14/04/2016

When Belief Becomes Arrogance

Posted in Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , at 6:07 am by The Water Bearer

 

Those gifted with faith have always been in the enemy’s firing line, and it is very obvious when someone else persecutes you. But this blog has always been devoted to revealing the hidden enemy, the inner enemies. One area that has impressed itself on my heart recently is the fine line between certainty in faith and arrogance.

Beth Moore said this in a recent series “I don’t mean to sound presumptuous, but you may believe that I only think I know Christ. Let me assure you that I KNOW HIM, I may not have seen Him with my eyes, but every promise has been kept to heal my wounds into marks of Christ. I have a personal relationship with Him. No imaginary friend could have done all He has done for me.”

There is nothing else that compares to the feeling of being certain in faith. Those times when there is nothing anyone can say to make you doubt what you have experienced to be true.  Especially the times God has aligned numerous perfect signs, or given prophesies before they appear, or fulfilled promises when obedience brought them to reality. Certainty in faith like that can be the most wonderful experience known to mankind, and yet it is not without its potential drawbacks.

Inner Enemies seek to destroy all testimony of a loving God with us and in us, doing all they can to cause us to doubt God, to resist Him, to prevent us from having these experiences of certainty. Then, once we experience certainty in faith, they push us further into it. They empower ego and pride, conceit and prejudice. The weakness of our flesh is real, and the lies of the enemy are subtle enough that they are easy to believe. It could be as simple as wishing others believed us, and defending ourselves when they don’t. It could be that our experiences don’t line up with another’s so we may dismiss or doubt the beliefs of another. Inner Enemies attempt to weaken our self-awareness and corrupt our humility, or at the very worse end of the spectrum, may encourage the violent atrocities carried out across the world in the name of religion. Even the Enemies of God have learned how to imitate God so well that many are convinced of their certainty when it is in fact a counterfeit. Just another way to fill the world with confusion about the One True God.

Our desire to know all things is both our passion and our down fall, from the fruit to the future, human’s greed for understanding has been misleading the world. It has driven science to make adamant claims to have discovered a vital new piece of ‘truth’, only to realise much later how far from truth it was. It has driven Christians to divide up into various denominations, each one disputing the beliefs of the next, watering down the effectiveness of God’s message with each new dispute.

In order for us to stay on the fine line towards our Godly calling, my Dad used to explain it like tacking into the wind in sailing.

 

tacking

The Enemies attempt to push us off course, a slight nudge here and slight nudge there, knowing that even just a tiny deviation off course will end us up a long way from our calling. If the Enemies use doubt, guilt, and resistance to keep us on this side of the course we must tack towards the line by seeking out God’s word, God’s truth, building up and exercising our faith. Alternatively during those times we experience certainty in faith, the Enemies push us right over to the other side and use pride to attempt to convince us that there is no longer a need to change, not much more need for growth. Subtle lies that say we have grown enough and we know enough. One side of the course keeps us dull to insights and understanding, while the other pushes us into the arrogance of knowledge. All is a strategy to keep us from pursuing the truth in the word of God, and this is when many may start comparing sins and sinlessness, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts. It doesn’t take a genius to see that if radicals saw themselves as equal sinners there would be no one to judge, no one to condemn, no one to make an example of. Only Compassion and the Unity of a world full of sinners who ALL need a Saviour.

Self-awareness and a close relationship with God is the safest way to navigate the course to our destiny. Keeping our humility, recognising that we always have more to learn is vital if we are to tack back away from arrogance. An arrogant testimony is more likely to dissuade unity, and yet we must have confidence if our testimony is to carry any weight. In order to walk the fine line towards our destiny and give compelling testimony along the way, we must stay in the constant presence of God. I pray we all keep up our armour and keep vigilantly tacking against the winds of our Inner Enemies, until God’s purpose is reached in each of our lives.

humble

06/03/2016

A Road Paved With HIDDEN Intentions

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , at 1:09 pm by The Water Bearer

road

When I was a young adult I made all my decisions based on what I felt was right. I trusted my feelings above all else. I truly believed that I was upstanding, that I was honourable, that I was right. Aren’t we all so good at self-delusion?

In my mid twenties I welcomed my Dad back into my life, and he introduced me to God and His word with new perspective. I began to see how the words on the pages cut through the lies the enemy had been using to hide my intentions from me. Lies that encouraged me to compare myself to others so I could deem myself to be better, smarter, kinder, more organised, more loving, more righteous than those around me. Easy enough when I compared myself to those who appeared to be lacking in areas I was adept in. A labyrinth of lies stood between the intentions of my heart and my conscious thoughts. Each secret pathway was filled with excuses, with comparisons, with emotions. I was completely unaware of the truth in my heart.

heart labyrinth

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” Jeremiah 17:9

I had yet to learn how to investigate the heart of the girl in the mirror, without the rose coloured glasses Inner Enemies had placed over my eyes.

The word of God did just as the scriptures said it would. It cut through to the bone and exposed my hidden intentions that I had been completely oblivious to.

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart”. Hebrews 4:12

Seeing the truth about my wicked heart was a turning point in my life. I was shocked into self-awareness, ripped from the false sense of security the labyrinth of deceptions had given. I saw a heart that was self-seeking, dishonest, and emotionally manipulative. Yet the hardest blow came when I saw that not only were my emotions manipulating those around me, those I ‘loved’, they had also been manipulating me!

In my youth I had a gift of twisting my own lies into the most believable display, I was very good at convincing others of my mis-truths, sometimes I was so persuasive I began to believe my own lies. Once I felt the conviction of how clearly I had been deluded and how easily I had fooled myself, I began to distrust my feelings, rather than allowing them to make all my decisions, I gave in and let the word of God do it’s healing work in me. I began instead to despise deception and I developed a love and pursuit of truth, as a result God has used the sharp edge of the sword to cut away each segment of that labyrinth of lies. I came to understand that this is how God uses our sin, plus His word and His grace, to sew His laws into our hearts.

This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbour, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.”

Facing up to the true wickedness of our own heart, which has so well worn a righteous mask, is one of the most self-damning experiences, and Inner Enemies love to overplay their hand. They will try to use this awareness to shroud us in guilt, guilt that is so hideous we become afraid to enter into God’s presence. Inner Enemies tell us that our sins are too appauling to forgive. However when we learn that God’s grace is far more abundant than our sin, if we recognise this trick and learn that so long as we confess our sin to God He is faithful and swift to forgive us. He will bring us into a new covenant where another level of Holy Spirit is given to us, to fight against the lies, against the guilt, so that God may do a miraculous work on our hearts. God can then fulfil His intentions to circumcise the hard and wicked outer case of our hearts, to reveal a soft place for His voice to be established, and malleable hearts that bend to His will. Then He can give us all the blessings a righteous heart deserves and more.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8

“For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; with favour You will surround him as with a shield.” Psalms 5:12

“The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.” Psalms 34:17

“LORD, who may abide in your tabernacle? Who may dwell in your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart;” Psalms 15:1-2

“Behold, I will lay your stones with colourful gems, and lay your foundations with sapphires. I will make your pinnacles of rubies, your gates of crystal, and all your walls of precious stones. All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. In righteousness you shall be established; You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.” Isaiah 54:11-14

  crown

 

02/01/2016

Being Aware of Verbal Prayer

Posted in Finding Faith, Musings tagged , , , , , at 11:06 am by The Water Bearer

 

praying group

When a fellow believer unifies their heart to mine and to God’s presence in prayer it is an amazing event, and I have been blessed enough to experience this kind of unity a number of times just recently in fact. Yet sharing in verbal prayer is not a practice that I always find as comforting as some may think I should. Over the years I have noticed that some prayers don’t always sit quite right with me. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate verbal or group prayers’ certain place within the body of Christ, I listen intently to the words offered aloud, agreeing deep in my spirit when my heart harmonizes with what is being said. I am aware of the miraculous power sharing prayers can have, and yet sadly sometimes I notice that prayers can feel recited, watered down, and even at times heretic.

I wonder if perhaps I have an aversion to people praying aloud over me, from when I fell in with a false prophet for a brief period of time. At the time I had no idea she was a false prophet, as the evidence came to light later on. I was just thrilled to have made a friend who accepted me in all my faults, who at the lowest point of my life did not condemn me, who openly professed her belief in God and was happy to talk about the Bible and faith. Yet when she asked if she could pray over me I felt awkward, I noticed that her words didn’t line up with the Will of God as I understood it. She was trying to override His control, trying to get Him to change the circumstances He had put me in, rather than asking Him to empower me to accept His will, to guide my steps, to learn through the trials, to trust Him through the storm. No gratitude, No praise, No humility. As she prayed over me it made my skin crawl, and even though I fought myself trying to be polite and ride it out, I couldn’t and had to ask her to stop.

In Matthew 6:5-6 Jesus gives us direct guidance not to pray out loud and in public.

And when ye pray, ye shall not be as the hypocrites: for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have received their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thine inner chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret shall recompense thee.

Have we forgotten how to value the purest communication with Our Heavenly Father? How intimate and wholehearted it should be?

Praying allowed, sixteen times a day, regardless of who is present, may seem like the most righteous practice around, and yet it is so simple to perform without righteousness. Careless use of prayer can be more harmful than good especially if God’s Will is not at the center, it may even push some away from the unity God’s people are intended to have. It won’t resonate the abundant power prayer can have when true unity is felt. Careless prayer may even guide some out of God’s will, if specific guidance is given when not prophesied directly from God.

Maybe my heart pulls this way because most of my experience with verbal prayer always came from my Dear Dad, who used to pray aloud with me whenever I desperately needed it. He always knew how to line up his heart with mine, and connect us in unity with Gods presence. Maybe it’s simply because I was spoiled to have shared that and I just miss his fervent prayers?

This post was not an easy one to publish, as it has the potential to be misinterpreted or taken out of context. It is tough to expose and put into words exactly how or why my spirit interprets prayer in this way. I guess I’d just hope to use this post as a gentle nudge to ask ourselves some honest questions about the true nature of our verbal prayers and to be wary of using them rashly, repetitively or without deep consideration.

 

hands in prayer

11/12/2015

Imitation Faith

Posted in Finding Faith, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , at 1:51 pm by The Water Bearer

fake

One of the major reasons I have avoided religious institutions during my faith walk, is due to the abundance of Imitation Faith which I have witnessed, and I realise I am not alone in this. While I thoroughly love being part of a faith-group where I can share in worship, and servitude, which challenges me, and yet supports me in my faith walk, I have found it difficult to find lasting support for the type of relationship I have with my Lord and Saviour. Still I keep an open heart, an open mind, and a willing spirit to go wherever He directs me. The true test is to be completely myself and not contort into someone I feel the church might support, I must focus on the promise that God supports me, and that is all I need. That being said, I have been blessed many times within church walls as God has moved me in and about. In fact I am currently befriending a new congregation and excited to see how God moves there.

Evidence of Imitation Faith disheartens and upsets me. Sometimes the imitation is glaringly obvious, you can tell within one interaction. Often the imitation appears so similar to the genuine article, making it difficult to identify, and it can take quite some time to recognise. If there is the possibility of hearing from the Lord through a Donkey, we have to have open ears no matter our whereabouts. It’s hard to explain how to tell the fake, because it’s not always due to behaviour, or language, or anything exterior. Sometimes it can be genuine for a season and then become corrupted. It is a constant battle of discernment. Genuine faith is an internal, private journey with submission to the specific, individual guidance from God, with opportunities to exercise our faith and obedience to fulfill each request, developing and maintaining a covenant with Him. Through each unique relationship, God reveals Himself to us, this is how we develop a familiarity with God’s Character so we can recognise, trust and truly love Him. Imitation faith attempts to push us all onto one same narrow path, it fails to grasp how vastly unique each of us is and which level our faith is at, or what is required to gain the next perfect level. It can severely mislead believers away from their God given path with guilt, than towards it with support. It’s no wonder that it can be something to be wary of. Much evidence throughout the bible states that within the Nation of believers there were only ever a remnant who obeyed God, only a remnant who trusted Him. Something else to remember is that Christ spoke in parables for a reason, to hide the truth, to prevent the imitation from knowing the secrets of the gospel. For good reason….

Matthew 13

He that hath ears, let him hear. 10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 And he answered and said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath.13 Therefore speak I to them in parables; because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.14 And unto them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall in no wise understand; And seeing ye shall see, and shall in no wise perceive:15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, And their ears are dull of hearing, And their eyes they have closed; Lest haply they should perceive with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And should turn again, And I should heal them.16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear.17 For verily I say unto you, that many prophets and righteous men desired to see the things which ye see, and saw them not; and to hear the things which ye hear, and heard them not.

Recently during a great conversation, I was reminded of a metaphor which my Dad used to explain imitation faith to me when I first began my adult faith walk. It was invaluable for me as a ‘Baby Christian’ to understand how easily we can be deceived into building imitation faith as apposed to genuine faith.

There was once a man who was flat broke, he had many bills to pay and debt collectors breathing down his neck. During a moment of extreme desperation he fell to his knees and prayed “If there is a God, please help me pay my bills”. The next week he was walking along the road on his way to a job interview for a job he would rather not do, when he discovered a briefcase, unlocked, full of money. Now the money was counterfeit, but the man didn’t care to wonder nor check. He went to the post office and paid his bills, it worked. His debt was cleared, he thanked “God” and he decided not to go to the job interview after-all.

The metaphor is that the pursuit of faith is just like the man’s pursuit of money, he needed it, he prayed for it, yet he found something less than perfection, less than righteous, less than true and he accepted it. He accepted it because it was an easier ‘answer’ to his prayer than the job interview God had actually provided, for a job that would have taught him priceless lessons about himself, about hard work, about responsibility, about the character of God and how to develop true faith in Him. He would have received an abundance of Godly blessings that would not only have covered his debts, but given him a lifetime without worry of money. He didn’t push past the imitation in order to search out the genuine, and settled for much less.

Lord, cover our mind with the amour of your salvation, that we may see and perceive, and hear and understand. That we never settle for the easier false options in our walk, and that we are blessed to be privy to your hidden truths, which fall on the soft soil of our hearts and not be stolen away, or overgrown with falsehood. In Yeshua’s Mighty Name I Pray! Amen!

 

breifcase

 

29/11/2015

Counterfeit Gifts

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , at 7:29 am by The Water Bearer

counterfeit

When was the last time you felt torn, tested, tempted and deceived? Throughout my walk this has happened many times. Always before a huge breakthrough and a jump to a new level of faith, but at the time it is happening it is extremely tough going, dragging me to the edges of my sanity. My heart pulls one way, my flesh the other, my mind and my spirit also tug in opposite directions. It’s quite hard to focus and be effective when you feel split four ways. It can make you behave in ways that feel foreign and out of character. Scarily, cracks in focus easily lead to deception. My Dad used to say that being deceived was his biggest fear, and even though I too strive desperately for discernment, I recognise that hindsight exposes when deception has occurred. Thankfully Our Gracious Father above can turn our tests into our testimonies!

A faith walk is like walking along a join in the pavement, it’s a balancing act where missed footing doesn’t lead to an instant fall, in fact it can feel much the same as walking that fine line. If we forget to pay attention to each and every precise step, we may not even notice how far from the narrow path we have strayed.

Not only is having an effective faith walk a wobbly balancing act, fulfilling Godly purpose is a journey fraught with potholes. When a believer is determined to exercise their righteous gifts, venturing toward the goal God has placed in their destiny, they are certain to step into enemy territory. These determined ones are top priority foes for the enemy to tempt, to attack, to deceive. A common ruse the enemy uses is the counterfeit, often disguised in such a way as to appear Godly. Counterfeits come in many forms, false prophets, imitation faith, counterfeit gifts, and all are blatant impersonations of God, a subject I have written on previously in this post.

On a personal level, counterfeit gifts have been dancing circles around about me, on and off throughout my life. They attempt to drag my attention away from the true gifts which God placed in my spirit many years ago. New gifts are often exciting, bringing with them enthusiasm, inspiration, motivation, gratification. While gifts that are well worn often appear to have less of the glamour and more of the work. Hell bent on leading us away from our calling, the enemy can strut right up with a bright shiny new counterfeit ‘gift’ and convince us that it is a Godly one. The counterfeit appears so close to the genuine article that it takes some time before the truth becomes clear, the enemy can even mislead us within the very same nature of our genuine gift. Many times we can dive headfirst into the counterfeit because we believe wholeheartedly that God is the designer of it.

The scriptures warn us to be wary of falling for a counterfeit…

1 John 4:1   Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

2 Corinthians 11:3  But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.

Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false christs and false prophets and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

For me, deception is usually closely related to a manic episode, a humbling little quirk God obviously thought my personality could use. A manic episode is like being stuck to the side of a snowball rolling down an avalanche. Starting off small and manageable, perhaps a little bumpy, yet before you know it, it has grown bigger than you can cope with and find yourself hurtling toward the ground at a frightening pace, convinced of your ultimate destruction. It is easy to be misled when your thoughts have taken on a life and speed of their own.

manic thoughts

This time of year is always somewhat manic, and discernment is particularly challenging around Christmas time when the enemy is in full force against believers who spread the true message of Christ and reject the Santa myth. Thankfully, true to form God’s word always gives guidance and weapons to wage war against these inner enemies.

2 Corinthians 10:3-6  “Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled”

I recognise that in order to ‘bring every thought into captivity’, I need to be willing to pause for thought in the midst of the chaos and listen out for God’s instructions which I need to submit to and obey. I need to slow down my thoughts, I need some quiet time, some mindfulness, some time focused on God’s abundant presence.

I pray fervently, Lord help us focus our thoughts, pulling them into captivity and obedience. Show us the counterfeits and deceptions so we may fulfill the purpose of our true gifts. In Yeshua’s Mighty Name. Amen!

08/11/2015

A Waterbearer’s Miracle at 3am*

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith tagged , , , , , , , at 11:23 am by The Water Bearer

water bearer

“HONEY!! SHE NEEDS WATER!!” My husband calls to me in a desperate way, from twenty meters behind me.

It’s 3 am, middle of the City on a Sunday night.

A group of us are staggering from our work Christmas Party (insert excess alcohol here) heading towards the nearest open establishment, a nightclub which was about 800 meters or so up the road. We all worked in hospitality, in a club that opened all day everyday, and the Christmas party had been arranged on the quietest night so that only skeleton staff were needed at work. Being a Sunday night, in the middle of the City, not much was open. My husband was helping one of our overly intoxicated friends to stay upright as she tried to put one foot in front of the other without falling back into the bushes that skirted the footpath.

“I don’t have any water” I replied. I should mention here that I am famous for placing full glasses of water into the hands of those around me who are helping themselves to the unlimited Bar-tab without a second thought. “We are heading to the nearest place with water.” I reminded him.

“HONEY!” He called again, in a higher pitch, as he pulled himself and our friend from the bushes for the third time. “She really needs some water, she can’t do this!”

I began looking around me for a tap on the side of the building, or a bus stop or anything. No Luck.

“I’m sorry Babe, there is no water here, we just have to get her to the club.” I insisted.

“She’s not going to make it that far without some water!” He calls back.

I threw my hands in the air, I know he had had too much to drink, we all had, but what on earth did he really expect me to do? At the time I was in front of a large office block, which had a neat grassy area in front of it, but there wasn’t a tap in sight. Yet as I threw my hands into the air, I looked upwards into the dark night sky. I suddenly remembered my faith, I remembered that I have a relationship with the creator of the universe. I prayed….

“Lord, We really need water, I have no idea where you can get us some, but I know you can.”

I took two more steps along the empty street, and all of a sudden irrigation jets rose from the grass next to me and began squirting out water like a drinking fountain!!

“AMEN! WE HAVE WATER! WE HAVE WATER! AMEN!” I screamed, completely amazed by the accurate precision of God’s perfection and timing. Our dehydrated friend, came swaying over to the sprinklers and manages to slur,”Is it safe to drink?”

I filled my hands and gulped it down, laughing hysterically, “IT’S FROM THE LORD!”. Needless to say, that she had her fill of water and made it safely to the club, where we got her some more water and a cab home.:-)

Our God is SO AWESOME!

This miracle occurred over 10 years ago, which happened to be a few years before that prophet came to my church and gave me the name “The Water Bearer” . I actually didn’t realise at first how many connections I had had with bearing water until sometime later. Needless to say each confirmation is always incredibly powerful, big or small.

Sharing these testimonies is such a pleasure, to be able to share evidence of how abundant and miraculous God’s impact can be in our lives when we believe and reach out to Him. I’d love to hear some of your testimonies. Please share below.

sprinkler

02/10/2015

A Need for Connection

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , at 10:23 am by The Water Bearer

dont care

 

We’ve all heard people claim “I don’t care what anyone thinks” and for those of you like me, perhaps this seems a far off concept, one we are encouraged to strive for. Getting to the point where we don’t care what others think seems impossible. I have always cared, deeply. So much so, that for much of my life I believed I needed to be malleable, that I needed to change myself to be what everyone else told me I should be. I spent so much time hopping from one foot to the other unsure of who I was, depending on who I was with. I assumed that if I somehow met their expectations then they would have to approve of me. I tripped over myself trying to ensure no one held ill feelings towards me. I pursued those who had gripes, finding anyway I could to defend myself and convince them that I was worthy of their approval.  It is one thing to try and be at peace with all men, and another thing entirely to need the approval of all men. Through therapy I came to understand much of this was due to my hidden insecurity and once I began to believe in my own worth I began to take a much different approach.

When I look back at that girl I see many differences. I no longer see someone who is willing to change herself at the whim of others, I no longer see someone who needs to chase down everyone who condemns my faults and has unreasonable expectations of me. In fact these days I quite simply stay away and allow them to think whatever they like. However, I still and always will pursue change. Changes that I see as valuable, and changes that God has impressed upon my heart, I hope to always be malleable in my Lord’s hands.

During these changes, I have come to realise that the statement “I don’t care what anyone thinks”, is somewhat false, hence the reason it seems impossible. We all care….We might not let them know we care, we might not chase them, we might not change for them, but to be misjudged, misunderstood and lose connection still hurts, it still bothers us, we still care.

I started to get some insight into this recently, after I dug deeper into the question “why do we all care?”. A little epiphany came after praying on this, that the reason we all care is because we are all made in the image of God, and Our Heavenly Father IS LOVE. Perfect, pure, righteous LOVE. Love that intense has an unwavering need for connection with others. It is why He created all beings. Another thing I have come to understand as I have grown in my relationship with God is that because He is LOVE that makes Him a giant throbbing HEART. When we say our heart has broken we understand it as painful, for Him it is multiplied 100 fold. The pain of being disconnected from us was the catalyst for His reasoning to send His Son to reunite us to Him. I bet He suffered excruciating pain when that first bite of forbidden fruit was taken, when the enemy first severed the connection between Him and us, His children. I bet the pain He felt when Lucifer turned was beyond words unbearable.

The spirit of our Heavenly Father is inside every single one of us, it is the thing that levels every human being as equals, whether we recognize it, admit it, believe it or NOT. His spirit within us is the drive in our deepest part that craves connection. Whenever our connection with another is severed it hurts us because it hurts the spirit of our Heavenly Father. Still we can find solace in knowing we are approved of, we are worthy, we are loved, unwaveringly by our Creator, and an open connection with Him is always available.

I am perplexed by all the meme’s and statements encouraging us to not care what anyone thinks. On one hand I see the empowering mindset to detach from the restraints of approval seeking, and yet when we desensitize ourselves so much to the thoughts and feelings of others we may risk the very essence of us that makes us human, a deep caring, and loving spirit of God.

When we begin to understand how God feels, it gives deeper insights to who He is and what He stands for. We humans have blamed Him for all the things not understood, and have portrayed Him as a heartless powerful giant who treats us as ants and cares not, when the opposite is closer to the truth. Everything He does and has done is to secure the connection between us and Him and each other. However… He doesn’t change himself to please our every whim, He doesn’t allow disconnection to alter His affection for us, He doesn’t allow His emotional state to influence His righteous stance. I think there is something in that we can all be empowered by.

So next time you hear the phrase “I don’t care what anyone thinks” remember, we all do in some way, especially God.

God's love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19/08/2015

An Empty Jug

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , at 10:37 am by The Water Bearer

fulljug

The recent questions of my Bible teacher pierced my ears, and made a beeline for my heart. He asked….

“When was the last time you prayed for something HUGE, something that will bring Glory to God? Or are your prayers distracted by some other cause?”  I knew God was convicting me about the book I am writing for Him. The one I have been writing for Him for 15 years and yet I find myself distracted from so often.

“When was the last time you asked God to fill your jug with guidance, blessings and solutions?” He continued…… “Daily” I thought.

“And do you take him an empty jug, just like the widow did with Elisha? Or was your jug already full? Full of your own ideas and self-promotion, full of a controlling spirit, full of pride?” He asked.

In case you aren’t familiar with the widow’s story, it is found in 2 Kings 4…. The widow was pleading to Elisha for a miracle after the death of her husband.

So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.” Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few. And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.” So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out. Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased.  Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you and your sons live on the rest.” (2 Kings4:2-7)

After his questions, my teacher stated something I found extremely profound…..

“Here’s a clue to the last miracle performed by the prophet Elisha. The oil ran out when the last empty jug was filled.”

Woah!

Isn’t it true, in case you missed it, that we so often forget that we have a huge God and we certainly remember to ask for His blessings, however not many blessings can be received if we don’t have enough room in our jug to accept His abundance! When we first ask Christ into our hearts we are usually on our knees, completely emptied, begging to be filled. As promised he fills us. As the years pass, along come many new things that may once again begin to take up room in our jug. Our families grow bigger, we inherit new responsibilities and new trials, we begin to pursue new goals and before you know it we are back limiting God and asking for only those blessings we hope for.

 

jugs

Food for thought isn’t it! I know I felt completely convicted!

Our God is HUGE! So why are our prayers limited? How often have we prayed “Please Lord just give me the little thing. This little thing I want, I don’t need much.”

How can we accept ALL He is able and willing to give if we only offer Him a limited amount of room to bless us?

With a heavy heart I admit that I am guilty of taking half of myself to God, while the rest of me stands firmly in the quicksand of comfort, worry, distraction, reputation, indulgence and even bitterness.

With a convicted heart, I took a good look at the motives taking up space in my jug, I renewed my covenant to empty myself and simply present an empty jug and asked the Lord to fill it.

And do you know what?!?!

I found an abundance of blessings once again! AMEN!

empty jug

 

24/07/2015

Sins of the ‘Filter’

Posted in Family, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , at 11:56 am by The Water Bearer

filter

It is easy to take credit for all the talents we pass onto our children, however it is often much harder to admit that we pass on our curses also. This valuable piece of understanding has been the main motivator for me to accept my faults, identify my curses, and work towards change within myself and my life. For the sake of my children, my two precious girls, I wanted more for them than the dysfunction I have lived with.

The main breakthrough at the beginning of my self-journey was discovering that my filter was broken.

You may be asking what on earth is your Filter?

The filter, as my psychologist titled it, is the part of our brain that tells us what to let out and what to keep back, what to let in and what to block out. For one example, it is the part of our mind that determines what is important, what is worth getting upset about and alternatively what is not worth getting upset about. I am not simply talking about the experience of internal emotions, I am also talking about the external voicing of our emotions, the times we show our anger, the times we lose our cool, the times we raise our voice, or force another to hear our unpleasant thoughts and feelings. I am talking about our considered self-talk, the conversations we have with ourselves that analyses our reactions and our paradigm.

This filter also helps us read others accurately. It determines when a situation calls for hostile opinions to be voiced or when discretion is required. It helps us determine if someone has actually wronged us and to what degree of intent, or if we have assumed the worst due to our insecurities or previous experiences. Our filter helps us decide whether being aggressively assertive is required, or if a more subdued form of confrontation would have more beneficial results, or if deflecting the situation and letting it go is best. It helps us discern if someone’s feedback is valid and worth application, or considering if it is merely an outburst without the use of their own filter.

There are numerous causes for a broken filter, only individual, psychological investigation can help determine the cause, and along with an honest relationship with God, it is also the only way to fix a damaged filter. There are countless issues that reverberate throughout the life of one with a damaged filter. It will effect all relationships, possibly career opportunities, and disrupt our sense of inner peace. And of course, sadly, it can cause these issues to transfer into the lives of our children, especially if we have not address it and passed the damage down the line.

I understand how difficult it can be to step back and take inventory of our reactions and responses, it can be daunting to re-evaluate yourself, your life and why you do what you do. Inner enemies encourage us to stay broken, they empower our resistance, preventing us from accepting our broken filter, which can impede us from pursuing the healing we require. A healthy filter prevents so much of the drama that seems to flood our lives, it helps us keep a safe healthy barrier from those who create problems and helps us understand how to best navigate the waters of relationships to bring more contentment and fulfillment.

If after reading this post you too wonder if your filter is broken, I thoroughly recommend praying for God to help you find the right therapist to address it. Be prepared to get very honest with yourself and after some tough work, look forward to the benefits of a healthier mindset. When we realize that our filter is broken, it can be tempting to use its damage as an excuse to deflect responsibility for our outbursts, bad reactions and the chaos that is usually partnered with this issue, rather than something we must take accountability for. But if we think it may be broken then we may be effecting others negatively, and it is unfair to all parties to leave it untreated. We must take ownership and accept the filter is part of us, we need to sincerely apologize to others whenever it misfires and make steps towards healing.

I have seen the fall out of this issue so often in myself and many around me, and I pray with my whole heart that the Lord reaches in and encourages our Inner Angels to fight against the enemy and the curse that is a broken filter. Not only for our sake, but the sake of those we love and the next generation.

steps

22/07/2015

Ignorant Chaos

Posted in Finding Faith, General, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , at 9:48 am by The Water Bearer

Lucy

I watched the blockbuster “Lucy” some time back and enjoyed it immensely. Some of the quotes that came out of it were extremely profound. I will have to do a bit of research to capture all of them but one in particular stood out to me. It was spoken by the main character Lucy, who was unlocking areas of her brain no human had used before. The quote came prompted by Morgan Freeman’s character who stated.. “All this knowledge, Lucy — I’m not even sure that mankind is ready for it. Given man’s nature, it might bring us only instability and chaos.” to which Lucy replies….

“Ignorance brings chaos, not knowledge.”

This quote sits heavily upon me as I look back throughout my life. I recall the many previous ignorant versions of myself that lacked knowledge in certain situations and the chaos that surrounded me. I lived in a perpetual state between insecure co-dependance and arrogant self-righteousness.

While I struggle with arrogance and ignorance from time to time, I have become overwhelmingly grateful for the knowledge that came from each new learning experience and each mentor, helping my life transform to a much more peaceful one. A life where I can accept my short comings and hunger for strength of mind. Learning not only about the world systems, but the spiritual ones and learning about myself and experiencing the unknown.

While I appreciate all this learning, and the ability to research any topic my heart or mind desires, I am aware that there are many who actually avoid knowledge. Some dismiss it, ignore it, some even defend against it.

The scriptures gives us clear guidance towards wisdom.

Proverbs 2:10-11  for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you.

If ignorance brings chaos, not knowledge, is it likely then, that those who reject knowledge, are simply too used to their chaos to want to change it?

I am certain the inner enemy of pride is at play here, by discouraging submission to the wisdom of others, confusing our compass so we choose to dismiss knowledge mistaking it for merely one persons opinion. I admit this form of pride has played its role in my life, how about yours?

I think a major key to receiving learning, is being able to tell the difference between an opinion and knowledge. It is respectful to hear opinions and accept everyone’s right to have their own, and it is also perfectly acceptable to avoid applying opinions you disagree with, but knowledge isn’t an opinion. We must learn to discern where knowledge differs and see the value in it.

Another key to receiving learning is having the humility to be teachable, knowing that as long as we are confined to our earthly walk we will always have something to learn. That even if we know a subject inside and out, there is still the possibility to discover something new about it. I admit it is hard to keep a teachable spirit. It is much easier to stay in one spot, tell yourself you have done enough, you can handle where you are, and not pursue the hard work of change.

Asking the hard questions and being willing to change can be daunting and a long process, however nothing quite compares to looking at yourself after a while and saying “Wow, I have grown. I am different, I am better. How awesome!” It makes the hard work truly worth it.

Knowledge

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