There are lots of voices clamouring to be heard. Trying to influence us. Lots of voices with differing opinions. Lots of voices which tell us untruths, particularly in the media, but the Bible tells us that God’s voice is powerful, full of majesty and can shake the wilderness and strip the forest bare -Psalm 29.
The voice of the Lord is “over the waters” and when the “floods have lifted up their voice” then we need to remember that “the Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, than the mighty waves of the sea” -Psalm 93.
Whichever voice or voices are currently raised or rising up against you or trying to come against you today- whether it is the voices of doubt, unbelief, confusion, accusation, lies, manipulation, intimidation, threats, bullying then disarm them with the truth from the Bible, declare the Word which is powerful, living and mighty into that situation.
Let it be the Voice of God that speaks to you and answers you.
When Jesus was out on the lake with his disciples and the wind and waves rose up in a fierce and violent storm, the disciples thought they would die. Jesus stood up and rebuked the wind and said to the Sea “Peace, be still“. Immediately the wind & waves were still.
The voice of Jesus was more powerful than the wind & the waves and was truly “over the waters“.
You may be facing or in a storm today but let it be God’s voice that powerfully speaks to the storm and not the voice of fear or doubt.
The Lord will bless you with His peace in the midst of the storm.
This is a reworking of one of the early posts which I wrote on this blog in 2018 when I started writing. I hope it has blessed and encouraged someone today.
“Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited”. Isaiah 54:2-3
I want to share this word of encouragement that was brought at our prayer meeting a few weeks ago as I was reminded of it today by the Lord. It may also be a timely encouragement for someone reading.
Many of us, if not all of us around the world, have been through a season of confinement and restriction. If you picture a baby in the womb the limbs are all restricted but when the baby is born it is released from its confinement and can fully stretch into its new environment.
There are people reading this who have found themselves in this position but now I believe we are coming into a season of birthing of new opportunities and it’s time to stretch out in the Lord. We are to be expectant. There is fresh vision that the Lord is releasing and doors being opened which will require us to step out of our comfort zones. To stretch ourselves.
The problem is that we can get too used to being in that place of confinement. There is some security and comfort in being there. We become settled but it’s time for a bit of unsettling for growth. Time for a stretch.
My friend was reminded of her time as a PE teacher. The children used to crouch down and make themselves as small as possible and then they slowly started to uncurl, stand up and then stretch themselves as tall as they could possibly be, reaching as tall as possible. Try it. It feels great.
Do not despise the day of small beginnings says the Lord because there is going to be expansion and fruitfulness in the Kingdom. God can do abundantly more than we can think or imagine so let us not restrict the work of the Holy Spirit in and through us. Let’s stretch out as God leads us. We walk by faith and not by sight.
The first thing a baby does when air gets in the lungs is cry. The baby finds their voice for the first time. For some this time of stretching will mean you find your voice for the first time. You are being released to speak God’s truths and your voice will be heard. You will make yourselves heard and find your voice. God will bring opportunity to speak for Him in places and to people that you would have not thought possible.
This weekend we have our first conference and prayer & prophetic day on Saturday in Stourbridge with Eagle Raisers and our dear Eric & Jackie McKenna. It was Eric who (gently!!) encouraged me to start my blog after many years of dithering.
It’s been a long time since we have been able to meet face to face because of Covid and I’m really looking forward to it.
Eric is one of those leaders who is a great encourager and teacher. I’m so looking forward to the weekend and am expectant to have some good things to share with you over the next weeks coming out of the day together.
The last time we gathered at Eagle Raisers was in October 2019. At that time I had a beautiful picture which I shared called The Wind of God’s spirit.
If you are interested then this is the link to Eagle Raisers and the ministry channel they have on Youtube here with a video by my dear friend, Mary.
We recently returned from a church weekend away in beautiful Wales. It was so lovely to spend this time away in fellowship with our Christian family and to hear great teaching. Sharing meals together, chatting, fun, worship, prayer…all those things pre-Covid I took for granted. How precious they are.
The Holy Spirit was certainly present and moving in our midsts during that weekend away and many shared what they received from the Lord. Today, I want to share a picture that my dear friend Heather received and also the bible verses which the Lord gave her about the picture.
I believe there are brothers and sisters in Christ who connect with us through this blog who also need to hear this.
Heather saw a picture of a large flock of sheep who were all moving in one direction and from her perspective onto new pastures. At the front she could see some really strong and healthy sheep who were forging ahead with the Shepherd walking alongside them. However, at the back of the flock there were some sheep lagging well behind. The stragglers who were struggling.
These sheep were all wounded in some way. Some were limping, injured and crippled. Some had bad eyesight or were partly blinded and couldn’t see clearly where they were going. They kept bumping into things. Other sheep couldn’t hear clearly what the Shepherd at the front was saying. They were partly deaf and asking “What’s He saying”
These sheep at the back felt like losing heart and giving up. They couldn’t keep up with the other sheep. They were struggling and falling further behind. They were discouraged. They didn’t feel like they belonged.
However, the Shepherd was looking back and He noticed those sheep. He left the other sheep and goes right to the back of the flock to them. He starts calling each of those sheep by name because He knows them by name. He tells each one that He knows their name. The Shepherd tells each one that He will walk with them. He will heal them and He will take them into the new pasture.
These are the bible verses from Ezekiel:
“For thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I Myself will search for My flock and seek them out. As a shepherd cares for his sheep on the day that he is among his scattered flock, so I will care for My sheep; and I will rescue them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams, and in all the inhabited places of the land. I will feed them in a good pasture, and their grazing ground will be on the mountain heights of Israel. There they will lie down on good grazing ground and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I will feed My flock and I will let them lie down [to rest],” says the Lord God. “
I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bandage the crippled, and strengthen the weak and the sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong [who have become hard-hearted and perverse]. I will feed them with judgment and punishment.” Ezekiel 34:11-17
There is great comfort and encouragement in this picture as Jesus who is our great and chief Shepherd seeks out those sheep who are lost and wounded but there is also I believe a gentle warning to those who are forging ahead at the front.
There is a danger that those sheep who are strong in faith and doctrine and pressing ahead will not remember and help those in the flock who are weak and struggling. They could become hard hearted to those who are more weak in faith or wounded. Those limping and carrying wounds may need help and support from past emotional wounds and abuse. Those not seeing or hearing clearly could be affected by false teaching or doctrine or sin. Let us not forget that the Lord has given gifts of ministry and service within the church that we may help each other grow and mature.
Is the Lord also calling you by name to walk alongside and help one of His wounded sheep with Him today?
Are you a wounded sheep who is suffering? Then be encouraged because Jesus the great Shepherd has seen you, will come to you right where you are and knows exactly what you need to heal and restore you. Don’t give up but look up.
Thank you Lord that you found me when I was lost, weak and hurting. Now let me also be a shepherd to those you bring into the fold. Amen.
Morning my friends. The Lord has reminded me of 3 words which I posted in 2020 which started with a post called “Awake Awake”. This post is a warning that the Lord God is a God who will judge righteously. We are called as followers of Jesus to stand for truth, justice and righteousness and not conform to this world. It’s a call to be ready and persevere in the times we are in. Trust in God.
I am re-posting these words again as I feel prompted by the Holy Spirit to do so. Please read them again or for the first time. I hope they bless you and speak to us all in some way for God’s glory and to advance His Kingdom. Perhaps there is a word in season for someone that will speak to their heart today.
The second post that linked to Awake Awake was The Heavenly Steed which talks of Jesus’ second coming and the glorious horse that bears Him. A reminder that Jesus is Lord and is coming again. The time is set and will not be delayed. He is the King of Glory. It’s a call to salvation for those who do not yet know Jesus as Lord. Call on Him whilst He is near and there is time.
The third word in the series is Take hold of today – Make it count which reminds us as followers of Christ that we are called to grow in the knowledge and love of Jesus and do His good works. The power of the Holy Spirit is at work in each one of us who has been born again into the Kingdom of God through faith in Jesus. One day we will each give an account to our loving Master Jesus.
That might be the extent of your faith for a particular situation today.
If so then I want to encourage you today to keep faith in God and in His word. He is the God of the impossible. He can work with that small seed of faith (if that is all you have at this given moment for a particular situation). If you have faith then don’t give up as the Lord is faithful and is working out His purposes and plans according to His Will. Trust in His unfailing love, mercy and justice.
If you are struggling with something today, praying for a situation for yourself or someone else -whether a family member, friend or even someone who is a stranger to you then be encouraged because as a believer in Christ you have already exercised great faith in accepting Jesus as your saviour and receiving through faith the gift of salvation and eternal life.
You have believed through faith that Jesus died for your sins, was raised to life by the power of God and has redeemed you. You are sanctified and righteous in God’s sight because of Jesus’ blood which has cleansed you from sin.
You have already shown great faith to believe for the greatest miracle of all..the gift of salvation and Jesus’ victory over sin and death. I believe that the Lord is reminding you today that you have shown such incredible faith in Him so persevere and don’t give up.
If you have faith the size of a mustard seed then be encouraged because you still have faith and where there is faith then there is hope. I pray that the gift of faith in you will grow and increase by the power of the Holy Spirit. Bless you today in Jesus name.
These bible verses from Isaiah 43 have been on my heart today and I hope they bless you too.
“But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I gave Egypt for your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place. Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you; Therefore I will give men for you, And people for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, And gather you from the west; I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, And My daughters from the ends of the earth— Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him.” Isaiah 43:1-7
Life has curve balls. For me, For you. For our families. For our friends. Even for Christians. Things happen, shocking news comes that we weren’t expecting to receive. Times of pain, hurt, disappointment, unsettling times of trouble. It shakes us, throws us off track and then we remember that we serve a God who knows all things, is our Rock, our Fortress and an ever present help in times of need.
In such times, the Lord draws us to Him with love and reminds us of His faithfulness and goodness. That He is a good, good God and we can trust in Him.
Recently, the Lord gave these promises from His Word to sustain us in the difficult and painful times ahead. I hope that if you are experiencing such times yourself that you will also find hope and comfort in these verses. I have meditated and spoken them aloud especially at the start of the day. They have uplifted my soul.
Psalm 91:2. “ I will say of the Lord:He is my refuge and my fortress, My God in Him I will trust”
Nahum 1:7. “ The Lord is good; A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.”
Psalm 25:5. “ Lead me in your truth and teach me. For you are the God of my salvation on you I wait all the day.”
Psalm 96 1-3. “ Oh sing to the Lord a new song, Sing to the Lord all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name, Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples.”
John 3:16. “For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Lamentations 3: 22-23. “Through the Lords mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning:Great is your faithfulness”.
Isaiah 26:3-4 You will keep in perfect peace those whose mind is steadfast because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever He is the rock eternal”
My friend also gave this wise advice.
I believe the Lord wants us to stop fretting and to rest in his love and goodness for this season and also to look and see His beauty in nature all around us.
Sometimes, it’s important to be clear about what you believe. I felt convicted of that this morning. I am not ashamed to say that I believe in God’s power to heal us from sickness and disease, not just in days of past but also for today. I worship and believe in a God that heals yesterday, today and tomorrow. God boldly declares it about himself, it’s part of God’s character. He is a healer. He calls himself Jehovah Rapha..the God who heals. That’s a bold statement.
God doesn’t just say empty words about himself. He demonstrates that what He says about himself is true and reliable. We can have faith in Him that His words are true. There is a continued thread throughout the bible of God demonstrating His healing power in the Old Testament and continued by Jesus in the New Testament and then by the Apostles and other believers. There are many stories of healing and witnesses who testified about God healing them.
Healing was a major part of Jesus’ ministry when He was here on earth. He had such compassion on people that He did many healings and miracles which the gospels tell us about. I believe those accounts.
“They had come to hear him (Jesus) and to be healed of their diseases; and those troubled by evil spirits were healed. Everyone tried to touch him, because healing power went out from him, and he healed everyone.” Luke 6:18-19
The bible teaches us that God’s healing powers did not stop when Jesus returned to heaven because Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to continue His work through His believers. The Apostles and other believers filled with the Holy Spirit also healed in Jesus name.
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of our people, are we being questioned today because we’ve done a good deed for a crippled man? Do you want to know how he was healed? Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead. For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says, ‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’
“What should we do with these men?” they (the leaders) asked each other. “We can’t deny that they have performed a miraculous sign, and everybody in Jerusalem knows about it. The council then threatened them further, but they finally let them go because they didn’t know how to punish them without starting a riot.
For everyone was praising God for this miraculous sign—the healing of a man who had been lame for more than forty years.
After their release the disciples prayed:
“And now, O Lord, hear their threats, and give us, your servants, great boldness in preaching your word. Stretch out your hand with healing power; may miraculous signs and wonders be done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” Acts 4:8-11,16,21-22,29-30
Healing didn’t stop there either as the bible teaches us through the Apostle Paul that the Holy Spirit continues to give the gift of healing through believers:
“The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing.” 1 Corinthians 12:9
We are encouraged to pray for those who are sick:
“Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:14-16
Does everyone that we pray for get healed immediately or physically healed. The answer to that from my own experience is No. I don’t operate in a gift of healing continually. I can testify however that I have experienced people being healed immediately and I have felt the power of the Holy Spirit go through me by the laying on of hands. Yet on other times not.
Do I get discouraged sometimes when people I pray for or we pray for as a fellowship are not healed. Yes, I do. Do I understand why some prayers for healing are answered and some not. No I don’t. It doesn’t stop me though from stirring up my faith, refusing to give in to disappointment and praying again. I persevere because I know and believe that I serve a loving, faithful God who can and does heal. It is His Will which is to be done and He knows what is best in every circumstance. God wants people to be saved and spend eternity with Him through faith in His son Jesus.
I know there are other bloggers on WordPress who have also been healed and have shared their testimonies online. I have met people who have experienced God’s healing touch through faith in Jesus Christ and been encouraged by their testimonies. I have shared my own story of experiencing healing. God healed me once in a very different way than I expected. You can read about what happened here Healing – My story.
I’ll share my Mum’s story tomorrow. Pam was healed from Meningitis before I was born. The doctors had told my Dad that there was little hope of recovery but the Church held an all night prayer meeting and God moved powerfully on her behalf. I believe her testimony will encourage someone who need to hear that there is a God who heals and His healing power is available today.
I was encouraged to write this post by dear brother Alan Kearns’ recent post Evidence for prayer and his prompting to ask for God appointments in our day. I just wanted to cheer when I read it and say…..Yes, Amen. It really does work. I have found it opens the way for God to use me in all types of situations and even in my weaknesses and messes to bless others. God loves people. He really, really does and longs to show His care and compassion.
If you’re reading this thinking I can’t do that. It’s for those Super Spiritual, amazing Christians and that sounds way too scary for me, I won’t know what to say or do…then join the club. I was just like that too but then I realised that there aren’t many of those “super spiritual walking on water Christians” around and anyway this was not about me, it’s all about God wanting to show His love and care to His children and God’s just looking for someone to say “I’m here…little old me, nothing special but I’m available for an appointment God, so please use me and do your work through me”..that was it, my prayer and God brought those appointments along.
God showed me that we can be the answer to someone else’s need by sometimes doing something so simple…..like just holding someone’s hand. This is what happened to me in one of those God Appointments.
I was in our local cafe one afternoon with 2 friends. It was a regular meet up as once a month we would meet for a coffee, chat and prayer. The manager of the cafe was a Christian from another local church and knew us. I went up to order my coffee and he asked if he could introduce me to someone. It was an elderly lady who was a regular customer at the cafe. She had recently been widowed and was lonely. I asked her if she would like to join us at our table and she did.
We chatted for some time and had a lovely time with her. We listened as she talked about her husband and their times together. Towards the end of our chat, I explained that we were Christians and asked her if we could pray for her before we left, She agreed and as we prayed, I felt prompted to take her hand. I asked her if it was ok if I held her hand and she said yes and then started to cry. She explained that the one thing she missed more than anything was holding her husband’s hand. Every time they walked anywhere together they held hands. She told us that as she had walked to town that day, she really missed her husband and had wanted someone to just hold hands with again. That had been the desire of her heart. That just blew me away and we all started crying. God had known exactly what she needed to comfort her and so He set up that appointment for her.
That dear lady wasn’t a Christian when we met but from that first meeting and then subsequent chats around the coffee table, she started to go to her local church and got confirmed. Praise God. From little seeds that are planted it’s amazing what God can do.
Have a blessed day and I hope you feel encouraged to ask God for an appointment for Him today. I’m looking forward to hearing and sharing more testimonies of God at work through these divine appointments.