Trust The Process

As you’ve probably guessed by now I’m going through an intense process. I’m feeling pretty vulnerable and overwhelmed a lot of the time. This week I felt as if I’d hit yet another nasty bump in the road and I even doubted being able to write this. It felt as if the stumble turned into me hitting my head on the roadblock and I was ‘down for the count’ wondering if I had the strength to get back up again!

Every time I think I’m over the worst I have another bad day. Every time I think I can’t deal with this I’m forced to deal with more! Tuesday I pushed myself to make tea so that I could try to bless my family with food, but the effort left me utterly spent and unable to talk as I feared I would simply collapse into a bubbling mess. I felt like such a failure.

9 days ago I reflected upon the Israelites in the desert, in Psalm 78:13-16 it details what God did for His people: He released them from slavery and oppression; He parted the Red Sea; He fed them with manna straight from Heaven (“It was white like coriander seed, and it tasted like honey wafers.” Exodus‬ ‭16:31‬b NLT‬‬); they followed a cloud of glory during the day and a pillar of fire at night; when there was no water God split open rocks which then became gushing springs; they were walking towards the Promise Land – a land flowing with glorious abundance.

Think about it! Really think about it. How wonderful would it be to have a cloud guiding you forward! How incredible would a pillar of fire be!

BUT despite all of these amazing things, the things that we desperately long to see, the people kept sinning. Even though signs and wonders were happening all around them they were still refusing to trust! (Psalm 78:32). 

As I pondered on that I was left wondering how that could possibly be. I think I know somewhat of what they were feeling. I think I’m there now.

I think it’s the fact that they wanted the promise land but they didn’t want the journey. Like me I want restoration and I want the future to unfold and when do I want it? NOW! I don’t want to wait, I don’t want the pain, I don’t want to have to uncover all my deep hurts, I don’t want to have to spend hour after hour on the computer writing and trying to make sense out of my 2342 drafts! But I need to wait, for God is doing a HUGE work that takes time! I need to allow God to deal with the stuff from my past so that I no longer carry it around. I need to write because I need to be a good steward with the words God has entrusted me with!

Desiring signs and wonders along with miracles is not a bad thing, we are encouraged by God to look for them, but it becomes dangerous ground when we say we desire them more than God and even more dangerous when we say something like “well if I don’t get a sign and wonder then I’ll just give up on God.”. That kind of thinking would grieve His heart. It would be like you saying to someone you love ‘I’ll only stay in relationship with you if you do this…..’. What you’re saying is: I no longer love you for who you are, I only love you for what you can do for me.

It hurts to write this because I’ve been that kinda person, I sought healing over a relationship. I started to race ahead in Ministry before being trained.

I realise now that my relationship with God is far more important than seeing His signs and wonders.

What do I want right now more than anything? Do I want God or what He can do for me? What if signs and wonders never come, does that change God? What if they do come but I’m so distracted I miss them? What if they do come but I’m not prepared to receive?

I believe God can and will do amazing things in my life but I need to focus on my relationship with Him so that I’m positioned to receive. I don’t want to be in the wrong place and miss it.

“Sometimes God gives us what we think we don’t want. Often He allows things to happen that we didn’t plan for and we may feel as if we’re missing out on the life we wanted. But God has made it clear that He’s given us everything we need and more to live out the life that He has for us. He is writing a story that is better than one we could imagine for ourselves, and our part is simply choosing to trust Him with the next thing.” Chrystal Evans Hurst

This week yet again it’s been hard for me to trust the process. The immediate circumstances have drowned out the big picture stuff. As I got bogged down in the now the soon seemed too far away and way too difficult to achieve!

But guess what? God has strengthened me to write, where I felt there was no way He made a way!

So I pray that this encourages you to trust the process, to know that God has begun a great work in your life that will continue until the day when Christ Jesus returns – Philippians 1:6.

Many blessings, Keona

Note: The full story of deliverance can be found in Exodus 13 and their journey is detailed through the next few chapters.

Pixabay picture link

Unstoppable God – Elevation Worship – YouTube clip

 

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The Cards Life Deals You

I’ve been very fortunate to have a family that has invested in me. Many holidays and weekends were spent growing up in the central highlands of Tasmania. Here in our gorgeous cosy shack we would spend endless hours playing cards. My grandparents were patient teachers who loved playing non-stop!

I look back on those moments and cherish them deeply.

My daughter and I have recently been playing cards on a weekly basis and it’s been so much fun! I’m loving it. It transports me back to those times at the shack. It makes me smile that I’m passing down that love of card playing. It makes me laugh at how competitive she is – she definitely has the Stephens’ blood in her veins (just to explain that’s my maiden name). We were out playing recently and an elderly gentleman commented that I must be Sarah’s sister (my 15-year-old daughter) as I was being so immature. Maybe so that I wouldn’t be offended he went on to comment that all people seem to be so immature these days. My daughter and I laughed long and hard for days afterwards. Should I be offended? Maybe but I choose not to be! I am so grateful that I can laugh, joke and muck around with my family. I am so grateful that God has given me a new ‘lease on life’. That the old miserable, sick, unable-to-do-much-at-all person is slowly fading into my past.

As I reflect on all the cards games I’ve played in my life I’ve noticed that there are many similarities to my ‘wilderness’ season. Sickness is definitely like a bad hand of cards and many times I wanted to just fold! How nice would it have been to just ask for another hand and have it all disappear in an instant! My healing brought many dramatic and instant changes to my life but I’m still a long way from 100%. At first I believed that maybe I didn’t have enough faith to be completely healed and so I questioned what was happening. But after some searching and researching I began to receive a real sense of peace. I believe that I am right where I need to be. I believe that God is doing a great and complete work in my life and there is NO need to rush it.

There is a wonderful promise that I cling to in Philippians 1:6 “…I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

I’m so grateful that God promises to continually keep working in my life.  I cried out and found the ‘ace’ to be able to change the course of my ‘card game’ because Jesus is the greatest ‘trump card’ I’ll ever find!. Although I’m not there yet I can cling to and continue to know restoration IS taking place. The promises yet to be fulfilled are coming.

“It’s not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand.” Randy Pausch

So I pray that I will play the hand that God is giving me with all the grace, wisdom and strength I need.

“…enduring faith and preserving prayers shape the life of the pray-ers until we are formed into the kind of vessel that wouldn’t be destroyed by the answer. ..persistence in prayer shapes us and matures us to receive what God has for us.” Bill Johnson

If you’re struggling with issues right now I pray that you can find the strength to pour it all out to God, for I know He is ready and waiting.

Many blessings, Keona

‘Peace Be Still’ by The Belonging Co feat Lauren Daigle with lyrics YouTube video

Powerful Effective Daily Reminders

As I’ve pushed into God for my healing to manifest, I’ve desperately sought for restoration and transformation. During those months, I found so many things that encourage me but the 4 things that have dramatically been effective are:

Powerful Protection 

I pray Ephesians 6:10-18 over myself each day. I am strong in the Lord when I proudly wear the armour of God:

  • Helmet of salvation – thank you Lord for the precious gift of salvation! Jesus dress me in your thoughts, grant me the ability to capture my thoughts and allow you Lord to dispel the wrong thoughts. Open my eyes to see what you want me to see, open my ears to hear what you want me to hear and place a guard upon my tongue so that only words of truth and life spring forth.
  • Breastplate of righteousness – because of Jesus’ great sacrifice I have been made right with God. This breastplate protects my willing, courageous and bold heart! God create a new heart and renew a steadfast spirit within me (Psalm 51). Help me to have a tender responsive heart, full of Your compassion and grace (Ezekiel 11:19).
  • Belt of truth – thank you Lord for Your perfect truth in my life. Seep Your glorious promises deep into every fibre of my being!
  • Shoes of peace – which come from the Good News and enables me to be fully prepared. Flood me with a peace that transcends my own understanding and guards my heart and mind (Philippians 4:6-7). I absorb God’s peace into every cell of my body.
  • Shield of faith – I praise you Lord that you enable me to quench every fiery arrow from the enemy. Grant me discernment like never before to enter into the spiritual battle around me.
  • Sword of the Spirit – thank you God for Your living active word! Lord I ask that You enable me to wield Your words wisely.

With this armour on I can pray unceasingly in all situations and God strengthens me to keep fighting the good fight!

I ask God to surround me with His comfort and protection. I pray that God’s light will shine bright in me.

I ask for great wisdom to reveal God’s peace in confusing conversations and situations. I declare that I am a glorious masterpiece: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 NLT. I pray that I will allow God to flow through me.

Alignment Through Identity

When I embrace the fact that I am fearfully and wonderfully made I can discover how God has created me and for what purpose. I love this version of Psalm 139:

“Lord, you know everything there is to know about me. You’ve examined my innermost being with your loving gaze. You perceive every movement of my heart and soul, and understand my every thought before it even enters my mind. You are so intimately aware of me, Lord, you read my heart like an open book and you know all the words I’m about to speak before I even start a sentence! You know every step I will take, before my journey even begins! You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way, and in kindness you follow behind me to spare me from the harm of my past. With your hand of love upon my life, you impart a Father’s blessing to me. This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible! Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength.” Psalm 139:1-6 The Passion Translation

4 daily reminders to declare:

  1. I am fearfully and wonderfully made – Psalm 139:14
  2. No longer do I live but Christ lives in me – Galatians 2:20
  3. The very same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead resides in me which gives me life – Romans 8:11
  4. Nothing can ever separate me from the love of God – Romans 8:38-39

I need to declare these even when I doubt with every fibre of my being; even when the situation feels as if I’m distant from God; for when I’m weak and failing is when I need to declare these truths – and declare them loudly!. I believe that God’s truth is important to declare each and every day.

When you speak out of your identity in Me, the surging power of My Spirit will lift you high and you will soar above the pain of the moment and the pressure of the test. I am your true Identity. Find your pleasure in My and I will pour My power into you. An extract from        ‘I hear Him whisper…I am your identity’ by The Passion Translation

Transformation By The Word of God

Sometimes it takes me reading a verse over and over for months and months before it comes alive but when it does it is life altering! One of my favourite at the moment:

⁷God’s Word is perfect in every way, how it revives my soul! His laws lead me to truth, and His ways make me wise! ⁸His teachings make me joyful and I radiate His light, His precepts are so pure! His commands, how they challenge me to keep close to His heart! The revelation-light of His Word makes my spirit shine radiant! ¹ᴼThe rarest treasures of life are found in His truth. That’s why I prize God’s Word like others prize the finest gold. Nothing brings the soul such sweetness as seeking His living words. Psalm 19:7-8 & 10 The Passion Translation paraphrased

When God’s Word becomes first place in your life, there isn’t a problem you’re facing that can’t be solved by faith. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world. There is no weapon formed against you that can prosper (Isaiah 54:17) when you are believing God. You plus God makes a majority. Andrew Wommack

Reckless Worship 

My previous understanding about worship was that I had to be in a place where life felt good so that I could worship.

But I’ve been challenged to worship in the midst of horrendous moments. I didn’t understand at first why or how that would make a difference but I’ve seen how impacting it is! It certainly hasn’t been easy but I know that when I’m feeling low is when I need to sing louder. When I choose to worship God in the terrible/horrible/painful times I’m inviting Him into those moments and He breaks the oppression. I may need to sing songs such as ‘The Desert’ or ‘Even When It Hurts’ – songs that acknowledge it’s tough but also that God is good.

I’ve seen the evidence of how effective worship-despite-the-horror-around-me is!

When your spirit is pressed beyond measure so that you can hardly breathe, pray if you are able to, and praise when you’re not able to pray. Watchman Nee

I read Acts 16 – the story of Paul and Silas who had been beaten and thrown in prison. Around midnight they began to pray and sing hymns to God. Their situation was miserable but they chose to worship God in that terrible place! Why? Because they knew that God is good ALL the time! Their praise stirred God’s heart to such a point that a massive earthquake occurred and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!

As I read this a great desire grew within me – I asked that God would arise within me such a heart of worship! That the Lord would shake all the foundations within me that are false, because God is the rock upon which I stand.

Worship breaks the ‘woe is me’ cycle in my life.

I lift my eyes to God and acknowledge that He is good, faithful and with me – despite every fibre of my body screaming something different and the situation surrounding me trying to suffocate me!

As I worship I’m reminded that God is Immanuel – with me in all things!

As I worship I take my eyes off the things that are stressing me out and fix my eyes on Jesus – the one who has the victory!

As I worship I invite the Holy Spirit to commune with me, to move through me and take each and every burden!

As I worship I remind myself that God is good, faithful, true and full of grace.

As I worship I’m once again filled with awe and wonder.

As I worship God’s majesty reigns and I am forever changed!

As I worship I choose to allow gratitude to change my attitude.

Become aware of Him. Turn your attention from every other nagging situation, and just focus on the One who loves you most. It will change your perspective on everything. #noagenda #justadoration #Godisgood Bill Johnson

When I worship I press in for the Spirit of the Lord to come and rest on me afresh. I desire for God to fill me with the Spirit of wisdom and understanding; the Spirit of counsel and strength; the Spirit of knowledge, reverence, obedience and fear of the Lord. To take delight in the fear of the Lord, for then I will no longer judge what’s happening around me by what my eyes see, or make decisions by what my ears hear. As promised in Isaiah 11:2-3

Faith has its anchor in the unseen realm. It lives from the invisible toward the visible. Faith actualizes what it realizes. The Scriptures contrast the life of faith with the limitations of natural sight. Faith provides eyes for the heart. Bill Johnson see full devotion at 1Soul1Nation.

God I present my case to You,
I lay all my burdens and my dreams at Your feet.
God I believe You are a miracle working God.
You perform great and mighty things that are simply too marvellous to understand.
The great I AM performs countless miracles.
inspired by Job 5:8-9

I pray that this has encouraged and inspired you.

Blessings, Keona

Desert Song – Hillsong Worship – YouTube clip with lyrics

Even When It Hurts – Hillsong UNITED – YouTube lyrics video

Come To The River – Housefires – YouTube lyrics video

Majesty – Michael W. Smith – YouTube lyrics video

What A Beautiful Name – Hillsong – YouTube lyrics video

I Exalt Thee – Jesus Culture – YouTube lyrics video

Spirit Of The Living God – Vertical Church Band – YouTube lyrics video

 

A New Kinda Dangerous

When I first learnt to drive I was pretty dangerous. One of my funniest memories is me being stuck on top of a traffic island wondering 2 things: how did I possibly manage that and how do I get off? As the cars drove past me and the people inside laughed I felt so embarrassed. My level-headed sister kindly suggested I could simply drive off, when safe, and continue. I drove off and parked the car as I refused to drive any further. A few professional lessons later I was more confident and THANKFULLY a safer driver.

In 2008 I was fortunate to go on my first overseas trip. My husband had a conference to attend in New Zealand and I decided he simply couldn’t go on his own. For 10 glorious days I enjoyed the beautiful South Island. For the first few days we were in Christchurch and while hubby attended workshops I spent the days exploring, shopping or relaxing. I even managed to complete a 3-hour horse trek which was stunning. Hubby and I stayed on after the conference and travelled south to explore and enjoy as much as we could. I has stated that when in NZ I just HAD to bungy jump. For months and months I told as many people as I could about my exciting trip and how I was going to bungy jump. I was met with loads of “oh really? Isn’t that dangerous?” as well as some “oh that sounds exciting”. My parents were looking after our kids so I’m not sure if they were very happy with us committing to dangling 400m above Queenstown on a few pieces of elastic, but bless them they didn’t protest too much! The experience was terrifying. The staff were amazing and I am glad I did it but I didn’t catch the ‘bungy bug’, I’m confident that once is enough! I may consider the sky swing again……..maybe.

As I face a new direction in life I am thinking that I want to explore a whole new kinda dangerous:

“Jesus came to make us dangerous to the kingdom of darkness. The light within us is greater than the darkness around us.” Christine Caine

How exciting will it be to become dangerous enough to deliver people from darkness!
How incredible it will be. What a privilege it will be to be living out the great commission and serving Jesus. That’s what my heart longs for now.

God has entrusted me to be a child of light, because Jesus Christ is my Saviour I am no longer held by the powers of darkness – 1 Thessalonians 5:5

I need to embrace that glorious truth and walk as a child of Light – Ephesians 5:8

“Nothing strikes as much fear into the heart of the enemy’s camp as when you close your eyes and come BOLDLY before God’s throne. When you pray, you are DANGEROUS to the DARKNESS.” Lisa Bevere

That’s the danger I’m now pursuing – a whole new kinda dangerous!

I pray that you can discover the boldness to step forth into all God has called you to.

Many blessings, Keona

This is Living – Hillsong Young & Free – YouTube Lyric Video

Crazy Faith – John Waller – YouTube Lyric Video

Trusting God Completely

I sit here in the relative quiet, in absolute surrender before God.

I wait as long as it takes for Him to finish the good work He has begun in my life.

For God alone is my Saviour, the One I love and I know He will not fail me!

God alone is my safe place and His wrap-around presence protects me, for He is my Champion Defender.

I am assured that there is no risk of failure with God! Even though worry tries to paralyse me with fear I am assured that God’s glory is all around me!

His wrap-around presence is all I need, for the Lord my Saviour is my Hero and life-giving strength. So I place every moment into His capable hands, trusting Him completely.

I know I can safely pour out all my troubles and heart-longings to Him. For I know my God will hear me and help me!

Inspired by Psalm 62:5-8 The Passion Translation

‘I Am Yours’ -Lauren Daigle- YouTube Clip with lyrics

‘Nearness’ – Jenn Johnson – YouTube link

Come My Beloved

As I looked at this picture I heard God whisper:

‘Come out of your hiding place

Come sit by My still water of life

Come out of the shadows

Come My beloved

Come bask in the warmth of My light

Come out from the heavy blanket of grief

Come feel My love embrace you with joy

Come My beloved

Come and allow Me to heal your wounds

Come and see Me transform you anew

Come, please come My beloved!

Come My beloved

Come lay down that burden and allow Me to carry the load

Come sit with Me and just chat for awhile

Come and sleep in the sun

Come My beloved

Come and be refreshed

Come, it’s safe now to leave your place of refuge

Come step out into the open unafraid, for I’m right here by your side –

this is where I’ve always been and where I’ll forever be

Come My beloved

Beloved, search for the name I have for you
Chosen one, know the love I store in My heart only for you
Child, receive the great inheritance I bestow upon you
Special one, embrace all that I call you to

Come My beloved for I’m waiting for you!

Beautiful creation, once you’ve sat with Me for awhile

you will go forth unafraid, fully knowing that I am with you

so come, please come My beloved!’

Picture cred

My Soul Pants for the Lord – YouTube clip

A Refreshing Waterfall – YouTube clip

Carry Me -Rita Springer – YouTube clip 

Constant Communion Consciousenss

“Discovering our true identity is a basic need of the human heart. Until we find our identity, we will be searching for the rest of our lives for peace and fulfilment.” Bob George

The last 3 years have been tough. My inability to perform the simplest task screamed inadequacy and failure! All I could see for a long time was my worthlessness! My struggle with inability left me questioning my value. Upon reflection, I realise that I placed my value in what I could do NOT who I am.  We are so quick to label ourselves and others with hateful and hurtful labels. Satan will then come along and fan those incorrect labels into a flame that consumes us. It doesn’t matter what that label is as long as it isn’t the fact that you ARE a child of God! Unless we allow God to reveal our true identity to us we are quickly consumed by the destructive label.

“Listen to God’s voice above all others. When you know who HE says you are, it doesn’t matter who THEY say you are.” #WithoutRival Lisa Bevere

September last year I attended a Majestic Women retreat where healing was declared over my life. Not only was healing placed into my spirit but a hunger to know more about God.

November last year I attended another Majestic Women event. The speaker touched on communion. She mentioned Romans 8 and explained that we are adopted children of God. She went on to explain that there is a work happening within in us, where we will be revealed as who we were originally created to be! So, I wrote: ” I am no longer a sinner for I am a daughter of God!”.

Later she went on to talk about having communion daily. She explained that it is a symbol of desiring to be transformed from the inside out!

This concept was a complete new revelation for me! She explained that we can take communion on our own and it doesn’t have to be a piece of bread and juice, it can be our cereal and cup of tea that represent the communion elements. That opened up a whole new realm of thinking and I realized that it’s not about what I consume but why I consume.

I’ve been on journey of discovering more about God, more about this concept of daily communion and therefore more about me!

As Heidi Baker states in her book ‘Compelled By Love’: “We must, in love, empty ourselves and become poor in spirit to gain the riches of heaven and be filled with Him. The Christian life is all about union and communion.”

I sensed a deep desire within to eat the Bread of Life daily. I sensed a need to daily be cleansed afresh in Jesus’ blood.

Matthew 5:6 Amplified Bible (AMP) “Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [those who actively seek right standing with God], for they will be [completely] satisfied.”

A great desire grew within me to be totally transformed into who God has created me to be! This is promised in 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NLT): “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”

“….when your identity is in Christ, your identity is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Criticism can’t change it. Failing can’t shake it. The headlines can’t ruin it. Lists can’t determine it.
When your identity is in the Rock, your identity is rock-solid. As long as God is for you, it doesn’t matter what mountain rises ahead of you. You aren’t your yesterday, you aren’t your messes, you aren’t your failures, you aren’t your brokenness.” Ann Voskamp

As I’ve embarked on this act of communion each day It has become so much more to me than a ritual and far beyond symbols of sacrifice.

Communion has become a consciousness – I’m on a journey where my identity as God’s heir is becoming my reality!

Another statement that Heidi Baker makes in her book is that “We must all be pliable in the Master’s hands. For He wants to turn you upside down in order to turn the world upside down (Acts 17:6).”

Today I desperately desire to Ignite in you a passion to know more about God and therefore more about who you really are. This will enable you to live out the great calling upon your life.

We were created to be in relationship with God – be in constant communion with Him.

God loves you more than you can ever imagine. God loved you before you even drew breath and He displayed His great love for you by sending Jesus to die upon a cross. This was God’s display of His extravagant love. But it didn’t end there! Jesus was raised from the dead so that we could join him in heaven. The Holy Spirit was sent to enable us, equip us and encourage us right now! Right in this moment God wants to grow your capacity to receive His love, which will grow your ability!

In William Paul Young’s book The Shack, the main character is chatting to Jesus, Sarayu (the Holy Sprit) and God about priority and God states: “I don’t just want a piece of you and a piece of your life. Even if you were able, which you are not, to give me the biggest piece, that is not what I want. I want all of you and all of every part of you and your day.”

God wants to be part of every moment of our lives so that each and every minute can be orchestrated by Him!

Let’s look at the main verse I reflect on, Romans 8, and some wonderful things I’ve discovered:

Why Jesus was sent: The law of Moses was unable to save us. So God did what the law could not do, he sent his own son in a body like the body we sinners have!

Jesus then became the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us! Jesus now sits in the place of honour pleading our case!

What are the results of Jesus’ great sacrifice?

There is no longer any condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus because we are freed from the power of sin that leads to death. The spirit lives within us and gives us life!

Overwhelming victory is ours through Christ!

Nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God!

We are children of God because of His spirit within us! Together with Christ we are heirs to God’s glory!
When we let the Holy Spirit control our minds it leads us to life and peace.

Romans 8 reminds us that:

  • We are chosen
  • We are called
  • We have been given right standing
  • We have been given God’s glory
  • The very same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead resides in us!

Now that last one is truly mind blowing! If we can grasp that it changes our lives!

Declare it: The very same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead resides in me!

Truly believe that powerful statement and allow it to become life altering truth!

Truly live that powerful truth and allow it to empower you to alter the world!

As Heidi Baker again states: “God calls us to be one with Him and each other. God calls all of us to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, loving our neighbours as ourselves.”

The emblems are symbols of something very sacred!

  • Communion acknowledges what Jesus did for us on the cross.
  • Communion reminds us of our position as children of God.
  • Communion grants us an opportunity to begin to transform into the image of God – into who we were created to be!

2 Corinthians 7:1 (NLT) “Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.”

My prayer:

“Lord words cannot truly express the gratitude I have for what you’ve done for me!

Lord I thank you so much for your body which was bruised and broken for me! I declare afresh that by your stripes I have received physical healing!

Lord I thank you so much for your blood that was willingly poured out for me! That your blood cleanses me afresh today and wipes all record of sin from my life! I thank you for the cup of blessing, your precious blood, that gives me spiritual healing!

May your power fill me today afresh, transform me from the inside out to become who you have created me to be! Fill me with your resurrection spirit so that I am empowered for the work you set before me. Amen!”

At The Cross (Love Ran Red) – Chris Tomlin – YouTube lyrics & chords clip

Healer – Kari Jobe – YouTube clip

Compelled By Love – Heidi Baker -Koorong book link

Running On The Spot

Hello, my name is Keona and it’s been 3 years, 2 months and about 28 days since my last run. And you see I’m really struggling with not being able to run. What started out as a way to get fit became an obsession. I quickly fell in love with running but then I got fixated on a goal – no matter what the cost. A week before my first marathon I got sick, my stubbornness kicked in and I still completed the marathon (barely). I had no idea how sick I actually I was. I had no idea what the following months and years would be like. I went from running my first marathon to struggling to walk from my bed to the toilet (approx. 12 steps). After months of not understanding what was going on I was finally diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. 

Lately I’ve had good days, days where I’ve gone for a walk and enjoyed it and that’s got me dreaming again and I dream of running. Sometimes I get the urge so much that I desperately want to try to run but I know my body simply isn’t ready yet! If I try to walk too fast I can get exhausted, if I try to walk up a hill I can get fatigued, if I try to walk too far or too fast I will need a 2-hour nap to recover. My passion is returning but my ability is still limited.

IT IS FRUSTRATING!

I try to cheer on the people who I see out there running but it’s a battle some days to not be jealous. I wear my runners and imagine what it will be like, that first run…..

My body has been so sick for so long that cooking tea can still leave me feeling as if I’ve been running on the spot for 30 mins. Meandering through the supermarket for a few items can sometimes still leave me utterly exhausted. This gap between healed and restored feels like I’m running on the spot and getting nowhere – it feels like it’s dragging on and on. But I remind myself that my strength is slowly returning and I’m slowly seeing improvements!

I remind myself of where I was 12 months ago and I am amazed at how much I can do – it’s still small but in comparison it is wonderful!

One day as I was wrestling with my waiting I heard the song ‘Take Courage’ (written by Kristene DiMarco, Jeremy Riddle, Joel Taylor) as the chorus rung out the following words:

“Take courage my heart, stay steadfast my soul

He’s in the waiting, He’s in the waiting

Hold onto your hope, as your triumph unfolds

He’s never failing, He’s never failing”

I discovered a life changing revelation. That God is here in my waiting and He is doing a mighty work in me!

It gave me such comfort, such hope, such courage to hold on and wait!

As I continually pressed into that truth I’ve learned something far more valuable than getting my ability back. Being forced to sit still I’ve learned that I can truly press into God and discover wonderful things! My desires have totally been revolutionarily transformed.

I’m totally fixed on one thing: To know God’s goodness and see His glory. I can be transformed by this one thing: To know God’s presence and see His beauty! Inspired by the song ‘Spirit Move’ written by Kalley Heiligenthal, Amanda Cook, Brian Johnson

As I sit in God’s presence, as I wait patiently I hold onto promises such as:

“A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body….” Proverbs 14:30a NLT

“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
Isaiah 40:31 NLT

So here I am waiting, trusting, waiting, hoping, waiting, praying, waiting with great expectation that one day, soon, I’ll be back out there running with a huge smile on my face!

My prayer: For those who are waiting, may you gain confidence today that God is right there and He is doing a mighty work. For those who are out there ‘running the race’ with great gusto, I do cheer you on and pray that you’re strengthened for the tasks set before you!

Blessings!

Lord I need You – Chris Tomlin – YouTube video

Spirit Move – Kalley Heiligenthal – YouTube video

Breathe – Michael W Smith – YouTube video

Take Courage – Kristene DiMarco – YouTube video

 

The Album ‘Battles’ by Rita Springer

I’ve been so impacted by the album ‘Battles’ by Rita Springer that I felt encouraged to share it with you.

I hadn’t heard about Rita until this album so here’s a quick snippet of who she is: her motto is “To make the Lord famous in whatever I do with my worship and relationship with Him.”. In 2008 she started a worship school call DIVE – Deep Innovative Vertical Expression. You can read more about her on her webpage Rita Springer 

The album opens with a powerful reminder:

“Every imposter, every contender will fail to compare with You
There is no kingdom, authority, power like Yours
No one more royal, no one more loyal than one God, one truth
No other kingdom, no other freedom like Yours
No greater rescue than when You came through with strong love, strong love
All my accusers, silenced and scattered by You
Your people arising, we realize it is finished, it’s finished
Stand in the promise it is accomplished in You
You are high, high and lifted up
Strong and mighty enough, You are King
And I hide, covered by Your wings
And it’s there You fight for me
And every battle, every battle is Yours”

Part lyrics of ‘Every Battle’ written by Rita Springer and Kalley Heiligenthal. Full lyrics via Lyricshall

Then a chance to make a powerful declaration:

“There is no verdict, no lie that separates me from Your hand
You are the First and the Last
Forever Your Word will stand”

Part lyrics of ‘I Believe In You’ written by Josh Alltop and Rita Springer. Full lyrics via Lyricshall

Although the situation surrounding me feels impossible I can be assured that God is faithful:

“He is my faithful Father, calling me out of the dark
Night cannot whisper away what He said in the light
He is my firm foundation, my anchor won’t be moved
Storms may collide but my soul is on fire with His word
He is the only healer, His love will never fail
And all my belief dares to defeat every lie
He is a strong, high tower, fear will not find me there
’cause I come alive with His promise inside of my heart
Christ Redeemer, we remember He has won the war
Jesus, Mighty Overcomer, our Defender has conquered
Wind, listen to the sound of power on my lips
Jesus has broken the curse, He has never lost a battle
Who are you great mountain, that you should not bow low
Jesus defeated the darkness, He has never lost a battle”

Part lyrics of ‘Never Lost’ written by Catherine Mullins and Rita Springer. Full lyrics via Lyricshall

The song that started my whole interest in this album, reminds me to wait, trust, praise, have hope – for Jesus has the victory!

“You go before I know that You’ve even gone to win my war
Your love becomes my greatest defense
It leads me from the dry wilderness
And all I did was praise
And all I did was worship
All I did was bow down
All I did was stay still
Hallelujah, You have saved me
So much better this way
Hallelujah, great Defender
So much better Your way
When I thought I lost me, You knew where I left me
You reintroduce me to Your love
You picked up all my pieces, put me back together
You are the Defender of my heart”

‘Defender’ part lyrics written by John-Paul Gentile, Steffany Gretzinger and Rita Springer. Full lyrics via Lyricshall

A reminder that God is Immanuel – God with me!

“Where there is conflict, sometimes we retreat
Where there is struggle, we may fail to see
Our God is with us, our God is with us, He will never leave
When found in the ashes, we still have a chance
Where there is mourning, oh don’t forget to dance
Cause our God is with us, our God is with us, He will never leave
Where there are shadows, He becomes the light
If we go into battle, He will win the fight
Cause our God is with us, our God is with us, He will never leave
He is for us, no one can stop what He’s doing
He is with us, and we will see all that He promised
He does not forsake us, hate us or make us walk alone
He is always right there, stays where He can see the storm
We just have to hold on, stay strong, know He has our best in mind
Our God is with us, our God is with us”

Part lyrics of ‘Our God Is With Us’ written by David Binion, Nicole Binion and Rita Springer. Full lyrics via Lyricshall

I am to keep confidently waiting, knowing that God is fighting for me!

“You have given everything my heart could ever need
And all You ask is I believe
And I am resting safe inside Your promise to provide
And nothing could ever change Your love
Your love for me, Your love for me
There is no striving
There is no striving in Your love
Freely You have given
Freely You have given to us
You never ask that I earn Your affection
I could never earn something that’s free
I never have to fight for Your attention
Because Your eyes are ever upon me”

Part lyrics of ‘There Is No Striving’ written by Jenn Johnson and Matt Stinton. Full lyrics via Lyricshall

There is no delays or interruptions to God’s plans for my life, when I commit my future to Him I can be assured that it will unfold His way and in His timing. I just need to hang on and keep declaring, keep praising and doing what is set before me right now to do:

“Your ways are better than mine
You always have perfect timing
There’s not a thought in my mind
That can change, what You feel for me
Your love is deep and it’s wide
I couldn’t climb its height if I tried
There’s no place I could hide
Where Your love wouldn’t come and find me
No mountain too high, no valley too low
No sorrow too deep that You don’t know
No arrow too fast, no struggle outlasts
You’re stronger than that, stronger than that
You remain the same, You never change”

‘You Remain The Same’ part lyrics, written by Josh Alltop and Rita Springer. Full lyrics via Lyricshall

So once again I lay it ALL down at Jesus’ feet:

“To You I sing, it’s You that I worship
All that I hold, I’m letting go
It’s You I adore, God You are perfect
All that I lack, I know You are
I tell my knees to buckle
The sooner I fall, You have it all
I tell my heart surrender
The sooner I let go, You take control
You are my hope, You are my treasure
In chaos I’ve known, You are faithful
I surrender, I surrender
I surrender all I am and all I question
I give You everything, You can take anything
You have control, You have control”

‘You Have Control’ part lyrics written by Daniel Bashta and Rita Springer. Full lyrics via Lyricshall

I’m likely to sing this one with my liquid words:

“I just want to sit at Your feet and sing
I just want to sit at Your feet and tell You
Everything that was lost
Everything that was lost is found
I just want to sit at Your feet and say
What You did for me is no small thing
All that I have to give
All that I have to give is Yours
You’re the only One that calls something broken beautiful
You’re the only One that calls something crippled healed
You’re the only One that leaves ninety-nine to find one lost
And carry me on Your shoulders home
I just want to sit at Your feet and sing
I just want to sit at Your feet and worship
For everything that You’ve done
Every way that You’ve come, thank You
There is nothing hidden from Your sight
Nothing in the way can stop Your rescue
I am always ever on Your mind
In the end I’ll look exactly like You
Thank You, thank You, God
Thank You, Jesus, thank You, God
Thank You for loving me
Thank You for seeing me, Jesus
Thank You, Jesus”

‘Carry Me’ written by John-Paul Gentile and Rita Springer. Full lyrics via Lyricshall

On the 18th of April The Passion Translation posted a devotion “There is nothing I will not conquer when you trust Me”, I printed this devotion out and stuck it on my bathroom wall. As the circumstances surrounding me felt as if they were suffocating me, I would go into my bathroom and read this devotion again and again and again. The one main promise that I clung to was: ‘It no longer matters if you are alone in your sacred quest. For I will cast out loneliness from your heart.’. When I felt so alone, in the battle, I reminded myself that God promised to be there right alongside me! I would remind myself that I have an amazing husband who loves me and is supporting me; family and friends praying and supporting me! This song reminded me so much of the promise that I’m not alone, I’m never alone! I’m being loved into wholeness:

“When You look at me You see all that’s weak and frail in me
You reach for like it’s treasure
What it is I must confess, all I ever needed was
To be loved whole, just to be loved whole
You’re my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow
I’m the reason why You hung the moon
If everything collides, it doesn’t matter
If all I had, if all I had was You, oh God
If all I had was You
If all I have is You, I’m okay, I’m okay
If all I have is You, I’m just fine”

‘I’m Okay’ part lyrics written by Rita Springer. Full lyrics via Lyricshall

I need to keep declaring the truth:

“Even in the why
In the middle of the night I say
You are good
Though my prayers are heard
The response is Yours, God
You are good
When the arrows fly
I will stand behind the truth
You are good
You tell my heart be still
And so God I will ’cause I know
That You’re good
Sorrow may last the whole night but
Joy comes in the morning light
You are the sunrise, You are the sunrise
There is no mistaking Your light
You are faithful, God You are faithful
You have never left my side
You are good and You never change, God
You are good and You never change Your ways”

‘You Never Change’ part lyrics written by: Mia Fieldes, Rita Baloche. Full lyrics via Lyricshall

I hope and pray that you’re encouraged, as I am, by these words.

Many blessings, Keona

Defender // Battles // Rita Springer – YouTube lyrics video

Revived Through Worship

When my alarm went off, at 7:30am, I felt so exhausted. I desperately wanted to go back to sleep. BUT I felt challenged to not accept that feeling and instead focus on God.

“Fully immerse yourselves into the Lord Jesus the Anointed One, and don’t waste even a moment’s thought on your former identity to awaken its selfish desires.” Romans 13:14 The Passion Translation

I put on worship music and when the second song played “Find Me” I rolled myself out of bed and sung my heart out. I wanted to keep worshipping but I was getting cold so I grabbed my doona and wrapped up while I watched the sun rise over the houses.

“You’re my place of quiet retreat, and your wrap-around presence becomes my shield as I wrap myself in your Word!” Psalm 119:114 The Passion Translation

It was so special. I stayed there for 30 minutes just praising God. I felt revived through worship. I had a ‘to do’ list but I had sensed all this week that I needed to be fluid (flow with ease as God leads; be elegant and graceful; as well as adaptable and flexible) so I made some encouragements up for some lovely ladies and even got to catch up with 2 of them!

I’ve been seeking God on a particular idea I’ve had and I was reminded that I need to focus on my original ‘to do’ list:

  • Chase God
  • Pray
  • Write

As my focus shifted from the-things-I’m-pressing-in-for towards God I’ve felt such a sense of peace.

I’m to seek the Kingdom of God above all else, steep my life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions, and live righteously – reflect the attitude and character of God! I don’t need to worry about missing out because I’ll find all my everyday human concerns will be met, for God will give me everything I need. inspired by Matthew 6:33

That’s truly amazing and powerful promise to cling to!

So I take refuge in God by placing my complete and utter trust in Him. I have great hope and confident expectation. I know that God will keep me in His perfect and constant peace as I focus my mind on Him. Inspired by Isaiah 26:3

Taking my eyes off the situation and fixing them on Jesus realigns me – my selfish ambitions fall away! As I spend time with God I am revived through worship and able to focus on what He requires me to do!

A dear friend sent me a link to a song and as I played it the word struck my heart:

“You go before I know
That You’ve gone to win my war
Your love becomes my greatest defense
It leads me from the dry wilderness

All I did was praise
All I need to do is worship
Lord I will just bow down
I’m just gonna stay still”

Part lyrics of ‘Defender’ written by John-Paul Gentile, Steffany Gretzinger, and Rita Springer

‘Defender’ – Rita Springer YouTube lyrics video

I was so inspired by that one song that I decided I needed to listen to the whole album and each song has been so encouraging to me!

I pray that you can also lay down whatever challenge you face and allow God to revive you.

Many blessings, Keona