes on Jesus, get on our knees before God and say I don’t understand this waiting but please help me to Lord. Please meet me in the waiting, let there be beauty in my time of waiting for my promises to come.

It is important to remember that promises that remain unfulfilled are still promises. God is faithful and they will come to pass and we need to hold onto our hope. In Habakkuk 2:2 it says Then the Lord replies “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald can run with it. Writing down our promises helps us to hold onto our hope.

Whenever you hear from God, write down what He is telling you. Record the prophecies that are given to you and any word spoken over you. Underline those verses in the bible that speak so loudly and clearly to you. By doing this you will be reminded of what God is saying to you.

And then go over the words God has given to you and read them again and again. Go back over Gods promises until you see them begin to unfold in your life.  And then tell the testimonies of what the Lord has done in your life. This will help to encourage others while they are in their season of waiting as well. Your testimony points to Gods goodness and faithfulness, it helps to build our faith and our endurance. This is what holding onto your hope until your triumph unfolds looks like.

Spending time with the Lord

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This week I was listening to a great message being preached by Brian Johnson and one thing that he said really stood out to me. Now I can not remember the exact words that he said but a rough paraphrase of it is this…

“Spend time with the Lord just to spend time with Him. Not just so you get something out of it, like something to write about, something to say or something to preach but to spend time with the Lord purely just to spend time with Him”.

I am afraid to say that sometimes I have been guilty of this very thing. I write and occasionally I get to speak and teach and a lot of what I have to write about and talk about comes from my time spent with the Lord, which of course is a good thing, however when your motives of spending time with the Lord is just so you have something to write about or talk about well then that is not necessarily a good thing.

In his message Brian suggested that you read the word each day and pick just one thing that you are going to work on that day and let that one thing be your focus. And you do it to become closer to the Lord, to walk in wisdom and freedom and not just so you can write an excellent piece or give a great talk.

The thing that has been most playing on my heart lately is how to love better. So in taking Brian’s great advice I am starting with verses from 1 Corinthians chapter 13

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Each day, or it even may take me a few days depending on how fast I learn, I am going to focus on one thing from these verses and really be mindful of walking them out in my day. I started with focusing on being patient. I asked Holy Spirit to walk it through with me, to help me and guide me through this process. Being patient seems easy enough but when you are sleep deprived and your kids are awake super early (and I mean super early) it takes a lot of love and patience to deal with them especially when they are reluctant to fall back asleep.

So this is my journey at the moment, spending time with the Lord, purely just to spend time with Him. I am learning all about love and trying to walk love out well every single day.

Unpacking Eden : part two

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The Garden of Eden was the first home God created for man and woman, for His son and daughter. I believe it was much like a heaven on earth type of thing. It was a perfect place where there was love, peace and abundance.

Everything that Adam and Eve needed was in the garden. It was their home, full of food, both plants and animals. The garden was a safe and secure place to live like every good and wonderful home should be and most importantly of all, the Father was there. The most important reason it was home is because there was an intimate connection between the Father and His children.

In Genesis three verse eight it describes how God was walking in the garden in the cool of the day. God was present in the garden and His children knew the sound of His footsteps. I imagine that the sound of His footsteps would have been a welcoming sound, much like when my little girl hears her daddy’s footsteps coming up the path outside the front door at the end of the day. Those footsteps signal that daddy is home and now all is right in her little world. She runs to the door exclaiming “daddy is home!” and she gives him a kiss and a cuddle.

This is what makes our home complete, the presence of the Father and this is what made the garden of Eden a home too. Without the Fathers love the garden of Eden would have been an ordinary place. The Fathers love made it a home.

Everything we need can be found in our Father God. Because of the fall we no longer live in Eden but Jesus came so that we can go to the Father through Him and get back to that life that God intended for us to live, forever in the garden of Eden. To get back to living a life of abundance, full of love, walking with the Lord and having His constant presence.

The garden of Eden was our ultimate home. It was not a story, it was a reality written down and recorded so that every generation would know what life was meant to be for us. Life was meant to be living with the presence of the Lord and his provision and we need to get back to life in the garden, metaphorically speaking, once again.

God please help us put aside everything that distracts us and to help us focus our heart, soul and mind on the things that matter the most, your presence and our intimate relationship with you. We long to live in the comfort of knowing that we are your children, knowing your full love and your full abundance over our lives. Amen.

Unpacking Eden : part one

Unpacking the Garden of eden

What you believe about your origin, where you came from, makes a difference in the way you value yourself and others around you. The book of Genesis tells us about our origin. It perfectly describes to us where we came from and the life that God ultimately wanted us to lead.

God created Adam. He formed him from the dust of the ground but the most unique thing about Adam was that the Lord breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (Genesis 2:7). Nothing else in creation was brought to life in this way, because man was different, he was valued and desired above anything else that God created.

Adam walked with God in the Garden of Eden as a son. They spent time together walking and talking and being in a beautiful close relationship with one another. God saw that it was not good for Adam to be alone (Genesis 2:18) so He created him a suitable helper, Eve. We get to see how Father God was concerned for His beloved son Adam and that God wanted him to be happy.

Then God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. To increase in number and fill the whole earth (Genesis 1:28). Here we see that from the very beginning God wanted sons and daughters, He wanted a family, children that He could love and adore. We are not here on this earth as an accident. God desired us. He also values us greatly because He didn’t just create us, He created us in His image.

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

So think about what God is and then that is how He created us. We are His children, made in His image.

If we do not believe that this is how we were created at the very dawn of time then we will not value our Father and the unique relationship He desired to have with us. All of our identity as being sons and daughters of God is revealed to us here in the pages of the book of Genesis. It is not a story told to generations upon generations but it is the truth. It is the truth that we stand upon and we place all our hope and faith in it.

Let us not disregard the beginning of life but let it be our starting point, it is a look at what life was supposed to be like for us. We are so loved and cherished that the whole world was created for us. We have the breath of the Lord in us and He made us in His perfect image. We are wanted, we are not living here by some accident but we were desired by God himself, and we were created with purpose.

That is what everybody is looking and searching for. To know that they are wanted, loved, desired, cared for and that they have a divine purpose. And here it is, all written down for us at the very beginning of the book that He created for us to read, know and learn from.

Why do you think it is at the very beginning of the bible? Because it is the most important place for us to start from. We start out our relationship with the Lord knowing that we were created in the image of God and have His very breath inside of us, we are wanted, we are cared for and looked after. We are sons and daughters of the most high God.