Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Increase my faith in You Lord

This post is not written to judge, it is written to encourage those who may have had a word from the Lord concerning healing in the same way that I did.

For many months now I have been waiting on the Lord to heal me completely from lumps in my body that have been there for over twenty five years.  Up until a few months ago the Lord kept me through the word He had given me all that time ago which was 'My grace is sufficient for you', and God has always been the strength in my weakness.  Then I believe He spoke to me very strongly through Psalm 103 regarding healing me 'from all my diseases'. Whereas before I felt like I was in a 'Paul's thorn in the flesh' situation, I now feel as if I am in a 'Job' situation.

Since then other physical ailments have attacked my body, making my joints painful, preventing me from walking long distances and causing problems for me when I am gardening.   Also, I let my reasoning cause some wavering in my complete trust in the Lord's promise, looking up possible causes of my symptoms on the internet and allowing man's knowledge to cause doubt in my mind, and started to dwell on the negative possibilities of what my future may hold.   Immediately I knew I had done wrong, (one of the first scriptures the Lord spoke to me many years ago was 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding'), but found it a little hard to take these thoughts captive, even though I have had much evidence of the Lord's healing power and the fact that He can bring about miracles.  However, I have had times over the last few months when I have constantly prayed and praised the Lord and the pain has disappeared completely for some time.

One night I had a dream that I lost the two emeralds in a ring I have.  The colour green has always reminded me of healing, possibly because Revelation ch.22 v.2 states that the leaves of the tree of life are for the healing of the nations, and I believe the Lord, knowing what the colour green reflects to me, used this in the dream to warn me of my wavering trust in Him and my allowing man's knowledge to cause doubt regarding His promise to heal me.  In the dream I searched for the missing emeralds and found lots of semi precious stones and even some that looked similar to the emeralds but were not the real thing.  This reminded me of my looking for (on the Internet) alternative remedies for my situation other than waiting on the Lord.

Many people may find my life very strange and wonder why I have not gone to the doctor over the last twenty odd years regarding this problem.  I just thought it was time that I shared the reason why, and a little more of my testimony.

I had initially come to be born again of the Holy Spirit in a church in Adelaide, Australia which operated much as the church did two thousand years ago, each individual being allowed to share what God had brought them to share, and using the gifts, including prophesy, that God had given them.  In this church I had seen many miraculous healings and had experienced one myself, having already experienced divine healing as a child through the prayer of faith operating in my father. 

When we came back from Australia to live in Lancashire I looked for a church to attend and prayed that the Lord would lead me to the right one.  Often I would pass a book shop, as I drove to the next town, that had a sign above it saying 'Jesus is Lord'.  This is what I would ask the Lord daily, that He would lead me to a church gathering where He was Lord, and where the people worshiped in Spirit and in truth. 

I was looking in the second hand column of the local newspaper one day and there was an advert that had been placed in the wrong section (or the right one really).  It was asking for anyone who believed that Jesus was their Lord to come and meet up and bring a musical instrument if they played one.  My son and I went to meet up with the three people and the gathering of five grew within a very short time, meeting in houses and eventually being supplied with a building.  During the two years that I lived in Lancashire the group grew to over one hundred people and the gifts of the Spirit, including prophesy and healing, operated in a wonderful way.  I saw many healings and miracles and prophetic revelations that only God could have brought about.

While living in Lancashire we came to live next door to a lady who had been told by a doctor seven years previous that she only had two months to live.  She told me that she went down on her knees and prayed to God.   I shared with her what God had done in my life regarding a miraculous healing and other healings, and she used to come into my house every morning after my husband had gone to work and our son had gone to school, and we used to have a lovely time of fellowship and prayer.  She lived for twenty two years after she had been told by the doctor that she had only two months to live.

I wanted to know more about faith and the gift of healing so I asked the Lord to teach me about sickness and healing.  Little did I know that I was at the beginning of a long journey. The following is just a small part of it:-

We had returned to Wales to live.  One evening I had eaten a fish meal and believe that a small bone from the fish lodged in my throat.  We had to cancel going out with friends that evening as the discomfort grew worse.  Over the next few days things deteriorated even more.  It felt as if an abscess had developed low down at the back of my throat, and the pain was almost unbearable.  At that time I had for some time been seeking the Lord about sickness and  healing, and faith.   I knew that faith came by hearing and hearing by the word of the Lord and I know that through His word He had been teaching me to trust in His divine power to heal, which I had already experienced many times.  He was also teaching me to trust in what He was telling me to do no matter what came along to test it.  I felt it had something to do with spiritual warfare.  

When I sought the Lord over this particular situation, He spoke to me through several scriptures that I kept opening to.  He kept showing me Isaiah 31 v.1 'Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD', verse 3 says 'the Egyptians are men, and not God, and their horses are flesh, and not spirit'.  I knew that 'Egypt' stands for the world in the Bible and felt as though the Lord was instructing me here not to rely on man and his physical ability, but to rely on God and His spiritual capability.  I also kept opening my Bible to 2 Chronicles ch. 16 v.12 which reads 'In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians', and also to where it says in Mark ch. 5 vs. 25 and 26:- Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years,  and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.'  I really felt that all these scriptures had been highlighted to me for the purpose of encouraging me to trust in the Lord and not in the world regarding my situation.  
After this revelation of scripture to me many lumps appeared in my body, under my arms, underneath my foot, in my leg and also on my arm.  There are lots of things I could share where some of these lumps have been removed, but it would take a long time to share these testimonies.  However, I have to say that these happenings have served to increase my faith in the Lord being in this, and why they had to happen at those particular times.

Some years ago, when our son and his first wife and two children were living in Scotland, the phone rang.  It was my daughter in law.  She had been to the doctor after finding a lump in her breast some time before, and she had phoned to ask me to pray for her.  I did pray for her and kept opening my Bible to the page where I felt a certain  scripture was being brought to my attention.  It was from Isaiah ch. 54, the first line in verse 17 'No weapon formed against you shall prosper' and I believed that this word of God was for my daughter in law to believe in, so I phoned her back and shared it with her.  As believers we are in a spiritual war and the weapon here being used by the enemy was fear of what might come from this lump, and I believe it eventually robbed her of her healing.

A few days later she phoned me again and said that she and my son had visited  a church several miles away that they had never  attended before and a man she did not know came up to her and gave her a copy of a commentary on that very verse.  She could not believe it, he had known nothing about her or about our phone calls.  As time went by my daughter in law had surgery to remove her breast and some glands and after a couple of years, sadly, she passed away. 
Some time later I was on holiday with our son and the children. I had forgotten to take my Bible with me so went to get my son's Bible which had a leather cover over it.  When I opened it a piece of paper with writing on it fell out from within the leather cover.  It was something that my daughter in law had written down and contained within it were words saying that no trace of cancer had been found in any tissue or gland that had been removed, with the question 'Was it God or was it the doctors?'    I believe absolutely that the cancer had been removed by God, but I also understand my daughter in law's fear that caused her to go to the medical profession for treatment.

One morning when I began to draft this post I was thinking to myself 'The church has been given gifts by God and have been authorized to use these gifts.'  ( 1 Corinthians ch. 12 vs. 1-11 ), and we are given instruction as to what to do when we become sick. (James ch. 5 vs. 14 and 15 ).  We are told here that the Lord will restore him to health.  So why is not this happening?

I was thinking of Pharaoh's magicians, of whom many were the physicians of the day, and how they were doing the same things as God was authorizing Moses and Aaron to do, and how the medical profession is doing things that appear to come alongside what God has authorized His church to do as far as healing is concerned.  They are even delving deep into human cloning, and are now trying to work on a three parent embryo.  What is this if it is not trying to be God, and is it coincidence that a staff and a serpent are involved in both?
We have to be very careful that we do not allow doctors to become gods in our lives, and believe their word above what God has spoken to us,  putting man in the position of God in some areas of our lives.

Are some people going the same way with the medical profession, unwittingly relying on it as the healing god?  Is it coincidence that the symbol that the medical profession uses is the staff of Asclepius? 

The staff of Asclepius      

In Greek mythology the Rod of Asclepius is a
serpent-entwined rod wielded by the Greek god Asclepius,
 the deity associated with healing and medicine. 
 The symbol has continued to be used in modern times,
where it is associated with medicine and health care,
yet frequently confused with the staff of the god Hermes,
the caduceus.


I have had many signs accompanying His word over the years to encourage me to trust in Him.  One morning I awoke to a vision that the bed cover was as the sea and I was floating in an ocean.  When I later went downstairs the post man put a Kenneth Copeland Christian magazine through the door .  It had a picture of the exact replica of my vision on the front and the words 'Walk on water' at the top of the page.   I felt it was being emphasized to me that all things are possible if I keep my eyes on Jesus and not to do what caused Peter to sink - take my eyes off Jesus and look on the natural situation.

I have only ever seen miracles and healings through the prayer of faith in two churches, and these churches were operating as the church operated two thousand years ago with different parts of the body sharing what was revealed to them.   I am sure that there are lots of other church gatherings experiencing the gifts of the spirit but I really believe that much of the church is missing out, and I feel passionately to pray for a revival of these gifts operating within the church .  Perhaps there are others that feel this too.  May God grant us the desires of our heart here.

I know that we are all different and that each individual goes through their unique trials, but I believe absolutely that I have to try and overcome the spiritual enemy in my life and endeavour to continue to try to keep my eyes on the Lord in my situation.  The following is just one of the poems that I believe the Lord brought me to write, which came at an appropriate time within my trials.

How far will you follow Me
How far will you follow Me
along this narrow track
when the path becomes too lonely
will you think of turning back
Will you yearn for the things you left behind
when I called you to be apart
are there things that belong to your world of sin
lying dormant within your heart
How far will you follow Me
along this lonely road
When you suffer man's rejection
will it prove too great a load
Will you stand within my guiding light
no matter where it leads
and will you listen to my Father's voice saying
'Child, go plant the seeds'
Yes how far will you follow me
along the path to life
will the trials be too much for you
 - of sickness and strife
or will you hold on fast to faith
remembering what I have said
that faith in your Lord has a power
that can even raise the dead



Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Prayer, and faith in God's timeless Word

Several things have happened recently that have spoken to me spiritually of prayer and faith.

One night I had a dream in which I received three certificates after passing three exams necessary to become a barrister.   A barrister is an advocate, someone who puts a case on someone's behalf.  For some time I have felt very moved to intercessory prayer.  Before coming to live here I was always involved in prayer groups, sometimes only with one person, but always with Spiritually passionate believers.

A few days later I bought some dandelion tea   I like herbal teas and had never tried dandelion tea, so I went into town and bought some.  A new visitor called Sandi came over to my blog a couple of days later and I went over to view her blog.  I could not believe it!  Her blog is called 'Dandelion tea' and the post for that day was called 'Pray' and just had this verse in it.'
'If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.'

2 Chronicles 7:14
I really believe that the Lord is showing me the need for His people to pray at this time.

Then, shortly after, I was with my friend in the city where we go to distribute our leaflets.  I needed to go to the post office which was above Smith's book shop.  We entered the bookshop and came to where the steps and escalator led up to the post office.
A young man was limping to the escalator.  I said to my friend 'I don't think I can walk up the steps (thinking of my joint pain that has come upon me ever since I received the word from Psalm 103 about healing from all diseases, which I believe the Lord spoke to me regarding something I have had in my body for over twenty years).  So we took the escalator up to the post office.

 Some time later, we went into the Debenhams store to use the Ladies washroom.  We came to the escalator to find that only the one coming down was working.  The one going up to the first floor, where the ladies washroom was, had stopped working.  I felt straight away that there was something spiritual to this as it came to me that I had chosen not to go up the stairs in the bookshop, and had used the escalator, yet this escalator was not working and was just as a normal staircase would be. 

I climbed the stairs experiencing some pain in my joints.  However, when we reached the first floor, right in front of me was a stand with the word 'faith' written above it.  I could hardly believe what I was seeing, and knew that I was being told something but could not get the full meaning of what was being said to me. When we came back to go down to the ground floor somebody had placed a black shoe right in front of the word 'faith'.

The strange thing was that in order to write this post I had to go back to the shop and take these pictures, which I did last Friday.  This time there was a red shoe in front of the word 'faith', whereas the week before there had been a black shoe placed in front of the word 'faith'.  I felt the red shoe stood for a  warning and I believe I know what the warning is about and  what the Lord has been trying to point out to me.

I have been shown that the Lord will heal me and I assumed that I had the faith to believe that.  However, I believe that I have been shown that there is a great danger of me allowing the enemy to rob me of that faith by walking according to what my carnal mind is telling me and allowing it to block out what the Lord's word is telling me, and that is what I believe the red shoe hiding the word 'faith' is representing.

If I go back to when I was going to the post office, my mind was focusing on the lame man and the difficulty I would have walking up the steps.  There was actually a thought in my mind of me being like that man in the future.  Yet who was putting these thoughts into my mind? It was not God, for I have had the promise of healing.  This makes me more aware of how important it is to take every thought captive and bring it into obedience to Christ (who is the Word of God ).  The enemy is very cunning and I believe he tries to cause doubt in our minds when God has given us a promise through the rhema word, which He has with me.  James ch. 1 vs. 6-8 states :- '.  But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind.  For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord,   since he is a man of two minds, unstable in all his ways.'

Matthew ch. 21 v. 22 states:- 'And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.'

I immediately took those deceiving thoughts captive and brought them into obedience to Christ, the Word of God contained in my promise.  Something else happened recently that reminded me of the surety of the word of God in our lives when we truly believe it.

We wanted to re paint our kitchen walls and when my husband looked in the garage to see what tins of paint we had there he came across a matt emulsion, the colour of which was called 'Timeless'.  We decided that would be just right for the kitchen walls. 

We are also thinking of changing the bathroom furniture and saw a nice wash basin and toilet, so we bought them to store in the house until we decided which shower cubicle we wanted.  We also picked some wash basin taps to match.  When I looked at the the delivery note to check the items, I noticed that the taps were also called 'Timeless'.  I thought this was strange as the paint and the taps had no manufacturer's connection at all.

Shortly after, I was in a Tesco store and picked up their free magazine.  When I got home I had a brief read of it and came across an article called 'Right here right now'.  It said underneath the heading:- 'Learning to be in the moment can improve nearly every area of your life,  here's how to reap the benefits of mindfulness.'  I realized as I read a bit more that it was an article about some kind of meditation, which I did not carry on reading but which brought to my mind how the Lord tells us to take no thought for tomorrow, that our times are in His hands, and I would encourage everyone who has been given that rhema word to walk in faith, not leaning on your own understanding or going by what you see.  We must not let the enemy rob us of that word which is 'timeless', the same today, yesterday and forever.  That word of God is like water that runs from timeless taps.  
With the mind of Christ we have peace, and all the promises of God are 'yes' in Him.

After writing this post yesterday I was lying in bed this morning and it came into my mind that Jesus said in Mark ch. 9 v.23 to the man who had doubt whether Jesus could heal his son 'Everything is possible to one who has faith.” So I said to the Lord the same words that the boy's father had said in verse 24:-  'I do believe, help my unbelief'.

Then I started to sing to myself a little song that came into my mind.:-

'Lord heal my body Lord take my pain
Lord make me whole and healthy again
For You are the Lord that healeth me
You've been sacrificed to set me free

Monday, 29 September 2014

Angel or demon?

I came across some of my old diaries the other day.  I picked one up, written in 2009, and noticed a book mark in it.  When I opened to that specific page the writing there was about a dream I'd had, this is what was written:-
Tuesday 7th July
Had a dream this morning that I was in a church, I was praising the Lord with others.  I suddenly felt the Spirit on me and with a loud groan fell to the floor. I knew there were words going to come from my mouth, but I did not know what was going to be said.  Suddenly my mouth opened and I said very powerfully. 'The shutters have to come off this house, the light must come in.'  I spoke these words twice, and then I was aware of being filled with light on the inside.  I had my eyes closed. Then I felt this power leave me and I was just stood there in the church. Everyone had stopped praising and I was saying to people nearby ' I think they may want me to leave this church, that is what usually happens.' Penny, that I used to work with was there.  Someone came and asked to borrow my guitar and went off with it. Paula was close by and talking to a woman and saying to her ' There's nothing wrong with this church, everyone speaks nicely to one another.'  I felt as if Paula represented some Christians who are quite content with a church that does not want change and feels that things are ok if everyone appears happy on the surface.
I then went and asked someone if they wanted help with the dishes and tidied up a bit around the place

The dream spoke to me of how sometimes prophesy (the 'light' signifying that it is the word of God that has to come in) in a church gathering can sometimes 'shake the apple cart' a little when it speaks of correction, and be regarded sometimes as 'not from the Lord', however 'Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom's instruction.'  Proverbs ch. 29 v. 18 

We have recently purchased a new bed. We had a double one in the bedroom we used and decided we would put a king-size one in another bedroom and sleep in that room, which was warmer.  The first night we slept in it we realized how firm it was and found it difficult to sleep because my husband has a problem with his back and legs and for months I have had a problem with my hips and knees.  Then after about six weeks, although we were slowly getting used to it, we decided we would move back into the other room with the double bed in, which had a much softer mattress.  As soon as we lay on the bed  we thought how much nicer and more comfortable  this mattress was.  However, within about an hour, the pain in my hips grew stronger and eventually so bad that I could not sleep.  After a second night in the bed I told my husband I would have to go back to the firmer bed, and the next night we moved back to the other room.
As soon as I lay on the bed I realized that although it was a firm mattress the softness contained in the top special layer worked together with the firmness of the rest of the mattress to give both comfort and support.  We'd had to go back to what we thought was the better bed to realize that it was not. That night we both slept more than we had slept in a long time.
As I thought about it I realized that the experience with the beds was speaking spiritually to me.  We can think that our old fleshly way of life was far more comfortable than our new spiritual life until we try to return to it and realize that, just like the  comfort and support of the firmer bed, the love and guidance of the Lord will bring us more peace and support, and less pain in our lives as we persevere in our trials and put our trust in Him.  The manna from Heaven far exceeds the fish, cucumbers  and melons from Egypt (the world). 

The apostle Peter thought that he was doing the right thing when he tried to stop Jesus from going to the cross, he was concerned for the flesh and could not see the Spiritual benefit that would come from Jesus' suffering.  However, Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”Matthew ch. 16 v. 23 Jesus recognized the spirit that was at work in the mind of Peter was not from God, but was from Satan.  So too, like Peter, can we be mindful of the things of the flesh instead of the things of God because it appears to be more comfortable.  We do not tempt God.  Jesus knew that going to the cross was what God had ordained Him to do, and if we know what the Lord is speaking to us then we must act on it.  Our carnal mind  will try to convince us not to obey if it looks uncomfortable to the flesh, but obeying the Word of God can only lead to good.
In my dream the friend that I had worked with and the friend called Paula metaphorically represented both the young and  the mature Christian, and we can all be fooled by Satan into thinking more of the welfare of the flesh than the welfare of the Spirit.

I was in a town where I meet up with my friend on Friday and there was a lady promoting perfumes who was asking us to dip into a bag and pick out two samples to try.  I drew out two of the same called 'ange ou demon'
I had a strong feeling that something spiritual was being referred to here.

When I got back home I looked up the meaning of the phrase on the internet and it was 'angel or demon'.   I believe the Lord is emphasising the necessity to test the spirits to see if they are from God.  Are the ones prophesying encouraging us to be mindful of the things of the flesh rather than the things of God?  
We are told that 'all may prophesy so that all may learn and all be encouraged' 1 Corinthians ch. 14 v. 31, and we should not judge those who prophesy by their age as even a young child may do so, as it states in Psalm ch.8 v.2a :- 'Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength,'

If  the word prophesied convinces and convicts us of sinful things in our lives and we know that we must turn from it then we must act on that word.  If that word prophesied encourages us to continue walking according to the flesh and not according to the way that we know God would want us to walk, then we have to ask


'Is this an angel (messenger of God)  speaking, or is this a demon(messenger of Satan) speaking.?'



Sunday, 6 April 2014

Catch up time

I am going to take a break from my blogging as I have many things to catch up on.  I love interacting on the blogs but I have realized that there are drawers full of unfinished writings and many other things in my workroom that need attending to, and I feel an urge to tackle them.  I will still pop over weekly to read what other bloggers have written, but unless I get on with other work (including my gardening), I will regret not having done it.
I came across some previous pics and poems that I have done and would like to put them up as an 'au revoir' until I am back blogging.
God bless everyone and hope to be back blogging in the not too distant future.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Abraham believed God

I have always found the relationship between Abraham and God encouraging.  The main thing that I found encouraging about him was that he believed God when being tested in two very hard trials .  As I read of his experience regarding leaving his country  I could see that there was no questioning, or fear of the consequences, of what God was asking him to do, and no reasoning with the carnal mind to prevent him from doing what he was being told to do. 
This story of Abraham leaving his country was what I felt was being pointed out to  me many times before moving to this area.  

God accompanies His word with signs and there were little things that appeared to go with this at the time we were looking for a house to move to, with no real intention of coming this distance from the town we lived in.  I love the blackbird and, shortly before we moved, the man across the road from us cut down lots of trees in his garden that attracted many blackbirds that used to sing beautifully every morning. The blackbirds disappeared once the trees were cut down and I missed their song greatly.  

Just before we left, a new lady came to a ladies meeting I attended every week, she was called Meryl.  Our neighbour at the new property is called Meryl, the lady across the road is called Merle and the pastors wife at the new church I prayed about going to, who said to me when I first met her 'I feel like I have known you all my life.' is called Meryl.  These names mean 'blackbird', and there are lots of blackbirds in and around the garden of our present home.

In Genesis ch.22 God tested Abraham by instructing him to take his son to be sacrificed. Abraham obeyed God without question, but he knew that God had promised him that his descendants would come through Isaac. Genesis ch.6 vs.13-15 'For when God made promise to Abraham because He could swear by no greater, He swore by Himself, saying Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee,  And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. God let Abraham go so far and then said to him  'Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.'  Genesis ch.22 v..12 

This incident in particular has always encouraged me to believe that what we are promised by God when we are born again in Jesus is granted through our faith in Him and that I must not worry if hard trials come my way, but I must carry on trusting God for those promises.   One of the verses the Lord spoke to me very early on in my walk with Him was 'If you love Me, keep my commands.' John ch.14 v.15.' and I have learned, and am still learning, that there is no need to let fear and uncertainty cause me to allow my carnal mind to persuade me to do things according to my old worldly ways instead of Gods ways.

I have no need to worry about  material things if I put my trust in the Lord as Matthew ch.6 vs.31-33 says 'Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.' and I have to say that in all the thirty years that I have known the Lord He has provided for myself and my husband, and I have found that a person can be content with little or with much when the Lord is in their life.  Admittedly, many times I have found it hard and have made many mistakes while learning, but provided I keep my eyes upon Him and ask forgiveness when I get it wrong, then my peace is restored to me.

Proverbs ch.22 v.6 'Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.' reminds me of the fact that as I am growing in the Lord gradually being taught His ways, and mature in Him, His ways will become my ways.  We go from the milk to the strong meat, and He fully understands that we are flesh while guiding us on our journey, encouraging us to build one another up in the Spirit through the gifts He has given each one of us  'until we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.' Ephesians ch.4 v.13.  I was reminded of this scripture last week when I put a bunch of daffodils into a glass vase which has the shape of daffodils cut into it, all of us being made into the image of Him whom we are in.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Communication with God

This is a post that I put on my blog two years ago, and I just felt that I would like to share it again as my blog was very new then and some of you may not have read my testimony on this issue.

My friend and I felt that we had been neglecting our evangelism in the streets.  We have put poetry together with scripture in the form of leaflets to hand out to people and sometimes I take my guitar and we sing songs that we believe the Lord has brought us to write.  We decided that we would go on the Friday of that week into the town centre, and also take the guitar.  By the time Thursday had arrived I was feeling apprehensive about taking the guitar out with us and singing, partly because I was just getting over a cold, and partly because I hadn't sung in the street for a while.  So I prayed to the Lord and asked Him to show me whether I should take the guitar with me or not.  I was quite happy just to give out the leaflets.
That night I had a dream that I was given a sheet of paper.  At first glance the piece of paper appeared to be blank.  Then, as I tilted it, the light seemed to catch it and reveal a hidden message, almost as if there was another layer, beneath the top blank sheet, that could only be revealed when the light caught it a certain way.  I could barely make out what it said, but the harder I looked the clearer the message became.  It was simply the number 147.
The next morning I forgot all about having the dream, until I was seeking th Lord again about whether I should take my guitar out and sing that afternoon.  I had my Bible in front of me and suddenly the dream returned to my mind.  I felt led to read Psalm 147.  The first line said to sing praises, for a song of praise is seemly.  Verse seven also spoke about singing with a musical instrument.  Verse eleven says that the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him.  I decided that I was being told by the Lord to take the guitar and sing.  When I reached my friends house, she said she had also been reading Psalm 147 and believed we were were to sing as well as handing out the leaflets.  This we did and had a very good response from people on the street.
The next day I was working on my computer with an image manipulation package in which I can work with layers, a facility which gives me the ability to use several layers to build up a picture.  It enables me to totally block out a layer beneath the active layer without losing the information on that lower layer, it is simply obscured from my view.  What I see on my computer screen depends on which layer I choose to place on top as the active layer.  That same morning the postman had brought a letter from my bank which told me that there was a new way of getting help other than from the help desk at my branch.  There was a phone number to ring and if I peeled back a slip on a blank sheet of paper that was in the envelope, my code number, which I must use when I call, would be revealed.  As I peeled back the slip of paper my mind was cast back to my dream, and I realized that God was showing me something.
The blank sheet in my dream represented my carnal mind which was not really knowing what to do concerning the singing.  The other layer which appeared when the sheet of paper was tilted in the light was the enlightened word of the Holy Spirit directing me to the rhema word of God spoken to me in Psalm 147.
This incident showed me the importance of seeking God's will not only for direction as to what the Lord has called me to do, but also for seeking His word for guidance as to how my way of thinking must change according to His word spoken to me.  As with the layers facility on my computer program, the carnal mind has the ability to blank out the spiritual mind of Christ if I do not stay in communication with the Lord.  Just like the layers facility on my computer, what I see depends on which mind I keep active.  Also, the personal code number that I must use to get help from my bank represented the enlightened word of God being revealed to me, in my own life and ministry, through prayer.

After I finished writing this article I picked up one of my Christian daily devotional booklets to see what the day's reading was and this is what it said.  'God revealed Himself to Samuel through His word.'

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Achan (troubler)

A Christian lady confesses openly in front of a group of ladies that I am with at a house meeting that she and her Christian husband are hiding a large sum of money in their house.  It is money that belongs to a relative who is on benefits but does not want to declare it because some of the benefit will be stopped because of it.  I think to myself, as the person is speaking, 'This situation reminds me of someone in the Old Testament who hides something in his tent', but I can not think of the character's name.  Suddenly, the name of a person from the Old Testament comes on the screen of a television that is showing a Christian video in the room, it is the name 'Achan', but I can not think who he is, and because the lady has been relating what she has been doing with this money, we have not been concentrating on the video.  The person who confesses to hiding the sum of money leaves and my friend and I  start to discuss whether we should have spoken to the person about the fact that in the Lord's eyes it could be wrong, but the lady who organized the group remarks that we should not accuse one another.  I replied that I did not feel like it was accusation because the lady herself had admitted to all in the room what she and her husband were doing.

I wake up in the early hours of the next morning and suddenly realize that the name that came on the screen, 'Achan', is the name of the character in the Old Testament that I was reminded of when the lady was telling us about hiding the money.  I go downstairs and look in the Bible and see that Achan was hiding things devoted for destruction.  I think to myself that with a believer the things 'devoted for destruction' are our old ways and wonder if the Lord is trying to reveal something through this situation.
I go to church on the following Sunday and am walking down the steps where two children ask my friend and myself if we have seen their friend, Arian.  They say they are playing a game of hiding.  'What! you are hiding out here in full view of everyone?' I ask.  'No, Arian is hiding from us' the children say.  'There she is' they say, as she appears at the side of the church.  I feel that the conversation is reminding me of something.  My friend says 'Arian is the Welsh word for money', and I see a strange connection with the children's game, the story of Achan, and the Christian lady's open confession to hiding money in order to help someone cheat the benefit system.   Yet again I wonder if the Lord is trying to reveal something, and is it that we can not hide what we do from Him?  Also, if what we do is knowingly wrong to us, is there a penalty paid?  Because Achan had put things devoted to destruction amongst his own things, he too had become a thing devoted for destruction.

We are told in Hebrews ch. 10 vs. 24 - 27  'And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,  but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.'  Where then is our responsibility when someone professing to be Christian confesses openly to other Christians to doing something that is wrong, without being accused by anyone?  What is the implication and responsibility of a person experiencing what I experienced over several days?  Should I have spoken up about the way I felt as the series of events were happening, or gone back to the person involved privately later on?  Is it for me, as part of the body of Christ, to share that experience at an appropriate time, and can that experience be counted as prophesy?  Ezekiel ch. 33 v. 8 warns that it is a responsibility to warn one another from wicked ways when it is revealed, or we will have that person's blood on our hands.

Proverbs ch.29 v. 18 says that where there is no prophesy the people cast off restraint.  If we do not share what we believe the Lord is revealing to us in order to build one another up in the faith, then are we guilty of quenching the Holy Spirit's work amongst us, and having that person's blood on our hands, according to that rule of prophesy in Ezekiel ch. 33?  Was it coincidence on the Sunday morning, when the sin of Achan was again brought to my mind through the hiding game of the children, that the pastor was speaking on Ephesians ch. 4 and ch. 6, which speak of the unity of the Spirit and exhortations to righteous livingEphesians ch.4 vs.17-19 says  ' So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.  Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.'

Shortly after this incident my husband related to me a story he had heard on the radio of Nazadene, a Muller turned smuggler, who repeatedly took a donkey laden with hay across the border and a border guard who could not detect what Nazradene was smuggling, which turned out to be donkeys.  Sin, just like those donkeys, can become acceptable to us as the norm, thereby becoming unrecognisable to us in our daily lives.  Likewise, sin can become unrecognisable to us, thereby becoming acceptable to us as the norm.

Achan's sin also caused the whole of Israel to be unable to stand against their enemies.  If we do not encourage one another to do what is right, for we can all be tempted to do what is wrong as was implied by Paul when he wrote to the church of the Thessalonians in 1 Thessalonians ch.3 v.5 saying  'For this reason, when I could endure it no longer, I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter might have tempted you, and our labour would be in vain', (and all scripture can be profitable for encouragement and correction. 2 Timothy ch.3 v.16 ), will not the church be allowed to become contaminated by the things of the world?

To be able to stand against the wiles of the devil, Ephesians ch.6 v.11 tells us to put on the whole armour of God.  We are told in Ephesians ch. 4 vs.22-24  ' You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds;  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.'  There are two beautiful verses of scripture in Psalm 81 vs.13 and 14 to encourage us in this area, where God is saying 'O that my people would listen to me , that Israel would walk in my ways!  I would soon turn my hand against their foes.'

The Lord is the living word of God by which we are judged, and just like any other judge, that word has the authority to examine and, if necessary, pass sentence. 1 Corinthians ch.11 vs.29-32 states   'For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.  That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment.  Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.'  We must allow that word to be an active cleanser in our lives to be able to change us gradually.  We have a loving, longsuffering, forgiving God who understands our weakness in the flesh, but He is also a consuming fire.  He has sent the Holy Spirit as our teacher to lead us into all truth, and should we not do our best to act on that truth?  In 2 Chronicles, ch.2 vs.13 and 14, the Lord is telling Solomon that when there are troubles come upon His people, if His people will humble themselves and pray and seek His face, and turn from their wicked ways, then He will gear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.  There is a repentance in these instructions, a turning from our wicked ways, which is also a requirement for believers insomuch as we are asked to 'repent', and to be 'doers of the word and not just hearers'.

One day my husband connected the battery to his motorbike to try to get it to start, but there was no spark.  Without a spark, the engine would not start and the bike was lifeless.  Without the Holy Spirit actively being allowed to change us through our obedience to its teaching, we as individuals and as a church will be spiritually lifeless because we shall be still carnal, thereby being dead in our sins.

I believe the whole of what I experienced on this occasion was not to point out what was going on in one person's life at all, for we are all prone to temptation, and sometimes we are not even sure what is right or wrong in God's eyes, but I believe it is a message to all of us to be alert to the teachings of the Holy Spirit, and to allow Him to work through all the members of the body in order to change us collectively into the image of God's Son.  God is building His church, and unless the Lord build the house, those who build it labour in vain.  (Psalm 127 v.1)   Colossians ch.2 v.8 tells us to 'beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ.'  We must allow God to  build according to the format that He has laid out in the scriptures, and not attempt to alter it.

On my bedside cabinet there is a small wooden giraffe.  I accidentally knocked it over one day and its head fell off.  My husband repaired it.  I can not tell you how many repair jobs my husband has done on ornaments around the house, and this is exactly what salvation is
 - a repair job.




While all of this was happening, it was the time of the fortieth anniversary of the Aberfan disaster, when 116 children were killed while in their school by a man built mountain of coal slurry.  God forbid that His spiritual children should be 'killed' by a man-made mountain of worldly doctrine and church tradition that could be making the word of God void in the church.

I end this post with a short poem of encouragement

The Path
Follow the path of righteousness
the road to the Father's heart
Follow His Son as He leads you on
from His ways do not depart
Follow the path that leads to life
the way that we all must take
Yes, follow the ways of Jesus
the Saviour who died for our sake