Sunday, 10 November 2013

Week 33-Growth Can Only Come Through Change...

Last Saturday I was speaking with a friend from London that I hadn’t spoken to in months. We had a good catch up session and she mentioned how much I used to hate change. This got me thinking about how rigid and unyielding I used to be. Things had to be done a certain way and if they didn’t go according to the plans I made I would get so frustrated. Proverbs 16:9 “in their hearts, humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps”. Because I was so resistant to change it meant that I couldn’t move forward because I was actually resisting God’s way and will for my life. As much as I confessed with my mouth “God let Your will be done” my actions were doing what I wanted and that was so wrong-I hadn’t truly surrendered my life to Him!

God desires growth BUT growth can only come about through change. We can’t expect to grow by doing the thing. One of the reasons why I didn’t like change was fear. Truth is most times I would only step out and do something if I could predict what the outcome would be or because it wasn’t too difficult; I could do it by myself. So basically I was placing my trust in myself and not in God. I believe that if we want to live an average and mediocre life then we don’t need God, because we can achieve that by ourselves. But if we want to live an extraordinary life, a life that is exceedingly and abundantly above and beyond what we could ever think or ask then we need God full stop.

"Growth demands a temporary surrender of security"
Gail Sheehy

So back to what I was saying, I always used to have this fear about stepping out into the unknown and that was because I was not in-tune with the Holy Spirit. Since I wasn’t taking the time to hear God’s voice, my life had no direction and I found it hard to know whether I was making the right choices and decisions. The word of God says in Isaiah 30:21 “your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way, Walk in it”. In order for us to hear the God’s voice, we must take the time to open our ears and listen (See post on Hearing God’s Voice –May 2013).

Before I FINALLY made the decision to take the leap of faith and come to Fiji I asked God to speak to me and confirm that I should leave England. And God being true to His word answered me. I remember one the ways God confirmed it to me was through Genesis 12:1 when God told Abraham the first missionary to “go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you”. BUT I still didn’t act upon it because of fear and lack of faith.  I turned a blind eye.

It was in January 2012 that I started enquiring about doing missions work. I graduated from University in July (I could have gone in July but knew that that was not the time, because I had to prepare). I sent off the application form in September that same year and only decided that I was actually going in February 2013 and left March 2013 and the Discipleship Training course commenced in April.  What does that tell me about myself? I failed to trust God and His plans. It was a big step but one I knew I had to take because deep down I always knew that if I didn’t leave in March then I would have missed out on something greater, a great opportunity, I would have failed to fulfill my purpose and calling some how. I knew that I would regret it for the rest of my life. What is God calling you to do and what is stopping you from stepping out? Believe me when I say that when you obey God, you will NOT regret it. His ways and thoughts are higher and better than our own (Isaiah 55:8-9).

If there is something I’ve learnt over the past couple of months it is to go for it! If God gives you the green light then go! Why wait, in fact the question I should be asking is what are you waiting for? Do you want to die living a unfulfilled life that lacks purpose? Explore, be daring and step out of your comfort zone into the unknown, something greater awaits you :)

Week 32-Open My Eyes Lord That I May See...

Ello, Ello , Ello :) 

How are you all doing? I hope you’re having a lovely week so far. Here in Fiji it's summer time and it’s getting really HOT! I can’t cope lol. Last week was such an eventful week filled with work, fellowship, movies (finally had the time to go and watch Thor) as well as chilling by the pool side.  

Josie, watch your mouth!

God has been dealing with me in the area of my tongue. The season I’m in has been teaching me a lot about how corrupt and defile my tongue can be. Ephesians 4:29 says “let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers”. Only good words that encourage and build others up should be coming out of our mouths. If we’re going to discuss something/one it should be to build up the person or because we’re trying to find a solution to the problem. If we have an issue with someone, it’s better we take it to God rather than to man.

I’m coming to realize more and more that I can’t be effective if I’m using the same tongue to curse others and bless God (James 3:10). Jesus our great example did not act in such a manner. Others around us may be tearing people down through their words but that doesn’t mean that we should fall into that same trap and think it’s ok because it’s not. Our standard must be Christ and not man or culture hence why the Bible says looking onto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). We must continue to be diligent and check whether we have conformed to the patterns and nature of this world.

Nothing can EVER compare to the love of God!

This week Isaiah 45:5 really convicted me and gave me a deeper revelation of God’s unconditional love. It says “I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from Me there is no God. I will strengthen you, through you have not acknowledged Me” NIV. The word acknowledge means; to notice, recognize one’s importance, respect, appreciate.  Here I interpreted the scripture as God saying “Josie, despite the fact that you fail to spend time with Me, read My word, worship other gods and fail to give Me the glory that I am so worthy of I WILL help and deliver you to show you that I AM GOD. I am faithful; I have an unwavering commitment to you even when you are disloyal because I am true to My word.  Human beings change their mind just as the weather changes but I do not because I am love, I bear all things, I never stop being patient with you!”

The revelation I got brought me to my knees and reminded me of the story of Hosea and his backsliding wife, which actually symbolizes God’s relationship with us. God is always loyal, it’s us who become adulterous and turn our backs on Him. Nothing else matters more to God than our relationship with Him and He will do whatever it takes to get our attention and have our heart. Where’s your heart at the moment? Is it in the palm of God’s hands?

Cherish Your Family

Last week I shared with you all that I was living with a Rutoman family and well through this experience I’ve been learning so much about the importance of family. During Bible study, I stumbled across Psalm 68:6, which says, “God sets the lonely in families”. This is me!!! I was feeling so homesick; missing my family and friends and without me even realizing it, God was ordering my steps and placed me in a family. I cried out to Him and He heard me.

Staying with this lovely family has opened my eyes to a few things too. Like I took my own family for granted. Our families are a blessing, a gift from God.  For example back in England I would stay cooped up in my room rarely socializing with the rest of my family. I got so caught up with the things of this world that I failed to realize the importance of ‘family time’ and enjoying their company. God did not create us to live with our family’s yet live very separate lives failing to communicate and socialize with them! Hebrews 10:24-25 declares that we must consider one another in order to stir up love and good works. We must not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but we must encourage one another –and all the more as the time of Jesus' return is near.