It’s A(nother) New Day

I dance to this song and sing along, meaning every word. It’s in my ‘New Year’ playlist, twenty songs -some secular- that all speak to my spiritual journey. I might do a post and share maybe the top 5 one day.

Back to Becka Shae’s remake of Shape of You. When I first heard the original I didn’t think much of it but played it through a couple of times because a man I liked had referenced it and I was tryna figure out if I was missing something (I wasn’t, his appreciation of the song was decidedly not a glimpse into his feelings for me). Nonetheless it was catchy and stuck in my head until I wrote this (while thinking, of course, about said man):

A few days later a link to Becka Shae’s remake showed up on my YouTube recommendations, and although I rarely listen to covers, the word ‘Christian’ in her title caught my eye. I listened, then Googled the lyrics you know, as one does. I loved it.

Today it’s especially poignant. Tomorrow’s my birthday and as always this is a time of reflection for me. I’ve been thinking for a while but yesterday I found myself asking, what’s the point of it all? What’s the point of prayer, of all those ‘spiritual disciplines’ if at the end of the day you’re still lonely, hungry for intimacy, unfulfilled, unsatisfied, longing for something you can’t quite name?

Today I continued with the reflections, heartsick and sad over the fact of my frailty when it comes to resisting sin. I had forgotten that His strength is made perfect in my weakness. As sometimes happens, a tune started up in my head and it was If Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You Were A Christian Song.

Elohim breathe on me.

Over and over that one phrase looped until I scrolled to my music player, lay down and listened to the entire song.

Elohim breathe in me.

Here’s where I went wrong:

I haven’t read my Bible in a long time. Oh, I look up verses here and there, but actually searching God’s word prayerfully or in study? It’s been a while. Giving praise? Not unless I’m singing along to my playlist, but does that really count? Really? In my case I think not, because I’m usually doing something else too: cooking, checking Facebook; it’s been a very long time since I actually set aside time of any length to just bask in God’s presence.

If I am not walking in victory, if instead of regaining my balance after stumbling I am trying to dust myself off after a fall, perhaps that is because like Peter I looked at my circumstances and took my eyes off the Lord. There is, really, no ‘if’ about it.

Elohim breathe through me.

And here’s what I’m planning to do about it:

I run back to the arms of the Father, so gladly and unashamedly accepting of the scandalous Grace that allows me to run back. I look up Words I have received in more prayerful times, and I thank God for how He pursues me even when I am distracted, disobedient and unfaithful.

Holy, holy, holy Elohim breathe on me.

As I enter my new year, I stand on the forgiveness of the Father, I bathe in His mercy, receive His gift of Grace and look to His promises. For what can separate me from the love of God? Can loneliness, or hunger, or fear or pain? Can laziness, or depression, or hardship, or insomnia?

Romans 8:38-39

I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Happy new year to me.

The Blessing of the Lord is Perfect…

…it brings no sorrow with it.

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That’s right. The blessing of the Lord is perfect, it brings no sorrow with it. What kind of God would He be if His blessings brought us pain?

God wants to bless us.
He has plans to bring us prosperity not lack, because lack is not a kingdom reality.What does not exist in heaven can, should and must be banished from earth because on earth, as it is in heaven.

True Kingdom Living
If you say you’re living in the kingdom, living for the kingdom, then you cannot live in a manner that is not of the kingdom.  Lack is not a reality in the kingdom because for God to be God all things must be infinite in Him. It is impossible for your needs to be unmet if you are in God; impossible for your desires to go unsatisfied, if you are in God. God is infinite therefore His supply is infinite.

What my life must look like
Lack is thus an impossibility in the kingdom of God and for me, for whom all things are possible in Christ. As a Daughter of the King it therefore follows that lack cannot be a reality in my life, thus lack and poverty, if they exist in my life, are merely a signpost towards my abundance.

Lack is God saying ‘you’re going the wrong way’
It doesn’t matter what you’ve been doing, for how long, who taught you to do it, why you’re justified to believe it – none of that matters. What matters is, are you living a Kingdom life?
Are you experiencing the peace of God in your life?
Are you joyous in the Lord?
Are you living the abundant life that Christ died to give you?

If not, why not?

Take heed, listen.
God is telling you that you’re going the wrong way. God is telling you that your blessings are being highjacked and you need to do something about it.
Look at your life: what are you compromising on?
Where are you blocking your own blessings?
What manner of thing is standing between you and the abundance that God has for you? 

Go, therefore, and ready yourself for your blessing.

If Christ is in you, and His name is Excellent, Excellence must be in you. Excellence must be your standard. Poverty, lack…these things are not excellent and therefore these things cannot be God’s plan for you.
If God is Jehovah Jireh, why are you living a small, mean life of lack? If He is The All then shouldn’t you be walking in abundance and prosperity, daily?

God wants your prosperity, your success
Jehovah Jireh has only good things for you, pressed down shaken together and running over. You have one job: ready yourself for the blessing of God. Do that which is within you to do to come closer to God. In short: remove sin from your life, accept Grace, and be ruthless about both.

Last words
Pay no attention to those who teach that God has no desire for you to be wealthy or that He is unconcerned about your success. Pay no attention to those who teach that poverty is holy in any way. Equally pay no attention to those who keep you bound in the lie that wealth must come with bad consequences such as ill health or loneliness or meanness of spirit. Stand on the truth that God’s blessing is perfect and brings no sorrow with it.

The blessing of God makes rich and He adds no sorrow with it.

Proverbs 10:22

That Same Spirit IS In Me

Last night I woke up around 3am (never got back to sleep so I’m quite tired and cranky this morning) and I found myself reading this verse:

Romans 8:11
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

I’ve heard people proclaim, when facing challenges, things like ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ and ‘No weapon formed against me shall prosper.’ These are biblical verses but I sometimes wonder if we really realize just how much power and authority is available to us through the name of Christ. It hit me on reading Romans 8:11 that we say we have power through Christ but we don’t often act or live as though we do. At any rate, I often moan about this, that and the other without paying any mind to what I can do through the Christ who is in me.

Think about it. The same Spirit that raised Christ from death – that very same Spirit – is available to you. What can you not do, what can you not achieve with that kind of power? The problem is not that we need some special password or key to access it, by virtue of accepting Christ as your Saviour you have all the access you’ll ever need. I listen to Graham Cooke (link opens in new window) often and in one of his sermons he said something along the lines of ‘Jesus is brilliant and extraordinary.’ Well, Jesus is brilliant and extraordinary, and if that Jesus is in you and you in Him, what are you but brilliant and extraordinary too? The Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead also gives you life, and not just life, but life in abundance. What can you not do? You no longer need be in bondage to sin or your flesh or anything else – you have been set free by the Son. Trust me when I tell you that therefore you are free indeed.

John 8: 34-36
Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Do you understand what freedom means? If you’re free you don’t act like you’re in prison, do you? Of course not! You carry yourself as one who can come and go as he pleases. By the same token, when the Son has set you free you don’t live as one who is slave to the flesh. When you know you have abundant life you don’t live as one who is lacking in any good thing. You must believe what the Word says and walk upright, confident in your victory in all things, over all things, for that victory is not only assured, but the battle has been fought and won already. You’re not fighting to be free from sin, you’re fighting to be free of the lie that you’re not free from sin.

This might be a difficult concept especially if you think of yourself as one who is ‘fighting’ his sin nature. If you’re fighting that battle then what did Christ die for? What happened on the Cross? No really, think about it.

What if you woke up and instead of fighting not to sin, you fought instead to live a Kingdom life, a life of abundance and freedom, a life of a resounding YES to every good thing?
What if instead of moaning about your finances and your health and your loneliness and your too-high rent (all things I’ve been heard to moan about by the way) you said ‘all things are working together for my good’ and believed that and talked and thought as if you believed it?
What if every time you were tempted you recalled that you are tempted to go backward, to a past that is as far removed from you as East is from West, and instead chose to reach for all that is pure and lovely and noble? Try it.
God will amaze you, surprise you, for no eye has seen and no ear has heard what God has in store for those that love him and believe in him.

January is, for most people, that time of year when we attempt to restart and refresh, when we press reset on our lives. I take stock twice a year -in January and around my birthday – and in 2016 I’m choosing to take God at His Word. Abundant life? Bring it, I’m here for it. He is faithful, I’m choosing to believe that He will not let me down. I’m choosing to believe His Word that all things work together for my good. Will you believe the same in 2016?