A Godly Woman

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Nov 302016
 

I read a quote on Facebook today “The mark of the godly man is that he likes to change, he says, ‘Lord, show me where I should change and I’ll do it. Show me where I should obey, even where it’s hard, and I’ll do it” (Timothy Kellar). I believe the same could be said of a godly woman.

What areas of your life are you working on? They don’t always need to be spiritual, I believe God is interested in every area of our lives. God may show us that we need to improve our diet because our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19); He might show us that we need to improve the use of our time – are we being lazy or spending time on things we shouldn’t?

The godly woman is always changing and always growing. If you are not sure what areas God wants to work on in your life then I encourage you to put aside some time to actually ask him and pray the prayers mentioned in this quote by Timothy Kellar.

Personally I feel like there are so many areas I am working on that I have decided that going forward I am going to create a ‘self-improvement list’, to be honest not many of the things are what one would consider spiritual but as I say I believe God is interested in every area of my life. I want to grow and become the woman He is calling me to be. Will you join me?

 Posted by at 8:00 am

How do You Clothe Yourself?

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Nov 292016
 

Over the past few months I have been getting very interested in wardrobe planning, capsule wardrobes, style, etc. but this is not the type of clothing I want to talk about today. You know that the Bible says quite a bit about how we are to clothe ourselves spiritually.

Ephesians 6 we are told to clothe ourselves in all God’s armour:

Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we[d] are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.[e] In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.[f] Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

We are constantly in a war against principalities and powers in the heavenly realms and in order to stand strong in our faith we need to be clothed in the full armor of God, but in relation to others we would do better to clothe ourselves as instructed in Colossians 3:

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”

Colossians 3 talks about what it means to have true beauty, a beautiful bride reflecting the heart of Christ; but Ephesians 6 talks about being clothed and ready for battle. As Christians we need to have both. Clothe yourself with love, humility, gentleness, mercy, forgiveness, and patience as you relate to others and clothe yourself with the full armor of God as you go into spiritual battle.

 Posted by at 8:00 am

Jehovah Jireh – The Lord My Provider

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Nov 222016
 

I thought today I would start a bit of a series on the names of God and what they mean to us. The first one that many people know is Jehovah Jireh – The Lord My Provider. Whatever you need today, the Lord is able to provide for you.

The name Jehovah Jireh is originally used when God asks Abraham to sacrifice Isaac and he goes to do so but just at the last minute God intervenes and provides a lamb for the sacrifice in place of Isaac. Then Abraham called the place Jehovah Jireh because he said that God would provide.

In Philippians 4:19 the Bible says that ‘My God will supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus’. Although this book doesn’t use the name Jehovah Jireh I believe it says the same thing – that God will provide according to His glorious riches.

What does that mean? God has all the universe at His disposal so no matter what you are needing it is not beyond His ability to provide.

God’s supply extends to every area of our life, no matter what we are needing. If we need material goods or money or if we are needing healing, peace, or something else God is more than able to provide.

Does God always provide everything we want? No. Just like a parent may not give their child everything they ask for because they see a bigger picture so God knows more than we do and may see that we are wanting could actually be harmful to us. Still we can rest assured that if it is really necessary then God will provide.

Jehovah Jireh sees all your needs, He knows every situation you face and He will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches. Whatever you are needing today claim this promise from God.

 Posted by at 8:00 am

Hearing God’s Voice

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Nov 212016
 

It always amazes me how many Christians don’t think they can hear the voice of God. If you are a born-again Christian let me tell you that God wants to speak to you and if you are willing to make time to listen then you will learn to hear His voice. He tells us in His Word that ‘My sheep know My voice.’ (John 10:27)

Firstly, I think part of the problem is that many people don’t make time to listen to God’s voice. If you really want to hear God then you need to make time to be still and shut out the voices of the world and the busyness for a while. Also don’t feel like you always need to be reading your Bible or praying to spend time in God’s presence, just be quiet and let Him speak to you instead of you always speaking to Him. God may speak to you through the Bible directly or just as a still, small voice in your heart but either way you need to make time to listen.

A crucial aspect of knowing that what you are hearing really is the voice of God is that God will NEVER go against His Word. Spend time really getting to know what the Bible has to say so that when you hear a still, small voice in your heart you can measure it against the Bible and determine whether this is from God or not. If it goes against what the Bible says then it is definitely not from God.

What do you feel about it? Generally God’s Word comes with a sense of peace although that said, sometimes His plans for us are so big that when He tells us them we may be a bit frightened and fearful.  When you feel frightened, ask yourself why? Could it be that this is from God but you feel it is beyond your abilities – then that is good because you will be more dependent on God. If there is a general uneasiness then rather don’t do anything and ask that if it is God that He would confirm the Word.

The more you spend time with God and desire to know His voice, the more you will grow in Him and get to know His voice clearer. Ask God to silence any voice that is not from Him and to open your ears to hear His voice clearly. Remember, He longs to speak with you.

 Posted by at 8:00 am

Journalling

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Nov 182016
 

journallingYesterday I spoke about soaking and how it is a good idea to journal after your soaking. Now I have two types of journals – my bullet journal for plans, lists, etc. and then the journal I want to speak about today. In this journal I write down not only how I am doing, the things I am dealing with, how I slept and the things I am grateful for but also things that I feel God is saying to me.

These things are not necessarily tied up with my soaking times but when God does speak to me directly during the soaking times and I feel it is something I need to make note of then I write this down in my journal. Sometimes God will speak to me at other times and through other things and then I will write down what I feel He is saying then.

I find the good thing about having a journal to write down what God is telling you and what you are going through is that you can look back after a few months, or even a few years, and see how far you have come and the lessons you have learned along the way.

There aren’t really any tricks or rules to this type of journal but just be receptive to God’s voice and believe that you can hear Him talking to you and then write down whatever He says. At times you may be wrong and instead of it being the voice of God it could be your own thoughts or desires but that is fine, you will learn that over time and there have been times when I have gone back and torn pages out of my journals because I realize that it wasn’t God’s voice but just my desires at the time. Still having a record will allow you to look back and see what was right and what was wrong and how far you have come.

 Posted by at 8:00 am

Do you practice soaking?

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Nov 172016
 

Do you practice soaking? Do you even know what I mean when I say that soaking is one of the greatest spiritual disciplines in my opinion? I know that many churches don’t teach it and yet for me it is so powerful and has so many benefits. I aim to do it for about half an hour a day, preferably in the morning, and although I don’t always manage it, it can make a huge difference to my day when I do.

Soaking is when you put together a play list of worship songs that can play automatically and then you just lie there quietly trying to focus on the words of the songs and what God is telling you – don’t pray, don’t journal, just listen at this time. So often in our relationship with God we get used to just talking but never listening. This is a time when you just listen and let God speak to you.

I suggest about 15 minutes to half an hour at a time (more if you can afford it) as for the first few minutes (sometimes longer) you might find that your mind is very distracted and not really listening to what God is trying to tell you or focussing on the words of the songs. Then hopefully before the 15mins-half an hour is up you would have managed to bring your thoughts under control and would have heard something that God is trying to say to you.

It is also important the type of songs you choose: I have a few soaking playlists that I put together on Youtube but they all contain mainly quiet, worship songs although some of them may be slightly louder worship songs. I think it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to soak to christian metal though and definitely no secular music (for this time anyway, I do listen to secular music at other times though).

Some of the songs I have on my soaking playlists are:

  1. In His Time (since God is often telling me to wait and this helps encourage me in the waiting)
  2. Hear my Heart by Sheri Easter
  3. He Will Carry you
  4. Trust in You by Lauren Daigle
  5. On my knees by Jacqi Velasquez
  6. Because He lives I can face tomorrow
  7. You are my hiding place
  8. Good, good Father by Casting Crowns
  9. Oceans by Hillsongs

I have quite a few others but already this should give you more than enough to put together a good soaking time. For me the benefits of soaking are that it can make my day so much more peaceful and God speaks to me through it about all sorts of things I am going through. At times I end up in tears as I release some of the struggles I have been dealing with and let God bring me healing. Although you can’t journal while you soak I strongly recommend a time of journalling just after that so that you can keep a record of what God is doing and not forget what He has told you during this time (I will cover journalling tomorrow). I have also found that soaking can be a great springboard to prayer and have often gone straight into a time of prayer after soaking because as I am soaking God brings to mind things I need to pray into and my prayer life has been enriched by soaking as well.

If you have never practiced soaking before then I strongly recommend you give it a try. If it’s been a while since you’ve done it then I encourage you to do it again. God is longing to spend more time with you.

 Posted by at 8:00 am

How to Fight

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Nov 162016
 

I love the movie The War Room by the Kendrick brothers because it has so many incredible lessons about prayer and really helped revolutionize my prayer life. In that movie it says that people often lose because they don’t really know how to fight or who the real enemy is. The whole movie goes on to show how our battle is not against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities that can only be beaten in prayer and submission to God. It tells the story of how a woman saves her marriage by stopping fighting her husband and starting to win battles on her knees. If you haven’t watched it then I strongly recommend that you do.

Instead of fighting one another let’s take our requests to God – whether it is to save a marriage, someone’s salvation, or whatever situation you may be facing. When we try to fight people we are just going to lose and make them defensive and angry and get nowhere but if we take our requests to God and fight our battle on our knees with targeted, specific prayers based on God’s Word then we can’t help but win.

Here are some things that I have found useful in developing my prayer life:

  1. Make a list of the things you want to pray about or the people you want to pray for.
  2. Find Scriptures which relate to your prayer request and use those to pray where possible.
  3. If you have any unforgiveness in your heart towards someone you are praying for always forgive them first (no matter how many times you need to do this.)
  4. Ask God to forgive you for holding unforgiveness or anything you may have done wrong in the situation.
  5. Thank God for answers to prayer.

Initially I wrote out the exact words of the prayers I wanted to pray into specific situations and would use these but over time I found that my prayers would change. I still find that these are useful and sometimes I will update them with new full prayers. Then when I am feeling like I don’t really know how to pray I may use them word for word or I may just use them as a springboard from which to continue praying.

Prayer is our most important resource and battle strategy. Prayer not only develops our relationship with God but also helps us win battles here on earth so I encourage you to pray as much as possible and see how it changes your life.

 Posted by at 8:00 am

What are you thinking about?

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Nov 152016
 

Phillipians tells us “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” (Phil 4:8) but do your thoughts always reflect these qualities? I have to admit that mine don’t always. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I can tend to worry a bit much and have a tendency towards depression but I know that this is not where God wants me to live.

So how do we overcome this and work on making our thought life more pure, noble, lovely, admirable, praiseworthy, etc? I believe that this comes down to ‘taking every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ’ and renewing our mind.

Firstly, we need to be aware of what we are thinking and how we think and whenever we catch ourselves thinking something that is not in line with God’s Word that we refuse that thought and change our minds. It takes discipline and is not always easy but when we do it, it really does make a difference.

Secondly, renew our minds. We need to be aware of what we are allowing into our minds and how this is affecting our thought life. I think different things affect different people in different ways and what is bad for one person may not necessarily be bad for another and vice versa but the important thing is to look at what thoughts follow from that – does it leave you thinking about things that are right, noble, pure, lovely and admirable? Or does it leave you stressed, depressed and thinking negatively? Learn your triggers and where possible stop allowing them into your mind.

Take time soaking in God’s presence. Listening to Christian music and letting God speak to me has been a real life saver for me. As I quietly lie in His presence and just let words of good Christian music wash over me and speak to me I find that my spirits are lifted and I am better able to face whatever situation I am facing with a more positive mindset.

If you, like me, have struggles with your thought life then try these things and believe that God will help you develop the type of thought life that would please Him.

 Posted by at 8:00 am

It’s a New Season

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Nov 142016
 

This year has been an incredibly tough year for me and I know for so many other people as well. Yesterday however as I was sitting in our church worship service I felt God tell me that the old has gone and the new has come. It is time to start putting all the troubles, the difficulties, stresses and depression behind me and to move into a new, exciting season.

In Song of Solomon 2:11-12 it says

See! The winter is past;
    the rains are over and gone.
12 Flowers appear on the earth;
    the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
    is heard in our land.”

Sometimes I believe God allows us to go through difficult times like this year in order to grow us, to draw us closer to Him or to teach us something. I know that I have grown a lot in this year. My prayer life is far better than it ever was and my relationship with God generally has grown so much. As I realized I had to turn to God to get through some of the situations I was facing, He came through and gave me strength and drew me closer to Him.

However after the storms have passed the sun will always shine and I don’t believe God will ever leave us in a permanent place of struggle and difficulty. He will just take the time He needs to accomplish the work He wants to do in our lives and then He will lead us into something even better.

I trust that this encouraging Word wasn’t just for me but that many of you who have been struggling through trying circumstances this year will see breakthrough.

 Posted by at 8:00 am

What does your morning look like?

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Nov 112016
 

A little while ago I read “Morning Miracle” by Hal Elrod, it is not a Christian book but it has changed my life. It encourages you to get up early every day and do some things that are going to make a significant impact to your life. Although he suggests six things you can do he also states that you can adapt your morning to suit you so that you get the most out of it and so this is what I have done.

His first thing he recommends is a time of silence which he says can be prayer, meditation, or anything where you are silent for one minute or longer. I use this time every morning, as soon as I wake up, as a short prayer time (I have a longer prayer time later in the day.) This short prayer time is really just time for me to ask God to help me and give me strength through the day and also pray for those close to me briefly.

Another thing I do in the morning (for approximately half an hour) is soaking – listening to Christian music and allowing God to minister to me through it. This is a wonderful time to just rest in God’s presence.

I also have my Bible reading in the morning, I don’t spend too long on this but generally read about two chapters and take short notes.

In addition to this I do a few other things like exercise, journal, read, etc. I wake up every day just before 5am and only really need to start getting ready for work (other than having breakfast and something to drink) at about 7am so this gives me two hours to fit in all these activities which really make a big difference to my day. I know that I am putting God first (literally) and I receive His strength to get me through the day (very necessary with the difficult year I am just trying to get through!)

Honestly, I never thought I would get into spending so much time with God so early in the morning. I always used to say how I preferred afternoon or evening quiet times because then I didn’t feel rushed and like I was just ‘trying to get God out of the way’ before rushing into my day but the truth is that I have found that if I start the day with God then I am in a better mindset to cope with everything else that is coming my way. Starting the day with prayer and soaking actually wakes me up relaxed and helps to relieve my stress levels.

So how do you start your day? Let me encourage you, even if you think you are ‘NOT a morning person’ to attempt to wake up half an hour to an hour earlier and make more time for God in the morning. You really will find that it changes your day and gives you a better perspective as you face your every day life and the challenges it brings.

 Posted by at 8:00 am