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.

God is my source

I met a lovely lady today who told me that she works for God. I asked her what she did expecting her to say that she is a missionary or something like that. She said that she represents a certain company who sells retail goods, but that that is only her job as she works for God. I got what she meant. God is her source. He is the one who cares for her and provides for her. I remember hearing a teaching about that some years ago.

So if God is my source and not my job, my boss or my business, it will mean that I would live my life differently to what I would if He wasn’t. Or rather, if I didn’t see Him as my source.

How would my life look if I saw God as my only source?

First of all I want to establish that I believe every word in the Bible. Because of this I believe that God made the earth and all that is in it. Everything I have access to has been made by God.

1 Corinthians 8:6, Yet for us there is [only] one God, the Father, Who is the Source of all things and for Whom we [have life], and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through and by Whom are all things and through and by Whom we [ourselves exist].

Philippians 4:19, And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

James 1:17, Every good gift and every perfect (free, large, full) gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of all [that gives] light, in [the shining of] Whom there can be no variation [rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [as in an eclipse].

I have used the Amplified version of the Bible today. These verses illustrate how everything comes from God. He is the originator of everything that we have and that we receive.

Psalm 121:2, My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 91:2, I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!

Psalm 23:1, THE Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.

God is the one who helps me when I am in trouble and who looks after me like a shepherd looks after sheep.

Psalm 27:10,  Although my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child].

Psalm 22:10, I was cast upon You from my very birth; from my mother’s womb You have been my God.

Psalm 139:13-16, For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb.

 I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well.

 My frame was not hidden from You when I was being formed in secret [and] intricately and curiously wrought [as if embroidered with various colors] in the depths of the earth [a region of darkness and mystery].

 Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before ever they took shape, when as yet there was none of them.

God has known me from before I was conceived and as hard as that is to understand practically, that is what He says. Where there is a danger that my parents will forsake me, He says He will always take care of me. He also knows everything that will take place in my life.

I am going to say that the first thing that should change is that I should put way more trust in God and not worry. There are lots and lots of references in the Bible about not worrying. I should change my mindset to trust God instead of trusting people. I should operate in faith at all times. I should not look to my employment as my source. God can and will provide beyond what we can ask or even think. If I see God as my source, I will also be less selfish about my needs, realising that the things I need are the things that God wants to give me, and that those will be things that are good for me. If God does give me things that seem to be materialistic, like a nice car for instance, then it’s up to Him, I will not manipulate Him to give me my selfish needs. I will also live a much more grateful lifestyle, and complain a lot less. I think 5 minutes is not enough for this subject so I may continue. Thank you for listening. Blessings to you.

The devil wants you dead

Do you know when the devil is going to be happy? When he’s robbed you of everything you have, your possessions, your health, your relationships, your self-esteem, your salvation and your life.

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.

And Jesus came to give you life, and as it says, lots of life. There’s a spiritual battle going on for your life. In the Garden of Eden the serpent convinced Eve that God had been lying to Adam about the tree that they weren’t allowed to eat of. She said that God said they would die, but that charismatic reptile easily convinced her that is wasn’t true. That’s where the lying began, the very first time someone believed the devil’s lie, it caused the biggest problem that there ever was. It caused a rift between man and God. The enemy realized how easy it was to deceive people and he kept on doing it.

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.

Here Jesus, once again, directly says that the devil is a liar and a murderer. What kind of lies does the devil tell us?

He tells us that God doesn’t care about you and He doesn’t love you because you don’t deserve love. He tells you that grace doesn’t exist and that you have to work hard for God’s favour. Then he tells you that no matter how hard you work it will never be enough because you aren’t good enough and you never will be. The first time you do something wrong after you’ve been saved, he tells you that you aren’t really saved. Honesty is never the best policy where he is concerned and he will give you a lot of alternatives to telling the truth. When you are relying on God, and waiting for God to help you through a situation this enemy is going to keep telling you that it’s ridiculous to wait so long and that you need to make a plan because God is not going to help you.

He will tell you that you will never get ahead in life and that you will never have enough money. Then he will tell you that you ought to go after money because that’s the only way you will ever be happy. He will tell you that everyone else is right and you are wrong. That the only way to solve all the battles that are going on around you, is by taking your own life.

And do you know what the really sad part is? We believe all these lies a lot of the time. And we don’t just believe them, we tell them to others as though they were the truth.

So what do we need to do to counteract the situation? How do we get our heads and our hearts to believe what is right when circumstances are hard? Firstly we need to be there for each other. We need to be open and honest and accessible when our brothers and sisters are hurting.

1 Thessalonians 5:14-22, Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.

This is excellent advice that we would do very well to follow.

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

We really need to identify the thoughts that the enemy plants in our minds and we need to put on that helmet of salvation in order to protect our minds against the lies.

We need to be reading the Bible because then we are filling our minds with God’s truth.

We need to spend more time praying and communing with God.

We need to spend less time with people who are negative and who pull us down emotionally and spiritually, and more time with people who are positive and who know God and live His truth.

Something to remember is that no negative and self-destructive thoughts come from God. If that’s the only thing you are going to remember when life is threatening to squeeze all the air from your lungs, it’s a very good start. Oh yes, and God loves you.

The cost of salvation

Our shop has been quiet. Our town has been quiet. Rumour has it that even the taverns have been quiet. If people don’t have money to drink, they really don’t have money. Just thinking something like that makes me sad, but unfortunately in the times we live, it is true. When times are tough you would expect people to reach out to God. Unfortunately many reach for temporary solutions that the world offers. In Romans Chapter 1, Paul speaks of people who are unrighteous and verse 28 – 32, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled up with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of god, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”


This is such a mouthful! Then Paul goes on to say that we are not allowed to judge because everyone who judges also does the same things that he is judging. To me this means that I cannot judge sin, because I also sin. It might not be exactly the same thing that someone else does, but it is sin, nonetheless. Nobody is perfect and without sin. We are not Jesus. Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” and the very next verse, “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God sent as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in his forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”


If I think about Jesus dying for me I really struggle sometimes to believe that He really would do it for me, but because I believe every word of the Bible, I have to believe it. I have to believe that it doesn’t matter how bad my life was; it doesn’t matter what I did or said or thought, Jesus took all that on Him and said to me that because God loves me, He was willing to die for me. Whether my sin was small or big it doesn’t matter. He did it for a gossiper and a murderer alike. The whole concept of a person laying down his life for someone else is huge, but being willing to die for someone who is inherently bad, is very hard to understand. That’s how profound God’s love is. Romans 5:18-19, “Therefore, as through one man’s offence judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”


We cannot make ourselves righteous. Jesus did that. Without believing that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died on a cross to save us from eternal damnation, we do not have access to God, who is a loving Father and who is longing for a living, breathing relationship with Him. Now, if Jesus was so obedient that He allowed Himself to be nailed to that cross so that you and I can be forgiven of our sins, which are ongoing, how obedient shouldn’t we be? We know that we should be obedient, and we know that we should be on fire for Jesus and we know that we should be reading our Bibles and spending daily time in prayer. We know that we should be nurturing the relationship that God wants with us, but do we do what we know we should be doing? How often don’t we become cold, especially when we become so busy in our daily activities that we tell ourselves we are way too busy to spend time with God. I resolve to spend more time communing with God and I put the challenge out there. We can do it, we can get closer to our Redeemer, particularly when we are reminded of how much our salvation cost Him.

Reject the enemy

Philippians 4:8 – “Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are  noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.

The things which you have learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Romans 16:20 – “The God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly, The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, Amen.”


Why does the bible tell you to think about good things? So that the God of peace will be with you, and He will give you victory over the enemy. We need to crush Satan under our feet because it is Satan that lies to us and causes all kinds on bad things to happen to us. Maybe not entirely true. Satan lies to us and we believe him and then we think negative thoughts that cause bad things to happen to us.

Proverbs 23:7 – “For as he thinks in his heart so is he.”

This verse tells you that what you think about is what you become. If you keep thinking that you aren’t good enough you probably won’t measure up, even if it’s to your own standards. If you think you can’t do something I can almost guarantee you that you will not be able to. One of the biggest lies the enemy tells is that you aren’t good enough. Very few people haven’t felt that way in some stage of their life.


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 speak from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.


2 Corinthians 11:14 –  “ And no wonder! For Satan transforms himself into an angel of light.”


1 Peter5:8 – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”


Therefore, if you think negative thoughts, you will become negative in your heart, you will speak negative things and you will be a negative influence on everyone you come into contact with. If you keep thinking these think negative thoughts you are playing into the enemy’s hand. Conversely, if you think positive, pure and good thoughts the God of peace will be with you. When the God of peace is with you Satan will be crushed under yout feet! That’s a victory! If thinking positive thoughts is all it takes to put Satan under your feet that’s not so hard. It’s easy! But is it? If you have been thinking negative thoughts for so many years how can you change now?


Romans 12:2 – “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”


2 Corinthians 10:4-6 – “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of god, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”


Once again, Proverbs 23:7 – “For as he thinks in his heart, so he is.”

What if your circumstances are really hard? What if your spouse cheated on you? Or there’s no money in the bank? What if your doctor gives you a deadly diagnosis? What if the thought that comes into your head is one that says you should get hold of a gun and blow your brains out, or take a whole bottle of sleeping pills so that you do not have to go through the pain? What then? Recognize that thought as one that doesn’t come from God. Take it captive. Isolate it. Reject it immediately.

James 4:7 says, “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you..”

Resist the devil, in other words, do not entertain that thought. Don’t allow it to take up space in your mind. Do not invite it in, it has no place in your life. Those kinds of thoughts do not come from the Holy Spirit. They are straight from the pit of hell and if you take heed of them that’s where you are going to end up together with the one from whom they originate. Please do not even contemplate that God will put thoughts like that in your mind. He is a loving and merciful Father and He loves you. He does not want to harm you in any way. He went as far as allowing His only son to die so that you can have everlasting life. John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

Be aware that every thought that you have that will cause harm to yourself or to someone else does not come from  God. Look for good things to think about. Start a gratitude journal and list things you are grateful for every day. Surround yourself with positive people. Just remember that there will always be difficult circumstances but they will change. The only thing that will never ever change is God and the love He has for you.

Build that wall

The wind was blowing yesterday. Hard and cold. We live in a temperate climate therefore it was very hard and very cold by our standards. I woke up during the night and heard something that sounded like the wind. When I looked out of the window everything was quiet. Obviously I don’t sleep with my hearing aids in and sounds tend to become a little distorted so it could have been trucks driving through town or even the compressors of refrigeration trucks that were parked overnight. Whatever the noise was though, it was not what I thought it was.

Life is a lot like that. Things are very often not what they seem to be. Especially in the political situation we find ourselves in. Yesterday I read that more than 60 railway coaches have been burned out in Cape Town since the beginning of this year. The reasons are as varied but most of them have nothing to do with Spoornet (the railway company). The people who have the contract to supply railway vehicles benefit from it so who knows? The Bloemfontein City Hall was set on fire 2 days ago because the municipal workers apparently didn’t receive the wage increase that they were demanding. The cost of restoring that building will be a drain on city funds making wage increases even more difficult. When people don’t get what politicians promised them they burn tyres, block the main roads and loot shops. The motorists who use those roads mostly have no influence at all with the government department who promised the housing. The owner of the shop which gets emptied is not even affiliated to a political party and is just trying to raise a family by being an entrepreneur. Things don’t make sense and I have realized that, just like the wind which wasn’t the wind, things are very often not what they seem.
In Isaiah 11:3 the Bible says:
“and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears;”
When Nehemiah was rebuilding Jerusalem there were enemies plotting against him to try to stop him. They kept sending him messages in an attempt to intimidate him. He realized what their plan was and refused to meet with them. This is what he replied to them, “Nothing like what you are saying is happening; You are just making it up in your head.” Nehemiah realized that they were just trying to cause them to revert into a state of fear and not be able to do any work.
When Nehemiah went to see his friend Shemaiah, this friend tried to trick him into hiding in the temple to avoid being attacked and killed at night. Before he went to Shemaiah he prayed to God saying, “Now strengthen my hands.” Nehemiah realized that Shemaiah was trying to cause him harm.
Nehemiah 6:12 – 13 “I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had prophesied against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin be doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me.”
Nehemiah was using discernment. He prayed and asked God to strengthen his hands, but more than just his hands were strengthened. He had the gift of discernment. James chapter 1 verse 5: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
When all these political crimes happen, when farmers get killed on their farms without apparent reason, when little girls and babies are raped and killed, when property is destroyed, it is easy to fall into fear. It is so easy to let fear take you hostage and to become a prisoner in your own house. We aren’t only scared by political problems and crime. Every day things happen that can cause us to become fearful. Our children can become sick or street dangerously off course. Death, divorce, unfaithfulness, retrenchment, the list is endless.
John 1:12, “Yet to all who received him (Jesus), to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-” If you were the natural child of a king you would not be expected to live in fear. You would have rights and privileges that others normal citizens would not have. You would have free access to the king and be able to ask his advice at any time. Just like that, if you have accepted Jesus Christ as your saviour, you have access to God (The King and Creator of the Universe) at all times. You can ask Him whatever you want and He will answer you. In His Word it says “do not fear” 365 times. Once for every day of the year.
We have to learn to live as overcomers, as victors, as fearless royalty. We have to ask for wisdom and apply it, we have to discern when things aren’t as they seem to be. We have to be the light in the world and not hide in fear. Are we going to allow fear to paralyse us or are we going to do what Nehemiah did and fearlessly complete the task that he knew was his to do? Let us live lives that reflect the glory of God and let us enjoy every bit of it.


I was doing some research on Deborah who was the lady who was a prophetess and judge way back before the Israelites had kings.  I actually wanted to see if I could find out anything about her husband. The poor man only gets mentioned once. I suppose the mere fact that he is mentioned in the Bible already puts him into a hall of fame. How many people who lived more than 3000 years ago are actually still remembered today? His name is Lapidoth which means flame. There isn’t much written about him on any of the websites and commentaries I looked at but I found something very intersting about Deborah. In Judges 5 she and Barak sing a victory song. In verse 7 she praises herself by saying that village life had ceased until she arose. In the one commentary which was written by Jewish Rabbi’s they speculate that because of the pride she showed by praising herself, God took away the spirit of prophecy from her. 

Now if that was the case I am very, very glad we don’t live in the time of the Old Testament. Those were tough times.  Deborah sat under a palm tree and was the judge. People came from all over the place so that she could sort out their problems for them. Barak refused to lead the army to war if she didn’t go with him.  What kind of a wimp was he? So Deborah goes to war with him but she tells him that because he needs a woman to hold his hand, so to speak, his enemy will be “sold into the hand of a woman.” And that’s how it happens, almost like the twist in a soap opera, Sisera flees, Jael tricks him into having a rest in her tent, and drives a tent peg through his temple! The stories told in Judges are hair raising and better than a lot of action movies I’ve watched. Coming back to Deborah, I would have thought that she had something to boast about and was perfectly justified in saying what she said. 

Maybe being justified is not what its all about, and we love justifying ourselves.  We love giving reasons for our actions and making it allright to have done something even when it really wasn’t allright at all. Pride is the root of a lot of trouble today. We are to proud to admit when we make a mistake; we don’t want people to think that we are less than perfect so we pretend. We would rather live fake lives and smile fake smiles than admit we are less than perfect and perfectly human. When people actually do say they have a problem it also gets blown totaly out of proportion by putting outrageous post on social media.

Let us not fall into the trap that Deborah fell into and try to praise ourselves and make us look better than we really are. Let us talk less and listen more, let us make time for each other, let us stop and chat and not always be in such a hurry. Let us try to put the needs of others before our own. Let us try to make the world a litlle bit better by not being too proud to ask for help and not too busy to offer a helping hand to someone in need. Let us use the time that we have been granted here on earth to make it a better place and who knows, maybe 3000 years from now someone will know your name.