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

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

 

27/05/2013

Worthy of Trust*

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Musings tagged , , , , , , , at 10:15 am by The Water Bearer

 

Trust is a precarious venture. I have yet to meet anyone who has put their trust in others and never been betrayed. It can be hard to give our trust away over and over again. Trust is earned over many encounters, encounters where loyalty needs to win out over betrayal. It cannot be expected, or demanded or rushed. It can not be easily repaired once it has been broken.

However putting too much trust in people is a plan with a giant hole in it. People are flawed and are going to let us down, in one way or another, at some point. It is ridiculous to assume otherwise. While putting our trust in Our Heavenly Father does not come with this hole. He has clearly laid out in His word what we can expect from a true relationship with Him.

When we recognise that we are at His mercy and choose to willingly accept His will, we become aware that trusting God does not work by saying “I trust God to ………….” (fill in the blank with a desire or specific wish). He is not a magic genie sent to fulfill our every request. We must establish faith in His divine justice. Therefore our trust is not fulfilled only in our comfort, but in the whole package that God has designed. A package designed to develop us to our highest potential & fulfillment, and that includes times in the desert, times in the wilderness, times on our own cross, and times we walk through hell itself.

Many of us are too afraid to even try trusting God because we are fed lies into our hearts by our inner enemies. Lies that make us doubt He is really there, or close enough to help. Lies that encourage us to forget that He loves us, or that tell us we don’t deserve His support. Lies that tell us that we have the most control over our  lives, that lead us to believe we know what is best for us, that we know what will make us happy.

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There are many who proclaim to trust completely in God, yet many of us fall short when it comes to the crunch. Once we begin to take away all the things we do actually lean on, it leaves us shaky and vulnerable. We rely on our relationships, our reputations, our ability to control and manipulate. We lean on our knowledge, our careers, our financial position, on our talents and our addictions. When all of these things are stripped away, what is left?

See the problem with relying upon all these things is that they are a temporary solution, they can be fickle, or damaged, or destroyed. They are at the mercy of the world, of nature, of evil, and even God Himself.

You can be sure that if God wants us to learn to rely on Him, He can remove the success of these worldly things one by one, until their misconception of being supportive, is revealed and recognised.

Once we have begun to let go of the illusion of control and give God chances to show us His power and faithfulness, we can find opportunities to exercise our trust in Him, ranging from the small, seemingly trivial issues, right through to our most immense fears.

From my own personal experience I can testify that every time I have truly let go of my fear and accepted there is nothing I can do to change the circumstances, when I have desperately, genuinely, consciously put my cause into His hands, He has never once let me down.

14/03/2013

Controlling Lies*

Posted in Encouragement, Family, Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:19 am by The Water Bearer

control

It seems the lie my inner enemies tell me most often, is that I need to take control of this thing or the other. That, if I can use my determination and powers of persuasion over others, then I can prevent all manner of undesirable consequences. This lie, deep in my heart, has over the years, transformed itself into emotional manipulation, anxiety, worry, desperation, frustration, anger, and fear.

Many of us experienced a situation of instability as children, and therefore tend to grow up with similar issues of control. It seems a natural response, for as children we have almost no control over our lives and the environment in which we live. We are dependent on our guardians to make all decisions for us and even though we are the ones suffering through the consequences, we can do very little to change it.

It makes sense then, that we may grow up with subconscious urges to control.

My hand is up! Anyone else?

There is also a huge amount of evidence which we can be reminded of, through promptings from our inner enemies. Evidence to back up and empower our concerns, evidence to fuel anger, evidence to excuse our actions, and evidence to smother any desire to Trust God.

If control issues are the weapon, then this evidence is the ammunition. Yes, I am loaded and aimed to fire, far too often.

The area where this manifests in our lives may be different for each of us, and usually changes from one area to another over the years. I recently went through a situation which shines a light on this issue so brightly for me, I want to share some of it with you.

You see, I had tied myself in knots trying to make something happen, I believed every excuse that came to mind; that time was pressing down on us; that I was being helpful; that I was being motivated; that I was being organised. I tried to force others to fit into the spaces I left for them to contribute. Each time the opportunity passed by I felt more pressure build inside of me.

I knew I had to trust God, in my head, but my heart was too wound up. Too tied up with angst trying to bring this situation to it’s end. Too much effort would be wasted, there didn’t seem enough time to just wait. I was white knuckling through, unable to let go.

So, after some good counsel from my dearest friends, I made God a promise, that I would not do another thing about this situation, I wouldn’t even mention it, and I would wait until the others involved brought up the subject with me, and then I would do whatever was asked of me (without complaint or ideas of a better way!!)

For the first two days of this promise I filled up my time with other things. I was hell bent on distracting myself from the mission I had promised not to act upon. However by the third day, I was bordering on insanity. I felt my inner enemies tugging at me to make plans, any kind of plans, plans to drop hints, or plans to keep me distracted again. But God whispered into my heart that this was still a manifestation of control. I was trying to avoid waiting and trusting by filling up my time.

Every second that my mind wasn’t focused on something else, this situation would tunnel it’s way to the surface of my thoughts. I tried to push it away, I begged God to help me keep my promise, to help me keep my mouth shut! I cannot believe how HARD it was. Oh LORD!! Was it ever hard!

About half way through the third day someone broached the issue, they made the arrangements, I complied and by the end of the day the whole situation was completely resolved!

Once again the Lord proved how faithful and trustworthy He is. He will cover all the things which I feel I must control, I am the one who wastes my efforts and time when I do not invest in His control.

Just when I think I have an area like this all sorted out, that I have outgrown my inner enemies in this particular thing or the other, I am humbled once again by just how dependent upon God I am.

Clinging Cross

14/01/2013

Life is a Divine Classroom Full of Tests*

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, General, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , at 10:09 am by The Water Bearer

This post is very well said…Some priceless insights for all to accept in order to be victorious in each new stage of life.

Inspirational Christian Blogs

Every Life Test

If we take the mindset that our time on earth is that of a classroom or school, we would understand and accept that every storm, trial, challenge, and difficulty was a test.  Tests are given by teachers to check for student understanding and to see whether they have mastered a skill. 

Teachers introduce a concept and model it.  The life of Jesus on earth, His death, and resurrection takes care of this step (Basically the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). Teachers then ask their students to practice the new skill.  They watch to see how their students do with the new information and with a careful eye monitor their progress.  They watch to see if any are overwhelmed and pull them aside to reteach or give extra help if they are frustrated or failing.  A test is then given and graded.  Some students are ready to move on…

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27/06/2012

When will we feel ‘Good Enough’?

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

So often many of us want to crawl into a hole when faced with the reality that we aren’t perfect. There are so many more complex points I could write on this topic, but in this post I will just try to touch on a few basics. There is a cloudy grey area between being perfect and being good enough, and many of us feel if we fall short of perfection we must not be good enough.  Sure we tell ourselves over and over again the cliche that “Nobody’s Perfect”, we try to convince ourselves that we are ok with that, but it only seems to distract us for a moment and before long we are back wondering how we can feel good enough for longer?

Self-indulgence seems the most common way to distract ourselves for longer, things like overeating, retail therapy, casual sex, drinking, drugs, gambling, any form of a good time that helps us enjoy ourselves and takes our minds away from the disappointment of feeling like a failure. Only problem is all these can leave us with feelings of regret when we either drink too much, spend too much, eat too much, or sleep with someone we wish we hadn’t, making worse the feeling inside that we were trying to deal with in the first place. Other non-destructive ways are also attempted, like being overly ‘good’, perhaps we go on health kicks, take up a new hobby or volunteer for the school P&C, church craft stalls, food vans, fundraising etc. Obviously these are fabulous gestures when coming from the heart for the right reasons, but when they are to distract us from that feeling of still not being good enough we often find the feeling is still there not long after we hang up the Good Samaritan shoes.

I can relate to this in so many ways, in my own private thoughts I always knew what was expected of me, and that it was out of my reach. I had all these desires which I knew I wasn’t meant to have, I too dealt with my emotional thoughts in ways I knew were bad for me. I craved a brief moment of relief, where I could feel good enough already. I believed I knew what was ‘right’, but no matter how hard I tried, I still managed to find myself doing the wrong thing.

Strangely enough, I felt the exact opposite when I compared myself to those around me. If my ‘goodness’ was challenged by anyone, I could quickly dispute their claims by defending and justifying my actions, and pointing out how much worse they were than me. If I ever saw someone do anything ‘wrong’ I stored it in my memory bank, ready to remind them if ever my virtue was challenged.

I teetered between these two states for a number of years, unaware of what I was actually doing. I believe this battle is going on inside many people, and I feel the urge to tell you all that it is a sneaky, deceptive trap.

I was discussing this topic with my dear Sister recently; we were deep in the thick of analysing the elements of right and wrong, guilt and innocence, sin and forgiveness, among other things. I was recalling what our Dad had said to me in my early twenties; those words of his which had helped me see the truth about myself.

He helped me identify the lies I had believed all my life. Do these sound familiar to anyone?

*Good intentions are good excuses for undesirable behaviour;  –

Dad showed me that doing the wrong thing for the right reasons is still the wrong thing (doing the right thing for the wrong reasons is just as bad) Focusing on all the good things we do often, (good deeds, favours, gift giving, praying, loving gestures, hard work, fortitude through suffering etc) must make up for our impatience, our self-importance, bad temper, self-indulgence and emotional tantrums. Dad helped me accept that focusing on the good I saw in me distracted me from owning up to my true flaws, while focusing on the bad in others reinforced the belief that I was good and didn’t need to change.

*If we can convince those around us that we are good enough, and convince ourselves that we are good enough, then that must mean God thinks we are good enough too, right?

Dad showed me that God would in fact rather us be low in reputation, humble and even persecuted by man for His names sake. (He can certainly make us thought of highly by others, but only when it means nothing to us anymore.) In my understanding He does not encourage self-importance. Ordinary Man – Extraordinary God!

*We also fall for that age old trick of building our knowledge, and relying on our own understanding of right and wrong, to help us be more on to it.

Dad reminded me of the tree which Eve ate the fruit from, the ‘Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil’. Isn’t that the same thing we are doing in this instance? Trying to know what God knows, rather than simply depending on Him?

If we look closely we can see that all these lies aim to convince us to lift ourselves up, in our own eyes and in the eyes of others, as apposed to lifting up God with honour. If we lift ourselves up, trying to meet God in His righteousness, we only get self-righteousness and we make God smaller in our minds.

Obadiah 1:3 says The pride of our hearts deceives us.”

I was so deceived! I thought I deserved forgiveness for my sins because they weren’t ‘that bad’, and I was making up for it in other ways (Saved by works!), yet I came to see that I could only receive forgiveness when my heart became ashamed and was met with Grace. My repentance came by admitting that my heart is prideful, selfish and conceited. I acknowledged my sinful nature and begged for God to understand that I could now see how wrong I was. I came to see that we are all capable of good deeds and bad, and it struck me that if I still found myself doing things I swore I never would, even though I thought I knew what was right, so others must do also. God allowed me to stumble over my own sin so that I would learn to depend on Him for His strength and His righteousness.

By showing Him my willingness to suffer the pain of being unworthy of forgiveness, I began to earn that very forgiveness.

Let me ask you this….

If someone does wrong by us and comes to us demanding we forgive them because they have a good explanation and because they can list a number of ways we were at fault as well. Don’t we feel that they aren’t truly sorry, and will probably just go ahead and do the same thing again in the future? We would be unwilling to forgive and trust them completely, wouldn’t we?

Yet if someone comes to us admitting how wrong they were, bowing their head in shame and saying they understand if we don’t forgive them, stating that they don’t even deserve forgiveness, they just want us to know how very sorry they are for hurting us. Then wouldn’t we feel more inclined to forgive them and allow them to earn back our trust?

Perhaps we could keep these obvious differences in mind when considering how we approach God when looking to receive forgiveness?

“Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.” (Matthew 6:12)

If someone hurts us or does us wrong and is truly remorseful we need to show forgiveness, because no matter what they have done, we need to remember that it is possible for us to do that very same thing if similar circumstances and weakness occurs in us. By no means am I suggesting we should put ourselves into situations where we allow them to continue to hurt us!  (True change must be evident and trust rebuilt when sharing our vulnerabilities. Another post for another day!) I am suggesting accepting their apology and letting go of the bitterness we feel toward them for their action. If they don’t apologise or acknowledge their faults, then we can assume that they can’t see it or admit it to themselves, just like we couldn’t in our own lack of self-awareness. Even though it is difficult, we can then offer an element of forgiveness and let go of any grudges, because as Jesus said on the cross “Forgive them, for they know not what they do”.

We are able to be forgiven because of God’s mercy and grace, and because of what Jesus did at Calvary. By acknowledging this we make ourselves tiny in our own eyes and God becomes HUGE! As a fellow blogger The Peaceful Wife put it, ‘My picture of God before was so wimpy and small. I had to see He was big and I was tiny’.  So very true, and I like having a BIG GOD!

Here I was trying to prove how good I was, yet as soon as I admitted how truly wrong I was, a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. It invited God into my situation and I found Him keeping me from doing things, one by one, that I had been trying not to for so long on my own. I found that many of the things I thought mattered actually didn’t matter at all, I could be released from self-condemnation because of feeling God’s love, and I came to experience genuine moments of inner peace. I still have to keep my heart guarded to discern the pride which tries to creep back in each day, trying to deceive me into covering my sin. Yet I now find it much easier to see myself clearly, by keeping my heart softened to His voice and truth, and try to confess in the instant of awareness.

When we truly repent and run away from pride, we can rejoice in feeling the freedom it brings. Feeling God’s forgiveness, His help, His love, and finally feeling FREE to be GOOD ENOUGH. AMEN!

21/05/2012

God….Really?*

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Musings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 1:23 pm by The Water Bearer

Most people who know me know that I have faith. I often get called ‘religious’ which progressively makes my skin crawl. These days I am quick to correct them, stating that “I am faithful, not religious!” I love to share stories about the wonderful things God has done in my life, but sometimes my stories are simply laughed at and dismissed.  I am not surprised by this anymore and I try not to feel any offense. I realise the damage that has been done to the reputation of God through many years of worldly disagreements and disappointments, which led to war and doubt.

It saddens me that the God I know is getting a bad rap because His name is too often used as a front for ‘religious humans’ to hide behind. I believe most church goers mean well, but with all their influence, why are so many people increasingly deterred away from God due to their opinion of the church? For example I do not currently attend church and neither does many of my faithful friends and family. Ask yourselves honestly, how common is the reaction to want to run when someone introduces themselves as ‘A Born Again Christian’?

Is it simply that we may have had an experience with ‘religiosity’, or ‘crackpots’, rather than with the awesome and abundant love from God?

Isn’t it possible that someone who claimed to represent God to us may have let us down, betrayed our trust, or even caused us or someone we love pain? Therefore we may mistakenly apply the onus to fall back onto God and not the mere human using His name.

I personally would rather the onus fell back onto the enemy within the church, rather than blaming God for everything. So that we would continue to pursue His internal voice and build a relationship with Him, no matter what this world could do to us to try and cause lack of faith.

The Apostle Paul, wrote in the book of Thessalonians that the enemy of God would sit at the head of the church claiming to be God. (2 Thess 2:4 “The son of destruction, who puts himself against all authority, lifting himself up over all which is named God or is given worship; so that he takes his seat in the Temple of God, putting himself forward as God.”)

Are we searching for God and finding His counterfeit?

I believe this counterfeit is fooling masses. If this enemy is actually an ‘angel of light’, he is not quite the obvious “red-horned” ugliness which we imagine we should be aware of. Thinking about it, I believe the enemy knows God very well, he was the Lord’s right-hand man, His closest associate. Who else could portray our Heavenly Father so convincingly, yet destroy faith in Him in the process?

I believe we need to seek into our own hearts where the true spirit of God lies and ask Him to show us His TRUTH. We need to strive to not settle for anything less, refusing to allow ourselves to be seduced by an easier, more attractive, and yet less righteous path.

We can test it by reading the Bible and researching to see if what we are led to believe lines up with what we read in God’s word and be humbled under His authority and virtue. If nothing else it’s a good read and a great guide for ways to handle the ups and downs of life.

I used to read the headlines from the back cover of the Sunday Mail every week, and every week the title was too appropriate for what I needed to hear. There are too many for me to mention but you would spin out if I could remember them all. My Dad and I used to laugh and shake our heads at the level of coincidence that was beyond almost any understanding, except that of a divine message. One Sunday morning, my husband asked me to grab him a paper while I was at the shop. It had been many months since I had bought the paper or read any ‘headlines’ and at that time I was feeling particularly distant from God. As I drove I spoke to Him in my heart, “Lord, have I slipped away? Have you still got me?” The radio was playing in the background, and as I pulled into my driveway a new song was introduced, as it started the melody caught my attention, as music often does, and rather than turning it off I sat in the car for a moment to listen. While I sat there, I remembered the paper and the headlines I had once applied to myself, so I flicked the paper over to see “I WON’T LET YOU DOWN” sprawled across the back page in huge black letters. I looked up and smiled, the chorus of the song kicked in and the male voice sang in a country twang “I won’t let you down!”

If God wants us to be convinced that we have come into contact with Him, He can make a confirmation appear in any unlikely place, wherever 2 or 3 witnesses (signs) confirm a word from the Almighty, you then know you have struck something directly from Him!

Many can inspire us, teach us, and guide us, and the enemy is always out to trick and deceive us, I recommend we never stop testing the things we are led to believe, never stop asking God questions and let Him be the only one we trust to show us His TRUTH!

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