What is Faith? And do you need more of it?

A few days ago on Facebook somebody posted this quote as their status:

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It actually annoyed me because these are the type of quotes people put without sitting down to examine for themselves what faith according to scripture really means.  Most of the stuff that we Christians have accepted as truth are just things passed down from generation to generation, from one teacher to another – it’s things that have been recycled and maybe even up-cycled without looking at the components or the underlying foundations. Continue reading What is Faith? And do you need more of it?

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Learning to Trust God

This is the latest blog post from my website…

Today’s post marks the last in this 5 part series on learning to trust God.  Let’s quickly re-cap the previous 4 parts.

In my first post on learning to trust God I shared part of my own journey and experience and, looked at how a faulty God schema can impact our ability to properly trust God.

In the second post, I began to look at the concept of truth and looked at 3 steps that helped me to learn to trust God more,

In my third post, I focused more on the concept of truth and how it is important in helping us trust God.

In my last post I looked at the difference between faith and trust and began to illustrate how both of these are vital to the life of a Believer.

In this week’s post I will be concluding by looking at the benefits and purpose or end goal of trusting God.  It’s actually an audio teaching which you can listen to by clicking on this link.

 

Who says knowledge is power?

Sign post pointing towards Heaven John 3:16

Sign post pointing towards Heaven John 3:16Today, I would like to share with you my experiences of yesterday and hope that these experiences will help us when we go out to speak to others about the Good News and also help us understand how we view knowledge.

Yesterday, I went to church (I attend a Messianic church) – it was a fantastic day for me in which the Ruach (Breath of God) really blew in the walls of building, there was prophetic singing, praying and ministering from across different members of the congregation – truly beautiful and spiritual, for a long time afterwards I walked around in a daze, I was there in body but my spirit was elsewhere (I was very clumsy for a bit)!!!

A lovely Colombian woman invited my husband and I to go to a local south American haunt to evangelise with her, my husband agreed and although I was tired from being in the spirit earlier on I also decided to go along.  This is where our ‘adventures’ began and is the crux of this post.

Along the way we met 6 people, who I guess you would say are stereotypes of people in the world that we might speak to about the Good News of Salvation:

  1. The unbelieving Christian
  2. The 2 Muslims
  3. The Atheist
  4. The Naturist
  5. The spiritualist Continue reading Who says knowledge is power?

Where does healing come from?

Man praying in the Light

Health, healing, and wholeness – I find it strange how different Christians react to these words.  For some these words cause a positive reaction to others negative, but whatever our stance we can not argue the fact that the Bible speaks about health, healing and wholeness.  But what is healing and where does it come from?

I know that there are still many people who visit this blog searching to understand why they suffer from Cramp Fasciculation Syndrome a neurological immune disorder where the immune system attacks the nervous system causing pain, cramping and spasming in the muscles surrounding the peripheral nerves.  It’s a horrible illness, but as I sat and looked over the stats for the last few days and saw that there didn’t seem to be a day when someone didn’t end up on my blog because of this disorder I realised something that I AM getting better!  This is what sparked off this post, I wanted to share my experiences of what I feel is healing me. Continue reading Where does healing come from?

Sharing my testimony of God’s goodness to me

Dear friends,

I know it’s been a while since I have properly been here but today I just wanted to come over and share this testimony with you all, the first three paragraphs are a short background and after that is the testimony.

You know that things have been tough for me both health wise and financially, I fell ill in 2008 due to excessive stress and work and left my job in 2009 partially as a consequence of this but would have probably stayed on if God had not asked me to leave.  I have worked sparadocially since then knowing that it is not God’s will for me ‘to work’ in the same field/role that I had been in.  In 2010 my hubby and I had our traditional wedding, a small intimate affair in my dad’s house and in the same year we lost our own home.  We moved ‘temporarily’ into his mother’s house as she was away for 6 months, when she returned hubby remained and I moved in with my dad.  This was the case until January this year.

In around February/March hubby began to experience strange symptoms (I won’t go into the details) but we were worried, he was on antibiotics for a bit, went to A & E and even was referred to a specialist.  Slowly, hubby began to hear God asking him to “come out of her” ie. the slave system of the work he had been doing.  He was working so many hours, trying to be a man of excellence and integrity but the more he gave never seemed to be enough, in fact his co-workers became jealous of his success and started to plot against him.  After taking nearly a month off due to illness, he finally accepted that God wanted him to leave his place of employ and start his own company.  So he did.

My husabnd’s last pay package came in, we used it to set up the company and live.  We felt so sure that the business would be successful from start as many of his previous clients on hearing that he had left asked him to contact them, but every door we had previously thought would lead us to a fertile plane had a no entry sign on.  It seemed that financially we were in a tight spot, we only had £30 left to go on food and electricity.  We had two choices in front of us:

  1. Try and do something to bring in money e.g. work, beg or borrow.
  2. Trust in God in what He was teaching us and showing and see whether He really is El Shaddai

We decided to do the latter.

The testimony Continue reading Sharing my testimony of God’s goodness to me

Another look at psalm 119

I love the psalms but I have always shied away from psalm 119, maybe it was its length or all those references to testimonies, precepts and instructions, but on Wednesday I was given homework to read it.  So on Thursday during my prayer time, I read the first 25 verses, not so bad, then Friday I read the whole thing through.  Why?

There was something about the intensity of the words that gripped me, I could feel the juxtaposition of faith and love struggle alongside fear and torment, and I could see myself in those lines.  I have uttered these words before, I have felt this way, I am here.

Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.
It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

Verse 67 & 71

Sometimes the only time when we truly seek God is during and after affliction, affliction may be a form of God’s judgement, a consequence of our own behaviour.  From this judgement we learn just how mighty and awesome God is and realise that there is truly none like Him, our desire becomes to learn more about this awesome God and walk in His ways.

81-83My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word.
Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?
For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes.

Sometimes the pain of waiting is next to torturous, the only thing we can do is to diligently seek for and hope in His Word to comfort and redeem us.  We faint but yet His Spirit keeps us in the journey.

92-93 Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.  I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me.

Every other line seems to be a heartfelt plea for help, then praise and then a deeper seeking of the Word of God.  These are our 3 weapons that we should use in good and bad:

  1. Prayer from an upright heart
  2. Praise, worship and thanksgiving
  3. Reading the Word and meditating on His law

God has promised to deliver us and rescue us, our situation is not forever.  I will have heart and hope in the Lord of Heaven and Earth.

 

On nurturing and growing the fruit of Love

I’m sitting here typing knowing that I need to say something but not quite sure what it will be, but I know that it will be on love.  Why love?  Because God has been dealing with me in this area, and I’m both saddened and perplexed by what He has unveiled in me.  I’ve always been known for having a kind heart but deep down inside I guess I was always kind, loving and giving on my own terms, when it suited me best.  I could go out of my way to help someone but not if it encroached past my well-fortified four walls, physically and spiritually. 

Yesterday was a case in point, I had designated it as my rest day because I was worn out from having to look after my husband who has been ill for around a month, cooking, cleaning, ministry work and dealing with my own health and well-being problems.  In the midst of all of this, the thing that had suffered the most was my quality time with my Father (Abba) so I made a silent vow the night before to spend the day with Him, just He and I.  I had so many plans about how I would spend this ‘us’ time, I would read, write, pray, sing, dance and anything else I was moved to do… it didn’t end up that way.  A major issue for hubby and I is that we live in shared accommodation, so we have one room for personal use, this doesn’t really matter when he’s at work but with him at home it does really matter.  So while I was trying to carve out some spiritual rest time, Eke was talking to me or reading out loud, fair enough I know that I didn’t tell him that it was my ‘rest’ day but I could feel myself becoming more and more agitated and frustrated as the day wore on.  So I went downstairs as everyone else was out and decided to sit in the front room then my husband told me that one of his young mentees was coming round grrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!  This would mean that I would have to forfeit all of my plans and put on my social face instead, now how do I dig myself out of these feelings of anger and frustration and wrap myself back in God’s cloak of love and warmth? Continue reading On nurturing and growing the fruit of Love

Shall He find faith on the earth?

I lay awake early one morning pondering the words of a dear friend, she writes:

So many people I know and care for are going through some very trying times… everything… that can be stretched, tested and tried seems to be getting the full force in recent months and years.

As I lie here I can’t help but nod my head in agreement, things seem to be getting tougher and harder across the board but I see this trend most especially amongst God’s Children.  Alongside this trend, is the obvious desire to escape from it all, to find a way out from all this hurt, pain and coldness that seems to be becoming second nature within the world.  Unfortunately Christians are not exempt from this either and I see this most clearly in the rise of prosperity teaching which teaches people to have it all now, and the consequence of this is greater coldness, self-centredness and materialism which slowly causes the individual to break out of the sheltering wing of the LORD and become firmly rooted in the world.  So now we see a world in pain, straining under the weight of living and its people frantically looking for any way to ease the load and to shift the burden, how far do you think mankind will go to make themselves comfortable?  What does the Bible say?

I have never been one that has clearly understood eschatology (the study of the end times) but I have always possessed an understanding that things will get increasingly hard and that there will be a time of great tribulation, so I am shocked when I hear Christians brothers and sisters say that they will not be affected by any of this because Jesus (Yeshua) will come and rapture them out.  Is this really and truly what the Bible teaches us?  Matthew 24 covers the signs of the end in some depth, Yeshua said:

9Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Verses 9-13.

What can we see here? A few things:

  • Betrayal, who is doing the betraying?  I sincerely believe that betrayal will come within the body of Christ, when things get too hard there will be people who will choose to save their own life and turn against their spiritual family.  We have seen this occur previously in history, and we should not be surprised that human nature should repeat itself.
  • Mass deception and the rise of false prophets.   Who will we be more inclined to listen to someone who tells us that we don’t have to suffer anymore, that we can have all we want now or a distant God who wants us to suffer the worst tribulation in all history (verse 21)?
  • Coldness and hatred, the hearts of men will turn cold, there will be no love left to give only a desire to take and survive, but Yeshua says: “but he that endures unto the end, the same shall be saved.”  Ahhh, we see that word ‘endurance’, God tells us that living in the world during these times will be something that we will have to endure until the end, there is no ‘get out now’ button.

There has been a proliferation of end times movies which show the Body of Christ being ‘raptured out’ before things get too scary and too traumatic, this reminds me of memories of childhood where when a horror movie would come on the television, I would simultaneously hide behind the sofa and peek over it to see what was going on.  I feel that Christians are now watching the world, behind the sofa (safety net of the rapture), scared of what the Bible says the future will hold and using the concept of a pre-tribulation rapture as a safety net.  Is this true, will we really not have to go through the tribulation at all?  What does the Bible say?

Yeshua said:

“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”

 verse 22

Who are God’s elect, God’s chosen ones, if not those who faithfully confess and hold on to the commandments of God and the testimony of Christ?  Yes it’s true, God’s people will still be here on earth during the time of the great tribulation.

But does this mean that the rapture will not occur at all?  No. if the rapture refers to the catching up of God’s people to meet Him (Yeshua) in the air, this is a biblical truth (verses 31, 40 and 41).  But this event occurs after the tribulation, not before and not during it:

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Verse 29-31

Why am I writing all of this and what do I hope to achieve?

I am writing this in love, because I see the signs spoken of in Matthew 24, not just wars, earthquakes and famines but those more subtle signs which are taking place within the heart of mankind.  People are not only getting colder, darker and more desperate, but people are becoming more and more afraid as the world seems to break down all around them.  Does God want us to live in fear?  No!  Yeshua said that when we see all these things that we should look UP because our salvation (He, Yeshua means salvation) draws near.  If you read my post on the Last Trump, you will recognise that it focuses on the second coming of the Messiah and reminds us to be soul-ready for His arrival.  Am I really there yet, are you?

Chapter 24 ends with stark warnings to His people:

  • will we allow the deceiver to break into our house and steal our salvation from us while we are too busy in the world (verse 43)?
  • Will we grow tired of waiting and frustrated with the trials of life, that we begin to mistreat one another and become more and more like those in the world (verses 48-49)?

The Lord says that the recompense for the world will be very, very heavy because He will avenge His elect (Luke 18: 8).  When the Son of Man returns, shall He find faith left on the earth?  How is your faith today, shaky, barely visible?  We must be strengthened in our faith in order to be amongst those who do still have faith, no matter how little when our Messiah returns.  And I sincerely believe that all this stretching, testing and trying that my friend spoke of is God’s way of saying to us: I love you so much that I’m making you go through this now so that your faith is strong enough for the time to come ahead.  No my dear friends, it’s not easy, none of our spiritual ancestors had it easy, why do we expect any less for ourselves, does God rate us any higher than He did His prophets?  Please as Yeshua said, let us learn our lesson from the fig tree (verse 32) and be ready, let us not rely on false glimpses of hope but instead let us help to build each other up in faith and truth in readiness for the day that our Messiah returns.  Even if we are not alive for His return let us live and die marked in and by faith.

Please share your thoughts, I really am interested in them positive, neutral or negative.

Perseverance and commitment

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I find it funny that when God gives you a word such as perseverance that relates to building up a godly characteristic, He really makes you earn your stripes.  Since this word was given to me things seem much more difficult and challenging in the areas I know I need to persevere in.  But whoever heard of perseverance being easy right?  The truth is that you can’t build a godly characteristic on ease or simplicity.  I understand that God is challenging me in order to build and equip me because, to persevere means courage, strength, trust, faith and letting go, all areas that I know I struggle with.

Continue reading Perseverance and commitment

Ministry article published

I guess perseverance does pay off as an article I wrote late last year on the Health and wellbeing ministry God placed in my heart to set up  has just been published online…

This gives me extra motivation to stand firm in the work God has given me.

This week I’m linking up with Rhoda for the Friday UK fellowship