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.

trust 2

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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10/12/2012

The Journey of Gaining Help from Above

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, General, Musings tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:27 am by The Water Bearer

journey

I’m not going to lie to you, It has been a tough couple of weeks. It took a lot of pouring out my faith to write (and publish) the series ‘Gaining Help from Above’. Draining my faith like that often leaves me vulnerable, I want to withdraw, to protect my exposed soul. If I engage too deeply with another I am often touchy and defensive. My guard shoots back up, because I don’t like the feeling of being exposed, even though I accept that it is worthwhile in order to obey and reach the next phase in my faith walk towards being useful for my Father in Heaven.

I want to set aside this vulnerability and regain some clarity and security in the familiar, the routine, my comfort zone. Yet I still feel pulled to finish off this series with a neat bow, and get back to writing one-off posts, the ones that I am “more comfortable” with, (I know, I am so soft! 😉 ).

While writing this series I found myself wanting to repeat words I have written before, and memories of each stage in my faith walk came flooding back to light. I have become overwhelmed by how long it will take me to finish sharing.  There is so much to the task of gaining help from above, more and more insights kept filling my heart as I tried to reach the light at the end of this series. Then I realised that gaining help from above is not a one series wonder, it is a daily walk, not a one time deal. It takes commitment, it takes discipline, it takes a heart willing to soften each day. It takes a daily prayer, asking The Lord to make a home for Himself in our hearts.

So to wrap up this series I am going to set my readers up with a few links to help them keep on trekking toward their goal of a ‘God inspired’ existence. These are some resources to help those of you who are interested in expanding your insights, to make further steps onto a path of research. There are some of my own previous posts which cover areas I believe are crucial to the authenticity of a relationship with God, and also some links to the Bible teachers who have inspired and filled my soul more times than I can count.

I hope you receive much filling of your own soul from these links and I wish you all the best of feeling God’s love and strength as you continue forward on a journey to righteousness and peace. It goes without saying that I will continue to share more of my stories and perceptions here at Inner Angels and Enemies, so I hope you stick around for those.

God…Really? – Sometimes it is hard to tell whether we are being directed by God, another ‘human’, the enemy, or our merely our own thoughts. This post shines a light on these issues, and the falsehood often found in religiosity.

“When Will We Feel Good Enough Already?”… This post outlines a perspective of how to identify our feelings of a lack of worth, our toxic ‘good intentions’, and our pride, to understand how these distances us from God, and how our humility brings us closer to Him. God blessed me with a word the day I wrote this post, and I hope it will continue to bless others as much as writing it did for me.

The Two Voices of Guilt – Even after we receive forgiveness and salvation through faith we can still battle against guilty feelings. I touch on this issue in this post.

Confessions – Read along as I list my confessions and accept The Lord’s blessing of forgiveness from them. I am certain many will be able to relate.

Dr Michael Youssef – Leading the Way My Dad put me onto this guy and he has a way of simplifying and reinforcing the principles of God. He makes me laugh and grow every time I watch him…This is not milk for babies, he speaks the meat of the word, it will fill all.

Beth Moore – Life Today  The first time I heard Beth Moore speak I cried like a baby in the Lord’s arms. Her passions for The Lord inspires me, her humility moves me, her wisdom convicts me and her love for all is a true blessing.

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Thank you to all who encouraged me throughout this series, I truly appreciate it. I pray for all of us to find the love inside that God has for us and for us to finally be fulfilled and at peace in His presence. Blessings to All!

09/12/2012

Gaining Help from Above – Worship*

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith, Musings, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , at 8:48 pm by The Water Bearer

praise

Some thoughts to ponder as we venture towards the end of this current series…..

I wonder what marvels God would bring into our lives, if we ceased taking credit for our accomplishments or talents, if we stopped overlooking God’s input in an opportunity or a blessing, if we stopped giving His glory to all other things? Or if we refused to doubt God during times of struggle.

Our talents, creativity, skills, fortitude, patience, capacity for knowledge or love, perseverance, logic, wisdom, beauty or success…are they simply a by-product of human supremacy?

Can we truly take ownership of these things?  Can we tribute genetics or luck?

For those of us in pursuit of God’s help, some serious recognition needs to be given to Him in appreciation. When we lift up God’s name and give Him credit for ALL blessings and achievements, we give Him more and more opportunities to intervene in our lives, bringing not only blessings, but miracles!

I am not a writer, I have no experience, no degree. I didn’t even read much in adolescence through to my early adult years. Writing was not something I even knew I was passionate about until recently. God called me to write for Him over a decade ago, and at times I have thought either He’s cracked or I am! I won’t take any credit for anything I write because I know it was not from any ability or desire within me. Glory be to God!

I am still surprised if I succeed at a difficult shot in billiards, even though I have been playing reasonably well since I was a teenager. I am not consistent enough, I have not gotten much ‘better’ through training and practice. “You have a good eye” they say. Did I do something to achieve a good eye? He is the potter, I am the clay!

There are countless other examples, and I can’t take the credit, it is not mine to take.

God alone deserves praise for all things, too many more to name. Am I suggesting we have a spirit of low self-esteem? Absolutely not! We see our worth when we see ourselves through God’s eyes, with love and respect for the creation that we are, His creation.

However, lifting up ourselves and our name only gives us vanity and a false sense of security. It makes God smaller, it takes away His influence in our daily walk. Lifting up the name of anyone other than God breeds pride, idolatry and jealousy. God is the only one worthy of all our praise.

The enemy was thrown out of heaven for demanding to be worshiped for the power and beauty that was given to him by GOD! Do we want to be included with those who take His glory away and give it to another? Yet in our human mindset, we do it so often.

How about all the things we take for granted everyday, oxygen to breath, water to drink, healthy food, comfy dry beds, friends & family, health, the ability to laugh…

We need to become more aware of the words that come from our lips, for the power of life and death is in the tongue. We can use our mouths to whine and whinge, to gossip or flatter, to curse or slander. Or we can use our tongues to speak of faith and the truth of salvation, to be grateful and encourage others, to praise the Lord and worship. This is a daily struggle for many of us, myself included…

Let’s make it up to Him as much as we can. Let us praise HIS MIGHTY NAME! LORD LORD! Grab some CD’s with lyrics of praise and sing as if He is the only one listening. Lift up our arms to the sky in gratitude. Tell those in our company how awesome He is, for if we testify His name to others, so will He testify our name in Heaven. Thank Him daily for all His blessings. Be in awe of His omnipotence and let that awe seep deep within our hearts!

“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24 (ESV)

You are sure to enjoy this fabulous track …Come let us sing by Sons of Korah

worship

I hope you are enjoying the series and gaining some ground in your relationship with our Lord. Just writing it is reinforcing my own walk, so thank you for letting me share it here. Here is the link to the final post in this series. Blessing to all!

28/11/2012

Gaining Help From Above – Control*

Posted in Encouragement, Family, Finding Faith, Self-Awareness tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:47 am by The Water Bearer

When I was a young single Mum, before I began deepening my relationship with God, I found myself bouncing from one relationship to another. I was hunting desperately for that one man who would fulfill my dreams of a united family, and a stable home for me and my daughter, a nice yard with a fence where she could play, and maybe a dog. You know the ‘typical’ family life, a life I had been dreaming of since my parents split up when I was a young girl.

I was in a relationship with a man, we did not live together, and after 2 years I was frustrated. I had pinned so many hopes on him, hoping he would want the same things as me. No matter how much I forced discussions about our future he always seemed to change the subject, or speak in vague riddles. Eventually, after long talks with my Dad about life, love, faith and dreams, I began to accept the truth. In reality this man and I were looking for different things, and I was so hell-bent on controlling my life and those in it, that I had given God no room to  take the wheel and steer my life in a better direction.

Dad’s talks gave me a new perspective. I needed to let go of my rigid dreams and allow God to bring His dreams into my life.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jer 29:11 (ESV)

I ended my 2 year relationship and took some time to sit quietly with God, I promised to truly give up my pursuit of that one dream I had been in search of. I committed my life into God’s hands, and rather than the physical ways I had been intimate before, I began to develop intimacy with my Heavenly Father instead.

Within a few months everything changed. A good friend invited my Dad, myself and my Daughter, to rent his house, it had a nice yard and even a dog. I now had my Dad as a stable influence in our life and a dear friend who completed the household. I found myself rushing home from work to spend time at home, something I had no recollection of doing for as long as I could remember. Then one day, in an miraculous way, my heart changed. I saw my friend with ‘new eyes’, and an attraction developed. God gave me a number of confirming signs that this was the man He had chosen for me, and I began to expand on the love I had for my friend. The reality of our life together has had higher highs and joy than I had ever envisioned in my previous ‘controlling’ dreams. Of course we have been through some rough times, but I have confidence in God’s dream much more than I ever had in my own, no matter what the future holds God is trustworthy. In all areas of my life I can trust in His loving provision, believing He will have more in store for me than my limited imagination can conceive.

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Prov 19:21 (ESV)

Control is an illusion anyway! If we have faith, we know that God already knows what we are going to do, and what we are going to choose in our daily walk, and He knows what He is going to bring our way in relation to our choices. His Will, will be done after all. If control is in fact an illusion, why not work with God by submitting to His influence over our lives? We have been given free choice, and it is a free choice to choose His way over our own.

Letting go of our own dreams allows Him to bring us a new dream, His Dream.

By using both hands to hold tightly to the steering wheel of my own dream, I had no free hand to accept all that God had in store for me. If we rest this life on an open palm, we allow God to take and to give, then we can experience His blessings for us. I promise that He loves us so very much, and if we give Him the chance, He is faithful to blow our minds with a miraculous reality that only He can create.

‘Control’ is the 4th post in the series ‘Gaining Help from Above’, which I am writing for a friend, who reached out to me in her hour of need. Here are the links to the previous posts in order from the beginning – ‘Connection, ‘Accepting an Encounter’, and ‘Security’Here is the link to the next post. Blessings to you all!

23/11/2012

Gaining Help from Above – Accepting an Encounter*

Posted in Encouragement, Finding Faith tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:24 am by The Water Bearer

This is the second post in the series ‘Gaining Help from Above’, please check out the introduction post if you haven’t already.

Accepting an encounter with God, changes not only our level of faith and our perspective in many areas of life. It is the first element in the foundation of our relationship with Him. This is vital if our faith is going to stand against the many trials it is sure to endure, right up until we reach the potential that God has in store for us.

From the age of 6, I spent a couple of years attending a Baptist Church with my family. I could recite scriptures and knew exactly what to say to my Dad and our Pastor or other members of the church when asked about Jesus, sin, or stories from the Bible. Yet I can’t recall any encounters with God from that time. Honestly my first steps on the floor of faith were not experienced within the walls of church.

When I was a young girl, I was notorious for hiding the mess in my room. If my parents weren’t paying close attention they may think I wasn’t this messy child. Yet if they opened a cupboard, a drawer, or looked under my bed they would be appalled by the jumbled clutter they’d find.

One day, my family was heading out somewhere special, I was always adamantly fussy about my clothes and insisted on wearing only things I really liked. I had a favourite pair of shoes at the time and had arranged my outfit to match with them perfectly. Only problem was everyone was getting into the car and I had only been able to locate the right shoe.

For the past half an hour I had been flinging crumpled clothes, toys, sneakers and books over my shoulders as I dived into my wardrobe and under my bed, searching urgently for the matching shoe. I could hear my mothers voice changing tone, calling to me from the front door as she grew frustrated with my tardiness. My chest tightened as I hunted harder, faster, knowing her patience wasn’t going to hold much longer. I knew she would soon stomp in here, find any pair of matching shoes, amongst the disaster zone that I now called my room, and she would make me wear them even if they didn’t match my clothes. That thought made me spin with desperation.

Suddenly I sensed a deep inner place and I remembered that I knew of this guy called Jesus and His Dad, God. So I called out in faith, “Please, pretty please, if you are really there, help me find my other shoe Lord. I promise I will try to keep my room tidier, just please help me. If you are real then you know where it is, please show me where.”

I went around the other side of my bed and reached underneath, I lifted a shirt with a horses face on the front, and underneath it was my shoe!

As I look back on that prayer it seems such a silly thing to pray about, however, I realised at that moment that God was real, that He was just like a loving parent who answers even the silly requests of His children. I had child-like faith. I have never doubted God’s existence since, even when I struggled through life and didn’t always understand His reasons, even when I strayed away from Him, I still knew deep down that He was waiting for my next heartfelt prayer.

Let me be clear here, God may not always answer every prayer as simply and immediately as this one. He knows what is BEST for us, and if our prayers line up with His will for us He will always answer them. If our prayers are outside of His will for us, He would be doing us an injustice to use His might and power to act like a ‘Genie in a bottle’, granting our every wish. For example, if we pray, asking God to help us win the Lotto, God knows that those riches will distract us and taint our faith in Him, because we will put our trust in our money and not in Him. Then that would go against everything He stands for.

You may be asking at this point, why it was in God’s will to find my left shoe? So may I draw your attention to a couple of things in my childish prayer, that I think are important?

Firstly, it was the first time I questioned in my heart if God and Jesus were “really there”. I imagine a Father looking down on His daughter with intense love, wanting desperately to have a genuine connection with her and hearing her ask, “Are you really there? Really?” The answer any loving Father would give is “YES! YES! I am really here!”.

Secondly, I made an agreement, a contract, a covenant with God. I promised I would try my best to keep my room tidier. To show Him I was willing to do some hard work in return for His faithful answer to my desperate prayer. God is all for discipline, He knows that self-discipline with His help, is the only way to overcome our flesh. The very flesh which leads us to follow the ways of the world and not God’s ways.

“The proverbs of Solomon, David’s son who was king of Israel, {given} to grasp wisdom and discipline, to understand deep thoughts, to acquire the discipline of wise behavior” Prov 1:1-3 (GW)

Thirdly, in my childish way, I demonstrated a level of faith that I didn’t even realise I had. When I said “If you are real then you know where it is”, it showed that I was willing to accept how broad and wide His power reaches. It showed God that I did not limit Him, and I gave Him a chance to show me that the tiny insignificant details of my life, including the state of my room, were important to Him.

My faith moves me to understand that He knew that I was at a crux which was vital to the foundation of my faith. It was tremendously important to Him that I believed He existed and was powerful enough to show me where my shoe was, and that He cared a lot about the details of my life.

If I had not been desperately open-hearted and actually reaching out to Him with my heart, then He would have known it was not in my best interests to answer my prayer. He knew my heart was open at that moment.

“But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” Jer 17:10 (NLT)

I have taught my girls to pray with one important clause always to be acknowledged, and applying it shows a mature relationship with God, based on trust.

“Dear Lord, I would really appreciate you answering my prayer, but if it is not within your will, I will trust that you have your reasons.”

Accepting an encounter with God can be a life changing experience. If you allow your heart to open up to it and value it, it will be the first of many even more miraculous encounters in a life time of faith.

Obviously there is much width and depth to the subject of gaining help from above, which is why I need a series of posts to write about it, and why many people spend a lifetime devoted to gaining a better understanding of God and building an intimate relationship with Him. These steps I am mentioning throughout this series, are some of the basic foundations from which to build faith from, and here is the link to the next post....

21/11/2012

Gaining Help from Above – Connection*

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

Don’t you just love how a new connection with someone can bring some clarity and meaning to your world? I have made many wonderful new connections in the Blogosphere and I am so grateful for you all. For the first time in my faith walk I feel more connected to the (too often divided) ‘Body of Christ’ than I had been able to perceive before. I feel greatly blessed by that.

I have also made a few new connections in the ‘real world’ recently as well. I love how people challenge me to wrap my head around their unique perspectives, established by their own personal journey, and yet also how many common elements we share.

How awesome is our Lord to be able to create such different and individual experiences, yet still bring us across people we share so much common ground with! It blows my mind!

I was sharing recently with one of these ‘new connections’ and was grateful for the honest way she opened her heart to me. I felt it may have been unfamiliar for her to share her weaknesses without fear of judgment or condemnation.

This world teaches us very quickly to hide our imperfections from others, yet when we share them in a safe place, the deep affiliation felt can be extremely healing.

After some time spent sharing, she asked me about the most priceless connection anyone can ever make: She asked…

“What can I do to gain help and guidance from God?”

It doesn’t take a rocket-scientist to realise how complex this question is, yet I softened my heart to her situation and tried to remember what it was that struck a chord within my own heart before I let God take more control of my life. I spoke for a few minutes about a number of things, which I can hardly recall to share here, however after I left her I found a still, small voice adding to our conversation in my thoughts. So I decided to let it flow out into the Blogosphere.

I hope that in my response I spoke to her about the limits we place on God. We often assume that He is simply too busy to be bothered with the details of our personal lives. We imagine Him as very far off, we don’t see much opportunity to reach Him and make contact. When the truth is that He is pressing up against our lives, closer than you or I can imagine, waiting patiently to connect with us. Without previous awareness of His involvement in our lives, or an experiential spiritual perspective, it can be difficult to know how or if He can even help us.

So in order to genuinely connect with God, first we need to recognise that He is abundant and has NO LIMITS, we simply can’t conceive that in it’s entirety from our human mind. It is a humbling event to acknowledge that we do not know how much He knows, or why He does what He does and doesn’t do, or how many arrangements He has made behind the scenes of our lives, setting up every situation to encourage us to a place of soft-hearted humility so we will be more open to Him and His will. We can speculate and study, we can debate and discuss theology, we can assume and guess, we can war and argue, but we are unable to completely understand as long as we are trapped by the limited mindset of humanity. It is hard to comprehend His intense love for us and His unlimited power, because we are trying to expand our thoughts to a point which we have no mind power to reach. It takes much more than knowledge or understanding, it takes Faith!

We often become very confused about God because we have so many mis-perceptions of sin and forgiveness, blame and innocence, which we let distance us from Him, and we regularly miss the subtle yet more important reasons for any feelings of distance… For instance, when we try to be our own ‘God’ by holding tight control, rather than trusting Him with the choices and direction of our lives. Or when we hold bitterness towards Him for our own, and the rest of the world’s, suffering. Without any understanding of the systems outside our physical lives that are being empowered for our own good in the long term, in other words, our salvation and spiritual position. We let that bitterness become our reasoning not to trust Him….

We take away His power when we think we understand more than we do and believe we have enough will-power to not need to rely on Him.

We believe quotes that claim ‘life wasn’t meant to be easy’, yet we get angry at God when it is hard.

An imperative aspect to gaining Christ-likeness is the willingness to suffer for moments in our lifetime and trust that there are reasons we do not yet understand. Better that, than risk losing our possible position in an eternity of basking in the awesome presence and love of the Almighty, due to our own gall.

St. Anselm of Canterbury wrote –

“I do not seek to understand in order that I may believe… but I believe in order to understand.”

Here is the link to the next post in this series…There’s much more to Gaining Help from Above….

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