28 September, 2007

Leaving room for God`s dream

We usually mean well. It`s just that it`s a bit insulting to God really isn`t it? Telling the Creator of the Earth how to do something. Be honest. Have you ever fallen into that trap?

There`s a need, you really think it`s time God did something about it and you have a great idea how He could do that. Should do that. Must do that. Only He doesn`t seem to be listening.

I know why. It`s because He`s busy waiting for us to stop dreaming our dreams and to start dreaming His. It`s one of the hardest things for humans to do. Waiting for God. 

Sure, there are lots of times in life when we need to just apply our human wisdom and be responsible, responding to need by using our skills and initiative. But there are also many times in life when taking a moment to check with God how He feels about the situation and wants us to proceed would be the smartest move we could make.

God`s ways are so much higher than ours. He`s so much more creative. Next time there`s a situation going on, take a moment to check which direction God is dreaming in. You might be in for a few surprises.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55.9

Whose idea is prophecy anyway?

Dead bones. No flesh, no breath. Whatever life there was is over. Or is it? Something about the challenge of the impossible captures us. When you know the God of the impossible, then suddenly what we accept as reality is challenged.

We know a spiritual world exists, not just the physical one we live in. The moment we accept Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, we confirm our belief in that spiritual realm. We admit it affects our physical world and our physical souls and bodies. That`s why the Bible puts so much emphasis on what we say and how we say it. Our words have power. They encourage, speaking hope and life. They can also hurt and destroy. We have a responsibility to choose how we use our tongue in day to day life. 

But our words are at their most powerful when they come fully into line with the will and heart of God Himself. As we agree with God, obeying Him and speaking the words He gives us. Take the story of Ezekiel and the dry bones (Ezekiel 37). As Ezekiel "prophesied" or spoke to the bones and the wind, a mighty army was formed from a valley of dry bones. A vision in the spiritual realm explaining something God planned to do in the physical world. But this vision also teaches us a very important lesson.

Prophecy is more than speaking out positive words. Prophesying is speaking something into being. There is a responsibility in that. It`s more than speaking positive things into or over a situation out of your own understanding. Ezekiel responded to the challenge of God. He spoke as God commanded Him. God didn`t show Ezekiel the valley and ask him to choose what to say. It wasn`t about what Ezekiel thought would be cool. In fact, I bet God`s dream far exceeded anything Ezekiel could have thought of. 

So God showed him the bones and shared His heart and dream. Then God gave very precise instructions.

If you want to prophesy, firstly learn to hear God. Secondly learn to obey. Because true prophecy isn`t about our dreams and ideas. It`s about agreeing with the heart of God and speaking as He commands. 

"So I prophesied as He commanded me,and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army."

24 September, 2007

The Keeper of Truth

It isn`t always easy to know who we can trust. Generous hearts sometimes trust too easily. Cynical hearts shelter behind walls. Picky hearts are choosy who they confide in and who they will learn from. Which is right?

Having a teachable heart is crucial to living as a disciple of Christ. A teachable heart is a humble heart that desires to grow. It looks for opportunities to learn. It`s part of God`s plan that we learn not just straight from Him, but also from one another. 

We can`t skip the issue and just huddle alone with God. Jesus taught His disciples and then commissioned them to go and teach others. There is an inheritance to be shared and passed down among the generations and among the nations.

But how generous should we be? Should we soak up everything that everyone tries to teach us?

I believe that the Keeper of our hearts has given us one golden rule to help us. The Bible refers to God as the Keeper of Truth. It doesn`t matter how impressive the person is, if their message is not found in God`s Word, don´t accept it. Sometimes people speak with great authority, but their message is not pure. Sometimes it is a mixture of God`s Word and their ideas or interpretation. Sometimes it is their own revelation.

Isaiah 8.20 guides us: "If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."

God`s Word is Truth and Light. The Keeper of Truth has given us a great gift. Knowing the Word will help protect you from soaking up distorted teaching.
Why not open a Bible today and read it?

21 September, 2007

Bruised and Broken

They say that time heals a broken heart. I don´t agree. 

Sure, in time we may "get over" someone or "get used to" the fact that a tragedy occurred. In time we may even begin to understand what happened. But time alone doesn`t mend the wounds of disappointment or the grief of losing a loved one. 

In fact, sometimes we simply learn to live with the pain. Or we develop strategies to avoid it or block it out. Some people bind up their broken heart through work or throwing themselves into new relationships. 

Trusting our broken heart to "Time" is a pretty poor substitute when we can turn to the Living God. "He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds" (Psalm 147.3). How does He do this? Through two powerful keys to freedom: forgiveness and mercy.  

Easily said, but not so easily done. But apply the salve of forgiveness and mercy to a broken and bruised heart, over time, ensuring that it is really absorbed, and you will see freedom and healing released. 

That heart will be free to live and love again. It will not be restricted by fear, cynicism or coping strategies. It will not avoid those situations that press the bruised heart`s reaction buttons. Instead, a healed heart has a new depth. It has a new lightness. It has a greater wisdom. 

If your heart is broken or you have been binding it up with the wrong things, talk to Jesus. As you choose to turn to Him, choose to forgive, ask Him to help you to understand and walk in mercy. Sometimes, if we`ve lost a loved one, we have to come to that point of really accepting that God is God. Laying aside our frustration and pain and surrendering to His greater plan. 

That`s what forgiveness means; to lay aside. Lay aside your shame, lay aside your disappointment, lay aside your desire for justice and vengeance and offer your heart up to Jesus today. 

19 September, 2007

The Hand of God

There are times when His touch is like a distant memory. Faded and forgotten. There are those who have longed for His touch their whole lives and those who don`t even believe that the Living God truly touches lives.

Some days, some moments, I sense His hand so present in my life, so intimate. He is real. But whether we sense Him or not, He is there, His hand outstretched, waiting for you and I to respond to Him.  Through Jesus, God shows His hand of mercy. Washing away the pain, shame and fear that separates us from God. Responding to His hand of mercy brings us into intimacy with God. Not just a distant connection, but a real and living relationship.

Like all relationships, so many things can get in the way and create distance between us. But as we respond to the hand of God on our lives, we turn to the One who loves us with a great and everlasting love.

His hand is a hand of grace, of mercy and of love like no other. It moulds and forms us, delighting in gently crafting us for the greatness of living as a child of God. It awakens us to His goodness. His hand disciplines and guides us, keeping our feet on His paths. It heals and restores, comforts and releases.

Whatever your need, Jesus encourages us to come to Him. In Him we find rest for our soul and restoration in our lives. 

As you turn to Jesus Christ today, welcome the touch of the hand of God upon your life.

15 September, 2007

Facing Shattered Dreams

Talking about unity is easy. But many of us have been cut, right to the core. Expectations shattered. Dreams dragged down. We had such hopes of working, living or loving together and then it all went pear-shaped. Is unity really viable?

I believe it is. I also believe that God allows us to go through times of pain and disappointment. He crafts greatness in us as we face our shattered dreams and choose to move on with Him, working out our part of what went wrong. Choosing to continue to pursue the excellence of unity. An excellence that is attainable, despite our human imperfections.

Unity is a choice. It is something we pursue. Some people pray to receive unity, but I believe that we have to make very active decisions to see unity become a reality in our relationships and church life. Each one of us has a responsibility to pursue the peace so vital to unity. We have to learn to make peace with one another and with the events that have occurred.

Being a peacemaker requires character and humility. It means we are prepared to face the nitty gritty issues. We choose mercy and forgiveness, laying aside our natural heart cry for vengeance. We place the situation in God`s hands. We pray mercy for those who have hurt us and whom we do not understand. We choose to walk on in excellence, being responsible for our own reactions and attitudes. We are humble enough to admit that our way may not necessarily be the right way. Refusing to harden our hearts, we refuse to become cynical. We continue to believe that unity is attainable. 

Don`t let shattered dreams distort your character. Instead allow God`s gentle hand to craft greatness in you. If unity didn´t work out last time for you. Forgive, let it go, apply mercy and move on. 

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matthew 5.9

10 September, 2007


Walking by faith is a personal choice. Your choice. But faith gets really exciting and rewarding when we join ours with others. Together, our faith is powerful. We encourage one another. We keep one another on the right path.

If being a Christian for you is just about you and God, you're missing a crucial part of the engine. It's also about being together. Try and go it on your own all the time and you waste too much energy on the battle of cutting a way through. Walk with others and together you can stand, move forward and take new ground.

Walking together moulds our character. It isn't always easy. But it creates a unity, a powerful force. Choose to walk by faith alongside others who follow Jesus and you become part of something greater than yourself.

Relationship with others, being Church, being committed to move on together as a group of believers is not just an option, but a necessity for every believer who truly wants to be used by God. God blesses unity (Psalm 133). He is moved by the united faith of believers. He is moved by our commitment to one another.

I love it when God is on the move. If you want to join in with what He is doing, make sure you stick together with other believers. Get your faith walk into line. Stay accountable and join your personal faith walk with that of others. Stay "together", walk "together" and see your nation changed "together".

Hidden Paths

Ever wonder what God is doing with you? Or wish you could see the way forward more clearly? As Christians we are called to live by faith and not by sight. By the truth of His word and not by our feelings. But how?

Steps of faith require boldness. They also require wisdom. The world may call your faith step foolish. But true faith is founded on the wisdom of God and His word.

Step out in true faith and you will find that you are pleasing God (Hebrews 11.6). Your faith will be rewarded. You will feel Him strengthening your feet beneath you, guiding your steps. His word is like a two-edged sword, it helps us discern what is of Him in our lives and what is from us. Use that sword to clear the path of faith in your life.

Read it, believe it and express that belief in words and actions. Enjoy the faith adventure!

04 September, 2007


Crying out to God certainly brings answers. It also brings a different perspective on things. When we truly allow God to begin to work in a situation, we learn that He sees things differently than we do.

Where we see no other way, He makes paths straight beneath our feet. When we see limitations, He sees opportunities. I love that about God. He's so creative and always totally relevant. Surrendering to Him and putting our trust in Him changes our situation. Same landscape, but a different perspective.

Suddenly there are possibilities we didn't see before. Surprisingly, things we thought immovable begin to change. The Bible encourages us to bring our thinking into line with how God thinks (Romans 12.2). It's a key that changes our lives. We begin to see things God's way. It changes how we see ourselves. Even other people.

Best of all, it brings us to a place of peace. Our own worries or battles bring concern. But when we have God's perspective then we remember who is in charge. We remember that He has a plan and we begin to co-operate with Him. Our faith grows. We find a place of rest. A rest of faith.

Next time you cry out to God, don't just harangue Him with your frustration. Ask Him for His perspective on the situation. Allow Him to open up new possibilities.