To Know Him

The most beautiful moment of my life was accepting Jesus as my Saviour and surrendering my life to Him. Since then discipleship has been a journey of discovery to know Jesus better and more deeply. Jesus came to show us the Father and through faith in Jesus, to enable us to have a relationship with God. It is in that relationship that we become more Christ like as we live out our Christian faith through obedience to God’s Word and Jesus’ teachings.

Accepting Christ is the start of an amazing journey of faith and not the end in itself.

The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth has come and dwells in us, to lead us and help us in our discipleship journey. The Spirit convicts us of sin and leads in righteousness and truth, to glorify the Son.

We sometimes think as Christians our goal is to evangelise and once someone has made a commitment to Jesus, it’s job done. But that’s just the start.

Jesus asks us to make disciples and not just converts. We are His witnesses of a new life born again into God’s kingdom. Discipleship is to journey with people and requires love and commitment so that we become rooted and grounded in the truth of the gospel. It’s like bringing people into a family. You wouldn’t invite someone to be part of a family and then just ignore them and leave them to it. You show them how to live life as part of the family. What’s expected of each other. Sharing knowledge, wisdom, gifting, there through the highs and lows, joys, sorrows, successes and failures. Encouraging and supportive. Discipline and love. Forgiveness and grace.

We can journey with many different people as believers in Christ. Some journeys are for different seasons. I’ve been discipled by some incredible people and even now the Lord brings people alongside me who help me grow in faith and develop – sometimes in challenging ways. We have to learn sometimes to let some relationships and people go and move on so they can also grow and develop as the Lord leads. Sometimes we have to move on ourselves. We are a body of believers, members of one another. United in Christ.

I love these bible verses:

Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:15-23

Amen 🙏

Gates-The Fish Gate

The Fish Gate is another gate which was rebuilt by Nehemiah. Fishes have been associated with Christianity for many years. The sign of the fish is still a symbol you see denoting Christian faith.

As followers of Jesus Christ we are called to be “fishers of men”.

The body of Christ has been given the great commission to go out into all the world and make disciples of Jesus. It is the mandate from Christ to His church.

If we just put all of our efforts into catching fish though and seeing converts, people being saved, but we don’t disciple them properly afterwards, then we shouldn’t be surprised if we don’t see any growth or maturity and people fall away from faith. The Christian life is one of walking daily with Jesus and serving God and each other.

Discipleship requires service, commitment, love and sacrifice. In order to walk alongside people, especially people who are hurting, we will need grace, patience, empathy and love in abundance. The Holy Spirit will help us to develop the fruit of the Spirit in us as we disciple others.

It’s such a blessing to help other believers to grow and mature in faith in Jesus. There is a cost to following Jesus and it’s important that we present the whole gospel to people. The Christian life can be one of suffering, hardship and persecution because of our faith in Jesus and preparing people for that is a key part of discipleship. The Lord is with us in all circumstances of life, the ups and downs. Our God is big enough to handle the challenges and hard questions. We do a dis-service to God if we do not study and present the whole of scripture.

So are the nets (our churches) ready for the catch or do they need some repair work to avoid people falling through the gaps. Are you personally willing to receive and disciple new converts. If you are a follower of Christ then I encourage you to share your testimony and life with others who are new to the faith and disciple them. Help them and strengthen them to grow and mature in Christ and share your experiences with them. We all have something to offer in service to Jesus. Is there someone that you can take under your wing today or give a supporting hand?

We often leave the discipling to others but as someone said it’s just an invitation to someone to “come journey with me as I journey with Jesus”.

Jesus invites us to follow Him and become more like Him. That is the discipleship journey – to become like the Master. We are all on the journey together, at different stages, but we can all help each other to keep pressing on to the finishing line.

Burning Love

I was thinking about relationships and love the other day. This year is my 30th wedding anniversary in July. After dropping a few hints (very heavy hints) my husband realised what a milestone this was and something to be celebrated. I can only think being married to me is a celebration every day so that’s why he had forgotten 🤣

Our relationship has naturally changed over the years and deepened from that initial attraction and fervent love and passion to the developing of a deeper understanding and love for one another that goes beyond that surface knowledge and intimacy to something way deeper. We have learnt from each other and also discovered new things together. Set our own rhythms and become comfortable with each other, trusting each other to be there and challenge and support when things are tough.

There have been different seasons in our relationship. We are now entering that season when our children don’t need us as much and retirement is a lot closer. Our children are off doing their own thing so nights in, days out, holidays are generally just us now. When there’s no-one else around but you, that’s when you need those common interests and to still have fun together.

This navel gazing at my marriage has made me think of the beauty of being able to have a personal relationship with Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit.

When we are mature in faith (I’ve been a Christian longer than I’ve been married to my husband) it is good to stop and consider, whether our hearts still burn with a fervent love for God and for Jesus, our saviour.

Has our fire dwindled and do the embers need a fan of the wind of God’s Spirit.

What is it that motivates us daily in the things we do and say.

Remember that first time you became a Christian and how you were so hungry for the things of God?

If that fervent love is not still there, then what has taken the place which God had in our lives.

The Bible says Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind.

Idolatry is putting something before God – we can make idols of money, careers, other people -worshipping anything other than God.    

Idolatry is one of the areas I believe Holy Spirit is bringing conviction to us as believers in the Body of Christ. The Lord wants all of us.

The Holy Spirit can reveal the true nature of our hearts and what it is that really takes the first place in our lives, our thoughts, prompting our actions. 

Sometimes, we are blind to what or who is really sitting on the throne in our hearts.

We love God because He first loved us and gave His son to die for us while we were still sinners.

Love for God will manifest itself in spending time in His word and in fellowship with Him through prayer and praise. Times of fellowship with God; fellowship with other believers, being obedient to His Will; allowing His Holy Spirit to fill us and mould us.

The Lord draws us with chords of love. Let him draw you to Him today.

By Invitation Only

My dear children – you are all children in my sight, dear and beloved to me.

How my heart aches for you. How my heart longs to take you in my arms and remove the burdens you are carrying.  

I am here – just waiting for you.

Waiting to lift you up in my arms and carry you through the night.

Do you hear me calling to you?  Do you hear my still small voice crying out to you?  

Do not try and block out my voice.   Do not fill your hearts and lives with worldly things which would stifle my still small voice.  

Make room in your hearts for me.   Make room.

Some of you need to clean out the house, to make room so that I can come in and sup with you and talk to you and make you mine.

Some of you have squeezed me into the smallest room of your heart and tried to close the door and keep me in that small space. You will not allow me to have access to the parts which I need to access – the parts which need healing, cleansing and release.

Some of you have opened up a parlour, the best room, where I am invited to sit.  

Where everything to outward appearances is swept clean and tidy – all rubbish hidden out of view – a room where a fire burns and which seems welcoming and inviting and where everything appears to be alright – but you are not comfortable with me.  

You are not comfortable in my presence and you do not know how to be comfortable with me.

You are not really comfortable with my presence because you are fearful that I will want to go into the other rooms and all the other rooms are barred to me.

You are ashamed of them.

You feel that they are not good enough for me.

You feel that I would not want to really see inside those rooms – rooms which are dirty, unclean, cluttered, and full of things which you are ashamed of –

those are the very rooms I need to go into with you and help you clean. Help you bring warmth and light into those rooms.

Those areas of your life which you are ashamed of – those areas of your life which you try and keep me out of and pretend do not exist.

I am not fooled.  

I want to come into all areas. I want to be able to access all areas of your life and your hearts.

Do not be afraid my children. Do not be afraid.

If you will open the door then I will come in and we will eat together. We will talk together, we will commune together. I made you, created you, I know you better than you know yourselves.   I will not be shocked or outraged by anything in your life or in your heart. If you are willing to submit to me completely then I will come in and do a work in you. I will restore you and refresh you.

Some of you ran well once. Who interrupted your race? Who hardened your heart against me? Who deafened your ears and muffled my voice? Who stole away your desire to be with me and the intimacy that we once enjoyed? Who stole your first love?

I am the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I sit at the right hand of my father in heaven. I am not a thief or a trespasser. I do not enter in where I am not invited.

Do not keep me out of my rightful place in your heart and in your life. I want to take up my rightful place in your heart and in your life.   Let me take up my rightful place.  

Come to me and submit yourself to me. Open the door and let me into my rightful place.   Open the door and let me into the closed places.  

I am King and Lord of all and there is no other but me. Let me come in.     Do not leave it any longer.   The time has come to let me be King and Lord in my rightful place.  

For the time will come when I will no longer be stood here knocking.  

Let me in to that locked and darkened room in your heart so that I may bring my light and my healing touch.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.

Revelation 3:19-20

Atrophy

A friend used this word “atrophy” in an email to me this week. It immediately got my attention as it’s such an unusual word. It reminded me of this post from early 2020 so I wanted to share it again today.

Atrophy means the partial or complete wasting away of part of a physical body.   

A sense of shrinking and weakness in body mass and muscle tone.   An entire limb can become atrophied and withered and incapable of movement.    

There are several things which can cause Atrophy in a body but these ones caught my attention:

  1. Disuse/Lack of Exercise -When muscles are not used or you are immobile for long periods of time then Atrophy can set in.    We are called into active service in Christ Jesus and to pick up our cross and follow Him.   We are called to give and serve others, to exercise the giftings which God gives us through the Holy Spirit.   To serve others and be a blessing to them.   To show God’s love in action.   There are plenty of opportunities to serve within the body of Christ and the communities we live in.   If we are not using and exercising the talents & gifts which God has given us then they will wither.   We are called to be a voice crying in the wilderness “Prepare the way of the Lord”.   We are called to be light in the darkness.  God is rallying his church and the trumpet is sounding – wake up and start to work for the Lord because the day is short.   The good news is that this sort of Atrophy can be cured by exercise unless it is too severe.   It is never too late to start working for the Lord – He will always make a way.  Trust in the Lord and do good.
  2. Poor Nourishment – if we do not feed our physical bodies properly then they will suffer.  Muscles will lose mass and our bodies will start to shut down if no nourishment is given.   Similarly, the body of Christ will suffer if it is not feeding on the Word of God and in fellowship with Christ – the bread of life.    The challenge is -What are we feeding on?  If we feed on worldly rubbish or false teachings and doctrines then we will suffer.    We need a diet of God’s word and His truths.
  3. Mutations -these are things that should not be part of the body and they cause damage – they attack it from within.  In a spiritual sense I believe that Atrophy in the body of Christ is caused by sinful, immoral & selfish behaviour – there is no fruit of the Spirit.   It is like a disease which spreads from within.  The bible teaches us how a root of bitterness is such a thing – it causes much damage to others.   Jealousy, gossip, unforgiveness and such things should not be within the body of Christ.   Wolves in sheep’s clothing do not belong in the body of Christ and will certainly cause damage.  The bible warns us against them and their works.  Jesus says we will know them by their fruits.
  4. Poor Circulation – If we do not have the living Christ, the life & power of the Holy Spirit and God’s love flowing through us then we will have poor circulation.  If we are not in unity with one another then there will be a blockage in God’s love and blessings being manifested throughout the body of Christ.   Those parts of the body which are not flowing in the Spirit of God will not prosper – their growth will be stunted.   We need to connect into God’s amazing power and for the life giving blood of Jesus to pump through us.

I pray that we, the body of Christ, will not suffer Atrophy but will be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  

That we will put off lethargy and sin which can so easily ensnare us and will rise in service of the King of Kings & Lord of Lords. 

That we will put our hands to the plough and not look back and we will run the race of faith with patience and endurance.   

Let us not be weary in doing good for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart – Galatians 6:9.  

Let us rise up like the Eagle and run and not faint.

Let us leap for Joy in service of our King.

Blessings in Jesus. Amen 🙏

sunset beach people sunrise
Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

 

 

 

Gardens…

Morning all, I hope you all had good weekends. This is the third and last in my series of updates of re-posts over the weekend following on from Mountains and Rivers.

I came to realise, like many others over the lockdown restrictions, that it was such a blessing to have a garden – either a place which is yours, a sanctuary to enjoy and take pleasure from or a communal garden.    A place to reflect, enjoy the beauty of nature and time to relax.    Gardens draw us in and make us feel better – they are food indeed for the soul.   There is something in our DNA which draws us to a garden – even if we are not green fingered ourselves – we can appreciate the beauty. This is me with my dog peeking through a floral display in the park.

It got me thinking about gardens in the bible.

God was the first Gardener:

Genesis 2 v 8  “the Lord God planted a garden“- the Garden of Eden.    How amazing and beautiful that first garden must have been, planted and designed by God’s own hand.   It says that every tree planted was “pleasant for the sight” and “good for food“. God made that garden especially for Adam and Eve.   He took the time to create a special place for them.   A place of nourishment and also a place to meet for fellowship.    God would walk in the garden in the cool of the day and meet with Adam and Eve – a special time of relationship.  

I love that as Christians there is also a special place for each one of us – a place where we can go and meet with God – a place to be in His presence.

Life was in that very first Garden:

Life was formed there in the Garden of Eden. God created Eve from Adam’s side and the Tree of Life – eternal life- was also there in it’s midst.    Jesus came to give us life in all its fullness and the bible teaches that we find life – true life – in our relationship with Him.    When we come and meet with Jesus we meet Life.

Jesus said “I am the way, the truth & the life. No-one comes to the father except through Me“.     

We won’t find true life or relationship with God any other way. After Adam and Eve had eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and evil they were put out of the garden in case they ate of the tree of life and lived forever in sin.     Jesus through his death and resurrection has cleansed us from sin to make a way back into the garden of fellowship with God for us. We are now partakers of eternal life.

Death was also in that Garden:

When Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge then death came.   God made tunics of skin to cover them – an animal had to die to provide those skins for clothing for Adam and Eve.  Death had entered into creation for the first time.  

Death was also drawing near to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.    Jesus met with his Father in prayer that night in the Garden.    On that night the Garden was a place of betrayal, pain and suffering for Jesus.   He was in great sorrow and in deep distress.   He had been betrayed, let down by His disciples and was facing death and torture.    

The garden is a place that God wants us to come when we too are in such times of sorrow – times of anxiety and fear.  Times when we feel overwhelmed and think that we can’t continue – when it all seems too much.    Times when people close to us have betrayed us or let us down. God will draw us to Him, will comfort us and strengthen us so that we can continue.

Beware of the enemy in the Garden:

Satan entered the garden of Eden and deceived Eve. Watch out for the lies of the enemy. Don’t let satan lead you astray by his lies and deception.

The garden can provoke others to jealousy. Jezebel schemed and plotted to have Naboth killed because her husband Ahab desired the vineyard garden that belonged to Naboth. The king wanted it for a vegetable garden but Naboth refused to sell. It was his inheritance and not for sale.

The enemy always wants to steal your inheritance in Christ. The enemy is jealous of your position in Christ and he will do what he can to steal from you. Guard yourself and trust in God. The enemy will try and stop you enjoying relationship with God. He will tell you that you are not good enough and all sorts of lies to interfere in your relationship with God.

New Life and hope was in the Garden:

When Jesus conquered the grave and rose from the dead, He appeared to Mary. She thought at first that he was a Gardener.   I had never really thought about that before but my friend mentioned it to me the other day.     Why would Mary have mistaken Jesus for a Gardener unless he was in a garden and it was a reasonable assumption to make.   From a place of sorrow and grief the garden became one of hope for Mary. There is hope in the garden – Jesus was dead but now He is alive.   The garden is a place of hope. It’s a place of victory. It’s a place of new beginnings.

Nourishment in the Garden:

The plants which were in the Garden of Eden were good for food and there was a river which flowed through it.    We all need food and water to survive and flourish.  

Jesus said “I am the bread of life.  He who comes to Me shall never hunger and he who believes in Me shall never thirst”  – “Man cannot live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God“. 

There is spiritual nourishment in spending time with God in His presence. Hearing what He has to say to us in those quiet times as we spend time in His word – the bible.   Jesus is the true bread of life and out of Him spring rivers of living water.  I am becoming more aware of my need to spend more time in His presence, in His word than being busy doing things for God.  I am blessed by the giftings and ministry which God has given me but being in relationship with Him is the most important thing – Reminding me of my first love.

Love is in the Garden:

Unconditional love is in the garden. God loves us.

You will hear God’s voice in the garden speaking to you. As He spoke to Adam you will hear His still small voice speak to you saying- I love you.

God is love. If you seek Him you will find Him. If you are looking for love you will find it in God the father and Jesus the son.

 

Fresh Bread

Whilst worshipping today I had a vision of Jesus. It was so beautiful that I started crying. The Lord was seated behind a long table. He had his arms outstretched to the side as wide as possible and his face was gentle and welcoming. He was looking straight at me. I couldn’t see the end of the table on either side as it was so long but I knew that Jesus was seated at the middle of the table. The table was empty other than a beautiful white tablecloth that covered it. This puzzled me but then I understood. I believe that the Lord was saying in this vision that He wants and invites us to come to His table daily for fresh bread. We cannot live on yesterday’s crumbs or yesterday’s bread or last week or last year’s storehouses. The Lord has fresh bread for us every day and not just enough for us but also to share with others. The Lord will use us to nourish others. He is the Lord of provision and multiplication.

The righteous eats to the satisfying of his soul
Proverbs 13:25

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.”
Isaiah 58:7-8

But He said to them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we go and buy food for all these people.” For there were about five thousand men. Then He said to His disciples, “Make them sit down in groups of fifty.” And they did so, and made them all sit down. Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude. So they all ate and were filled, and twelve baskets of the leftover fragments were taken up by them.
Luke 9:13-17

Fresh Bread

Gardens…

Meet Me in the garden…Those were the words I heard in my spirit as I was waking one morning. I initially turned over and tried to go back to sleep but I heard them again – “Meet Me in the garden”.    I knew it was the Lord Jesus speaking to me and inviting me to spend time with him – not in my actual garden – but in that secret place where I go to pray and talk to Him.    It was early morning so I got up as quietly as I could, so not to disturb my family, and went downstairs to a place I could be alone and meet with the Lord.

It was a really blessed time in His presence.   I started to think more about why the Lord has said to “Meet Him in the garden” and what is so special about a garden.   

During lockdown because of Coronavirus,  many people have spent more time in their gardens or local parks.   It is a blessing to have a garden – a place which is yours, a sanctuary to enjoy and take pleasure from.    A place to reflect, enjoy the beauty of nature and time to relax.    Gardens draw us in and make us feel better – they are food indeed for the soul.   There is something in our DNA which draws us to a garden – even if we are not green fingered ourselves – we can appreciate the beauty. This is me with my dog peeking through a floral display in the park.

I started to think more about gardens in the bible.

God was the first Gardener – It says in Genesis 2 v 8  that “the Lord God planted a garden”  – the Garden of Eden.    How amazing & beautiful that first garden must have been – planted & designed by God’s own hand.   It says that every tree planted was “pleasant for the sight” and “good for food”.       God made that garden especially for Adam.   He took the time to create a special place for Adam.   A place of nourishment & also a place to meet.    God would walk in the garden in the cool of the day and meet with Adam & Eve – a time of relationship.   There is also a special place for each one of us – a place where we can go and meet with God – a place to be in His presence.

Life was in that very first Garden – it was formed there – God created Eve from Adam’s side and the Tree of Life was in it’s midst.    Jesus came to give us life in all its fullness and I believe that we find life – true life – in our relationship with Him.    When we come and meet with Him we meet Life – Jesus said “I am the way, the truth & the life -No-one comes to the father except through Me”.      We won’t find true life or relationship with God any other way – After Adam & Eve had eaten of the tree of knowledge of good & evil they were put out of the garden in case they ate of the tree of life and lived forever in sin.     Jesus through his death and resurrection has cleansed us from sin, there is a way back into the garden of fellowship with God for us and we are now partakers of eternal life.

Death was also in that Garden – When Adam & Eve ate of the tree of knowledge death came.   God made tunics of skin to cover them – an animal had to die to provide clothing for Adam & Eve.  Death had entered into creation.   Death was also drawing near in the Garden of Gethsemane.    Jesus met with his Father in prayer in the Garden on that night.    It says in the gospels that Jesus often went with his disciples there and that is why Judas knew where to find him.    On that night – it was a place of betrayal, pain & suffering for Jesus.   He was in great sorrow and in deep distress.   He had been betrayed, let down by His disciples and was facing death & torture.     The garden is a place that God wants us to come when we are in such times of sorrow – times of anxiety & fear.  Times when we feel overwhelmed and think that we can’t continue – when it all seems too much.    Times when people close to us have betrayed us or let us down.God will draw us to Him, will comfort us & strengthen us in such times so that we can continue.

Beware of the enemy in the Garden. Satan entered the garden of Eden and deceived Eve. Watch out for the lies of the enemy. Don’t let him lead you astray. The garden can provoke others to jealousy. Jezebel schemed and plotted to have Naboth killed because her husband Ahab desired the vineyard garden that belonged to Naboth. The king wanted it for a vegetable garden but Naboth refused to sell. It was his inheritance and not for sale. The enemy always wants to steal your inheritance in Christ. The enemy is jealous of your position in Christ and he will do what he can to steal from you. Guard yourself and trust in God. The enemy will try and stop you enjoying relationship with God. He will tell you that you are not good enough and all sorts of lies to interfere in your relationship with God.

New Life & hope was in the Garden – When Jesus conquered the grave and rose from the dead and appeared to Mary ,she thought at first that he was a Gardener.   I had never really thought about that before but my friend mentioned it to me the other day.     Why would Mary have mistaken Jesus for a Gardener unless he was in a garden and it was a reasonable assumption to make.   From a place of sorrow and grief the garden became one of hope for Mary. There is hope in the garden – Jesus was dead but now He is alive.   It is a place of hope. It’s a place of victory. It’s a place of new beginnings.

Nourishment in the Garden – The plants which were in the Garden of Eden were good for food and there was a river which flowed from there to water the garden.    We all need food & water to survive and flourish.   Jesus said “I am the bread of life.  He who comes to Me shall never hunger and he who believes in Me shall never thirst”  – “Man cannot live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”.  There is spiritual nourishment in spending time with God in His presence and hearing what He has to say to us in those quiet times and as we spend time in His word – the bible.   Jesus is the true bread of life and out of Him spring rivers of living water.     I am becoming more aware of my need to spend more time in His presence, in His word than doing things for God.  I am blessed by the giftings which God has given me but being in relationship with Him is the most important thing – Reminding me of my first love.

Love is in the Garden – unconditional love waits in the garden. God loves us no matter what we have done or what we do.

You will hear God’s voice in the garden. As He spoke to Adam you will hear His still small voice speak to you saying I love you.

God is love. If you seek Him you will find Him. If you are looking for love you will find it in God the father and Jesus the son. Blessings to you.

 

A course correction – the right direction

The Lord has been speaking these same words “a course correction” to me over the last month or so. It has certainly got my attention and through various scriptures and pictures, I keep coming back to this theme of a “course correction”. As I have been reading and praying, I believe that the Lord is emphasising that whether it is on a personal level or even governmental and national – there is need of a “course correction”.

I have this sense that some may have gone “off course” in terms of following God, or in doing what God wants us to do in our lives or doing what is pleasing to Him. The degree of “course correction” required is going to vary depending on how far we have wandered from the right path or direction that God wants to take us. It could be just a small correction or adjustment to get us back on track or if we are going in the wrong direction entirely then it will mean a complete “U” turn – whether that is in terms of mindsets and/or behaviors to get back on track.

Photo by Kelly Lacy on Pexels.com

For some I believe it means they will find the right way in God through Jesus for the first time. It will be a complete revelation of truth to them. They will hear the good news and receive the gospel and believe. There could be opposition, trouble and persecution to this new direction in life and for some people it will mean going in the opposite direction to those around you – people you may have journeyed through life with for a long time. There will be challenging times ahead but Jesus will journey with you and take you through.

You might be led to take a different path and for some there may be a literal parting of ways with certain people – this even happened with the Apostle Paul when he parted ways with Barnabas and they went in different directions in their missionary journey. I see this happening in certain ministries – people are going to part company but God will show the timing of this and trust Him to give you peace about the decision. It may mean for those who do not discern God’s hand and direction that there could be hurts along the way and difficulties to overcome, so I pray for God’s grace in these situations and a covering of protection of hearts & minds. That no root of bitterness will spring up or jealousy among fellow believers leading to disunity and trouble.

At the start of Covid 19 we certainly seemed to be having a time of “reset” and people took the opportunity of an enforced lockdown to review lots of aspects of their lives. Even Churches were not immune and had to review their practices and make changes to the way that they functioned in terms of meeting together, teaching & helping each other and their local communities. Lots of changes were made, there was innovation & new practices undertaken – but recently people seem to be wanting to get back to “normal”.

People are saying more and more that they can’t wait until things return to normal. I can understand this because there has been a lot of confusion and changes of rules/regulations and this has unsettled us -there are restrictions on our every day lives and we are longing for a return to normality, but I don’t think God wants us to return to the old “normal”. I believe God really wants us to embrace a course correction. God does not want us to return to old habits and ways of doing things especially if they were wrong. There is something better that God has for us.

The Lord first got my attention on a “course correction” with a reading in the book of Habakkuk. Habakkuk was a prophet in the Old Testament and in Chapter 2 he says “I will stand my watch and set myself on the ramparts and watch to see what He (God) will say to me and what I will answer when I am corrected“.

Habakkuk actively sought correction from God – he prepared himself to listen and receive it but in my experience (this may just be me) -we usually try and avoid correction or disciplining. I don’t think I have met anyone yet who really likes being disciplined and told they are wrong but it is good for us and its necessary. We can make wrong choices or we move and act impulsively or at the wrong time. God loves us and correcting us is a sign of His love for us – If we are children of God then it is a given that He will correct us. As a loving Father, God wants to correct us and show us when we are “off course”. God wants the best for us. He showed Habakkuk plainly – God said “write the vision and make it plain i.e. clear so that he may run who reads it” – in other words God speaks clearly to us through His word and shows us what is required for Godly living.

When I was thinking about this scripture from Habakkuk the Lord showed me a picture of a sail boat. It was just a small simple boat with a sail and a person sitting at the helm with his hand on the tiller. The tiller is the “course corrector” – without the tiller the boat would just go with the currents, the winds & tides which would dictate its course. However, the sailor constantly adjusts the pressure on the tiller to keep the boat going in the right direction. God is the tiller in our lives. There is always going to be a “wind” or a “current” in our lives which tries to influence us and take us in a certain direction. It’s identifying which is prevailing and influencing the direction of my life – is it culture, relationships, work, fears, lies, anxieties, my desires, my assumptions etc. there are so many things – or am I allowing the word of God and the breath of the Holy Spirit to lead me in the right way – with my eyes fixed on Jesus. It’s challenging to take time and ask God to identify what is truly influencing our decisions and the direction we are travelling.

Photo by Jahoo Clouseau on Pexels.com

The good news is that Jesus comes to set us back on track if we are going the wrong way. Jesus set two of His followers back on the right course. In Luke 24 starting at verse 13, we read the story of two followers of Jesus, one named Cleopas, who were travelling from Jerusalem on the road to Emmaus. Both had been in Jerusalem when Jesus was crucified and were discussing everything that had happened with Jesus’ death and also the story that the women had told them that morning of Jesus’ tomb being empty. They were confused, sad and didn’t know what to believe. They had now left Jerusalem & the other believers – we are not told why- and were travelling to Emmaus – 7 miles away – going in the wrong direction. Jesus took the time to go and meet them on the road and explain the truth to them – he took them through the scriptures and explained the truth about the Messiah as prophesied in the Old Testament. These men both knew Jesus but they didn’t immediately recognise Jesus on the road but something compelled them not to let this “stranger” go on but to hear more from Him. The story ends with them doing a “U” turn and heading back to Jerusalem.

I love this story – Jesus shows His love and compassion as the good shepherd for these two followers. He actively seeks them out because they are headed in the wrong direction but they don’t realise it. They need to be in Jerusalem. They need to go back to where they headed out from. Jesus eventually reveals himself to them when they all sit down to eat & break bread together (this speaks to me of a time of intimacy and fellowship) and then immediately once they recognise Jesus it all makes sense – they get up and head back to Jerusalem – even though it is late at night to tell the rest of the disciples the good news – Jesus is alive – He has been resurrected.

This story made me think – What would have happened if those two followers had not returned to Jerusalem. Not only did they encourage and immediately witness about Jesus’ resurrection to the other disciples when they returned which must have had an impact especially when their story was verified when Jesus appeared again to all of them there, but I also think they could have missed out on receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit which Jesus had promised His followers. It is not recorded in scripture, but I do believe those two men were part of those 120 who were recorded as gathered in the upper room in the Acts of the Apostles and received the infilling and power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus did not want them to miss out on the fullness of what He had promised and it’s the same for you and I today. Jesus does not want us to miss out on the fullness of what He died and rose from death to give us – life in all its abundance.

I think Jesus wants to cause an intervention in some lives to get us back on track. We hear of “interventions” being made in secular terms – someone might be in a desperate situation and there has to be an “intervention” by friends or authorities to get them to stop and change – to get them to realise truth. Jesus does the same and the New Testament is full of stories of Jesus intervening in people’s lives and totally changing them and their circumstances. The apostle Paul is another example who comes to mind- Jesus meets him on the road to Damascus and totally changes the direction of his life – instead of persecuting and killing Christians as Saul – he becomes Paul – a believer and follower of Christ who becomes a witness of Jesus – an apostle and missionary.

Isaiah 55 v 7 says “Let the wicked forsake his way, …….Let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God for He will abundantly pardon”. The good news of Jesus is that salvation -believing in Jesus and accepting Him into our lives – the biggest course corrector to lead us back into fellowship with God – is available to everyone. Repenting means doing a “U” turn – a “turn around” – turning away from our former sinful and self-centered lives – and following Jesus as a disciple. It is not too late to make that decision to get off the wide path that Jesus says leads to destruction and instead choose to take the narrow path which Jesus guides us to and puts our feet on – the path of salvation and to eternal life with God. Restoration in all its fullness.

And what of those of us who are followers of Christ already- where could we possible need a course correction. Jesus speaks to the churches in Revelation and showed them some course corrections needed -Firstly – the church who had forgotten their first love. I was really convicted of this recently – My love for Jesus – it needed rekindling. My passion for Him as I had at first as a young believer – when I first came to know Him and love Him. Those verses in Revelation 2:4 spoke right into my heart “I have this against you – that you have left your first love”. Remember from where you have fallen – repent – a course corrector – it’s always first and foremost about Jesus. It’s about our relationship with Him. It’s not what we do but why we do it – Jesus is the reason – our love for Him.

It’s not just losing our first love, Jesus also points out in these early chapters of Revelation the churches who are tolerating immorality, idolatry, false teachings, tolerating false prophets, the indifferent church – neither hot nor cold and the dead church – having a name for being alive but actually dead. Jesus has words of correction to all these churches but also words of encouragement to keep the churches on the right paths of His presence and teachings. To help them get back on track and overcome all trials and temptations just as Jesus did – with His guidance and the Holy Spirit at work in us and through us. We, who are the Church – the body of Christ – a living, breathing body with Christ as our head need to take these words of Jesus on board – They are relevant to these times that we are living in. What is Jesus saying to His church today – what words of correction is He bringing to us.

I pray that this blog will be an encouragement, challenge and help to you. It may resonate with you and may you be blessed in Jesus’ precious name.

Invite Christ in -Access all areas

I had this word when I was praying some time ago and have shared it in our fellowship but feel that the Lord wants me to share it again now.

My dear children – you are all children in my sight, dear and beloved to me. How my heart aches for you. How my heart longs to take you in my arms and remove the burdens you are carrying.  I am here – just waiting for you. Waiting to lift you up in my arms and carry you through the night. Do you hear me calling to you?  Do you hear my still small voice crying out to you?   Do not try and block out my voice.   Do not fill your hearts and lives with worldly things which would stifle my still small voice.   Make room in your hearts for me.   Make room.

Some of you need to clean out the house (our hearts) – to make room so that I can come in and sup with you and talk to you and make you mine.

Some of you have squeezed me into the smallest room of your heart and tried to close the door and keep me in that small space and will not allow me to have access to the parts which I need to access – the parts which need healing, cleansing and release.

Some of you have opened up a parlour, the best room, where I am invited to sit.   Where everything to outward appearances is swept clean and tidy – all rubbish hidden out of view – a room where a fire burns and which seems welcoming and inviting and where everything appears to be alright – but you are not comfortable with me.   You are not comfortable in my presence and you do not know how to be comfortable with me. You are not really comfortable with my presence there because you are fearful that I will want to go into the other rooms and all the other rooms are barred to me. You are ashamed of them. You feel that they are not good enough for me. You feel that I would not want to really see inside those rooms – rooms which are dirty, unclean, cluttered, and full of things which you are ashamed of – those are the very rooms I need to go into with you and help you clean. Help you bring warmth and light into those rooms. Those areas of your life which you are ashamed of – those areas of your life which you try and keep me out of and pretend do not exist. I am not fooled.   I want to come into all areas. I want to be able to access all areas of your life and your hearts.

Do not be afraid my children. Do not be afraid. If you will open the door then I will come in and we will eat together. We will talk together, we will commune together. I made you, created you, I know you better than you know yourselves.   I will not be shocked or outraged by anything in your life or in your heart. If you are willing to submit to me completely then I will come in and do a work in you. I will restore you and refresh you.

Some of you ran well once. Who interrupted your race? Who hardened your heart against me? Who deafened your ears and muffled my voice? Who stole away your desire to be with me and the intimacy that we once enjoyed? Who stole your first love?

I am the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I sit at the right hand of my father in heaven. I am not a thief or a trespasser. I do not enter in where I am not invited.

Do not keep me out of my rightful place in your heart and in your life. I want to take up my rightful place in your heart and in your life.   Let me take up my rightful place.   Come to me and submit yourself to me. Open the door and let me into my rightful place.   Open the door and let me into the closed places.   I am King and Lord of all and there is no other but me. Let me come in.     Do not leave it any longer.   The time has come to let me be King and Lord in my rightful place.   For the time will come when I will no longer be stood here knocking.   Let me in to that locked and darkened room in your heart so that I may bring my light and my healing touch.