Monday, 22 January 2018

Know Thine Enemy.

We all have weaknesses, areas in our life where we don't excel. For some it may be alcohol, for others social skills, for others simply loving their own children. But how we treat these weaknesses, either in ourselves or in others, defines whether or not we are showing ourselves or others love or hate.

It is often easy, especially after getting to know someone for a while, to spot their weaknesses. They may even confide in you their struggles and failures.

"I am not good on this"
 "I need to avoid this"
 "In the past I have been addicted to this"

But what you then choose to do with that knowledge defines whether or not you show that person love or hate. The choice is yours.

You see, love knows our weakness and seeks to protect us from them.  Love doesn't deliberately try to escalate or exploit them or tempt us or seduce us with them. For example, love does not deliberately offer wine to a recovering alcoholic or a dessert feast to a diabetic or drugs to an addict. It doesn't offer more work to a workaholic and less work to a lazy sod.
Love doesn't dress provocatively in front of hormonal teenage boys or feed young children a litre of red cordial and then expect them to behave and not get tooth cavities. Love is self-disciplined. It does not fuel our already existing past and present excesses. That would be a malicious, greedy spirit. Only an enemy would do that, for their goal is to destroy you, to fuel your weaknesses and increase your failings to their own advantage.
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Jesus spoke really harshly about people who aim to do that. He said

"But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone hung around your neck." Mark 9:42
In Romans, Paul says it this way
"Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother." Romans 14:13

Jesus has told each of us to cut off things that have led us to sin.  We are to find out what cause us to sin and then avoid that thing like the plague, to never, ever return to it for our eternal salvation is at stake.
"Woe to the world for the causes of sin. These stumbling blocks must come, but woe to the man through whom they come! 8If your hand or your foot causes you to fall into sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lamethan to have two hands and two feet and be thrown into theeternal fire. 9And if your eye causes you to fall into sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.…" Matt 18:7-9
Likewise, if someone tells you they have cut something off because it leads them into sin, then love mandates that we not offer to 'help them put it back into their lives' as though we believe their life can't be worth living without it. That would be a selfish agenda not a loving one. That is leading someone into temptation, not leading them away from it.

So let me encourage you as we enter a new calendar year, to truly love yourself and others. Beg God to show you what causes you to sin and then cut it off for good! Listen when others tell you their weaknesses and strive to support them in avoiding them. Let us get down on our knees and daily ask our Heavenly Father to lead us and others away from temptation so that we become a people who truly love each other and the new creation that God wants us to be.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

How Essential Oils Balanced My Body's Hormones and Mood. - A Testimony

Quite a few years ago now, I was talking to my friend Rachael and bemoaning the high coast of the vitamins and supplements that my doctor had put me on to try and help my body overcome the many chronic diseases that were ravaging my body. She suggested I try essential oils. No one had EVER suggested that to me before. I was completely unsure. I knew nothing about them or how they worked. Somehow or other I had put them in the 'magical / mystical' basket in my head (probably because of the many new age type shops selling them) without even investigating why that was. I also thought they might be wrong. Why? I confess I had thrown out all those Bible verses in Scripture where essential oils were highly spoken of. I ignored the many, many verses that spoke of Jesus being anointed with oils, the priests being anointed with oils and the community being anointed with essential oils, both Old and New Testament. I was wrong. I want to openly confess that.

I decided to begin a quest into essential oils. What ensued was a wonderful journey of exploration. My first step was to purchase a book that explained a bit about them to me. As a Christian, I wanted a Christian perspective - not a secular one. This is the book I purchased (No, I don't have an affiliate with them). I think it only cost me $16 or so. With much prayer and trepidation I began to read through the book asking Jesus to show me IF I was to use them and if so, which one to start with. In my heart I began to get a certainty that I should start with Sandalwood. The book said that sandalwood helped with cells that have been reprogrammed incorrectly leading to disease. What did I have to lose? My body was ravaged with disease. Western medicine had already given up on me and told me my health situation was hopeless. The Bible on the other hand told me to use essential oils and prayer to heal the sick. I decided to give it ago. 

I purchased some sandalwood 3% in jojoba and then prayed asking Jesus to tell me where to apply the oil. I didn't have a clue. I was told my breasts. So for the next month, morning and night I applied sandalwood to my breasts. That didn't make sense to me, because I hoped the sandalwood was going to help me with my sleeping problems (night terrors, insomnia).

This is what happened. After about 1 month a particularly bad night terror stopped. It has never returned. I wrote a blog about it at the time. It was in April 2014 and titled, 'Wounds'.  Shortly after this, I attended my usual monthly doctor's appointment for my monthly blood test results. He asked me what I had done differently that month because there had been a big improvement in my blood results. I told him the truth. He raised his eyebrows in surprise and said I no longer needed all the supplements I was taking to fight off breast cancer. Prior to this my breast cancer markers had been very high and they were very worried. Breast cancer runs strongly in the women in my family. I was elated. How did the sandalwood do this? Later I learned that sandalwood is exceptional in balancing male/female hormones in both men and women. It appears that this had corrected in my body. Praise Jesus is all I have to say! It was Him who told me to rub the oil on my breasts. I  on the other hand was clueless.

I decided to keep using the sandalwood daily and add in cedarwood essential oil. I had read that cedarwood helped with insomnia and anxiety. I was struggling with severe anxiety at times mainly because  my body wouldn't uptake magnesium correctly. The doctor told me this was because there was damage to certain genes in my body - in other words, I had inherited this problem, due to no fault of my own. For quite a few years now I had been on a LOT of magnesium supplements to help me with my anxiety. I decided I had nothing to lose and possibly a lot to gain at this point. I began to rub a few drops of cedarwood daily on my temples. I did this for a month. 

Next I added myrtle essential oil into my daily oil mix. I didn't stop any of the others, just added in the myrtle. The book told me myrtle was documented as helping with hashimoto's disease as well as sleep problems. Once again as someone who had nearly died of hashimoto's disease...I was the perfect candidate to see if this was true. I prayed and introduced myrtle.

I am not exactly sure now when I was told I no longer had hashimoto's disease. It was still back in 2014 but I don't remember exactly when the doctor told me my markers were normal. All I remember now is the most important fact. It was gone! I was well! Praise Jesus!!

I have more testimonies of how through prayer and essential oils Jesus has brought healing to my life and the lives of my friends and family. If I wrote them all down now this blog would be way too long. So for now...that is all I will write.

But I will say one thing up front. Many people watched me get well. I have many witnesses to this fact. Many of them started asking me where I purchased my oils. At that point I was just getting them at a local business near me but I was uncomfortable about that. The business was very much into new age mysticism and the occult but I didn't know where else to purchase my oils. I wanted to tell the owner what Jesus had done for me, but she would not listen. That is her choice. But shortly after my husband encouraged to open my own essential oil business. He told me, to put my money where my mouth is. In other words, if you believe this is a good and holy thing, then open an essential oil business in the name of Jesus - because Jesus deserves the credit for this, not some new age occultic guff. And so I did. This is my business. I am not ashamed of what I believe. I am not ashamed of what Jesus has done. I am not ashamed of the truth, for the truth sets me free.

I do not know what Jesus will do for you if you ask Him. I can only speak of what He did for me. 

Kind Regards,

Sharon Stay

"Oil and perfume bring joy to the heart, 
so a man's counsel is sweet to his friend" Prov 27:9

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Friday, 22 December 2017

Why I Celebrate Jesus' Birth

I celebrate Jesus birth not because I am into Christmas - I’m not. It’s not ordinary enough for me. I hate all the hype, glitz and glamour our culture adds on. I’m into Jesus - God in human form. 

The birth of Jesus reminds me that God thought I was important enough to fight for. Very few people fight for the ordinary people in this world. But Jesus - He fought for me. He valued me. He thought an ordinary Mum, in a small rural town in Australia was worth coming to this earth to save. It took courage and it cost him a lot. 

Born in a stall, into an unimportant family, in an unimportant town, his actual birth date is forgotten. He knew none of this world’s prestige or wealth, only scandal and rejection. The stars announced his birth, but the majority missed that - the bright lights of the city got in the way. The angels sang of his birth, but only a few country shepherds saw that and the very important don’t listen to simple country folk. They were too busy; expecting posh baby showers and expensive announcements. They missed it. They wanted a ‘somebody’ and Jesus was a ‘nobody’ in their eyes.

From his birth, the kings and rulers wanted Him dead. They hated his goodness - it threatened their current way of life. They hated His truthfulness. It made them deeply ashamed. In the end they violently murdered Him thinking it would quieten their consciences. After all, He was the ultimate whistleblower about all that was ugly and evil in this world. He was love personified.

If you’ve ever been hated for doing the right thing. Or hated for speaking the truth in love, then you know the courage that requires. If you’ve ever had questionable parentage, been over looked, considered unimportant, not worth listening to, had your birthday forgotten, had your party forgotten, had your identity stolen or had your life declared worthless, then you know what Jesus went through. It takes infinite courage to continually do what is right in the face of massive opposition and difficulty. Yet He did it - proving his deity.

You see, you can’t kill God. That would be an oxymoron. You can try, but innocent blood always cries out from the land, demanding justice.

And so, God in his justice, resurrected Jesus Christ, from the dead by the power of his Holy Spirit. Thousands saw his resurrected body. And now over 2000 years or so later, thousands of ordinary folk, still know that Jesus is God and remember his birth.”

“If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is God and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, then you will be saved.” The Bible (Romans 10:9).

That’s why I worship Him.  


Sunday, 1 October 2017

Why Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is a Lie

Part. 1

As part of my Occupational Therapy degree at university, we were taught Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. This is a psychology theory that states that man's needs can be prioritised the following way.
Maslow reports studying only the healthiest 1% of people in developing his theory. He  believed 

"the study of crippled, stunted, immature, and unhealthy specimens can yield only a cripple psychology and a cripple philosophy."                                                                               Maslow, A (1954). Motivation and personality. New York, NY: Harper.

For many years, I believed what I was taught at University. I mean, after all, this was university. It must be truth.

But now I want to publicly state that I believe this theory to be a lie. You see, I had all those things that Maslow said were important in my life, but all it yielded was a deep sense of emptiness and meaninglessness. I was completely and utterly dissatisfied.

Now, I would like to present a different Hierarchy of Needs - one that I have found to be truly and utterly satisfying beyond my wildest dreams. The author of this is Jesus Christ, God, the creator and sustainer of the world and it's creatures. This is no theory, like Maslow's. This is actual fact. I have proven it over and over again as have others in history. I dare you to try it - to see if it holds water. What have you got to loose?

God's Hierarchy of Needs:

1. Love
2. Faith
3. Hope
4. Contentment
5. Drink, food, clothing

Love First: 

The Bible teaches, that man's greatest need is love. Intrinsically, we all know that humans can thrive without some of their physical needs being met, if they feel love. Ask any orphan or widow. I have. They always choose love first. The difference between a home and an orphanage is love. 

The Bible wisely says this about love:
"If I speak in the tonguesa of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,b but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 
8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 
13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

The Bible says God is love (1 John 4). Therefore, mankind's greatest need is God. Jesus Christ is love. He loved me first. While I was still hating him, He loved me. When I was still rebelling against Him, He loved me. When I was unfaithful to Him, He was faithful to me. He forgave me, before I even asked for forgiveness.

Not all 'loves' are equal. Jesus thought I was worth dying for. He valued me. I was worth the shame of an unjustified, gruesome crucifixion. No human loves like that, unless they are filled with God's love.

Paul says in Philippians 3, he would rather have Jesus Christ than anything else.
Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.
All through out history, for over 2000 years, thousands of men, women and children have died for their faith in Jesus Christ in preference to recanting their faith. They valued Jesus Christ more highly than food, clothing, shelter, safety, family, fame, sleep, fortune and success. They've been tortured, murdered, maimed, starved, bankrupted, hated and imprisoned. They still chose love. They chose Jesus Christ.

The real currency of this world we live in, is love.

Don't you want to know what you are missing out on?

Monday, 11 September 2017

Facing the Demons

Spiritual Warfare is part and parcel of the normal Christian life, so it is important we understand how it works, if we are to grow into mature, victorious Christians.  

Many times we are commanded in Ephesians 6 to take our stand.

 "take your stand against the devil's schemes." 

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

But what does it mean to “stand against the devil’s schemes’, or ‘stand our ground’ or “to stand’?

Proverbs sheds some light on this issue, in chapter 25.

“Like a muddied spring or a polluted well are the righteous who give way to the wicked.”

The dictionary says to ‘stand one’s ground’ means to resolutely maintain one’s position, typically in the face of opposition and intimidation. 

As Christians we stake our claim of ground on the Word of God. If the Word of God says something is good, then we say it is good. If it says it is evil, then we say it’s evil. 

Who is the Christian's enemy?

Let's not be confused here. The enemy is not flesh and blood, It’s not actual people, it's demons or evil/ injurous spirits.

"For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." (Eph 6:12)

What are the Devil's schemes?

Demons have strongholds. Strongholds are arguments and presumptions that oppose the Word of God and knowledge of God. Christian's have the power and authority to destroy them. This was given to us by Jesus Christ.

"For though we live in this world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every presumption that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 2 Cor 10:3-5

For example, evolution is a stronghold or argument that is not supported by the Word of God. There are many, many more.

Let me give you a few in detail that I have personally come up against. The Bible often depicts Satan and demons metaphorically as animals and His people as sheep. I can only assume that this is to increase our understanding when we come up against them.  

The Spirit of Leviathan:- Also known as the ‘Beast of the Sea’, 'Sea Monster' or 'Dragon’, this spirit is roused when we curse the day we were born (Job 3:8) It’s the ‘I wish I’d never been born, my life is so awful... how dare God have created me... my life is no longer worth living because I have lost (fill in the blank)....” mindset. Found in the deepest of the deep, this is the deepest of wounds and the highest of pride. In Job 41, we read 

“Nothing on earth is his equal - a creature without fear. He looks down on all that are haughty; he is king of all that are proud.” 

Job 41 says that even the mightiest of men are terrified by this spirit and any hope of subduing him is false hope...though many have tried various weapons.

BUT the LORD is greater than the spirit of Leviathan.

In Psalm 74 we are told that God crushes the head of Leviathan and feeds it to his tribes in the wilderness.

In Psalm 104:26 we are told the LORD created Leviathan. He is simply a creature not the Creator.

In Isaiah 27 we are told,

 “In that day the LORD will punish with his sword, his fierce, great and powerful sword, Leviathan the gliding serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent he will slay the monster of the sea.”

Our life is worth living because the true purpose of our life is to worship God and serve him forever. God chose to create us. God chose a purpose for each and every one of us. As Habbakuk 3 says, though absolutely everything goes wrong in my life  .... 

“Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.”

The Spirit of the Bear/Lion:- In the Bible, wicked rulers who oppress the poor and helpless and defy the armies of the living God, are likened to roaring lions and charging bears. They ferociously attempt to attack the sheep, God’s people.

Like a roaring lion and a charging bear, Is a wicked ruler over a poor people.” Prov 28:15

A perfect example of this is seen in the well known account of David the young shepherd boy defeating the giant Goliath. David says,

“But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” 1 Sam 17:34-37
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David repeatedly took his stand in the name of Yahweh, and declared his victory. He refused to give way to this wicked man.

‘Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. This day the LORD will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the LORD’S and He will give you into our hands.”

David makes 5 declarations to this spirit.
  1. I attack you in the name of the LORD of Hosts.
  2. The LORD will deliver you into my hands.
  3. All the earth will know that there is a God in Israel.
  4. The LORD does not deliver by sword or spear.
  5. The LORD delivers you into our hands.

The Spirit of the Wolf:- The Bible depicts false prophets as a wolf spirit. (Matt 12:33-37, Luke 6:43-45). Jesus tells us to recognize wolves in sheep’s clothing by the fruit that they produce - disobedience. They advertise themselves as ‘christians’ who are able to prophesy, drive out demons and perform miracles yet the reality is that they are workers of lawlessness. They reject God’s law and so He rejects them (Hosea 4:6) The wolf spirit arrogantly denies as holy what Jesus has appointed as holy. At it’s root, this spirit rejects the authority of Scripture and obedience to God’s expressed will, as written in the Holy Bible.

In John 10, we read that the wolf attacks the flock (God’s people) and scatters them.

I should add, that the Scriptures say there is nothing wrong with Christians prophesying, casting out demons and performing miracles in the name of Jesus. Jesus did them all and so did his disciples and others in the early church. That is well documented in the New Testament. The real issue here is that these wolves deny God’s law - His ultimate authority and lordship over what is right and wrong. Hence they promote what is wrong and deny what is right. Ultimately they are fighting for the wrong side and so they have a disobedient spirit and ultimately promote sin itself. (Jude 1-25).

BUT Jesus is greater than the wolf spirit.

His word says...

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim 3:16,17).

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight; everything is uncovered and exposed before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:12,13).

“Everyone who practices sin practices lawlessness as well. Indeed, sin is lawlessness. But you know that Christ appeared to take away sins, and in Him there is no sin. No one who remains in Him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has seen Him or known Him.” (1 John 3:4-6).

But Jesus is the Good Shepherd, who cares for his sheep.

In John 10 we read, 
  • God’s people (the sheep), know Jesus’ voice and follow Him.
  • Jesus lays down his life for the sheep.
  • Jesus owns the sheep.
  • Jesus protects the sheep from the wolves, bears, lions and thieves.
  • Jesus provides salvation for His sheep.
  • Jesus gives His sheep safe pasture and life to the full.

What are the Christian’s weapons?

Truth or the Spirit of Truth: - Jesus said, he is truth. Without truth, we have only lies and the Bible calls Satan, the father of lies. The role of the Holy Spirit is to equip us to discern truth from lies. Without Him, we might find ourselves inadvertently fighting on the opposite side of truth. The Spirit of Truth brings glory to God.

"But when he, the Spirit of Truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you." John 16:13,14

"Stand firm then with the belt of truth bucked around your waist." Eph 6:14

Righteousness:- the Bible speaks of a righteousness that comes from God. This is far higher than moral righteousness or any good deeds we might do in and of ourselves. It's Jesus Christ, God in the flesh’s perfect righteousness imparted to us. We receive God's righteousness by confessing with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believing in our heart that God raised him from the dead. (Romans 10). God's kingdom and throne is founded on righteousness and justice. (Ps 89:14) 

The Gospel :- The gospel brings peace. Peace with God and peace with each other as we all unite with God’s ways and deny ourselves of our own ways and plans.

"Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved." 

"That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures...And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins." 1 Cor 15

Faith:- Faith is believing God exists, that His Word is truth and living out that belief.

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:6

"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Heb 11:6

Salvation:- We are saved by the grace and mercy of God, not by our own goodness. As soon as we start trusting in our own good deeds, we have walked away from God’s truth about his plan for salvation.

"He saved us, not by the righteous deeds we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This is the Spirit He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we would become heirs with the hope of eternal life." (Titus 3:5-7)

Word of God:- When faced with arguments or presumptions that oppose the Word of God, we stand firm on His word as truth and refute the strongholds by declaring.."The Word of God says this...". Jesus set a wonderful example of this for us, when he was tempted for 40 days in the wilderness. (Matthew 4)

"The sword of the Holy Spirit is the Word of God." Eph 6:17

Prayer:- Prayer is where we communicate to God, give Him honor and praise and make our needs known.

"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people." Eph 6:18

"The prayer of a righteous man has great power to prevail." (James 5:16)

All these 7 weapons must be operating habitually, each day, for us to live the victorious Christian life.

Monday, 13 June 2016

When the Waters Roar and Foam

Are the waters ahead roaring and foaming?
Is every fibre of your being screaming danger?
Are fear and anxiety trying to gain a foothold?

Do you know the LORD God as your refuge?
Have you fed on his wisdom for dangerous waters?

Look for the Warning Lighthouse.

God warns the righteous of upcoming trouble so that they can take refuge and remain safe. There are some waters, that the LORD God does not intend for us to go through. They are simply not safe. He always sends a warning. He always provides a lighthouse.  Keep watch for the warning lighthouse.
Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared. Prov 3:25, 26.
Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways, for the LORD detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence. Prov 3:31,32.
Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man. Ps 112:4
Examples in Scripture:

  • Joseph was warned in dreams to flee from approaching danger. "When they had gone, an angel of the LORD appeared to Joseph in a dream. 'Get up', he said, 'take the child [Jesus] and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.' So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. "Matt 2:13-15. "Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee." Matt 2:22
  • The Magi were warned in a dream of Herod's evil intention. "And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route." Matt 2:12
  • Pilate's wife was warned to have nothing to do with Jesus' crucifixion. "Don't have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him." Matt 27:19

Take Refuge. Avoid Dangerous Waters.
When you see the warning lighthouse, take refuge. Don't be a fool and keep sailing into dangerous territory.
The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it. Prov 27:12
A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it. Prov 22:3
When the righteous triumph, there is great elation; but when the wicked rise to power, men go into hiding. Prov 28:12
When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding; but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive. Prov 28:28
Examples in Scripture:

  • In 1 Kings 18:13 we read of Obadiah hiding the LORD's prophets from the wicked King Ahab who was actively seeking to kill them. According to the NIV text notes on this passage - "Communities of prophets had sprung up in Israel during a time of apostasy."  The text note later says that these "companies of prophets were apparently religious communities that sprang up in the face of general indifference and apostasy for the purpose of mutual edification and the cultivation of the experience of God."
  • In Exodus 1 and 2, we read of the midwives helping the Israelite women to hide and protect their children from the wicked rulers. "The midwives however feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live." Ex 1:17  The Bible records that the LORD God blessed the midwives for their actions of valour and righteousness.
  • Joash, a child who was heir to the throne, was hidden for 6 years from a wicked queen who  was intent on murdering all in the royal line (2 Chron 22:11).
  • "By faith, Moses parents hid him for 3 months after he was born because they saw he was no ordinary child and they were not afraid of the King's edict." Heb 11:23
Enjoy Safe Haven
The LORD rewards the righteous who heed his wisdom to take refuge with a safe haven. In safety he enables them to flourish and thrive.
My son, preserve sound judgement, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid, when you lie down, your sleep shall be sweet. Prov 3:21-24
But whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm. Prov 1:33
The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest. Isaiah 33:17,18
Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands. His children will be mighty in the land, the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house and his righteousness endures forever.....He will have no fear of bad news, his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. His heart is secure, he will have no fear, in the end he will look in triumph on his foes. Psalm 112. 
Have you found your safe haven? Have you let the LORD gently lead you to safety?
Take my advice, do not let fear paralyse you and keep you from taking refuge when dangerous waters approach. Learn that the LORD God, the lover of your soul, wants his children to be safe. Keep watch for the warnings and trust your Heavenly Father to keep you safe.


Monday, 6 June 2016

Are You in the Right Boat?

Is your life full of stormy weather?
Maybe it's because you're in the wrong boat.

You see, there are two types of boats in life. 

Boats that are heading in the right direction 
Boats that are heading in the wrong direction.

Both boats can experience calm sailing. 
Both boats can encounter stormy seas.

Both boats come in all shapes and sizes.

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It's the direction of the voyage that makes all the difference. 

Is it right or is it wrong?

But how do you discern which boat you are in?
How do you know when to abandon ship?
How do you know when to change boats?
And WHO is choosing which boat we are in anyway?

It seems to me, the answer to these questions could be vitally important if we are to navigate successfully through life and journey to the right destination. No one wants to get to the end of their life to discover they had fought hard to overcome the worst of life's hurricanes, only to end up at the wrong destination. Nothing could be more demoralising.

Maybe the first question should really be, what is the right destination? For if we don't know that...well everything else is really quite pointless.

3 Clues You're in the Wrong Boat.

1. Are you running away from God's expressed wish to you? Three times we are told that Jonah "ran away from God", after God revealed his will to him. God had commanded Jonah to go and boldly call the people of Nineveh to repent. Jonah deliberately disobeyed and jumped on a boat headed in the opposite direction. It was a deliberate choice of disobedience.  He didn't like what God had to offer. He didn't call it good. He didn't call it pure.

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2. Is your storm a result of God disciplining you? You may already know the answer to that. If not, just genuinely ask Him. In my experience, if every time I open the Word of God, the LORD God is telling me he is disciplining me, then that is a clear sign, I am doing something wrong. In Jonah's case, he knew without asking the LORD. A storm of discipline only comes when we are in the wrong boat.
"I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you." Jonah 1:12

3. You need to abandon ship if you are to obey God. Sometimes the only solution in an enormous storm is to abandon ship and throw yourself on the mercy of God. When faced with a sinking ship in a storm of discipline, Jonah threw himself on the mercy of God and asked to be thrown into the stormy sea.
"Pick me up and throw me into the sea" He replied, "and it will become calm."Jonah 1:12
His intention? Jonah believed it would be better to lose his life, than to try going on living in a boat sailing further into disobedience. In Jonah chapter 2 we read of Jonah's prayer of repentance to the LORD as he sunk deeper and deeper into the ocean. His longing for God and obedience to God was greater than his longing for life itself.

Is this how you feel towards God?
Would your life be worthless if it was not lived in obedience to the LORD?
"When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, LORD, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple." "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs" Jonah 2:7,8
Are you clinging to a worthless idol?
That is what disobedience is. An idol in your life.
Oh that you would abandon yourself onto the mercy of God and value your life as worth nothing without God.
Jesus said "If anyone would come after  me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Of what can a man give in exchange for his soul?" Matt 16:24-26
Paul put it this way. "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ - the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith." Phil 3:7-9 

My Story of the Deep.

When the LORD God asked me to wean myself off using pharmaceuticals to manage my allergies and Hashimoto's Disease, I thought I would die. I didn't know then that they were hurting me, with all their side effects. I didn't know then that there would be a better alternative for my body, using natural medicines. All I could see at the time was my own wall of fear. My own idol of terror.

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At that time, I knew that to obey God, I too would have to overcome the same storm that Jonah did. If I was to obey, I would need to decide that living in obedience to what Christ was calling me to do, was worth far more to me, than continuing my journey deeper into disobedience.  I literally felt that I was like Jonah; utterly dependent on my God for mercy.

And he gave me mercy. For many years now, I have not used any pharmaceuticals and have relied on natural medicine. Slowly but surely my allergies dissipated. Slowly but surely my Hashimoto's Disease healed, as I walked in obedience to his word. The LORD had had a better plan for my body.  I needed to overcome my own fear and terror and trust him. I needed to change boats. I needed to call His boat - good.

I do not know what the LORD God will ask you to do. But let me say one thing. Pray and seek Him earnestly. Soak yourself day and night in his Word, the Bible. Beg Him to teach you and equip you to obey; and He will.