Graceful faithfulness

Gods faithfulness has been proved through out time, even when mankind put Gods faithfulness to the test. In the old testament we see many times how because of Gods promise to Abraham “your descendants will be as numerous as the stars” or his promise through David “his throne will endure forever” 2 Samuel 7:16 God spared a remenant of the Israelites whenever judgement came because of sin.

The longer your own personal journey with Christ the more you will learn the faithfulness of God. How many times have we said something and not done it? How many commitments have we made and not kept them? Or kept them but not completely? If we are honest we will see that many times we have not kept our word or commitments. Its hard though right? Life is demanding and sometimes we make emotionally based commitments because of an experience. “I will never drink again”, “one last time then I will join the gym”, “I will always be positive” and so on. Emotionally based commitments always seem good at the time but usually don’t last because they are usually made out of guilt.

To be faithful means to be committed in every season no matter what. Sometimes its not possible to keep certain commitments because of life happenings such as; marriage, children, injuries (gym people) new jobs etc. Yet as a christian none of these things should affect our commitment to God because this is not based upon events or feelings, its based upon steadfast trust from our heart in God and his faithfulness. It is believing in every circumstance that no matter what you face, God will be with you through it and strengthen you. That in every circumstance God can bring good for those who love him and are called according to his purposes. This is what is means to be faithful, to always keep believing and not let what you see affect what you believe in regards to God.

God is 100 percent committed to his church as they are his prized possession, he was committed enough to shed his blood and endure the cross. His commitment will endure for eternity. God is not requiring our perfect commitment, all he requires is our willingness, perfection comes later as he does his holy work in us. Sometimes mistakes throw us off committing all together, we something like, “well I’ve already messed up now so why carry on?” The devil loves when we say this because it prevents progression with God, if we were as graceful to ourselves as God is we would grow in our faithfulness everyday. The righteous stumble 7 times but get up 8, that’s the victory… getting back up.

So, be faithful in the small things with God. Pray, read the word and put it into practice the best you can. God is for you, his spirit is with you and he will always show himself true when you choose to trust in him. When we are able to be faithful in the small things, the bigger things will come.

Psalm 86:15 But you, oh Lord are a God merciful and graceful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness

God bless

Dmz

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Never forsaken

There are times in our walk with Christ where God seems distant or on vacation. Times when we internally cry those tears that nobody else sees and begin to question our own faith. We ask the following questions: Is God angry at me because of my sins? Does God even care about me anymore? Am I just a disposable vessel that no longer has use? Why is so and so not struggling like I am? In a season where God seems absent we have 2 options. We either accept the lie of the devil that God has turned away from you; or we dig deeper in our faith and put into practice what God has already taught through his word.

If you are in this seemingly absent time with God then praise God he has considered you worthy of this test. A new believer would not go through this because it would destroy faith before it has had chance to grow. This season is for the maturing christian that has usually prayed this kind of prayer; “Father, please make me more like Jesus”. This daring prayer or unspoken desire will no doubt put you into positions where you have no choice but to lean on God and his word.

What about the negative side? If you allow the devils grip to take hold and the lie of Gods hand being against you, this season will not produce the faith intended. It will lead you to despair and will make you question your faith completely. This is why these seasons can be so risky, it produces the opportunity for great victory or great despair, the outcome is determined by our choice. If you started bad this does not mean it should finish this way, God in his mercy will give more opportunities to demonstrate trust. We have promises for such times as this as we will see below.

How do I know this season is from God and not because of sin? First of all have you confessed your sin and been forgiven? Second of all, we are not condemned as believers Romans 8:1 as the blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed our iniquity. Sin carries its own consequences and at times God disciplines his children as any loving father would, but this does mean this season is because of our own doing.

How can we know for sure? Analyse the situation and ask yourself some questions. Did I put my self in this situation or did God? Have I learned how to deal with what I am facing according to the word of God? Is what I am going through allowing faith to grow or is it destroying my soul? Any other questions feel free to ask them to yourself. The will of God is to conform us into the image of Christ, sometimes this means facing the dreaded “seemingly distant” times from God in order to develop a deeper faith and an unshakeable trust in God. This is when we need to hold onto 2 simple promises.

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Matthew 28:20 I am with you always, even to the end of age.

Keep these promises close to your heart when it seems God is distant, you will grow in faith as you realise God has never left your side no more than the air you breathe has left the room.

God bless

Dmz

Hang in there… Regret is worse than a lack of results.

Fruit, faith, victory,cross

What do you do when you are bored? What do you do when you make a plan and then suddenly the plan changes and your left by yourself? What do you do when you have been busy and productive and suddenly you find nothing to do? What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

These are difficult times, times of testing. Life has 2 arenas to test your character. One of them is how you respond when you go though trials and temptations, the other is when your plans do not succeed and you no longer know what to do. When potential is denied it is searched for somewhere else. There is a danger when God wants to use you for greatness, this danger is that devil will want to use you in the opposite way. The word of God calls us to watch out and stay alert of the schemes of the devil 1 Peter 5:8, you fall asleep and become idle there is danger of sin and the enemy gaining a foothold.

Your hurt because for so long you have strived and used your hands for good works but not seen great results. You know that continuing to be a blessing is the right thing to do, but on the other hand you wonder why? Why keep doing good when people use me and abuse me? Why be productive in my work place if the boss is never satisfied and gives me even more work? Others do less and get a promotion, yet here is the danger of coveting and jealousy. It seems as if God over looks our efforts some times and would rather be blessing others than you. So you consider quitting right? Why carry on?

Imagine if Jesus responded this way before the cross, we would not be saved because he would have aborted his calling. Now what was the end result of the persistence of Jesus continuing to do the right thing? Eternal glory and the name above all names along with multitudes being saved because of the cross! Now then, if Jesus received all this in the end, will you not receive the promises of God over your life? The blessings are coming for you, and for me – we may not see them yet but they are coming.

Are you still praying? Victory! Are you still doing the right thing and not responding negatively? Victory! Are you reading the bible even though you may have doubts? Victory! Your doubts can lead you to a deeper faith if you surrender these doubts unto the word, why? Because faith comes by hearing the word of God Romans 10:17 Are you still worshipping God despite your struggles? Victory! If you are not doing any of these things then start now, and guess what that means? Yes you guessed it, victory!

It is difficult when results are not seen or seem slow compared to our work rate. Yet if you gave up you would never know how close you truly were to the break through you have longed for. The one thing more difficult to deal with than lack of results is regret, so hang on! We all have the unfruitful season as we grow in our faith, this is so our roots can go deeper for when the next fruit season arrives. If you continue and allow God to shape your character internally through this time, you will recognise that the fruit is already beginning to grow on the inside before the world sees this on the outside. God is preparing something great for you!

DMZ

Laying the foundation #1

John 3:16 For God so loved the world (you and me) that he gave his one and only son (Jesus Christ), so that whoever believes in him shall not perish (be eternally separated from God) but have everlasting life. (Live eternally in the presence of God).

Immerse yourselfinstead of the world, place your full name there. God so loved(…)The love of God is transformed instantly into a personal connection between you and the God of the universe. He is love and the foundation of all goodness. There is an old saying that goes like this.. “Jesus would have still endured the cross even if it was just for you”. We cannot look at the evidence and say this was the case due to the testimony of countless believers. Nevertheless, Jesus paid the price for our sins and made a way to heaven. Whether we believe he would have just done this for you depends on your own personal encounter with him, as for me… I believe he would have.

The world view implies that we are here by some cosmic accident that formed a perfectly ordered universe out of an explosion; and after many years of evolving we became who we are today. I would rather believe that love gave us a place on this earth. Believing in Jesus Christ is the gateway for this love to enter our lives, this is the foundation of our life of faith.

Speak out

I am loved by an amazing God who gave his life for me on the cross. I believe and I am strengthened by the hope I obtain through Jesus. Love was nailed on display for my witnessing, I accept this divine love into my heart.

Remind yourselflife can sometimes cause us pain and at times we may feel lonely or unwanted. In these times remind yourself of the love of Christ in John 3:16 out loud with your name. Keep the door of your heart open to Gods love, let there always be room for him in there, he will fill that void if you allow him too.

Prayer – Lord Jesus, come and take your rightful place in my heart. I confess you as Lord and saviour of my life. Show me the depths of your love so that I may learn to love as you do. In Jesus name amen.

Image – google images (the world)

Love and blessings DMZ

Tip of the iceberg #teachflows3

Judging a whole person by first impression can lead to deception. First impression is important; the first look, the first smile, the first conversation and kiss, yes first moments are bliss. Yet first impression is just the tip of the iceberg, around 70 percent of the real person is neither seen or heard, at least not at first. So when we meet someone new and ask how do you do? Lets not judge the whole person from one conversation over a nice brew. You want to know someone true? You want to go beneath the surface like a deep sea diver? Or is fear not allowing people to see what’s inside you?

What is beneath the surface? Our soul and character, the core of our being, our identity… we are far from worthless. We have conformed to an outward focus, this is why true character is hard to notice. It takes a trained eye to see beyond the physical form and to break the power of the norm. From the day we are born we are lured into the trap of outer beauty is all. The hard times come and we fall because the mirror lied to us all. We forgot to work on our core, inner beauty faded because it was ignored.

The tip is not the whole person, that is just the icing on the cake. The real you lies beneath the deep, now it’s time to awake. Awake O sleeper, pray for God to strengthen areas that are weaker. Let more of the real you rise as you adapt to this new meaning in life, then people who meet you will not be surprised because your letting your true colours shine.

DMZ

The Narnia effect… Seeing with new eyes #teachflows.2

It would be wonderful if life was like Narnia, you step outside your front door into a magical land – Heaven beckons around- Face smiling… Oh life is sound. You are a child all over again, the scent of a flower tickles your senses, no forced growth just the pure natural God given scent; you take in the fresh air, the fresh incense fills every fibre of your being. You love what you are felling, you love what you are seeing. Suddenly you realize how much of life you take for granted, it never struck you until you walked out that door, the same door you kept locked before. Fear kept it shut, but now you have declared fear to shut up! Now your eyes have been opened once again, like a child that first sees colours, everything is a first, you become filled with so much joy that you think you will burst. Into excitement… Adventure. Who’s going to stop you when it’s God who has sent you?
For so long the Devils hands have been covering your eyes, but now by the power of grace and this new found faith, his hands have been removed and you once again see the beauty of life. Enjoy the journey… It was always meant to be enjoyed but tainted pictures have ruined the moment, well not anymore! Open up that door of faith, a new world is waiting for you, a world to which God has saved you a place.

Bible verse:
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Prayer: Father God,
Open my eyes so that I will see this world the way you do with such beauty and praise. The media paints an ugly picture of this world, I pray that you would re-paint this picture in my heart and mind so that when I walk by faith, I will not be afraid or discouraged. I pray in Jesus name – amen.

Image: Google images – Narnia

God bless
DMZ

When you think that you are unnoticed #teachflow1

Giving up becomes a strong temptation after years of work bearing little or no fruit. The quit button seems to be growing in size as we gaze upon this temptation with hungry eyes. You want to press that button but somehow you don’t, because you know that carrying on is the way to go. It’s hard isn’t it? When you have so much to give but feel limited.
Life has kept you in a nest when you long to fly, your boss thinks that you’re a mess but doesn’t know the why? You’re always looking for what’s next but it seems you miss the mark; you turn off the light at night..so no one can see your tears in the dark. Life’s hard, and sometimes life’s draining; but you will never get renewed energy by complaining.
Your work never got the results it deserved, you produced good results; but you feel that this is meaningless because no one knows. Then you believe that God doesn’t see you either, you see the blessings for other people and struggle to keep believing. Your holding on with your finger nails and hoping for wind in those beaten down sails.. Well keep holding on!
You may feel under-appreciated, but you are a precious created being; you may turn that light off but that does not mean God is not seeing. Your tears are held in his hand, stand strong in your faith.. Stand, stand, stand! It only takes one moment with your maker to change everything, one recognition from God can make you a queen or King. So sing, sing, sing for joy, you don’t need to be noticed by men when God chooses to employ. Blessings are coming my friend, so never give up… Carry on until the end.

God rejoices over you with singing!

Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.”

Image: God rejoices over you – Google images

Love and blessings
DMZ

God are you ignoring me? 

You ever feel like what you have been through is meaningless? Many years wasted with a certain additcion or stuck in a relationship that seems mundane and lifeless. You have prayed with no answer and persevered despite the desire to give up. It seems that God is ignoring you right? It feels asif he has more important duties in the world to deal with, after all there is far bigger issues than a wrong relationship or addicitons, or what about those family issues and financial troubles? Doesn’t God have wars to deal with and the poor to feed? 
If we believe that our struggles are un-important to God then we are painting a wrong picture of him. 2 things to consider when this belief is trying to knock on the door of your heart. 1) never forget that Jesus first miracle was at a wedding turning water to wine. The God who came to save humanity from sin still considered sparing the shame and embarrassment of the master of ceremony and the guests important. 2) if a sparrow cannot hit the ground without Gods attention, don’t you think he is paying attention to you!. So now we know that jesus takes time for a miracle at a wedding and has his eye even on the sparrow, lets look at you and me.

It seems that when hard times come God is hard to find. We scrape the doors of heaven with our torn finger nails and there seems to be no response. God why you ignoring me? We turn to the bible but we just want him to show up and embrace us and tell us it will be okay. We have had this affection by our own loved ones but it seems at times that God does not want to embrace his children. It is important to remember that God is consistently good and that character trait will never change because God is good. When he seemingly witholds his affection it is always for our long term good. If God mollycoddles us every time we struggle then we would never grow up in our faith, we would stay as children in faith and always keep craving the baby milk of Gods word. God doesn’t want to leave us as a baby, he wants us to grow and become strong in him. He can be seemingly distant and withold his affection because he sees the end result of our faith. He is the author and perfector of our faith so we can trust that God knows what he is doing.

When we can’t hear Gods voice through the noise of our circumstance, we need to keep trusting in what we already know about him. That he is always with us (matthew 28:18-20) that he will shield us (Psalm 28:7) that he will guide us (Psalm 32:8) and that he is always good and his love endures forever (Psalm 100:5). These few truths can block the voice of the enemy and keep our souls steadfast through the storms that we face. Why does it seem God is ignoring me? Because God knows we are ready for the next step in our faith, he knows we are ready to grow.

Bible reading: Hebrews 12:2 Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, amd sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Prayer: Dear heavenly father, thank you that even though you seem so distant you are right by my side as you have promised to always be. Help me trust in you when life becomes too much for me to handle, I know that you can handle anything so I surrender this situation… to you and pray that you will sustain me. In Jesus name amen.

DMZ

Free indeed

The Lord God almighty brought us out of our spiritual Egypt the day he broke the chains of sin over us. So why do we still not feel free sometimes? Why do we still act asif we are enslaved when Jesus has already paid the penalty for our sin?

It’s what we can call the ‘prisoner mentality’. When someone has been set free from a long prison sentence they still act like they are a prisoner when they receive their freedom. It is a stronghold of the mind. For example, someone who has just come out of prison will still treat every thing with extreme caution and suffer with paranoia at times. Especially if they suffered on the inside during the prison term.

God can take us out of spiritual Egypt in a moment, but it takes more time for God to take spiritual Egypt out of us. Salvation is instant, transformation is a life long process. When I was saved I was still drug taking and smoking. You could call me a Sunday christian back then. Living in spiritual Egypt for 6 days and freedom on the 7th. A common occurrence, especially in the western church. However, after about 2 years of God pouring out his love and grace he set me free from this. I smoked for 9 years, tried to stop countless times by good old will power, then I became a follower of Jesus and had prayer about it. One day I moved from my house to another house, from this day I never smoked or even wanted to smoke again. This was the prime example in my life of the verse, those who the son sets free are free indeed. 

Why are some still enslaved in sin after salvation? The Lord sets free, that is, free from certain sins, those who truly want to be free. I hated drug taking and smoking and God knew it, he set me free because I desired it. He has the power to set anyone free. Free from depression, anxiety, addictions, relationship troubles or an identity crisis. Do you want to be free? I still struggle in some areas, that’s why in those areas it is still a battle. Wanting to change is the first step, then ask God to change those desires for Godly ones.

When God sets a person free there is no limits to what can be achieved.

Bible verse: John 8:36 if the son (Jesus) sets you free you will be free indeed.

Prayer: Dear heavenly father, please help me with (say what the struggle is) please give me the desire to change my wrong desires for Godly ones. I ask that I would live a life that is pleasing to you and that my life will bring you great glory. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Cover image: Google images (freedom)

DMZ

Inner pain – the wounds of our soul and how to deal with it effectively. 

Do you know what the worst form of pain is? It is the pain that nobody else sees and that you do not understand. It is those repetitive thoughts that play through your mind over and over. It is when your mind becomes like a hollywood blockbuster and you don’t know where the stop button is. It is when you long to sleep at night but you toss back and forth in frustration. It is when you have so many unfulfilled dreams while you watch the dreams of others come true. It is when you fake a smile when inside you feel your soul has been hit by a nuclear bomb. It is when you make mistakes and because of this you miss opportunities. It is when you tried your best but nobody noticed you, yet when you failed everyone noticed. It is when you have all the skills for the job but the one who is clueless gets the promotion. It is when you try to keep a good heart and be nice but the world has been mean to you. It is when you look in the mirror and pretend you like what you see. It is when you are torn in so many directions that you don’t know which path to take, so you end up taking no path. It is when you feel God is against you because of these things. It is when you allow lies of worthlessness become your truth. It is when you stop caring because somebody hurt you, you think that numbness is you anaesthetic to pain, yet this is the worst stage!

Can you relate? I know I can. This kind of pain affects just as many people as the common cold, we are all potential carriers of this illness. Our souls can be like a vacuum cleaner sucking up all the dirt that we go through. We become clogged up by the pain we have experienced and end up carrying a heavy weight wherever we go. If we never empty the dirt through tears, support and prayer then we will continue to stuff our souls with dirt until we can’t bear no more. Human beings are supposed to feel pain, but we were not designed to be pain carriers. Outward wounds become scars, but inner wounds can sometimes never seal up. Outward wounds can be seen by the naked eye, inner wounds can only be seen through expression. We are inclined to hide away from the pain and shame, we have been ever since the garden of Eden, but this does not mean God does not see us. We sometimes don’t speak our pain because it is difficult to articulate what we feel in words, so we remain silently suffering. Do you know what happens after silently suffering for a long period of time? We shut down. We stop allowing ourselves become close to people and end up rejecting them. We then reject ourselves because we convince ourself there is something seriously wrong with us. Then we reject God because after all he did created us, so we end up with nothing. Nothing is a dangerous place to be because this is when many give up. However, this is also a place of great potential with God. 

If you are at what you can consider the point of nothing, then remember this…Out of nothing God made the whole universe. Starting again from nothing means that your life is now a blank canvas where something beautiful can be formed. God loves a blank canvas because he is the master artist!

If you are not at the point of nothing but you are carrying pain, then make an effort to do the following…Be happy when other people succeed; fill your racing mind with Gods word, pray if your are anxious, worship if your are feeling low, remember Heaven when this life makes no sense, read the Beattitudes in Matthew 5:1-12 if you think you are not special to God! Tell yourself you are wonderful and God loves you (Psalm 139: 13-16) Remember that the most important thing is to know Jesus Christ as Lord and saviour. If you believe in Jesus and and have accepted him into your heart then you are already in the will of God! When you put into practice all these things, God in his goodness will heal those inner wounds. You don’t need to strive to make a name for yourself on earth when God already knows your name in Heaven. You are someone special, I am someone special and we have an eternal purpose!

Bible verses:

John 6:40 for my father’s will is that everyone who looks to the son (Jesus) and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in christ Jesus.

If you do not know Jesus and you want to, pray the prayer below and comment as it would be great to pray for you!

Lord Jesus, for too long I’ve kept you out of my life. I know that I am a sinner and that I cannot save myself. No longer will I close the door when I hear you knocking. By faith I gratefully receive your gift of salvation. I am ready to trust you as my Lord and Savior. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for coming to earth. I believe you are the Son of God who died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead on the third day. Thank you for bearing my sins and giving me the gift of eternal life. I believe your words are true. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus, and be my Savior. Amen.
(Prayer above written by Dr Ray Pritchard)

Thank you and God bless!

Dmz