Why hello there, it has been a while since I last blogged, forgive me. I’m feeling so much stronger spiritually, physically and mentally in comparison to when I last blogged. Blugh I was in such a low place. I cried out to God and He heard me.
My Bridegroom came and rescued me. He brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, set my feet upon a rock and established my steps (Psalm 40:2). God has really been rebuilding me and refining me. I feel refreshed and renewed. Here is a quick update of what I have been experiencing and learning lately.
I spent my first Christmas and New Years away from my family and friends. It was hard. Different environment. Different culture. Different routine. I wasn’t my happiest as the days led up to Christmas. I kept saying, “It does not feel like Christmas”. I shared this with a friend who challenged me and this caused me to reflect. To me it did not ‘feel’ like Christmas because I was not with my family. It did not ‘feel’ like Christmas because it was hot and I was used to the cold and frosty weather. It did not ‘feel’ like Christmas because pig was served instead of turkey.
Holy Spirit convicted me and opened my eyes to see I was focusing on the wrong thing. I had to repent and ask God to forgive me for making Christmas all about me. I mean who do I think I am? How selfish of me! It’s all about Christ! Spending Christmas away from everything I am so used to make me see that Christmas is not about the presents or the food or the decorations, to see that it is so easy to associate Christmas with ‘things’. It’s all about Christ and Christ alone. If He did not come there would be no hope, no joy, no salvation…NO salvation!!! He came to save the lost and that includes you and me.
I spent my first New Years away from home, which was exciting as I entered into 2014 before most parts of the world. My friend, Lisa invited me to her church and then I spent the early hours of 2014 fellowshipping with her family. Being there, felt like that was exactly where I was supposed to be. I felt peace and felt accepted and loved.
This year, my first goal and priority for 2014 is to spiritually mature. I gave my life to Christ in 2009. In my eyes I simply converted. I had not begun the process of transformation until November 2011. That’s when I actually made the decision in my heart to turn away from the world and live a consecrated life for God.
Whilst speaking to Lisa’s aunt, she said something to me that has stuck with me ever since. Being born again and having a relationship with God is a commitment. It is something that I must be committed to. I have come to fathom that I need to become more committed to God. As believers we must desire to eat solid foods. Hebrews 5:13-14 NLT says, “for someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong”. I read a blog on spiritual growth that said, “If you are rather shallow in your knowledge of the Scriptures, then you are just as shallow about applying the Scriptures to your own life. You can't possibly be obeying the Bible if you aren't faithfully reading it. This makes you a spiritual baby. God wants you to GROW UP to be a good soldier for Christ”.
I want to exhort and encourage you all to continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). God reminded me that I am not saved- by that I mean I have not yet received the crown for winning the race. Matthew 24:13 says, “but he who endures to the end shall be saved”. It is so easy for us to become complacent, comfortable and drift through life presuming we’re ok. I have been there, I know the feeling and it’s a very dangerous place to be.
What else has been going on? Well I have been learning about the different ministries (Ephesians 4:11-12) and also my calling. I have already discovered that I am an apostle, which literally means ‘a sent one’; sent from A-B to do something. I have noticed that me knowing my calling makes it so much easier for me to make decisions. Paul encourages us to not neglect the gift that is within us (1 Timothy 4:14) and also to stir up the gifts that are within us (2 Timothy 1:6). We are responsible for discovering, developing and using our gifts for God’s service.
Since entering into 2014 a few changes have taken place, I have moved house and also been blessed with a new job. I am learning that in life, we cannot predict how the choices we make will turn out. All we can do is trust God and believe that all things will work out for our good. God- willing I will be returning to England in 2 months. I actually cannot believe a year has almost flown by. As I reflect on the process I have been through and the decision I made to step out-I'm shocked. I cannot believe I took such a risk and stepped outside of the ‘norm’.
What does the future hold for me? Truthfully, I do not know. Apart of me discerns that my future involves more studying, which I am not looking forward to at the moment but if it is God’s will I have to submit to Him because He knows best. Overall one thing is for sure; God is good. God is always good. God is NEVER the ‘bad guy’. He is always faithful. Always true to His word. He never changes. It is never His aim or motive to harm us. His actions are ALWAYS driven by love. That’s the God I serve. Oh How He loves us :)
Miss Josie Jo