Archive for tag: Ad Hoc

113. Christmas 2021

This has once again been an extraordinary year, a strange year in so many ways. This year all of us have lost something, whether it is finances, our health, loved one, our freedom, holidays, time with our families, our right to practice sports or even our right to watch sports. We all lost something. This made me think again how fragile this life is and how we should live life to the fullest and appreciate all the little things in life. I have truly learned that small things can bring as much joy and maybe even more than the big things in the long run. I have also learned to live in the present, in the moment, as we do not know what the future holds. I am a planner by nature, but this year truly taught me that yes, I can plan, but my hope shouldn't be in my plans, but in Him who holds the future and all that it entails. In the present moment is the greatest gift and we shouldn't miss that.

This Christmas we should take this gift of the present and unravel it. We should learn to slow down and breathe. We should appreciate the smile on our children's faces, the friendly gesture of a stranger, the flowers blooming, the lunch that we are able to have with family and friends, the days that we get off to recuperate, the ability that we have to exercise etcetera. We should look at our lives with new eyes and see how really blessed we still are.

Also this Christmas we need to look at what Jesus truly came to do for us. He came to take us into Heaven with Him. He came to give us zoe life, true life pulsating within our veins. He came to set us free from the burdens here on earth. He opened up the way for us to a better life. That is why He came. He wants us close to Him, with Him in Heaven. After He rose again He is seated in Heavenly places at the right hand of God the Father and we are seated there with Him, now already. Therefore we need to focus our attention on what is above and not on what is going down here on earth (Colossians 3:1).

This world is always going to be full of surprises, some of them good, but some of them bad, like COVID was and still is to most of us. Curve balls are going to be thrown at us, but when we are focused on who we are in Heaven, then we will not stumble and fall. Jesus opened up the way for us so that we can be citizens of Heaven, priests, royalty, His beloved children, His bride. He came to set us free from the bondage of sin rampant in this world and to open up the way for us into His Kingdom. He came to give us a better life, now already. We just need to step into who we are in Him and set our minds on His Kingdom and believe the truth about us. He did everything for us, it is now pulsating on the inside of us, we simply need to take it as our own.

Focus this Christmas on the gifts that Jesus came to give you. Focus on the glorious Savior who gave up everything to give you a future and a hope. Glory in that, rejoice in that and move into 2022 knowing that He is already there, providing for you.

Father thank you so much for sending Jesus for us, a little baby in a crib, rescuing the whole world from the destructive power of sin. We glorify and praise You! Thank you so much for presenting us with this new life. We love You. Amen

112. God's perfect timing

I listened to a teaching by Joyce Meyer the other day and she spoke about the fact that we are never alone. God is always with us, in every circumstance and in all situations. He is our best friend and we can share anything with Him. He is always by our side and He will never leave us nor forsake us. We can rest assured that we are always cared for. She then mentioned something in passing that made me think and dig deeper. She said that God didn't take the Israelites on the shortest journey from Egypt to the Promised Land; He took them the long route. The shortest route from Egypt to the Promised Land was an eleven day journey. But God didn't take them that way, He took them the long route that would have taken them two years (in the end it took them forty years, but it was due to their own disobedience). Why did God take them the long route instead of the shorter one? Because He knew that once they arrived in the Promised Land they would need to fight the inhabitants of the land and they weren't ready for it. Also they didn't really know Him and His ways, so He needed to teach them that and strengthen them in Him, before they met all the other 'gods' of the inhabitants of Canaan.

The same is true of us today. God often takes us on the longer route in our lives. We want things to be instant, we want things to happen quickly, but more often than not it doesn't. This can truly be frustrating. I have had many promises from God take years and years to materialize and some haven't even yet. It is easy to lose hope then and to get demotivated, to doubt and to wonder whether you heard correctly from God. But the thing is God is preparing us for what lies ahead and He cannot set the plans in motion for our lives if we are not ready for it.

I want to discuss two aspects to this, first of all in the real life events of the Israelites God prepare them for battle against their enemies. Now God could have sent a plague and killed off the enemy forces in one swoop. He could have stepped in and do all the 'fighting' on their behalf. But He didn't. He wanted them to show their obedience to Him and He wanted them to grow stronger through it all. Of course He helped them as we see with the walls of Jericho, but they still had to do their part. The walls didn't just fall down. They had to walk around it and not just once, but every day for seven days and on the seventh day seven times!! And then they had to shout and only then did the wall collapse. And after the wall collapsed, they still had to enter in themselves and fight. God didn't just let all the occupants die after the fall of the wall. No, God wanted them to fight and to learn to trust Him in the process. The same is true of us. Yes God can sort out all of our problems with no effort on His side, but He wants us to do our part, He wants us to trust in Him, to walk with Him and to exercise our spiritual muscles so that we can be warriors in His Kingdom. God doesn't want us to stay babies in the faith, He wants our muscles to grow and become stronger, so that He can use us mightily for His Kingdom!

Secondly, God sent the Israelites on the longer route so that they can get to know Him better. And today He wants us to get to know Him better as well. He cannot and will not release us into our ultimate purpose if we do not know Him and His ways. For if we don't then we will do more damage than good. He wants us to read our Bible, to spend time in reflection and prayer, to learn more from Biblical teachers so that we can be grounded in our faith in Him. So that when He releases us into His ultimate purpose for our lives, we will be ready to shine and to make a huge difference in the world around us.

Please don't make the mistake that the Israelites made. God's longer route for them was two years instead of eleven days. That was His plan and it would have worked out perfectly. BUT they didn't listen and they didn't trust Him. And because they didn't, their longer route of two years became a much longer route of forty years. Plus only two adults who left Egypt, entered into the Promised Land, the rest died in the Wilderness. Do not allow that to happen to you. It is possible to totally miss your calling in life if you do not spend time with God to grow spiritually, if you simply want to take the easy way out each time and are not prepared to stand and fight. You can also singlehandedly postpone your calling with years and years if you do not take your spiritual growth with God seriously. I beg you to rather stay close to Him and allow Him to take the lead. Then yes, it might still take time and it might still be a longer route, but then you can know that it is the best for you and that you will arrive at your destination not a moment too soon or too late, but just in time. God's timing is perfect, trust in it!

Father I know we do not always appreciate the longer routes that we need to take in our lives, but we realize that the longer routes helps us to grow and to develop our spiritual muscle. Help us to be patient during those times and to trust You with all of our hearts and minds. We know that You know best. Help us with the growing process and keep us close to You. We pray it in Jesus' Name. Amen

111. Grow up

As I mentioned last week, God told me to go out every morning and to spend some time amongst the trees in our garden. At first I was skeptical, but it turned out to be the best time ever. I experienced God in such a profound way, simply by standing under the trees. Every morning it feels as if I am surrounded by Him and that He is telling me that He has everything in my life under control. I needn't worry, if I am rooted in Him and if I receive water and nutrition from the River of living water, then I would flourish and be blessed in all aspects of my life.

But I must be honest; it didn't feel that way to me. I really felt as if things weren't going my way, plus during this pandemic time I felt as if I was being tested in every single front of my life. God's Word and His promises that we read last week didn't feel real to me, as if it was meant for someone else. Then one morning God showed me something. He told me to have a closer look at the trees in our garden. And once I did, I saw something. Every place where the trunk split into branches there was a mark. Sort of like a stretch mark. I walked from tree to tree and lo and behold, all of them had it. And I realized that every time that the tree grew, it was a painful process and it left a mark. But growth for the trees were necessary, they cannot thrive and flourish without growth. To be honest if a small tree didn't grow after being years in our garden, we would have taken it out by now, as we want shade, privacy and the cheer joy of big trees. We want trees to grow and bless us in the process.

And I realized that it is true of us too. God wants us to grow. We cannot stay immature toddlers in the faith. What a toddler can get away with, a grown man certainly can't. If a grown man were to throw himself on the ground and kick and scream if he doesn't get his way, he will be placed in a mental home, whilst a toddler will merely be disciplined as he doesn't know any better. The same is true spiritually. We cannot stay toddlers in the faith, we simply cannot. It is embarrassing to God and it does His Kingdom a whole lot of damage. He wants us to grow and become the spiritual leaders that He destined us to become. That is His dream for each one of us. And once we are, it is not only very beneficial to us, but to the furtherance of His Kingdom as well.

But to grow is painful, it is not always pleasant and it can be truly uncomfortable at best. It may leave scars and it may challenge us. But the process is necessary. For you see the higher you grow, the more influence you have, and the more influence you have, the more responsibilities are given to you. And God wants to make sure that He can entrust you with it. So small tests come around so that God can see with how much He can entrust to you. And these tests and trials can stretch you to your limits, but know that the ultimate outcome is good. God promises that He will make ALL things work out for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28). ALL things. Good things and bad things, trials and tribulations, all of them. But then we must love God and follow Him with all our heart. We must be grounded in Him and His Word and all He has to offer us. Then the growing process will be a learning curve, leading to more and more of Him and His goodness and grace, Hallelujah!

Be grounded in God, knowing that He knows best! Grow by reading His Word, doing His Word, spending time in His presence, drinking in His pure living water and talking to Him throughout the day. Then stand still and watch Him at work in your life. It is truly amazing, a humbling experience. God really knows best, so even if things do not work out as you had planned, rest assured that it will work out for the best.

Father, thank you that You never leave us nor forsake us. Thank you that You are always there for us and that You help us through the growing process. We thank you and are humbled that You are always by our side. Amen

 

 

110. Lessons from trees

I am busy finishing off my book, The Tree of life. God has been unveiling many interesting things to me concerning the Tree of life and how we can apply many of these principles to our lives. It has been a fascinating study and I have learned so much from it. I will let you know when the book is published, as I do believe that you will find it very interesting too.

Now after this study I started getting so many messages from trees. God told me to connect with the trees in our garden on a daily basis. Now before you think I am weird, just hear me out. I just decided to obey and to see what God will reveal to me. I didn't know what I should do. So I just started to go out to the garden every morning. We have a lawn with seven trees, so for the first week I just went and stood under the trees. I just soaked up the quiet, the rustling of the wind in the leaves, the birds chirping and stood and watched the sun rising. That was all I did, but it was magical. As I just stood there beneath the trees, I started to soak up the serenity and the peace of just being in nature. Every morning I started to look forward to going outside and just standing outside underneath the trees.

I quickly realized that God is within nature and reveals Himself through nature. So by standing in nature every day, I am soaking up Who He is. I am becoming a part of Him. I started drinking in more of Him just beneath those trees. The birds above were singing glory to His Name and the wind was caressing me with His Spirit, assuring me that He is always there for me. The wind spoke into the deepest part of my being, and I could feel Him imparting wisdom to my soul. This morning ritual truly became a lifeline of connection to God. Just me and Him.

It was then that He reminded me of Scriptures where He compares believers to trees. Allow me to share just a few:

"Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither - whatever they do prospers." Psalm 1:1-3

"The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree; he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God." Psalm 92:12-15

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit." Jeremiah 17:7, 8

I just realized there and then standing under the trees that God wants me rooted in Him like these trees. He wants me to flourish, to grow and to be able to bear fruit. He wants me to be planted by rivers of living water so that I do not have to fear drought; that I do not have to be anxious about anything. I know that Jesus is our river of living water, He Himself proclaimed it in Jerusalem (John 7:37, 38), so I know that He wants us close to Him, drinking in His living water, thriving as we go.

We can be blessed like trees standing firm in the Word of God, receiving living water from Jesus Christ, looking towards the sun, our Father in Heaven. We can have the birds singing joyfully in our branches, spreading His Word as far as they go. We can provide shelter and shade to those in the world who desperately need it. We can truly bring comfort to them. We can stand tall and be noticed as children of the living God, a testimony of His goodness and grace.

We can truly be blessed and flourish as these verses tell us, BUT we need to grow in Him. Next week I will write about that.

Father, thank you that You promise in Your Word that we can be blessed and flourish so that no drought can come against us. Thank you that we can always bear fruit to the glory of Your Name. All this is possible if we stay close to You, our true source of nourishment. We love You. Amen

109. Be the vessel God wants you to be

Thank you for walking this journey of the life of David with me. I wrote this series from beginning to end in 2019. So each week when I posted a devotion, I didn't even know what I was going to post. It was a surprise to me as well. And week after week the devotion spoke to my heart and I learned so much. It just shows you, that it was His Spirit who wrote these devotions, not me. He sees the future and knows exactly what we need to hear at that time.

In 2019 I didn't know that something like coronaviruses even existed. I never suspected that we will ever have a total lockdown and that we will be tested in so many ways. But unexpectantly it did. Our finances was tested, our relationships, our true goals in life, our dreams, our academics, everything. On the right and on the left, tests came our way. In the process I know I have learned a lot about myself, weaknesses in my life was laid bare and areas where I needed to work on was revealed. It is a process that I would much rather have avoided, but if I wanted to grow and be all that I can be I had to go through it. And I am sure I am not alone in this.

I saw a video clip the other day of a preacher doing pottery on stage whilst preaching. He showed the audience that getting the clay ready to be made into pottery was a very painful process for the clay. It certainly wasn't comfortable, but the clay needed to be rolled and squashed and pounded in order to be ready for the potter's wheel, ready to be all it could be.

He then places this pounded clay on the potter's wheel to make a beautiful pot. But he took a small pebble and placed it in the clay, and lo and behold, the whole piece of clay couldn't be made into a beautiful pot, it actually literally fell apart. The pebble needed to be taken out, otherwise the clay could be rendered useless. And the preacher said, it is the same for us. The pebble represents scars from our past that comes back to haunt us. It can be anything, from rejection, to abandonment, to alcoholism, to divorce, to abuse, you name it. It is scars not dealt with, and if we do not deal with them, then we can never be the vessel God intended us to be. We need to allow the Potter to help us to take out the pebble, we need to heal. He will help us every step of the way, as He desires for each one of us to become who He destined us to become. And we can only do that if we heal from past hurts, forgive where we need to and let go of bitterness. Then He will form us into the most beautiful vessel useable for His Kingdom.

The process doesn't end there though, we need to be placed in fire, in order for our vessel to become strong. Once again, it is not the most comfortable process, but one that needs to be done so that we can be the best we can be. For instance how do you develop patience? By going through frustratingly slow situations. How do you exercise and develop peace? By going through difficult times. We are strengthened by circumstances coming against us. But even when we are going through the fire, remember that God is with us, just like He was with the three friends of Daniel thrown into the fiery furnace.

I truly believe that God didn't bring this COVID-19 crises upon us, but I do believe that He is using it to strengthen us, to show us areas where we need to develop as well as past hurts that we need to deal with once and for all. He wants us to be the best that we can be. And if He needs to use a crises like this to develop it, then so be it. May we all come out of this COVID-19 pandemic, stronger than ever before. May we become the vessel that God wants us to be, so that we can live for His glory and exalt Him on high wherever we go. At the end of the day, being the best we can be is not just the best for His Kingdom, but for us as well. He has good plans for us afterall, plans to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). He wants us to prosper in all things, but first we need to work on our soul (3 John 1:2).We need to become the vessel He destined us to become. So do not give up hope, when rough waves come and threaten to engulf you, stand strong. God is with you and will never allow you to drown. Just hold on to Him and allow Him to form you into the best YOU you can be.

Father thank you that You dream big about us. Thank you that You see the bigger picture and that you are filled with love and compassion for us. Take us and form us into the vessel You want us to be. And then use us for Your purposes. Give us the strength and the patience to continue no matter what. We love You. Amen

 

108. Easter 2021

Last year Easter was really unique due to the hard lockdown we were under here in South Africa. We had to stay home and we were not allowed to go to church or to visit family and friends. Now this year the uniqueness still continues as we are still under a lockdown, even though we are under level 1. We can visit family and friends and sort of go to church if you are fortunate to be within the capacity limit of the church, but we still do not have the freedom that we had before this virus came our way. Now I for one didn't think last year Easter time that we would still be sitting with this pandemic at next Easter. I honestly thought that if we are under a hard lockdown for 5 weeks, we can somehow keep the wave down and be free from the virus in no time. And yet, here we are, a year later and we still do not know when the end of the lockdown and the detrimental effects on our lives will be. But fortunately we know the One who does.

God knows the future, He knows what He is planning for us, and He is a good Father looking out for His children. If we just read the Bible we see time and again how God came to the rescue of His people, how He saved the day when they turned towards Him. There are numerous examples. He saved the Israelites every single time that they turned to Him, when they sought refuge from Him. Every single time. It was only when they followed their own heads and did what seemed right in their own eyes that things turned south. It was when they turned their backs on God that they were surrounded by enemies, losing all the battles. But with Him by their side, no enemy was too great and no multitude too overwhelming. God fought for them. In one swoop He took care of their enemies when the Israelites sought refuge under His wings.

The same is true of us today and even more so, because Jesus died and took our sins upon Himself. He paved the way for us so that we can enter into the presence of the Almighty God all on our own, without any sacrifices. He did it all for us, to provide a way for us out of the situations we might find ourselves in.

One thing that I learned during this pandemic time is that God never leaves us nor forsakes us. He does allow things, but the way has been paved for us to come to Him and find our refuge there. He uses every opportunity this world presents, to help us grow spiritually, so that we can be the glorious people He intended us to be. His mission is to have sons and daughters on earth representing Him. For when we represent Him as the spiritual beings that we are, we would be happy and we would be spreading His Kingdom at the same time.

The growth process might be painful, it might be uncomfortable, it might be something you wish you can skip, but it is all worth it in the end. Getting rid of the sinful flesh that we are born with is not a pleasant experience. The flesh doesn't want to be inconvenienced and worse yet, doesn't want to be cut out. It will kick and scream and throw a tantrum, but that is exactly what God wants. He wants us free from it, so that we can be who He really created us to be. Therein lies true joy and peace everlasting. Therein lies true fulfillment. Walking on earth as the true son or daughter of God that you were created to be is the most rewarding and fulfilling life. Nothing can come close to it. And if COVID-19 caused us to take a better look at our lives and if it caused our sinful flesh to be uncomfortable and slowly die, then I can see the bigger picture. Then I can see how God is working in all of this.

He wants the work that His Son did for us on the cross to continue even further. Because when we are examples of what Jesus did for us to a world desperately seeking for good news and freedom from bondage, then God is so pleased. And if a pandemic forces our sinful flesh to lash out and then slowly die, then it is worth it.

Now is the time to shine. Now is the time to show the world that despite a pandemic suffocating us, we can still be joyful. Now is the time to give people hope, hope that there is so much more than this life and what the world can offer us. Now is the time to spread the Easter message of love, hope and joy. God is with us, He is a good good Father, who offered His only Son, so that we all can have life and life in abundance. Hallelujah!

Father thank you that we can celebrate Your Son's death, His salvation that He made available to all of us. We thank you for life and life in abundance that we can find through Your Son. Please help us to spread Your Good News to all and to be the example that You want us to be. We love You and exalt You on high. Amen

107. New Year 2021

When I was contemplating what to write in this blog for 2021 God reminded me of the message that I wrote concerning 2020 in January 2020. I would just like to share with you a part of it:

"A dear friend of mine commented the other day that the year 2020 reminded her of having 20/20 vision. I therefore Googled 20/20 vision and the following definition was given:

"20/20 is a term used to express normal visual acuity (the clarity or sharpness of vision) measured at a distance of 20 feet. If you have 20/20 vision you can see clearly at 20 feet."

So in essence if you have 20/20 vision you have good eye sight. And this made me think. Isn't that the essence of the message for us all for the year 2020? That we should all sharpen our spiritual eyesight so that we can see clearly what God wants us to do.

God has a special plan for us all; we just need our spiritual eyesight to clearly see the way, not only for this life, but for our place in the Kingdom of God. It is when we try to walk and plan our lives with our physical eyes that we stumble and fall. It is when we see everything in the natural that we get despondent and off the course that God has planned for us. We need to open our spiritual eyes to see the world as He sees it. In fact we need to see beyond this world, into the eternal Kingdom of our God and Savior."

Now isn't that interesting? 2020 certainly was the year where you had to look at the world through spiritual eyes, for if you looked at it through natural eyes you would have been totally despondent. God certainly knew that we needed His vision for the year, that we needed to look at everything through His eyes. I must be honest; looking at 2020 through God's glasses was the only way that I could stay positive and focused. Without Him, I think I would have crumbled.

2020 taught me so many things and I certainly want to take that into 2021. I would like to share shortly just a few of the insights that God gave me in 2020 and I believe that it will give you hope for 2021:

  1. We need to get off the treadmill of this life. We keep on running and running in a race that takes us nowhere. We need to stop participating in this race, get off the treadmill and walk on the road that God has ordained for us. To be part of the treadmill race is silly. We are just so used to it and think that this is the way that life should be, but we have a choice. We don't have to participate in the competition in life. We are free, free to be who God created us to be.
  2. We need to appreciate the ordinary things in life. A flower blooming, birds singing, new leaves growing, the laughter of a child etc. We should stop every now and again and take a moment to appreciate the beauty all around. Do not wait for a vacation or a special event to do that. There is beauty in every single day. Look up and see it all around you. It is there and it brings joy.
  3. See the happy moments in everyday life. Spending time with your children is a happy moment, playing a game with your loved ones is a happy moment, watching a movie together is a happy moment. Internalize those happy moments in your life, see it for what it is, and be in the moment.
  4. Be grateful for what you have. Truly be grateful. We all have so much when we truly think about it. Concentrate on that.
  5. Everything is beautiful in its time. Enjoy the season of your life that you are in now.
  6. Shrug therapy. Shrug off everything that you can do nothing about. Rather cast your cares upon God and leave it there. Trust Him with it and stop trying to fix everything yourself.
  7. Value the people in your life. Truly value them. Appreciate them for who they are and see them as God sees them.
  8. There is always something to laugh about. Laugh more and see the lighter side of life.
  9. Do not be easily offended.
  10. The sun rises and sets with God, forgive everyone else for being human.

I have so much more to say, but I will probably share more with you in 2021. But may we all take some of these 10 points into 2021. May it be a year of fresh beginnings, new mindsets and changes in how we see the world. There will always be devastation and heartache in this world until Jesus returns, but what matters is how we look at it. The choice is ours. Just love God, rejoice, do good unto others and enjoy the fruit of your labor. Life is actually as simple as that. Do not overcomplicate things, it is not worth it. Sometimes get out of your head and into your heart. THAT is where His Spirit dwells and that is where He will lead you. If we can all just do that, 2021 will be a wonderful year!! Full of new promises, new revelations and new pathways. God is with us, Immanuel! What more can we want?

Father, we look forward to 2021 because You are already there! You are already preparing the way for us. We trust You with our future. We want to look at everything through Your eyes. Please help us, help us to renew our minds and to really experience life through glasses of joy. Help us to see the beauty in everyday life. We love You. Amen

106. Christmas 2020

What a very interesting year this has been! I don't think anyone could have foreseen how different a year 2020 turned out to be. So when I asked the Lord for a message for Christmas 2020 He told me: Provision despite circumstances. And when I thought of what happened right after Jesus' birth I realized this to be true.

I am sure you all know of the three wise men that visited Mary and Joseph right after the birth of Jesus. God showed them a star and they followed the star from the east until the star stopped over Bethlehem where Jesus was born. They rejoiced with 'exceedingly great joy' as the Bible puts it and they brought gifts to Mary and Joseph:

"And when they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, they fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense and myrrh." Matthew 2:11

They brought expensive gifts to Jesus and I know that God led them to do that. Because right after they left, God warned Joseph in a dream that Herod was coming to kill Jesus. God warned him and told Joseph to flee to Egypt, which he immediately did. Joseph was totally obedient to God and followed all His commands.

Until now, I have never really given thought to what happened, but I realized now that this must have been a very stressful time for Joseph and Mary. Not only did Herod try to kill their baby and most probably even them, but they didn't have any money. We know that Joseph was a carpenter and that he wasn't part of a wealthy family. He had to leave all he had behind in Nazareth to travel to Bethlehem for the census. He couldn't take much with him and Mary. He probably didn't expect them to be gone that long. And now they had to flee unexpectantly to Egypt. Now I assume they only took enough to last them for the time that they will be in Bethlehem and they certainly didn't have an ATM around the corner to draw money from for this unexpectant turn of events. But God looked after them; He sent the wise men with the gifts so that they had more than enough to go to Egypt and to sustain them whilst they had to be there. God foresaw what was going to happen and He provided for them despite the circumstances.

And this year it was certainly true for so many people. The amazing testimonies I have heard of how God provided during this year was simply awe-inspiring. Our own business didn't do well this year either. We had to live off 45% of our normal income since the lockdown started. But God has been so wonderful! People were so kind to us and we were so blessed in so many areas. We could pay all our bills and can even go to the beach this December. It is truly a testimony of how wonderful our God is and that He always looks after us! He really does. If we are walking in His ways, always looking up and asking for His guidance we can be confident that He will lead us on the best pathways for our lives. He will.

Many of the things that I have feared will happen, happened this year. And yet God brought us safely through it all. This gives me confidence and hope for the future. It makes me realize that it doesn't help to stress about things. God will provide, we simply need to trust Him. Joy is ours for the taking. Despite a raging world all around us, joy is an inside job. His Spirit is full of joy and He lives within us. Walk hand in hand with Him knowing that He will always provide for us and lead us onto higher ground. From there we have a bird's eye view of our lives and can see His hand in it all clearly. I see things so much differently now than I would have if 2020 had been just smooth sailing. I truly do and I am grateful. Diamonds are only formed through hardship. Slowly but surely the dirt is chipped off of me and pieces of the diamond are getting visible and that gives me courage to go on. May it inspire you too and may the diamond within you shine out for all to see. May your life be an inspiration.

Father, thank you that You are always providing for us! Thank you that You are always there for us, that You care for us and love us with an everlasting love. You are a loving Father. Thank you for forming the diamonds in each of us and leading us unto new heights in our lives. We love You. Amen

105. Do not worry

We all want to know when this coronavirus will end and when our lives will return back to normal again. We want to plan ahead and we want to run our lives again like we used to. But God taught me a very valuable lesson during this time. And that is to truly live day by day. Now for me, who loves to plan ahead and to rearrange my life, this is a very difficult thing to do. But that is what God came to teach me and I would like to share it with you.

He reminded me of the following:

-        He gave the Israelites daily manna. DAILY, not weekly or even monthly, but daily. Why? He wanted them to trust in Him. To trust fully in Him for their next day's supply. He even caused the manna to be filled with maggots if they left some over for the next day, for in case He didn't provide. The only time He gave them two day's supply was on Friday, so that they have enough for the Sabbath, when they rested in Him. The same is true of us. God will supply manna daily for us; we shouldn't worry, but rather trust Him that there will be manna again tomorrow. It is only when we rest in Him and spend time with Him that He will rain even more on us. There is no limit to His supply, but He wants us to go out every day and look for Him and His provision. He never limited the amount that the Israelites could take per day, they could take as much as they wanted. And we can too, His treasuries are open to us. He wants us close to Him. Also consider this, He could have made us that we only needed to eat once every year, or even not at all. But He made us to eat daily, as a principle, of how we should eat daily from His Word and feed our spirit on a daily basis by spending time in His presence.

-        Jesus told us not to worry. "Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring about its own things." Matthew 6:34. Now if someone had a reason to worry, it was Jesus. He knew and told His disciples that He was going to be crucified in Jerusalem. He knew that He was going to die a horrific death. And yet we never read that He stressed about it months, weeks or even days before it happened. It was only the night of the arrest that He sweat blood and asked God to take the cup from Him if He was willing. But otherwise, you never see Him anxious or stressed in advance. He was always filled with God's Shalom peace. And we can learn from Him. We will never even go through something as horrific as He went through. So if He didn't worry about the cross, why should we worry about lesser things? He promised that He would look after us, much more than the birds of the air or the lilies of the field.

-        I read the following quote from Will Smith and God immediately told me to put it in here as well: "You don't set out to build a wall. You don't say, "I am going to build the biggest, greatest wall that's ever been built." You don't start there. You say, "I'm going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid." You do that every single day. And soon you have a wall." God doesn't want us focusing on the wall we are building; He wants us to do what we can do in the moment, all the way trusting on Him. And slowly but surely we will make progress and find ourselves walking on the path that God ordained for us. What more can we want? Because if we look at the wall and all we still need to do, we will become frazzled and stressed. God only wants us to focus on that day and do what He leads us to do. The rest will take care of itself.

God's mercies are new every morning. His grace is like fresh manna to be picked up and used for our day. He is the great I AM, living in the present. And that is where we should also be. The future is in His hands. We simply need to walk on His path laid out before us for that day, eating His manna of grace and mercy, not worrying about tomorrow. I know this is easier said than done, but nothing worthwhile in life comes easy. So I am certainly going to try. As I said for my personality type it is very difficult, but I can see the rewards of living this way, so I am certainly going to give it my best shot. Hope you are going to do that too? Walking hand in hand with Him in the present is true life. Come and walk in the liberty that it brings.

Father, thank you that You are always looking out for us. Thank you that You are already in our future and that You know best for Your children. Help us in our journey of walking in the present moment and not worrying about the future. We look up to You and only You. Amen.

 

104. Praise Him always

I prayed and asked God what this week's message should be. And I felt the prompting in my spirit to look at today's devotion in my daily devotion book - God Whispers. So I would like to share it with you:

"When You send Your Spirit, new life is born to replenish all the living of the earth. I will sing to the Lord as long as I live. I will praise my God to my last breath!" Psalm 104:30, 33

I send My Spirit to revive, to encourage, to strengthen and to refill the living of the earth with new life. I move with splendour and with mighty power. I am all consuming and all powerful. All praise is due to Me. I love it when My children come filled with love to adore and worship Me. I love to have them close and to feel their presence near. My heart then overflows with love and joy and the abundance of life then permeates into the delicate cells of their beings. Come into My presence with a thankful heart and experience this. Allow My presence to overflow into every aspect of your life. Stand amazed at the tranquillity it brings. Stop and listen to the birds singing and appreciate the flowers blooming. They sing and bloom to show you a piece of My heart. Birds singing reflect My heart of joy. They sing despite all circumstances, it is continuous and it will last until all creation disappears. Flowers blooming reflect the constant new life that I have within Me, they reflect a part of My beauty and radiate My fragrance to all. Learn from the birds and the flowers. Bubble over with My joy and sing My praises always. Reflect My newness of life to a dead world, radiate My beauty in you and spread the fragrance of My love. Be in full bloom, with Me as your roots, supplying all the nutrition you need. I came to give you more than enough to succeed.

Isn't this a wonderful word for us all now during this COVID-19 time? God wants us to praise Him no matter what. Therein lies so much power and grace for a time such as this. He wants us to rise above it all as we saw last week. He wants us to be an example to the world during this dark time. He wants us to continue radiating and spreading His loving fragrance to this world. And how do we do that? By growing in the Spirit and receiving all the nutrition we need from Him and Him alone.

Spend time in His presence, breathe in His heavenly air, see yourself in the throneroom of God glorifying Him, picture yourself talking to Him and enjoying His magnificent presence. Allow Him to open up your eyes to the spiritual. Ask His guidance on a daily basis and be open to be led by Him. This is your time to shine. Reflect Him. He gave us all more than enough to succeed. All glory on High!

I would like to end off with a song from Matt Maher - Alive and breathing:

Joy still comes in the morning

Hope still walks with the hurting

If you're still alive and breathing

Praise the Lord

Don't stop dancing and dreaming

There's still Good News worth repeating

So lift your head and keep singing

Praise the Lord

Isn't this just a beautiful song? Especially during this time, don't stop dreaming, there is always Good News worth repeating. If you are alive and breathing, praise the Lord!! Hallelujah!

Father thank you so much for providing us with everything. We love You, we glorify You, You are all we will ever need. In You is life and peace everlasting. We praise Your mighty Name. Amen