Tag Archives: christian

The Spirit is Willing But The Flesh is Stronger

Standard

What if the ‘trial’ is a sweet one?

I recently got delivered from a situation that I can only describe as a reverse-trial. And by that I don’t mean the opposite of a trial, or a blessing.. This was a reverse trial because it was not good for me, it was potentially destructive yet I wasn’t exactly fighting to get out of it. It wasn’t the usual fear, discouragement, sickness or lack, still it was a battle that I needed to win without a desire to fight it. I have always read scriptures like, you delivered me from evil, or you set my feet on solid ground as pertaining to deliverance from painful, unpleasant situations. What do you do if the situation is not unpleasant but it can lead to destruction? What if the scripture the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak feels more like the reverse- the spirit is willing but the flesh is stronger?
The flesh has its own strong desires that can overwhelm anything your spirit wants. It is strong and roots for gluttony, lust, laziness. The flesh enjoys these things and much as you want to get out of it, you are enjoying it so its even harder. Compare that to battling against fear, poverty, sickness etc. These things both our spirit and our flesh hate them and we can’t wait to be rid of it. How then do you deal with pleasurable trials?I learned some hard lessons during my trial.
1) Never underestimate the power of the mind, or the strength of the flesh.During a trial your mind and your flesh are going in an opposite direction to your spirit. The scripture says the flesh is at war with the spirit and wants the opposite of what the spirit wants. You are in an actual warfare and you need to pray and fight. You need to respect what your spirit wants as the truth and choose to go with it instead, even that takes an effort.

Gal 5:17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.

2)Get off your high horse.

Christians need to get off their high horses by not being quick to judge others. The scripture Galatians 5;7 talks about the works of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit. Verse 21 Ends with those who practice such will not enter the kingdom of God. So what we do is immediately label any of the preceding acts as pertaining to ‘those in the world’. It doesn’t apply to us since we are not lustful, gluttons or lazy. The truth is that is a deceptive thought because that scripture was written in a letter to the church- you. Not to the world. It does apply to us. If Christians did not engage in such behaviour we wouldn’t have been warned against it. So next time you read that verse don’t skip down to the fruit of the spirit section.

Ecc 7:20 Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.

1 John 1:8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.

3)Your spirit is one with God.

This means you are not fighting on your own. God wants what’s best for you so he does not stand afar pointing an accusing finger at you. Ps 139 :8 Even though I make my bed in hell, you are there. No matter where our flesh leads us to, our father pursues us with his love. He goes with us, helping us, telling us to be strong. During that season I came across scriptures to do with what I was going through; devotionals were delivered to my inbox and sometimes even in conversation I was instructed or reminded of God’s presence in the situation. Only God saw the true picture yet not once did I feel He had left or condemned me.

Psalm 139:7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? vs 8 If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there…vs 11:I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night– vs 12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.

4) Create the right environment.

Is your battle with drugs or alcohol? Yes Christians have these battles too. Then create a safe environment for yourself by staying away from direct contact or triggers. If depression or loneliness triggers a return to a bad habit, recognise it and the minute you see it coming from afar, fight the depression and not the alcohol. Don’t allow yourself to fall and then attempt to start fighting from a fallen state.
Fill your mind with scripture, the word of God is life and would reignite the power and passion to fight along with the Lord. Play some praise and worship songs to lead you into God’s presence, for sin cannot stay where the presence of God is.

Prov 22:3 A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.

5) Ask for help!
If this trial is bigger than you can handle, enlist the help of a trusted friend. These days you can even engage with good Christians virtually via blogs and forums if you have no one you can confide in.
Prov 27:10 10 Don’t leave your friends or your parents’ friends and run home to your family when things get rough; Better a nearby friend than a distant family. (The Message)

6) Use wisdom

Finally, never, ever underestimate the power of the flesh, in the same way never, ever underestimate the power of God’s love.

Gen 4:7 You will be accepted if you respond in the right way. But if you refuse to respond correctly, then watch out! Sin is waiting to attack and destroy you, and you must subdue it.

Luke 22:31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to have all of you, to sift you like wheat. 32 But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen and build up your brothers

Our trials always have a purpose and ultimately God is glorified through it. Jesus told Peter he would go through a time of testing or temptation, and even turn away (briefly) from God. But when he was done and had repented and turned back to God, he was to strengthen his brothers, perhaps because of the renewed strength that comes with repentance and also maybe by sharing his experiences.

If you’re going through a time of testing, and your flesh appears to be gaining ground, know that it is God’s will for you to come out victorious, and He is on your side.

I feel the need to share this song…

 

Have You Eaten Your Seed?

Standard
Have you eaten your seed?

Have you eaten your seed?

What if all those times God blessed you wasn’t the full blessing He had planned for you? Seriously, think about it. I have often wondered and asked God why He sometimes seems to just meet my needs, and not an excess of my needs. After all didn’t he promise abundance not adequate? Are there not references to floods as opposed to trickles?

This happened years ago when I went through my colossal upheaval. That situation lasted a while and took my joy along with it. One day I cried out to God out of desperation. And He heard me. I became filled with a supernatural joy- supernatural because there was no earthly reason for me to be happy. I was euphoric and I couldn’t explain why, considering the fact that nothing in my life had changed for the better. The black hole was still black and my thoughts bleak. Note that I didn’t pray for joy, I prayed for an end to my situation, I didn’t think joy or its absence had anything to do with where I was at that time. But God filled me with a  joy that lasted a couple of days and then started to dissipate. I missed it. Later I cried out again and sure enough the joy was restored. I had been pulled out of that dark hole and as I slipped back in a week later I knew I didn’t want to live like that. But I was puzzled; why did the joy not last? Why did it only hang around for a few days if it was truly supernatural? Why didn’t God simply give me an everlasting joy like we sing about in church or read about in the scriptures?

That joy was addictive, coupled with the fact that it really did strengthen me to do so much more. I was finally able to pray more words besides ‘please God, restore us’. It was months of tennis with joy and sadness before I finally got it. The joy was a platform to stand on, to get more joy. It was there to strengthen me to pray, plan and work effectively yielding results. It was a spark to light the fire and not the actual fire itself. Sparks give out light too, but just for a brief moment. Flames on the other hand keep on going long enough to make a sizeable fire. What if what you thought was God’s provision was only the spark to obtain more?

Five loaves and two fish. Of course Jesus knew that five loaves and two fish was not enough to feed five-thousand people, even if it was shredded, minced or bulked up with additives. The five loaves and two fish were not the blessing but the seed. What the Lord did was bless the food and give thanks, that’s when it multiplied and became sufficient. Imagine if Jesus had thought; ”clearly, this food is provided by God for me and the disciples to eat, so we can have the strength to minister to these people, and teach them to have faith so they can also have their own blessing of five loaves and two-fish. I once heard of a preacher who placed his congregation on a 7 day continuous fast. The church was to meet every night for prayer, and they did so- hungry and weak. One of those evenings the pastor pulled out his bottle of ice-cold freshly squeezed juice and drank it in front of them, explaining that he had done his own fast. We see it in churches where the leader lives like a multi-millionaire, made wealthy by the meagre offerings of a largely impoverished congregation. He eats their seed and tells them to have faith for more seed- which he eats.

We see this in agriculture too. A farmer is given a handful of seeds. The seeds are meant to be planted, nurtured and watered (blessed) resulting in a tree that yields fruit. Inside that fruit is at least one seed, which also has the power to produce trees and more fruit. Now imagine if the farmer got a handful of peanuts for planting, but then rejoices at ‘the blessing of God’, boils those peanuts and eats it with a loaf of bread for dinner? The next morning he thanks God for His supernatural provision of ‘food;’ but wonders why God only fed him for one meal, then he starts crying out again for more.

Many Christians live like this- from God’s hand to their mouths. I know I have. God’s provision is to be planted or invested and nurtured. It is the fruit you eat and not the seed.

The supernatural joy God gave me was seed that served to give me strength to pray myself out of that situation, it was a seed to be blessed and nurtured. I wasn’t supposed to rest on the joy and keep waiting for God to move.

The proceeds from my business is meant to be invested back in as capital, to kick-start and increase growth.

The spark leads to a fire, which is meant to be poked and prodded to keep it going otherwise it will fizzle out.

The seeds the farmer received is to be planted, so that fruit is produced, and consequently more seeds which will in-turn produce more fruit.

Have you been eating your seed?

I hope this blessed you, let me know by adding a comment below!

The Prayer of Faith

Standard

The Prayer of faith

I recently went through a harrowing experience, my 11-year-old son very nearly lost his life in what can only be described in secular terms as a freak illness, but in spiritual terms as an attack from the enemy. I will be sharing the full story, just not in this post.

So we found ourselves one week after God’s divine healing back in the hospital, the scenario was eerily familiar. It didn’t look like deja vu, it was more like deja vu looked like it. As I sat in the emergency room praying with dread and fear, garnished with only a dash of faith, the Holy Spirit led me to do something rather unusual.

One of my interests is personal growth and so I read a lot of books and articles by successful individuals, Christians and non-Christians like Jim Rohn, Darren Hardy, Zig Ziglar to name just a few. A topic that is common to many is the discipline of setting and achieving goals and in a timely manner. Positive affirmation is writing  your future goals vividly in the now as though it has already happened, and then meditating on it so that it is implanted in the mind. For example:

Today’s date is June 15th 2013. I am sitting in my office overlooking the Hudson river and can just see Trump tower from here. My accountant has just sent me last year’s financial report and I am pleased to see that business has tripled in the last four months… You get the picture.

My Blackberry bears the brunt of most of my ideas and thoughts, I type it all in the memo. As the Lord spoke to me that evening in the emergency room, I whipped out my faithful phone and began to type:

1st May 2012

Dear Lord, 

I thank you for healing Reece when he had that nasty virus that threatened to take his life. I thank you that we experienced a real-life miracle in the 21st century. And Lord, I remember when he had a relapse on the 1st of may, I was so scared as I sat in the emergency room. But you healed him then too. Thank you that all of that is behind us now. He excels as a player in the NFL and the experience caused him to know you as his ever-present help in the time on need…”

I titled the memo Positive Affirmation and saved it. The I realised it was actually a prayer of faith and changed the title accordingly.

The relief I felt was instant. My faith shot up on so many levels and engulfed all dread and fear, my joy was restored and I knew, just knew that he was not going to battle with death ever again.

The word of God says we serve a God that calls or sees the things that be not as though they were, Rom 4:17- I have made you a father of many nations- have? They were too old for pregnancies!

Also in Exodus when the Children of Israel were bound for the promised land, God said every place the soles of your feet will tread upon, I have given to you. God calls the future (will) as though it is the past (have).

Isn’t our God awesome?

The next time I read that memo, 1 week later, the events were indeed a distant memory.

Are you believing God for something that currently seems impossible? You just might have a breakthrough with the prayer of faith.

Dear God,

I thank you for making me in your own image. I thank you for your commandment to reproduce and fill the earth. Lord, I remember when I was so worried that I wouldn’t find the right spouse to get married to, I thank you that you later blessed me with a wonderful man (or woman) of God and our marriage is beautiful. I thank you that we are now expecting our first child, I am enjoying decorating the nursery…

Unemployed?

Dear Jesus, I thank you that this time last year I had been unemployed for 8 months, there was no prospect or hope of finding a job. But look at what you have done? I am not only in my dream job, I have come to know you in an intimate way. The experience of being unable to provide for myself and my family drew me closer to you and I now teach others in a similar situation about your faithfulness…

 

I pray that God in his infinite mercy and faithfulness will give you the grace to persevere, and give you the gift of faith as you pray for a breakthrough in your life.

Thank you for reading, please comment and share if you have been blessed by this!

On Being Negative…

Standard

I used to have this really nice hairdresser that lived not too far from me. It all began precisely the day I went to get my hair done at her home the very first time. She was watching Jerry Springer. And I unfortunately had chosen to have micro-braids done which takes looong! The first question that popped into my mind was how anyone could spend 4 or more hours watching peoples’ trash and pain. I felt it was bound to have an effect on one-and I was right. I did leave feeling rather like crap.

Years later I was at a small gathering with some friends. Someone began speaking about the challenges of raising children in the UK, on and on she went, one sad tale after another and no, the names of the characters were not changed to protect their identities. I who had no issues suddenly started to feel very disturbed. My peace dropped down and was well and truly yanked from beneath my feet like a rug.

Another year or so later I went on a 4 hour journey with another acquaintance. This one was bad. 4 long hours of gist that mainly consisted of who was breaking up with who, the woman getting divorced that also found out she had cancer, the one who lost her children to social services, the man who couldn’t understand why permission wasn’t granted by his wife to cheat on her. Then there were the car accidents. One left a 9 year old paralyzed and a mother of 4 that died in the middle of the M25. These were all unrelated incidents. By the time we arrived at our destination I was exhausted, It was like this person had been hired to pull me down from my position of bliss. I mean every iota of peace was gone as I wondered which of these fates will befall me. The lady usually ended each story with “God will never let us see that o!” To which I wanted to shout “Amen and shut-up biyatch!”

That was when I really began to understand the power of words and the role words and thoughts play in our day to day lives. It has been a journey but I finally arrived at the point where God says if anything is true, noble, admirable or praiseworthy, think on those things. Philipians 4:8.  Back to small gathering, an older lady decided as she was leaving and that we pray. She said the most memorable, beautiful prayer I can remember ever hearing. Her words were…Lord, we have heard a lot of things tonight, but your word says that none will come near our dwelling. Friend, that restored my peace, fast!

I then began to watch the words I hear. I don’t go OTT by rebuking every joke my friends crack, no that’s not what I mean. I was with a friend once and cracked a joke about both our kids getting married and the roles each will play. She wasn’t pleased about the role I had accorded her daughter so by the time she finished binding and losing and confessing the word over her children’s lives, I regretted even imagining that our children would eventually marry! I believe in the power of words but don’t think my destiny so lies in the mouth of another person that everything they pronounce over my life will in fact come to pass if I don’t quickly plead the blood. I do believe in the power of the blood and yes I regularly plead the blood! What I mean is the spoken words that can actually have an effect on your thoughts and then your life. Sometimes the effect is immediate, like in the examples I gave and at other times the effect is long-term. Like the parent that tells their child they are no good and “will be a failure from the look of their last test results“. That poor child has a smaller chance at success as he’ll be walking uphill from a backdrop of failure.

In order to guard your ears from harmful words you even have to tune out everything negative- even the news. The news is rife with bad information- stabbings, murders, earthquakes, tsunamis and economic horror stories and if we are lucky, we get one small token piece of good news. We thrive on sensational news- ask any celebrity tabloids that constantly spew out stories of couples’ cheating, fights and break-ups. Bear in mind that there are millions of wonderful stories that occur on that same day all around us. Now the fact that the negative info of Tiger Wood’s divorce does not directly relate to me does not make it healthy to absorb.

When you allow such negativity into your heart you see life from a negative stand point, which will in turn have an effect on the effort you put into life and consequently what you get out of it. Also the word of God says guard your heart with all diligence for out of it flows the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23.  My son recently said to me that we were having the worst winter for 30 years. I corrected him and changed the operative word to coldest. Why does it have to be described as bad?

So on I go on my spiritual and mental detox, staying well away from negative information. It’s sad that John Edward’s wife died but I seriously am not about to begin researching the cause of pancreatic cancer.

I urge you to simply listen to what you hear throughout the week. You’ll be very surprised! And then filter out the negative.

Thanks for stopping by InspireMe, do share your thoughts and come back soon.