Dragons Breathe Fire


Yesterday we had an amazing church service. The visiting preacher is a businessman who spoke about how he learned not to worry while his business was in dire straits. It was an interesting topic for me because it has been something that the Lord has really placed on my heart lately. I am inspired and motivated by what he said. Something he mentioned was that God gives us enough grace for today. He gives us what we need to handle today’s problems, we must not be concerned about tomorrows problems. I like to know the how of things but even more than that, I like to know the why of things. Why shouldn’t we worry about tomorrow? Just because God says so? I asked the Holy Spirit to show me why, to paint a picture for me in a way that I can understand. And He did.


Let’s suppose you are a traveller who is taking a trip to a distant place. You are riding a horse and you have a precious cargo to deliver. This was a long time ago, like a once-upon-a-time story. You know that there is a dragon in a cave about a days journey away, and that cave is on the road that you have to take. You don’t know of any other road to get to where you have to go. You don’t have any weapons and your horse isn’t trained to be calm around dragons. Dragons breathe fire and eat people and horses, so you have a problem. I forgot to add that you are a Christian and you do have a relationship with Jesus.


You pray and ask Jesus to keep you safe on your journey, and you feel the peace that He really is listening to you and is telling you to go ahead, but you still worry about the dragon and you start to make plans to avoid it. You find out from someone you meet on the way that there is a very steep, dangerous footpath you can take to bypass the dragon cave. Your horse won’t be able to take that path so you will have to travel further by yourself and also carry whatever you have. You decide to take the detour and you have a very difficult journey. You run out of water and food and by the time you reach your destination you are sick and have to spend a long time recuperating.


What you did not know is that if you had prayed and left your journey in God’s hands this is what would have happened:


You ride your horse right past the dragon’s cave and as you pass the cave, you hear a great commotion. Your curiosity gets the better of you and you quietly creep closer and take a peek inside the cave. As you are looking a knight in shining armour comes staggering out of the cave with a sword covered in green goo. (Apparently dragons have green blood) He killed the dragon but was injured in the process. You cover his wounds and let him ride your horse while you walk alongside. When you reach the next town you are both welcomed as heroes and he shares with you the reward he gets for killing the dragon.


Now in the first scenario you made your own plan because you did not totally trust God. In the second instance you said, “God, I know there’s a dragon, but because You told me to trust You and not worry about tomorrow, I am going to listen to You.”


Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths.


We have to learn to trust that God has already made a plan for tomorrow. We also have to remember that even though we might think that we know what is going to happen tomorrow, we do not. We have to take tomorrow and leave it in God’s hands. In this story God had already made a plan for tomorrow, a brilliant plan in which you were the winner, but you forgot that wherever you go, He has already been. He is not going to give you His plans for tomorrow. He gives you enough grace for today, enough courage and strength and patience and peace for today. Tomorrow’s share comes with tomorrow. If you make your own plans because of all your anxiety you mess up His plans and He cannot give you what He planned to give you!


So we HAVE TO stop worrying about the future because it doesn’t belong to us, it’s God’s and it’s in His hands. He loves us and He is making it good for us.


World Changers

A friend and I were talking about how, when we were young we did not have the luxury of being idle. There was always something that we were expected to be doing. And we did what was expected of us. She said, and I reiterated, that if she tries to relax and just do nothing, she tends to feel guilty. When you are in the position of having to employ people there will always be issues with expectations that aren’t met. Some people just aren’t as willing to work as others. You get people who are really so self motivated and enthusiastic that they continually surprise you with their willingness to work and learn. Then you get others who just do the bare minimum, usually just enough not to get dismissed. They don’t really want to be where they are but they do want their salary at the end of the week. I seriously pity them because life must be so bad. I speculate that their mindset is that they don’t have a choice and that maybe one day something or someone will come along and rescue them out of the hole of self pity that they are wallowing in. I might be wrong, but that in my observation. It seems to me that this tendency is becoming more and more common. The Bible tells us that we shouldn’t be lazy.
Proverbs 23:25-26, The sluggard’s craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work. All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing.
I see this bottomless pit of craving that can just never be filled up because the lazy person just wants to get without ever giving. Not giving effort, not giving time, not giving money, not even giving mercy.
2 Thessalonians 3:10, For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule, “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”
Proverbs 10:26, As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is a sluggard to those who send him.
These are rules which ought to be enforced in society today. If they were I think there would be way more entrepreneurs because people would be forced to seek employment, and if they don’t find any they would have to find a way to earn a living. With the poor moral standards in our society today it seems that becoming a criminal is quite acceptable in some areas. A lot of the time I see that people feel there is nothing they can do about unemployment, crime and the decay of society in general. But look what Proverbs 21:30 says, There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord.
Acts 5:39, But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourself fighting against God.
2 Corinthians 13:8, For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.
I just love what is being said in these verses. They are so strong and positive. If we pray for the right things to happen; if we pray scripture over businesses, towns and cities, then things are going to happen for the good. God says over and over that He has good plans for us. Plans to prosper us and not to harm us. We cannot expect, however, that things should be going well with us if we aren’t reaching out to others and spreading the gospel. The only way people are going to change is if they discover God’s love. The only way they are going to discover God’s love is when we show it to them by living it, and by telling them. We have to become Kingdom orientated; we have to start propagating a Kingdom mindset. When people don’t know Jesus and the Holy Spirit doesn’t live inside of them, they are much more easily deceived by the devil and that is why society looks the way it looks. It is our responsibility to start changing our environment. We need to start by asking Jesus to show us who we have to pray for and who we need to speak to so that we can start to change the world.

Swept Clean

I suppose it’s not just okay to tell someone that you don’t like them. Imagine going up to people and telling them in their faces that you don’t like them. I shudder to think how it would be received. How would I receive it if it was me? I don’t really think that it is the person that is not likeable. It is the spirit behind, or inside of the person that causes that person’s behaviour. I think that because every person has a place in them for a spirit, there must be some kind of spirit in everyone. Because there are only two kinds of spirits, the Holy Spirit of God, and evil spirits from the devil, it will be either of these that will be present in people.

Luke 11: 24-26, “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.”

Matthew 12:43-45, “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”

This parable says that when an evil spirit is driven out of a person, there is a void which has to be filled. If it is not filled then the void is open for the evil spirit to return, but it will not return by itself, it will bring with it 7 other spirits more evil than itself. If that void isn’t filled with the Holy Spirit that person is going to be in much more trouble than when he started out. This also tells me that people cannot walk around with nothing inside that space that wants a spirit residing in it. And it’s not a matter of believing that there is a God or believing that the devil exists. As far as the bible is concerned this is what it is. I speculate that if someone is a good person, but he isn’t a believer, there will be some kind of spirit in him which isn’t very wicked.

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 was speaking to Jews, not Gentiles who had never even heard of God. These were supposed to be God’s chosen people.

Luke 1:15, For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.

John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit while he was in his mother’s womb. What an amazing thing to happen. I am assuming that Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit from conception because He was conceived by the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes people behave in certain ways because they are being influenced by the devil. It doesn’t necessarily make them bad people, they are people who are being misled. Christians should pray for discernment so that they can recognize what is going on and make a difference in their lives.

What I’m getting at is that we shouldn’t just judge a book by its cover. It is quite possible that a person could be under the influence of some spirit and we should rather love people so that they can start to see the Holy Spirit in us, than judge them and spoil all our chances of winning their soul for the Kingdom.


My faith in a nutshell

I am going to try to put into words what my faith means.

My Father is the King (of the Universe). He adopted me because I accepted the redeeming love of His only Son, Jesus. God (The King and my Father) planned my existence before the beginning of time and has a plan for my life which I can choose to accept or reject.

Ephesians 1:4-6 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

He loves me so much that He sent his only Son, Jesus to die for me, to take all the sickness, pain, suffering and poverty of the world onto Himself so that, by accepting Him, I can receive eternal life. I can spend eternity with Him after I die.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

If I reject Him I will be condemned to eternal suffering in a very real place called Hell.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Now, because I have accepted the sacrifice of Jesus I have also received the Holy Spirit who is constantly with me to guide me daily and to comfort me in times of trouble. Because God is my Father I have access to Him at all times, even though my life isn’t always perfect. I have been made righteous through the blood of Jesus and therefore I can appear before God.

John 16:13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

I can share anything and everything with God because He is my Father. He is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. Omnipotent means that He has unlimited power.

Omniscient means that He knows everything.

Omnipresent means that He is present everywhere at the same time.

Even if I don’t share everything with God He still know it. It will not help me to try to hide anything from God. He knows everything we do and everything we think and everything we feel. Trying to hide things from Him is just playing a dangerous game.

1 John 3:20 For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.

Not only is God my Father, He is also the Judge in the courtrooms of Heaven.

Psalm 75:7

But God is the Judge:

He puts down one,

And exalts another.

The devil, who was an angel who rebelled against God and got thrown out of Heaven, is the accuser in this court and Jesus is my advocate.

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

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.

When I am accused of something by the devil, God cannot dismiss it or rule against it just because I am His child, His integrity is so perfect that He has to make a fair decision. Jesus will always try to defend me and that is where my prayers, my offerings, my sacrifices and my obedience come into play.

1 John 2:1-2 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

If God is obliged to make a judgement against me because, for instance, I have not forgiven someone, it doesn’t affect my relationship with Him. He is still my Father and I am still His child. He will always love me. For me to come back into righteousness I have to repent of whatever it is I did and He will forgive me and I will once again be righteous.

Romans 2:11 For there is no partiality with God.

I struggled to understand how intercession worked until I learned about heaven having a courtroom. I should have realized how it works because the Bible is full of verses that speak about it, but it didn’t dawn on me. If I pray for someone I am actually making representation for them in the courtroom. This makes so much more sense to me and it inspires me to pray more fervently for people who are in need of grace.

Ephesians 6:18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.

This is what I believe, in a nutshell.


My daughter and I had a glorious morning on the beach. We swam in the ice cold water and enjoyed every minute. I say ice cold, but as we live in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, ice cold is obviously not freezing, but it was cold. We swam until a bluebottle passed my daughter’s face too close for comfort. We decided to call it a day and went for a walk on the beach. Bluebottles are really beautiful. I was surprised to learn that bluebottles are siphonophores, an odd group of colonial jellyfish. Rather than being a single organism like the jellyfish. These are actually made up of several colony members called persons. These members include feeding persons, reproductive persons and stinging persons. They have a gas filled bladder (which is another person). This bubble is what we recognise bluebottles by. Together this colony contains male and female parts so are able to reproduce asexually, meaning the bluebottle makes clones of itself. If you come into contact with one of their tentacles in the water, they reflex release nematocysts or stinging cells. The sting can be excruciatingly painful. Bluebottles are best avoided.


We often encounter beautiful and enticing things in everyday life that are best avoided. In the book of Proverbs, which is ascribed to Solomon, he warns over and over against the wiles of wanton women. As it turned out, his love of women were his destruction. 1 Timothy 6:10, ‘For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pieced themselves through with many arrows.” That happens. Temptations creep up and take hold of people and if they don’t recognize the schemes of the enemy in time, they get trapped. Then verses 11 and 12 say, “But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold of eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

Then follow instructions to the rich that they should not be haughty and shouldn’t put their trust in their riches, but in God. To do good with what they have and rather store up a good foundation in Christ so that they can have eternal life. Verse 20 – 21, “O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoid the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge – by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.”


This last admonition is very interesting and I know of people who having been professing Christians before, found some so-called intellectual teachings and decided that they were true, and in that way strayed from the faith. We have to remember that the Bible was written by normal, down-to-earth, God-fearing people. It was not written by philosophers and intellectuals. If the authors of the Bible had been super clever learned people with a string of degrees behind their names, it would be off-limits and outside the grasp of most people. As it is, everyone who can read, and who can understand spoken language can, with the help of the Holy Spirit understand the Word of God. The Holy Spirit gives us the wisdom to be able to understand scripture.


1 Corinthians 2 :6-12. However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not he wisdom of this age, not of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written: Eye has not seen, not ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes the deep things of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”


In order to understand scripture, we need the Holy Spirit. Although there isn’t anything wrong with getting a degree, but avoid people and teachings that say higher learning and degrees are the only way you can understand the meaning of the Bible.

Sacrifice of Praise

I have realized that, “a sacrifice of praise” means way more than I ever realized. Hebrews 13:15-16, “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to god, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

This morning I blew my shofar, not because I had a feeling of victory or because I had overcome anything. I just knew that I had to do something to strengthen my own faith. We often see preachers and pastors who preach victory and we think that everything looks so great, but I think that a lot of the time they are also struggling with issues of their own. I remember someone saying that feelings don’t have brains. I’ve always thought about the context in which he used it because he was saying that you shouldn’t get swept up in the moment when the Holy Spirit moves. I think that maybe he never experienced the Holy Spirit in practice because it doesn’t matter what my brain tells me, I am not resistant to that call. What I do feel though, is that if I am feeling defeated or depressed or just overwhelmed with a situation, I must not rely on my feelings. I cannot decide that God is not helping me, or doesn’t love me just because I don’t feel His presence.

Isaiah 40:28-29, “Have you not know? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths that faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait 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 55:8-9, “’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” So God does things His way and most of the time we don’t understand what His ways are. We have to get to know God’s Word so that we can get a little bit closer to knowing His thoughts and His ways. Psalm 119:11, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” Verse 105, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Verse 133, “Direct my steps by Your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me.”

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ,.” Ephesians 5:1, “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma.” 1 john 3:2, “Beloved, we are now children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we shall know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” 1 John 2:6, “He who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk just as He walked.”  And just how did Jesus walk? How did He live? He loved His enemies and prayed for those who spitefully used Him. He loved His neighbor as himself. He forgave. He considered Himself a servant and washed His disciples’ feet. He believed that all things are possible with God. He had faith to heal the sick and cleanse lepers. He drove out demons. He took authority over the devil by quoting scripture. He multiplied bread and fish and He walked on water. When He was arrested, beaten and tortured He never complained or defended Himself. He sweated blood when He prayed because He knew what was coming but He faced it anyway. Because He was fully man it wasn’t any easier for Him than it is for us, and I believe that praise was often a sacrifice to Jesus, but because He knew the effect He praised. Let us praise when we don’t feel like it. Let’s be obedient and see what happens.


Spiritual drought

I was watering the garden begin the shop in the late afternoon. I just took two small buckets and gave the plants the bare minimum of water. I didn’t have the time or the inclination to do more. Everything is really extremely dry because of the lack of rain and also because of my lack of care.
God showed me that the church is like my garden. The people who haven’t given up of the church and left, are barely holding on. Their roots are even drying out. Their leaves are wilting or brittle. They aren’t receiving the water of the Holy Spirit, the living water that they so desperately need in order to grow.

The caretakers of the garden (church) don’t take the time or have the inclination to spend time in the Word to get filled up and to bubble over and spill over. The people who are sitting in the pews are satisfied with the scraps because they haven’t received the real life-giving water for so long that they don’t know any better. They aren’t reaching out and searching for more. Complacency has set in and apathy is the order of the day. If the gardener isn’t excited about growing plants how can the plants be excited, and if he convinces the plants that they are receiving enough water who are they to argue?
The other thing I noticed was that there were thorns sticking into the soles of my shoes. They are very aptly named devil’s thorns. Picking up ‘thorns’ is very easy when there isn’t any nourishment and water.
For the turning away of the simple will slay them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them;
Proverbs 1:32

Pray for the leaders

I have had a very difficult week. Emotionally taxing. On Thursday residents of a certain area were protesting about housing. Apparently the money that was supposed to be used to build hoses had been misappropriated. These people were blocking the main road through out town. Trash, large stones and old car tyres we deposited across the road at various strategic points to prevent traffic from entering and leaving. Soon the tyres had been set alight and the police came along to disperse them. Nobody was injured, some damage was done to the potted palms in the middle of town, and there was a lot of debris to be removed from the street. There were a lot of irate motorists and the businesses in town who are dependent on passing traffic lost business. Then the next day the president fired half of his cabinet and replaced them. This obviously had nothing to do with the protests in a small insignificant town. Speculation as to what the repercussions will be for the country are all over the newspapers and internet. And then one of the opposition parties is saying that farms belonging to white farmers must be redistributed to black people.

These things are causing a lot of negativity. Every time you log into Facebook or other social media there are negative comments. There’s a petition that people can sign which is demanding that the president must be taken out of office. Then I saw another Facebook post where a friend of mine said that we have to pray for our leaders instead of demand that they be removed from their jobs. It was not what I expected to see given all the negative and aggressive talk. I thought about it and I realized that this was exactly the reminder I needed. I have had such negative thoughts racing around my head that I was in a bad mood. I was walking around with a frown and finding it very hard to be joyful. I asked God how I am supposed to handle the situation we find ourselves in.

Phillipians 4:4 says “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” and further in the same chapter, verse 8 says, “Finally bretheren, 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.” So, if we want to be joyful and always rejoice we have to think about good things, great and beautiful things, not negative or ugly things. We have to fill our minds with purity and beauty and things that are praiseworthy. How on earth do we do that when the world is in the mess it currently is?

The Bible clearly instructs us to pray for our leaders. 1 Timothy 2:1-3, “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our saviour.” I don’t think that Paul said this because he and the ruler had a good relationship. The emperors and kings of that time actively persecuted Christians and Nero gave the order to have Paul beheaded. If we think we’re having a hard time with our ruler I think we ought to update our historical knowledge.

This is how I practically see these verses.

If I want to be joyful I need to think about positive things, but how do I do this when everything I hear and see is negative? I have to start praying for the leaders of my country. I don’t have to like people to pray for them but if I’m praying for them I cannot be negative about them. That means my mind can’t be filled with negative thoughts. If I’m not praying for them I will be thinking about all the negative things I hear and see. Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” I don’t want to be like the rest of the world who are angry and negative and depressed. I want my mind to be renewed so that I can be in God’s will.

I have to pray for them to receive salvation, to be able to make Godly decisions even if they aren’t godly people (yet) and for them to be guided by the Holy Spirit. I am sure that there will be many more things I’m going to discover that I can pray for as I go along. But for now I have to just start praying.