Freedom, fear and escape

Something has been on my mind of late, I didn’t really know how to articulate it until last Sunday.  Last Sunday I went along to a prayer meeting at a local healing room, it was the first time I had ever been and I didn’t know what to expect as I’m wary of anything that focuses on healing/deliverance, not because I don’t think it’s real, I’ve experienced it for myself, but because it’s so real that if it’s done incorrectly can cause even more damage.  But after praying, I felt that I was being called to go, so I went along and to be honest, I was blessed.

After settling in to praying and testimonies (I gave a testimony re. how God gave me a wonderful b’day with all of you) I felt a well of emotion rise from where it had been buried and I began to talk about me, my life and my family, once I started I couldn’t stop.  One of the ladies there told me that she could see that I was heartbroken and that she had a particular gifting to help broken people.  She asked me if I wanted to pray, I said yes, I stood up and was anointed with oil, she said a short prayer asking God to help me give my heart, all my worries, burdens, fears and frustrations over to Him and then she told me to face away from her and speak to God, just telling Him the first things that came to my mind.

So I did.  I turned around and I mentioned the names of a few people.  What did these people have in common?  Before I go on, I would just like to intercede with two questions:

  1. Are you free in Christ?
  2. What does freedom mean to you?

According to a web dictionary definition freedom is defined as:

The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

You see, I have been living under fear of these people for a very long time and as a consequence I have not been free.  It’s not the type of fear where you are afraid of your physical safety, but the type of fear that slowly eats away at your inner man.  I feel that it’s one of the worst forms of fear because it is cleverly integrated into familial and cultural bonds and norms.

When I turned around and spoke to God, I saw a clear image in my head.  It was the image of the Israelites in Egypt, and I heard God saying: “let My people go so that they can come to praise and worship Me.”  And I said in response, “Father, I need to be free so that I can come and worship You but these people are not letting me go, Lord please soften their hearts so that I can come and worship You, I can only be free if You make them let me go free.”

Let My People Go
Let My People Go

For me, freedom means: The power or right to love and serve God in spirit and in truth without hindrance or restraint.

For most of my life I have been running away from a simple reality, that I have been under emotional bondage, this emotional bondage has affected my ability to come to God as a child to praise and worship Him as He deserves.  There are many, many things that stand in the way of our relationship because of it: resentment, hostility, anger, bitterness, fear, pain… I could go on.  I have tried to escape both internally and externally but I have always been brought kicking and screaming or silently crying  back to carry the same heavy yoke on my neck, not any more. Now, I choose to be free.  I realise that escaping isn’t the answer, I need to be free, but my freedom only comes from one source.  I can’t make myself free, I can’t even will myself free but I can pray to the One who has the power to make me free.

The funny thing is that I know that Christ has purchased my freedom for me. On Sunday, I laid this burden at His feet and knew that my worst fear was that I would pick it right up again.  Today, I have been sorely tested once again and I can’t help but wonder, have I truly let it go or is this part of God cleansing me in the fire?  The lady that prayed with me told me that God had a plan for me, she told me that she could see that God would use me to help other people who are broken-hearted.  God knows that this is my heart’s desire but, today I feel like I’m splintering away and that my very essence is crumbling.  I don’t feel like I have the strength to carry myself let alone help, support or encourage anyone else.

But… I do feel truly blessed that I can come here and share my heart with you, right now this is enough for me.  I love you all.

 

Your sister in Christ,

Achama

 

Our Joy and privilege – let’s sing His praise

Today, I’m excited and blessed to share with you my joy which is really our joy so here goes.

This morning I woke up with a song in my heart ( I love it when God does that because I know that God has been speaking to my soul in the night), the song goes like this:

He is worthy, worthy
For He is good, yes He is good…
(repeated many times)

so I sang this song, and after I sang this song another song popped into my heart…

In the name of Jesus x2
I have the victory

In the name of Jesus x2
Satan you have to flee (x2)

Tell me who can stand before us 
when we call on His great name? 
Yeshua x4
I have the victory. 

And so after singing this song I felt stirred in the spirit to pray and then this last song came into my heart:

Lord I lift your name on high 
Lord I love to sing your praises 
I’m so glad you are in my life 
I’m so glad you came to save us.

You came from heaven to earth, to show the way 
From the earth to the cross, my debt to pay 
From the cross to the grave, from the grave to the sky 
Lord I lift your name on high. 

And after I had prayed and finished these songs I stopped to think about what was going on in my heart.  You see, today is my birthday, and today I am 31, but every year on my birthday from as young as I can remember I am always filled with a deep sadness; it’s the kind of sadness that comes from feeling alone and misunderstood in the world.  I had always looked to others to make me feel special on this day, my parents, even my wonderful hubby, but inevitably something would always go wrong and within a few minutes of waking I would be disappointed… but not today.

God came to speak to me in the night and told me of His wonderful love and goodness towards me, and yes I know I may not be at my physical peak and  I may be unemployed but He gave me a beautiful song to sing to Him today because I am not alone neither am I misunderstood any more, I have a Father who loves me.

And these songs reminded me of a simple truth, that God’s love and goodness towards His children isn’t based on our own goodness, rightness or worthiness.  We can’t even love like He loves or be as good as Him, because His goodness is justice, rightness, mercy, love, holiness and perfection rolled into One.  His goodness takes someone who thinks they are OK but are truly lost and breaks them down to the last breath, not because He enjoys hurting us because it is His desire to build us up, heal us and magnify us.

Our Father is so awesome, that He stooped down low, so low to come down to earth to show us the way to love Him, honour Him and be true to Him.  He came down because He knew we couldn’t do it alone, He came down to die for us so that we could be saved, and so He could come and speak to us in the night so in the morning we would have the strength to face the day, so that He could lead us and we could follow, so that we would find a deeper intimacy in Him and with Him.  I love AbiYah.

And do you know what else He did, He gave us the power and authority to overcome, to trample on lions and serpents underfoot.  We have victory simply because we reside in Him and He lives within us!  So today, right now I feel honoured, blessed and privileged to know God as my  Father, my King, my friend, my comforter, my Saviour and I pray that today Satan does not steal this joy from me whether it’s through my health, finances or other people.

Precious God, El Shaddai I just want to say thank you for already making this birthday a joyous occasion for me.

Today is not about me, but my gratitude to God that speaks of another year marking His watching over me, I am so grateful because He chose me and called me to be His own.  I am so thankful because I didn’t have to be chosen, I could have still been lost, but He found me.  I am so, so grateful because I really don’t know where I would be without Him in my life and I am so glad that He came to save me.  So today, I choose to make this day about Him and what He has done for me, will you join me in praising and worshipping Him?

Please join me by adding 1 or 2 of your favourite praise and worship song links to the comments, so that we can all share in praising Him today.

Love you all in Christ (Yeshua HaMashiach) xxx

I’m visiting Joan and the gang @ Grace Cafe this week, won’t you drop by too?

A victim of dangerous disobedience…

Do you believe that there is a connection between faith and obedience, doubt and disobedience?  I do.  Most of the time we view faith as a set of beliefs or feelings and ignore the fact that faith also relates to behaviour.  I have found that people with strong faith possess a faith ‘attitude’ ie. they have the correct attitude and beliefs about God which is generally developed through a range of experiences and that these experience engender feelings of trust and security which in turn leads to increased levels of obedience.  People who struggle in their faith walk tend to show the opposite characteristics.  But what does the Bible tell us about the connection between faith and obedience?

I really want to focus on the account of Samuel and Saul as told in 1 Samuel 15 which outlines the events leading up to the kingdom finally being taken away from King Saul.  God gave Saul a commandment and Saul disobeyed (partial obedience is still disobedience) again and instead did what he felt was best to do ie. saving the Gentile King and slaughtering the sheep for a burnt offering.  What interests me is that Saul really saw nothing wrong with what he’d done, he’d killed all the Amalekites save the King, he’d managed to get all their goodies and add them to his own store house and on top of that he’d even offered a sacrifice to God (real brownie points here, no?).

No.  When Samuel is confronted with the post-conquering scene, he sees just how much Saul has disobeyed God and pulls Saul up on this, again.  Saul replies and says I took the sheep to sacrifice them to the Lord thy God, to which God answers (through Samuel) verse 22 and 23:

Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams.

For rebellion [is as] the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness [is as] iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from [being] king.

I feel that this chapter and indeed the reign of King Saul clearly shows the link between faith and obedience and doubt and disobedience, you may question whether Saul actually doubted God, he did otherwise why would he have disobeyed Him and why address God as Samuel’s God and not his own? But in addition to this I feel that this book tells us something about the mentality and consequences of a doubting individual.  The incident described in chapter 15 was really the last nail in Saul’s coffin and from then forward God had in spirit if not in the physical given the crown over to someone who would believe and trust Him and hear and obey Him (mostly).  I see Saul’s doubt as a precursor to a chain of events not only leading to the loss of his crown but to an untimely and brutal death.  At the end of the day, it wasn’t the sheep being sacrificed but Saul himself and this is what I call being a victim of dangerous disobedience.

Saul rips Samuel's clothes
The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou. v. 27

So why have I told you all of this, surely not another comparison on Saul vs David?  The reason I am telling you this is to set the scene for something which I have gone through this weekend past.  To be blunt Saturday onwards has been horrible for me simply because I failed to heed and obey the Word of God, as a consequence I ended up sacrificing my health and wellbeing when that should not have been the case.  Let me explain.

Usually, I am one of those people who avidly read the ingredients to everything I consume and use and discard anything that seems to have an unatural or a known toxin.  On Friday, I was absolutely desperate to dye my hair (being 30 and gray doesn’t go done well with me) and I had bought what I thought was a natural henna hair dye.  On reading the box, I saw two things which set off alarm bells in my head:

  1. A chemical ingredient called PPD
  2. The product was halal

I felt God telling me not to use the product but I pushed it aside (think Saul) and thought to myself “what’s the worst that could happen?”  So I went ahead and dyed my hair, but lo and behold the next day I started to feel a resurgence of my old symptoms return which had been dormant for many months.  At first I thought I might have eaten something I shouldn’t have but, when the intensity of the symptoms increased I knew it was more than a food issue.  After much prayer and introspection I realised that the culprit was the hair-dye, in particular the chemical included in the dye.  For those of you who do not know I have been diagnosed with CFS which is both a nerve and immune system disorder, up until this time God had been doing some wonderful things for me but this chemical turned out to be both a nervous and immune system toxin!!!

So here I am today, I’ve gone back in time reliving horrible symptoms just because I chose not to obey God’s voice.  I praise God that in His mercy, the symptoms are not as bad as they have been at their very worst, but they are bad enough for me to regret ever sacrificing myself in this way by putting my desire over obeying God’s word.  I am both the culprit and victim of dangerous disobedience, nevertheless, I choose to believe that this is just a bump in the road and that God will restore and increase what has been taken away from this incident because I have repented and seen the error of my ways.

Even though the Bible tells us that Faith pleases God, God’s pleasure is much more altruistic than our own.  If doubt cause disobedience and disobedience causes destruction, than faith causes obedience which results in life.  Faith is pleasing to God because it causes us to have life and salvation, our faith causes us to walk in paths of righteousness that will guard and protect us from destruction and sacrificing ourselves on the altar of sin.

So now, as I am working with God to counteract and treat these symptoms my plan is prevention rather than cure, to become more diligent in listening and obeying God’s Word in the small as well as the big things.

Have you ever done anything that was dangerously disobedient, or to put it another way has your disobedience ever endangered you or someone else?  If not too traumatic, I would love to hear from you.

Many Blessings in Yeshua (Jesus)

Linking up with Grace Cafe and Soli Deo Gloria this week

What is in the Word of God?

earth from space - dark and light

The Word of His Power

Earlier this year I watched a documentary on YouTube entitled God of Wonders (link given below) where I heard a particular scripture which made me stop and think but which didn’t germinate I guess until now.  The scripture is Hebrews 1:3 but the emphasis is on the emboldened and underlined text.

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:

I must confess that at the time of hearing this scripture I was confused, if it had read “upholding all things by the power of His word” I would have understood it, as I know that God’s Word has power but, this wording suggests to me that God’s Word is power.

God's Word - Bible

The last words of Genesis 2:3 are usually translated as “which God created and made” past tense, however, the Hebrew (asher bara Elohim la’asot) literally means “which God created to do” ongoing intention to work.  So what does this mean, did God simply create an ongoing list of to do things?  Yes and no.  The Bible tells us that God completed all His work in six days and rested on the seventh (Gen 2: 1-2) but the Bible also tells us that although the work was completed in the natural, there was still a power at work that enables creation to make and do and create of and in itself.

If we think about God’s Words at creation we see that He says, let there be light instead of “there is light” or “there was light” and God says to Man, “be fruitful and multiply” instead of “you are/will be fruitful”.  Why does God use these words and not the others?  I believe that it is because God’s Word is not like our own voice where any strength and energy of our speech fades with the last word we speak.  God’s Word is power, and as I learnt a long time ago in physics, energy can not be destroyed but only changes, so God’s Word at creation still stands today and the words He used must also be meaningful to you and I right now.  Time started with God’s Word (Genesis 1:3-5):

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

4And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

5And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

and since those Words were spoken, the wheels of time have never ceased bar one incident, and any given moment is past, present and future.

earth from space - dark and light
Let there be light … the first day.

And we can go even deeper when we look at God’s own name, YHVH is very closely linked to the verb to be, just these four letters can be used to write all tenses of the verb to be hayah, hoveh, yihyeh (was, is, will be).  In Deuteronomy 6:4, we have the Shema, which reads, “Hear O Israel, the LORD is God, the LORD is One”.  Although, the first is has been taken out in some translations of the Bible, we can verify the accuracy of this translation by going to the Hebrew which reads Šĕmaʿ Yisrāʾel YHVH Ĕlōhênû YHVH eḥād, where we can see that the four letter name of God takes the place of “LORD is” both times, this is because the name of God literally means HE IS (Yah Hoveh) Yah IS (past, present and future).  HalleluYah. But, how does this relate to God’s Word?  Well, I see it as meaning that if God IS (past, present and future) then every Word He utters is powerful and sustaining throughout all ages.  Seasons may change, people grow old and die and the earth will wear away but His Word will not pass away nor fail.

At times my husband and I would think about what would happen if God just stopped speaking, I envisioned reality ceasing to be, all knowledge and memory of it erased.  It has never been.  But this theory implies that God needs to keep on speaking to hold everything in balance, on reflection I don’t believe this is the case.  God’s Word is power, it goes out and does what it is meant to do and returns.  Once is enough.  Let me tell you why this revelation is so encouraging to me and why it should also encourage you.

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