He shall direct your paths

I’ve been thinking a lot about prayer lately. Especially about crisis prayer. That king of prayer when someone is badly injured and all of a sudden people who never pray start praying. Nothing wrong with that. Prayer can never be bad. So everyone prays and the injured person gets better and everyone says hallelujah and everyone stops praying because the crisis is over. Not? Really? Of course they stop because, after all, that’s what prayer is for isn’t it? For  God to listen to us when we need something and then give it  to us. At least that is what a lot of people seem to think. Why would we speak to God when everything is going well? What would we say?

We find the answer in Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

And lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He shall direct your paths.

In the Amplified version it says:

Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart

And do not lean on your own insight or understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge and recognize Him,

And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].


If we trust in the Lord with ‘all your heart’, it means that every part of our lives must depend on God. Not just the parts that are convenient to us, or the parts that we choose. Every little part. The impatient part, the addicted part, the lazy part etc. We can’t decide from day to day what we are going to trust God with. “lean not on your own understanding…” Means can’t say, or tell ourselves, that we are trusting God, but we are still taking certain matters into our own hands by manipulating people and situations. Praying also doesn’t mean that we tell God what He must do and then sit back and wait for Him to do it. What if He doesn’t do it? Then we say prayer doesn’t work? The very first step is to give every little part of our lives, even the parts we aren’t so proud of, to God. Revelation 22:17 is an invitation to all, “Come! Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Whosoever means all of us. Not just the perfect and holy ones.

The next line, “In all your ways acknowledge Him,” says to us that we have to sit down and tell God what we are busy with. We have to let Him know what is going on in our lives. The fact that He already knows each little detail of our lives only means that He already has the perfect solution to all our troubles. He loves us so much that He desires a relationship with us. As we all know, relationships need words. So we have to use our words and tell our loving Father what is going on in our lives. Even the parts that embarrass us. No-one is so bad that God is going to reject a relationship with him. In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke we find the story of the woman who had an ‘issue of blood’ which made her unclean. Despite this she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and was made whole. The laws of that time meant that while she was menstruating she was not allowed to touch anyone. Because this problem had been going on for a very long time she became desperate and broke the law in order to be healed. Sometimes we have to break self imposed ‘laws’ in order to become whole. We have to change our way of thinking and even our way of seeing ourselves. We are not going to be rejected by God just because people might reject us. John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  I wish I could put a whole row of smiley faces in here. This is the crux of it all. We accept Jesus as our Saviour, invite Him into our hearts, and because God then sees us through the holiness of Jesus – through the blood He spilled for us.

“And He shall direct your paths.” We come to God, redeemed from sin by the blood of Jesus, and tell Him all about our lives. We don’t go around making our own plans to overcome our problems (we really trust Him) and He will lead us to do the right things. Just picture this: we are in trouble, irrespective of whether it is of our own making or not, and we put it before God, we can be secure in the knowledge that He will handle that trouble. He will give us the solution to the problem, and we will have peace of mind. The peace that passes all understanding (Philippians4:7) will belong to us. He will prepare a table in the presence of our enemies (Psalm 23:5) and goodness and mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives (Psalm 23:6). It doesn’t mean that nothing bad will ever happen to us, but we will have the assurance that whatever happens, when we bring it before God, we can have the peace of mind that He will handle it.

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Be still and know


I have a coffee mug with the words “Be still and know that I am God” on it. I have heard and sung those words so often that they have almost become a cliché. Psalm 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” As I was pouring the boiling water onto the teabag (I have tea in a mug), I looked at the words again. 

Be – to exist, to live, to become, remain, continue 
Still – at rest, motionless, quiet, calm
Know – to have a clear and certain perception
These three words are the crux of the verse. I see it this way – My existence must be rooted in and at peace with the clear and certain perception that God is who He says He is. When God makes a promise He keeps that promise. When God says that He will never leave me or forsake me, then He won’t. Here are a few verses telling us how we can trust God:
Exodus 14:14  – ‘The Lord will fight for you and you shall hold your peace.’
Isaiah 40:31 – ‘But those who ait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.’
Isaiah 51:12 – ‘I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid of a man that will die, And of the son of man who will be made like grass?
Luke 12:22 – 23 – ‘Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about your body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.’
I believe that God doesn’t want us stressed out and rushing around like a dog trying to catch its own tail. He needs us to be calm and at peace. We must not look at our circumstances, rather we must see life as a journey and the Kingdom of Heaven as our destination. Everything that is here on earth is temporary. The only thing that we have that is of eternal value is our faith. We have to have the kind of unshakeable faith that Jesus had while He walked on earth. It’s not easy, and the Bible never tells us that following Jesus is going to be easy, but the more we read our bible and communicate with our Heavenly Father, the easier it becomes. We have to learn to take the Scriptures at face value and not overcomplicate things. Just be still and know.

For all have sinned

Do you remember when you were a child and the teacher left the classroom with the instruction: “Be quiet while I’m out!”? And you try your best. You really do. You try to concentrate on the work in front of you and not on your friend next to you. You try to ignore the whispers around you and the paper jet that just landed on top of your Math book. You even try not to acknowledge the boy who is poking his pen into your back or the one who is pulling your braid. You try. You try so hard but before you know it you are caught up in all the activity around you when the teacher returns your name is on her detention list and you just can’t understand why. If we try to be good people, if the try to follow the laws and ruled in the Bible we are going to get caught up in all the worldly activity around us and become so involved in it that by the time we have to stand before the Judgement Seat we are not going to receive the ultimate prize of living in Heaven for eternity. That is, if we TRY.

Romans 3:11-18 tells how there isn’t even one righteous person who is under the law. Verse 19: ‘Now we know that whatever the law says, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deed of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.’ We can’t be good on our own. We can try as hard as we want, but in our own strength we cannot keep the law. We can for a while, or sometimes, or with certain things, but not all the time with everything. All that’s going to happen is that we will wear ourselves out trying and then find ourselves mixed up in everything that’s against the law.
So, what do we do to avoid this?
Make the decision that you want to be a child of God. Ask Him to forgive your sins and ask Jesus to come and live in your heart.
Make a decision that you want a relationship with Jesus Christ and allow Him to be master of your life and stop TRYING. All His grace to rule within you. Give the Holy Spirit the reigns and let Him lead you.
Are you now going to be perfect? NO!! But you are going to be justified. Romans 3:23-24 – ‘for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.’ In verse 25 – 26 Paul goes on to say that because Jesus died for us, God has forgiven our sins. This grace that we are given because we are children of God is enough to keep us from going to Hell. It is not an excuse to just carry on doing what we want to do without regard for anything, but it covers the things we do that we shouldn’t be doing and it gives us the strength to resist the temptations that come before us daily. We can’t DO anything to win God’s favour. The only way we get His favour is to hold onto His Son and give our lives to Him. Paul also says in 1 Corinthians 15:31 “…I die daily.”
Just like Paul we should ‘die daily’ to the old things, to the worldly things that drag us down and be alive and aware daily of God’s redeeming grace.

Pray for the bad guys

I am reading ‘The President’s Keepers’ by Jacques Pauw. It is insightful and shocking to say the least. I am not getting upset or cross while I read because the things that are written are in the past. They have happened and I can’t change the past no matter how hard I try. I am reading the book in order to understand why the situation in the country is as it is. I want to understand how the politicians and their associates think. Even though there is nothing I can do about the past, there is something I can do about the future.

I can pray.

Last week I heard a gentleman say that the churches have it all wrong because you shouldn’t be praying for corrupt politicians as they aren’t going to change. Matthew 5:44 – ‘But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use and persecute you.’ That statement Jesus made is so profound I think I should read it every day just to remind myself what prayer is all about. In the next chapter (Matt 6:9-13) Jesus gives his disciples The Lord’s Prayer or the Our Father. It’s lovely and most Christians know it off by heart. What we choose not to read though is verse 14 and 15 which state the following, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Therefore we aren’t only called to pray for our enemies but we also have to forgive them.

If someone is cursing you, hating you, spitefully using you or persecuting you, you are called to love them, do good to them, pray for them and forgive them. Are you doing all these things because you approve of what they are doing or because you excuse their behaviour? Not at all! You are setting yourself free from the bondage that holding a grudge or living with unforgiveness brings. You are asking God to set you free so that you will be able to live your life to its full potential. Living with unforgiveness makes you sick. It’s like hanging a potato around your neck on a string. At first you feel the weight of it all the time but after a while you actually get used to it. Then, you start to smell something and much to your dismay the potato has started to go rotten. It is in your nostrils all the time and you can’t even get a good night’s sleep because of the stench. You can’t get rid of the potato and the smell unless you cut the string. Cutting the string is forgiving the person for whatever they have done to you and then praying for them. Who benefits from the string being cut? The potato is still in the same state it was. It’s not going to suddenly revert to being a good potato. You are reaping the benefit because now your friends won’t mind being around you again, you can enjoy life and sleep well at night.

So, we have to love and do good and forgive and pray irrespective if our ‘enemies’ are politicians, criminals, acquaintances or our brothers and sisters that we had a disagreement with. What will God do then? In Psalm 35 David is speaking to God about the people who are trying to kill him. Verse 5 says “And let the angel of the Lord chase them.” I believe if we do the things that the Bible tell us to do and if we earnestly see the Lord and put Him first in our everyday life, He is going to make our paths straight and we can say, “Praise the Lord, O my soul! It is well with my soul! 

Brimstone and Fire

Brimstone and Fire

I have often heard of the ‘brimstone and fire’ preachers. Definition:- “an idiomatic expression of signs of God’s wrath in the Old and New Testament. In the Bible, they often appear in reference to the fate of the unfaithful. This term is also used to describe a style of Christian preaching that uses vivid descriptions of judgement and eternal damnation to encourage repentance.” Brimstone is the archaic name for sulphur. I have also often heard people say that we need more of the brimstone and fire preachers today so that the people can repent of their evil and turn to God. I beg to disagree. I don’t think that telling someone how bad he is will make him change his ways. One reason for that is because he already knows he is doing things which aren’t right. Even if a person grows up with the Bible and biblical principles, or parents who teach right from wrong, he grows up in a country with certain rules and laws. These laws are there to protect the citizens and normally reflect the norms and culture of the people of that country. And then also every person is born with something called a conscience. There are a few people who have psychological problems, whose conscience apparently doesn’t function as it should, but they are a very small minority.

Romans 2:14 and 15 puts it into a nutshell: “for the Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law unto themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them…”

Romans 2:4 “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” To me that means that people do know when they are doing things that are wrong, and the God’s goodness (love) will cause them to repent. Preachers or people who tell others how bad they are and condemn them are not going to make much of an impression. If we love people we will be reflecting the nature of God and we will attract people instead of pushing them away with judgemental attitudes. I don’t think we pray for people because we feel sorry for them. We pray for them so that God can work in their lives. If you are perfect you don’t need anyone to pray for you. Jesus uttered some very profound words

 in Matthew 5:44, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,”

I don’t think fire and brimstone or even brimstone and fire are going to get us anywhere. You catch many more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Therefore!!

Romans 1:16 is a beautiful verse in which Paul says that he isn’t ashamed of the gospel of Christ because of its power of salvation. In Verse 17 he says the famous words, “The just shall live by faith.” That phrase was first said in Habakkuk 2:4, – “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by faith.”

Then I read verses 18 – 32 and they contain some of the scariest stuff in the whole bible. Paul begins by saying that God’s wrath (anger, exasperation, fury, indignation, ire, passion, rage, temper) is against people who know the truth about Him, but suppress it. The Amplified version makes it very clear: ‘For [God does not overlook sin and] the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness of men who in their wickedness suppress and stifle the truth, because that which is known about God is evident within them [in their inner consciousness], for God made it evident to them.’ I read the verses that follow and it looked as if it meant that people who fail to acknowledge God are given over to all kinds of wicked behaviour, and it may well be so, but Chapter 2 starts off with the word ‘Therefore’. Therefore (for that reason; consequently; accordingly), a wonderful word that tells us to look at what went before. Romans2:1 “Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.’ Ouch!! We are very good at judging and drawing conclusions about people’s behaviour, but whatever people are doing is not our business. It is our job to love people, not to judge or condemn them.

Matthew 22:37 – Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the law and the prophets.” Let us start practicing to love people with the same love that God shows us. 

Preach the gospel

The Gospel isn’t a dead historical account. It is a living, vibrant account of the Good News of Salvation

This morning I started reading thee letter Paul wrote to the Romans and I noticed something very interesting. In Chapter 1, verse 8 Paul says that he thanks God for them and that their faith is spoken on throughout the world. I take this to mean that this group of believers is strong in their faith and therefore a solid church. Then he goes on to say in verse 9 to 11 that he always makes mention of the Romans in his prayers and that he is asking that God make a way for him to visit them again in order for him to impart a spiritual gift to them so that they may be established. This seemed to be a little inconsistent because if everyone is speaking of their faith surely they are already established. But when I read verse 15 the penny dropped. Paul says that he is ready to preach the Gospel to them. I realised that it doesn’t matter how established a church or a believer is, it doesn’t matter how spiritually mature you are, it doesn’t matter if you are a graduate or a street sweeper, you can never get enough of the Gospel. I looked up ‘gospel’ in the dictionary and in short it says:

  • The teaching of the revelation of Christ

  • The record of Christ’s life and teaching in the first four books of the New Testament

  • Good News

So! We are never too good or too spiritual to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. What a wonderful thought. Don’t try and complicate things. When you are searching and you feel that God is far away, go back to the Gospel. Read the book of John where the life of Jesus is clearly portrayed. David says in Psalm 51:12 “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You.” Let us spread the Good News that Jesus brought. Have a blessed day. 

Like and share

Sharing a post and forwarding a message has become the order of the day. On any given day you are likely to receive at least one request to either forward or share some information. Ranging from the ridiculous to some very serious and even potentially dangerous messages, some people just keep sharing without discerning the content. The message that Angus Buchan sent out for the prayer gathering in Bloemfontein was shared by thousands upon thousands of people and the meeting was extremely well attended. Social media is very powerful and is a wonderful tool to create awareness.

In April thousands of people prayed with ‘Oom Angus’ and he seems to have become a national treasure to the Afrikaans speaking sector, which I think is great. He is very English and to be accepted and respected by people in all walks of life from multiple cultures is no mean feat. People who attended the meeting came back saying that they believe prayer can change South Africa. The next serious call was Black Monday where everyone was asked to wear black in remembrance of the murdered farmers. It was also very well supported.

What’s bugging me though, is that the same people who said that prayer is the only way forward, are now sharing messaged asking for petitions to be signed so that President Donald Trump can do something to stop the farm murders. Seriously? He has that kind of power? And what happened to praying? Is President Trump more powerful than God now? Just wondering.

God loves you

Don’t you just love it when something suddenly just makes so much sense that you can’t believe you never saw it that way before? I was looking for the verse that says ‘ God is for us, who can be against us?’ just to make sure that I got the wording right. It’s really easy for me to write a verse in my own words, and in doing that, possibly corrupt the meaning. I found the verse I was looking for – Romans 8:31 – ‘What then shall we sat to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?’

Yaaay!! I got the words right for once. I continued reading that piece and verse 35 hit me like a ten ton truck and stopped me dead in my tracks.
Romans 8:35 ‘Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or nakedness, or distress, or persecution, of famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?’ Paul goes on to say in verse 38 and 39 that nothing can separate us from God’s love.

Therefore!! I love that word – Therefore, it doesn’t matter what state we are in, God loves us. That knowledge is so liberating. If I am sad God loves me. If I am really hurt god loves me. If I am hungry, or angry, or lonely God loves me. When someone has broken my heart with their words or their actions God loves me. When life is unfair and I feel like I’m always drawing the short straw God loves me. When my friends or family let me down God loves me. When I’m sick, or just sick and tired, God loves me. If I lose everything I own God loves me. If I suffer from stress or depression God loves me.

That’s just such and absolutely awesome truth I had to share it. Therefore, remember the next time something bad happens or someone lets you down – GOD LOVES YOU!

Black Monday

The call went out for South Africans to wear black on Monday 30 October 2017 in protest against farm murders, and to stand in unity with the farmers who are the backbone of any country’s economy.  The mere fact that violence against farmers now has a name ‘farm murders’ shows how widespread and intense it is. I am wearing black today. I am wearing black for the farmers and for the victims of all violent crime. For the women and girls who are abused and raped and don’t have a voice. For the innocent children who are killed in gang violence. For everyone who in this diverse, beautiful county of ours who is a victim of senseless crime and violence.  My heart breaks for every wife who is now a widow and every child who has lost their father or even both parents due to violence. That is why I am wearing black.