Learning to Live in the Present

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Jan 182017
 

One of my biggest downfalls over the years has been that I often want something that God has promised for the future right now. I am not the most patient person when it comes to things happening in my life and at Bible College I was given a prophecy that I tend to push things ahead of God’s timing which unfortunately has certainly been true over the years.

Now I have been learning to live more in the present. I admit I probably still have a long way to go before I get this right all the time but I have improved. I am learning that often God only gives us light for the next step even if we have received a promise for the future we often can’t see exactly how that is going to play out or the journey God will take us on to get us there.

Sometimes God gives us a snippet of what our future holds by giving us a promise of something but He doesn’t tell us when or how it is going to happen and there is this big gap inbetween that we need to walk in faith, knowing that ultimately God will fulfill His plans and purposes for my life, all I need to know is the next step and that He will show me as I walk day by day.

There is purpose in the journey. We may want what God has shown us immediately but we may not yet be ready for it. If we are faithful in taking the small steps He shows us and not try to push things ahead of His timing then I believe that He will be faithful in getting us there, one step at a time and that when we do eventually reach our promised land that we will be better prepared for it than if we had tried to do it in our own timing.

I know this is difficult and I am still learning but I just want to encourage you to enjoy the journey as I am learning to do and not rush things. Let God work out in you what He needs to before you reach your destination.

 Posted by at 2:46 pm

Sacrificing the Promise

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Jan 172017
 

Have you ever had something that you feel God has promised you but then you feel He is asking you to lay it down and sacrifice it on the altar but you still believe it is His promise? Probably when I say this you immediately think of Abraham.

God promised Abraham Isaac and that his descendants would be reckoned through Isaac but then God asked him to sacrifice Isaac. I believe Abraham showed incredible faith when he started the journey to sacrifice Isaac and really would have done it had God not stopped him at the very last moment (when Isaac was already on the altar). Abraham believed God had promised him Isaac but he also believed in God and knew that God fulfilled His promises so whatever He was going to do through this he would somehow still have Isaac.

Sometimes God asks us to lay things down that He really has promised us but do we show the same faith as Abraham? I am currently reading Derek and Ruth Prince’s book “God is a Matchmaker” and in this book Derek says that one of the actions that may lead to a successful marriage is the principle of resurrection, this principle of laying down what God has promised in order to receive it back again.

I love what Derek says about this principle:

“As I wrestled at that time with God’s dealings in my life, I cried out, ‘Lord, why do you give us something and then ask for it back again? Why do so many of the things You bless have to pass through death and resurrection?’ I felt God give me the following answer: Because when I resurrect something I resurrect it the way I want it to be , not the way it was originally.”

This is something you don’t often hear talked about in Christian circles but I believe it is perhaps one of the hardest things God asks of us. Are we willing to be like Abraham and lay down what God has promised and believe that if it really is His will that He can give it back to us in His time and in His way or are we going to selfishly hang onto it and refuse to give it up? Fortunately I don’t think God always asks this of everyone but I just want to encourage those who may be going through this that you are not alone and God is faithful to His Word no matter what the situation may look like now.

 Posted by at 2:59 pm

Life is Hard

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Jan 162017
 

Last week I shared something that had spoken to me from one of the devotionals I was reading in Nina Smit’s ‘In Touch with God’, today I want to share something else I got from this same devotional and her devotional today was titled ‘Life is Difficult’.

So many people I have spoken to felt that 2016 was particularly hard and although we are more positive about 2017, the fact is that hard situations keep coming and sometimes don’t seem to stop.

The truth is that God promised us there would be trials and hard times but He also promised us He would be there with us through those trials. The verse Nina shared today was John 16:33 which says “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world”.

Through the hard times we can draw closer to God and strengthen our faith. When things are going well for us it is sometimes easy to forget God and just keep doing our own thing but when times are really tough that is when we realize how desperately we need God. How we can’t do life without Him.

In the midst of these trials we can receive great peace and even joy if we take them to God and learn how to experience His presence in the midst of trials.

No matter what you are going through today know that God is with you. If things are going well, praise God and ask Him to keep you strong. If things are not going so well then know that God is still with you and pray that He would grant you His peace and strengthen your faith in the midst of your trials. I pray that God would bless each one of you and strengthen you in Him.

 Posted by at 1:52 pm

Grace

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Jan 112017
 

Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

No matter what we do we can never be ‘good enough’ to be saved. Salvation is a free gift that comes to the best of us and to the worst of us if we want to put people into categories. The truth is that in God’s sight no one is better than another person and it is only our human nature which causes us to classify one sin as worse than another. Jesus came to save all with absolutely no effort on our part.

This verse tells us that if salvation came because of what we did then we may be tempted to boast and say things like “but I don’t murder anyone, I don’t steal, I don’t commit adultery’, etc. while by boasting like this we would be committing the sin of pride. As a free gift though there is nothing we can boast in.

We also don’t keep our salvation because of the good works we do. James does tell us that faith without works is dead but it is not our doing good works that keeps our salvation but rather it is just the fruit of our salvation. If we are saved we should be doing good works, not because we have to do them in order to be saved but because our love for God should flow out naturally into our love for our fellow man; because God has shown us so much grace, we also should be showing this same grace to others.

Salvation is a free gift of God, you can’t do anything to get it or keep it. God has given it to you and God will hold you and protect your salvation but will you show this same grace to others? Will you forgive those who sin against you? Will you forgive those who you disagree with and who are doing things you don’t believe to be right? After God has given you so much can you really withhold it from others?

 Posted by at 4:23 am

He Will Carry You

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Jan 092017
 

Today I decided to read from a devotional book I haven’t read from in a while, Nina Smit’s In Touch with God.

Today’s reading was called ‘Carried by God’ and looked at Isaiah 46:3-4 “You whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have been carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He. I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you.”

Today in South Africa many of us are going back to work after our annual holidays and this verse is such an encouragement for me as I step out into the new year. God is with us and is carrying us no matter how old we are and we can simply rest in Him as a child rests in their father’s arms when he carries them.

Being carried means we don’t need to strive, there is nothing we need to do but rest in our Father’s arms and He will carry us where we need to go.

I pray that this year you would also know God carrying you through, no matter what you go through may you know God’s presence carrying you into the new year.

 Posted by at 3:50 am