How often have you heard people say that they don’t go to church because churches are full of hypocrites. They say that there are many people who go to church and ‘sit in the front row’ and really look like they have bought into the whole Christianity thing, but the rest of the week their behaviour doesn’t agree with what they see on Sunday. This is an extremely sad state of affairs but unfortunately has been true for hundreds of years. I was reading a book that described these people as ‘those who think they are Christians, but don’t have a genuine relationship with Christ.’

Colossians 3:2-25, Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work. (Message)

If we say that we are Christians we always have to do our best in whatever it is we are doing. We cannot be lazy and think that God’s grace will cover it up. That really isn’t being a good ambassador on earth.

Colossians 3:23, And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, (NKJV)

If we go to church on Sunday and we get involved in the worship and the service, but we do not have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, we have to ask ourselves what we’re doing in church? Are we there to please people? Maybe our spouse or parents or children? Or are we seeking the truth?

We cannot judge people who are outside the church, people who are non-believers, but we are supposed to judge, or rather to help, people inside the church.

1 Corinthians 5:12-13, or what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”

Romans 16:17-18, Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.

Now this does not mean that we must walk around gossiping about church members who are doing things that aren’t right. There is a way that is has to be done.

Matthew 18:15-17, “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.”

If there are people in the church who are giving the church a bad name it is the duty of the leaders and the true believers to gently reprimand these people. Only once every avenue has been explored can the person who is misrepresenting Jesus be put out of the church, but people who are not behaving according to scripture have to be confronted.

1 Corinthians 12:12, For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.

Every one of us has a place in the body of Christ, in the church. We are supposed to complement each other. We should use our gifts to edify others and to help each other. We have to be like cart horses who pull the cart together. We shouldn’t be working against each other, each one seeking his own glory. The only way we are going to get the church to look the way God wants it to look is if we put Him at the head and follow in humility.


Today a friend and I were sharing some personal experiences. Things we wouldn’t normally discuss with people. The kind of things that hurt us as children and had consequences into adulthood. Things that God has delivered and healed us of. We all need that kind of kind friend who can keep confidences. We need to be able to unburden our souls to another human being at times, but not only to feel better about ourselves, also to help others.

Acts 14:3, Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.

When we overcome the bad things in our life with the help of Jesus, we owe it to our fellow believers, and non-believers to tell about it. We have to share what God does in our lives because that is the best way to prove to people that there is power in being a Christian.  If I tell someone a story I heard from someone else it will mean something, but if I tell about something that I experienced personally, it is a completely different story. I can tell it with conviction and I know all the details. You will hear the story with all the emotion that I felt when I experienced it.

Revelation 12:11, And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

This is how powerful our testimonies about the power of Jesus is. Our testimonies are able to overcome the devil. A testimony gives people the courage to face their fears. It’s something like, “if it can happen to her, why can’t it happen to me?” “If God can heal her, why can’t God heal me?” “If he can be delivered from an addiction, why can’t I be?” You get it? Seeing and hearing things first hand are so much more reliable than a second hand story.

Everyone has a story. Every one of us has been through tough times and we all have the scars to show for it. Tough times are tough and mostly they hurt. A lot. But if we persevere and hold onto God and remember His promises through those tough times, we will come out the other side with a lot more character and faith.

James 1:2-4, My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

We have all been through various trials. I want to emphasize ‘various trials’. We don’t just go through one kind of trouble in our lives. We go through all kinds of tests that we have to overcome. It feels like when there’s a test we have to pass that test before we can go on to the next one. And I think we all feel that sometimes we just need a break from tests so that we can have a breather.

We just have to remember that there is value in troubles. God doesn’t bring troubles on us, they are mostly the consequences of reckless decisions, but our reactions, the positive way we handle these situations are what builds our character and our faith.

Job 34:12, Surely God will never do wickedly, Nor will the Almighty pervert justice.

John 12:31-32, Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself

The devil is the enemy and the way we overcome him is the way we overcome our troubles victoriously. We need to get our stories of victory out there. We need to share with our friends and acquaintances what God has done for us and is doing for us. Let’s start today and be a living testimony of the goodness of our Lord and Saviour.

Pray for each other

Last week in our cell group we were given an assignment. Each one had to choose a piece of folded paper which had the name of one of the members of the group. We would pray for the person whose name we chose and find a scripture for that person. It was a very simple sounding exercise, but it had far reaching effects.

What does it mean to pray for someone?

James 5:16, The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

James 5:16, for tremendous power is released through the passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer! (The Passion Translation)

This verse says so much. Tremendous power is released. What a statement. When we pray for someone we are representing that person before the throne of God. We are saying to God, “please bless Mary; please give her wisdom; give her the ability to do the things which are difficult for her; give her the grace to be able to put behind her the things that are holding her back; let the power of the Holy Spirit manifest in her life; put ministering angels around her and protect her from harm.” We have been given the power to represent someone else before God.

Romans 1:9,  For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers,

Ephesians 1:15-16, Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:

Ephesians 3:14-19, For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height — to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

If we are constantly praying for our fellow believers in this way and they are praying for us, we won’t even need to pray for ourselves! It is such a blessed state to be in, knowing that someone is carrying you in prayer. There’s a war going on and we have to cover our fellow believers.

John 17:20-26, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

This is such a profound prayer that Jesus prayed for every one of us.  He poured out His heart before God on our behalf. And because you cannot take words back once they have been spoken, these words that Jesus uttered are still resounding in the universe. Just think about it. Jesus prayed for you and me before He died. Why would we want to resist the call to follow Him if that is how much He loves us? And if Jesus prayed for us who are we not to pray for each other?

We have been granted an open invitation to have an audience with the King whenever we wish. Let us use our time wisely by praying for each other.


My husband was telling me about how he was practising his golf swing. As I’ve mentioned before, he loves to play golf. He practices and studies it. He coaches children and takes care to keep improving his handicap. He said that there had been a situation that had upset him before he went to practice and the things that had been said kept resonating in his mind. The shots he hit were all off target. He then purposely decided not to think about what had happened and just focused on his swing. There was an immediate improvement because his mind wasn’t trying to focus on two things at once. That happens so often in our daily life. We get distracted by something or someone and we can’t put our full attention on what we are supposed to be doing. That causes mistakes. I expect my employees to focus on work when they’re at work. If they serve the public they must smile and be courteous. They cannot walk around with a long face because something happened at home to upset them. If you’re in the service industry that’s just the way it is.
We allow all kinds of things to determine our mood. We don’t get enough sleep and we’re grumpy. Someone says something hurtful and we get angry. We have some aches and pains and we forget how to be friendly.
When does putting on a positive outlook become a mask? We know that we mustn’t wear a mask because we are hiding the true person that God created us to be. But we also have to be positive when we’re not feeling so great.
I see it this way: When we put on a mask there are a lot of lies that ensue and we are basically doing it in order to please someone. We are hurting ourselves in the process and quite probably also hurting a lot of people who are close to us too. A mask does not allow our true feelings and character to shine through. A mask is solid and opaque and has no room for grace.
Putting on a positive attitude on the other hand is self control. It is self control if you don’t gossip about someone who offended you. It is self control when you really feel like being rude back to a customer, but you smile instead. I had the experience of a customer who told me that I am as ugly as a dog. He was intoxicated but that is no excuse. I did not react in any way at all except to thank him for supporting my business. If I had reacted negatively it could have been a potentially explosive situation.
Proverbs 15:1, A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

We cannot afford to antagonise people. They are already watching us because we say we’re believers and if we are to erupt like a volcano every time someone offends us we aren’t going to be a very good reflection of Jesus.
I just want to add that there’s nothing wrong with having a friend or two who we can share our feelings with. People we can trust and rely on and who will be praying for us.
What do we do with all the negative stuff that comes our way every day? We give it to Jesus. He’s really good at handling that kind of thing. He’s so good at it that He was willing to die so that we wouldn’t have to take it.
Romans 4:23-25, Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offences, and raised because of our justification.
We can take all the offences we pick up during the day and give them to Jesus. In fact, He already took them all at the cross, so we shouldn’t be getting offended, but in case we feel slighted Jesus is there waiting to take them. We just must not take them back. Once we have given them to our Saviour and asked Him to forgive us for having been upset, they do not belong to us at all anymore. We can take off the masks and live in the freedom God has granted to us. We need to have the fruit of the Spirit of which self control is one. We can smile because we have so much to be grateful for and we have a Saviour who loves us.

Deep calls to deep

We have lots of trees in our little town. There are very few houses that don’t have at least one tree in the yard, and many have more than one. We also have an indigenous natural forest in our district.

I grew up on a farm and climbing trees was one of our favourite pastimes. Trees are very much a part of my life.

Psalm 1:3,  He shall be like a tree

Planted by the rivers of water,

That brings forth its fruit in its season,

Whose leaf also shall not wither;

And whatever he does shall prosper.

Jeremiah 17:7-8, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,

And whose hope is 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 leaf will be green,

And will not be anxious in the year of drought,

Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

I thought about the tree planted by the water which bears fruit and has green leaves throughout the year. Its roots are spread out so that it will be firmly planted and also it will be able to receive water from deeper than the surface. It will not be touched by drought.

Just think about it. Our roots have to be deep enough so that the daily comings and goings don’t affect us. Our faith must be strong enough to withstand the blows that life throws at us. Just like the tree stands firm when there are storms, so we have to be able to stand firm when different trials and temptations come our way. We have to be able to stand firm when the devil tries to make us believe that we have no option but to collapse in a blubbering heap. The tree allows its roots to seek water and nourishment deeper and deeper underground. Likewise we have to keep pushing in and seeking the nourishment that the Lord has for us. Deeper and deeper until we find what we need for the season we are in.

Psalm 42:6-8, (Passions translation) Here I am depressed and downcast.

Yet I will still remember you as I ponder the place

where your glory streams down from the mighty mountaintops, lofty and majestic—the mountains of your awesome presence.

My deep need calls out to the deep kindness of your love.

Your waterfall of weeping sent waves of sorrow

over my soul, carrying me away,

cascading over me like a thundering cataract.

Yet all day long God’s promises of love pour over me.

Through the night I sing his songs,

for my prayer to God has become my life.

It says, “My deep need calls out to the deep kindness of Your love.” That is so profound. We have to call out to the kindness of God’s love. God loves us more than we can ever comprehend. There is nothing on earth that even begins to compare to God’s love for us. He loves us so much that He was willing to look on while His only son was battered, beaten, belittled and crucified so that we could taste the freedom He offers us. Not one of us deserves that freedom, but God loves us so much that He offers it as a gift. We can’t purchase it or even work for it. How is that for love?

Now a tree that is planted by the water and that send out its roots for nourishment and that has green leaves that never wither certainly won’t want to be planted in any other place. It has everything that it needs, in abundance. Once we enter a relationship with Jesus we mustn’t get tempted to move away from that relationship. We should have the picture of a beautiful green tree in our mind; full of fruit and with roots firmly planted. We have to be constantly putting our roots deeper and deeper into scripture, into a closer relationship and into getting into the presence of the Holy Spirit. We have to personify that tree so that all can see that there is more to life than merely existing.

Confess your sins

I am in the position at the moment where I suspect someone of having done something illegal but I don’t have sufficient proof. It’s a really bad place to be in. It is not affecting the way I am treating the person because believe you’re innocent until proven guilty and I lean toward the side of mercy where there is doubt.

I tried to put myself into that person’s shoes and it hasn’t been that hard. I am far from perfect and I’ve done a lot of things that I’m not going to go around boasting about. If we do things that we have to keep secret it is not good for our souls. There is so much stress because we have to be careful about what we say and do. What if we say the wrong thing and someone realises what we have done? We are going to look bad and will lose face in front of people who think we are good. We could lose our jobs and family and friends could reject us.

1 John 1:8-9, If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

James 5:16, Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Living with this kind of secret doesn’t only affect your mind and emotions but can make you physically sick. This verse says that you must get the thing you’ve done into the open so that your sickness can be healed. Forgiveness is so strong that it can heal sickness.

The other thing that happens is that we are not in right standing with God because the devil has something he can accuse us of. He can stand in the throne room of God and accuse us of whatever it is we have done and not confessed and received forgiveness for.

Revelation 12:10, Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.

And God cannot lie and say that the devil cannot torment us because we haven’t made right with Him.

Numbers 23:19, God is not a man, that He should lie…

So what do we do to get back to a place of righteousness, or are we condemned for ever?

Revelation 12:11, And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

Daniel 9:9, To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him

It is so important to fix everything we have done which can cause a rift between ourselves and God and between ourselves and other people. It is so much better to live in unity with people and to know that when we speak to God we can come before Him with no guilt. Guilt will kill us in the long run. Unfortunately doing one wrong thing often leads to doing something else to cover up the first thing and so on. God does not need to punish our sins, we are punished enough by the consequences to our minds, emotions and bodies.

Once we have confessed and we have been forgiven we need to forgive ourselves. Don’t remember your wrongdoing once you have asked God for forgiveness. Look up, dress up and show up.

Romans 8:31-34, What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

Straighten you crown and walk with your head high. You are a worthy child of the most high God and you have to act that way.




I received a Whatsapp message from a dear friend. It was one of those pictures with little angels and harps and fluffy clouds. The message printed on the picture was something like “the angels are going to sing you a lullaby so that you can sleep peacefully.” It’s a very nice and peaceful thought but what went through my mind when I received it was that we are involved in a war and I think angels are doing far more serious things than putting us to sleep.

We are in a war with the devil if we want to recognise it or not. People are not our enemies.

Ephesians 6:12, For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

1 Peter 5:8, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour

John 10:10, The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

The devil is not an opponent to be disregarded or ignored. I have so often heard people say that because they don’t believe in things like demons or evil spirits, they cannot be affected by them. I have also heard people say that things like evil spirits do not exist and are all in the mind.  It’s like saying that because I don’t believe in earthquakes they can’t affect me. When you are in the vicinity of an earthquake and you don’t take the proper precautions, you are going to be affected by it. Evil spirits or demons can affect you and even enter you when you leave doors open. If you are constantly drinking too much you can invite a demon of addiction into your life, and it won’t leave until you resist it.

James 4:7,  Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

It doesn’t matter how upset you are at someone who did something to hurt or offend you, that person is only the conduit through whom the devil works his schemes.

The whole world is fighting against each other part of the time for whatever reason. I don’t think there has ever been a period in history when there hasn’t been conflict. People are constantly fighting with each other and fighting each other’s beliefs and ideologies.  They don’t realize that the enemy isn’t the other person or the other country. Religions, races, languages, countries and systems are all entangled in the web of deception that the devil weaves. It isn’t going to end any time soon. The devil isn’t about to give up on his campaign of sowing conflict and hate. He isn’t going to suddenly change and become good. He is a liar and a murderer.

John 8:44, You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

If Jesus is our shepherd we are going to have to learn to hear His voice. That is the only way we are going to know when it’s the devil and his demons whispering sweet nothings into our ears. A baby consumes milk for the first six months of its life and then starts eating solids and soon enough can follow instructions and before you know it that baby is a toddler and if you look away and blink and adult appears. Well, that’s how it feels anyway. That is the way with a believer. You can’t be satisfied with hearing from others what God is saying. You have to start to learn and listen. We have to put on the armour that is prescribed in Ephesians 6:10-20 and be ready for battle. If you don’t think there’s a battle, just start reading your bible and speaking about your faith to others. You will very soon be right in the middle of the war. So be bold and strong because the Lord is with you.

A new handbag

I just took a good look at my handbag and I think I need a new one. I don’t have a few bags, I just have one and I use it till I decide it’s paid its dues and then the search for another one. This time I don’t have in mind what I want so it will be a bit of a search. I will know when I see the right one. My handbag isn’t so much a fashion accessory as a utilitarian item. It must be big enough to carry my wallet, diary, kitchen sink… But not so big that I can’t comfortably carry it around. You get the idea; it must be just right, it must suit my lifestyle.

I wonder sometimes if people aren’t looking for that kind of religion too. Something that suits them just right. Something that doesn’t require any effort from them so that they can carry it around comfortably. The right size and shape and it must make them look good too. They don’t want to be confronted by it and they don’t want to be taken out of their comfort zone. They would like the Gospel to be according to their own wants and desires. They only want to acknowledge the pieces of the bible that suit their lifestyle.

But Jesus didn’t come to make life comfortable for us. He did say, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28–30. Note that He said we have to take His yoke on ourselves. He didn’t say that we wouldn’t have a yoke.

1 Peter 4:12-13, (Message Bible) Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.

The definition of a yoke is: a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plough or cart that they are to pull.

Note that the yoke is put on two animals and that they pull the cart or the plough together. A yoke is not meant for one animal by itself. We must take the yoke of Jesus, in other words we are in the yoke with Jesus by our side pulling with us. He doesn’t leave us all alone and give us all the hard pulling to do. No, He is with us every step of the way. So instead of trying to miss out of having hardships and accepting the yoke that He offers us, we have to welcome and embrace that yoke that He is offering us. If we do not, then we are going to be all by ourselves, handling our burdens by ourselves and trying to muddle through life in our own strength. That is not a good place to be.

Matthew 28:19-20,  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Hebrews 13:5, Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Romans 8:38-39, For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:15-17 in the Message Bible is just so beautiful, This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him!

Let us embrace and welcome the yoke that Jesus gives us and let us wear it with perseverance and with gratitude for everything He has done and is doing for us.

God’s Strategy

I’m listening to a song called, ‘Jesus, Lover of my soul’. The words say,
Its all about You, Jesus, and all this is for you Lord, for your glory and your fame. It’s not about me, as if you should do things my way, You alone are God and I surrender to your ways.
I have discovered that the best way to live is to say, ‘Let Your will be done.’ It’s not the easiest, but it’s definitely the best. When I don’t know how to handle a situation I really do my best to give it to God and ask Him to guide me and give me a strategy. And He does, and it works. Sometimes I only realize afterwards that what I did was what God had led me to do. Unfortunately He doesn’t send an email, or speak with an audible voice. The solutions He has to problems are normally nothing at all like anything I would think of. I remember a number of years ago I was operating the computer for the overheads and music at a church. We bought a new program and the salesman came and demonstrated how to use it. I watched carefully but I didn’t make notes. Big mistake. Always make notes! During that week there was a prayer meeting and I had to display the words on the screen. I went to set up a day before time just to make sure everything was working properly. To my disgrace I didn’t have a clue what to do! Needless to say I prayed. Hard. That night I dreamed exactly what to do. In full colour. With the right terms and everything clearly presented. When I went to the church it was child’s play. I knew exactly what to do. I believe that dream was from God. I had known that immediately. But He doesn’t always do things that directly. I have been battling with something big for a while now. I had prayed and prayed and prayed some more. I wasn’t getting any answers. Then, on Saturday morning I opened up my Bible and my eyes fell on two verses I had underlined long ago. I read them and immediately they sat right in my spirit. It was like the seed that fell on fertile soil. I did not realize that it was actually the solution for my situation until I had thought it over for a few days though.
I am just wondering what kind of stress people go through that don’t bring their troubles before the King. Just like the Israelites in the desert brought their complaints and disputes before Moses daily, we have to do the same. Only we go straight to God, we don’t have to go through an overseer.
Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Don’t put your confidence in your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path.
Proverbs 16:3, Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established.
Psalm 37:4, Delight yourself in the Lord; And he will give you the desires of your heart.
1Peter 5:7, Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
Psalm46:10, Cease striving and know that I am God, while I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
This last verse says exactly what we must not do. We must not strive. The dictionary gives the meaning of ‘strive’ as follows:
1: to devote serious effort or energy
2: to struggle in opposition.
Too often we are struggling in opposition to God’s plans when we are adamant that our own ideas are the best and that we know better.
When Job questions God’s actions, God answers him and one of the things He says is:
Job 38:12-13, Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it?
If we can claim to have done that, and all the other actions of Job chapters 38 to 41, then maybe we don’t have to acknowledge God and we can follow our own plans, but I’m guessing there isn’t anyone who can make that claim. We are all going to be better off if we just rely on God and not ourselves.


I didn’t work at the shop yesterday and spent the day sewing. I like sewing. It’s a relaxing craft and I enjoy making my own clothes. There’s a lot to be said for creating a one of a kind garment for yourself. My motive for sewing is two-fold. It it relaxing and I can own unique clothes at a fraction of the price of boutique clothing. This made me think of why we do things. I remember having subject choices in high school. We could choose between Physics and Chemistry (which was one subject called Science) and biology. The only other choice was between Math and Typing. In those days before the advent of computers typing was an actual school subject. I chose Math and Science and the reasons I gave were that I didn’t like typing, and that I didn’t like all the studying Biology entailed. Those reasons were true, but they weren’t the only reasons. My real reason was that it was accepted that the clever children took Science and Math. I wanted to be in the clever group. I did well enough in those subjects to be able to do them and pass, but my motive was twisted. Being clever is so overrated. All it means is that you know enough subject matter to be able to pass a test well. I was useless at sport so I suppose I thought that doing well academically would gain me some recognition. It did not, and the prize you collect at the awards ceremony only gives you 10 seconds of fame. Fame is like an ice cube in summer. It gives a little bit of joy and then melts to be forgotten forever. I didn’t have any passion for the subjects I chose, or for those I did not choose. I think if there had been choices like art and needlework my high school career would have been a much more enjoyable period. But that is in the past and I thank the Lord that He has saved me and delivered me from seeking attention.
James 4:3, When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you might spend what you get on your pleasures.
It’s all about our motives, our hearts, and God knows exactly what’s going on in our hearts and our minds. That’s just such a big concept to understand. How can someone know my deepest thoughts and desires without me having said anything. Sometimes without me even knowing that I have them.
Galatians 6:7, Do not be deceived: God will not be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
We cannot fool God. We might be able to deceive people and even ourselves at times, but we cannot deceive God. He knows everything.
Acts 8:9-25 tells of Simon the sorcerer who amazed people with his magic. He then got saved and baptised and started following Philip around, marvelling at the signs and wonders he did. When Peter and John arrived in Samaria and laid hands on people so that they received the Holy Spirit, Simon also wanted to do the same. He offered them money to receive it.
Verse 20-23, Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord, Perhaps He will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.
Simon clearly had the wrong motive for wanting to receive the Holy Spirit. Peters words might sound harsh but that is how serious having the wrong motive is. We have to make very sure that when we do things our motives are pure and correct. Firstly, we cannot manipulate God. That is not possible because He sees into our hearts, and secondly, we are going to reap the consequences of our actions. It’s better to sit down and think long and hard about why we want to do something, rather than rush into it for the wrong reasons. We must not just think about it but also pray about it, and be assured that when God leads us we cannot go wrong because He truly has our best interests at heart.