Tag Archive | God’s word

Who Are You???

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“God is not calling you to an uncertain future. Let the discovery of your identity be an adventure.”

If you were to try and imagine a stranger, someone that you had never met, you would not be able to do it. Too many unknown variables. Sounds strange right.

The person that God is calling you to be is someone that you have never met. Thus you have no frame of reference for imagining this person.

When you meet someone for the first time, more than likely, you put your best foot forward because you expect an amicable meeting. As you do not know the person, you are unable to judge them on an unknown past. It is a clean slate. You cannot form opinions based on who they are now or what they may have done in the past because you do not know.

For the new person that God wants us to become, we must also do just that. We tend to let past experiences or current actions taint the image of a future self. This results in the attitude of “Nope. Not me. I can’t do that.” or “Are you sure?”

Paul wrote that we are to forget the past and be drawn forward by the new future (Phil 3:13 -14); that higher calling.  Christ says that in Him we are a NEW creation (2 Cor 5:17): recently made, fresh, recent, unused, unworn, of a new kind, unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of. (ALL WOW and ALL YOU!!!)

Let discovery of the new with God be an adventure. You CAN be what He wants you to be and do what He asks of you.

This new person is unveiled over time. It’s not like going from inside to outside. One minute here and the next, there. It is a journey. It may not happen as quickly as you might like. There will be struggles and tests and victories and the peace of God to over shadow it all.

Our cooperation is a determining factor in the length of the journey.

You may have heard the still small voice of the Holy Spirit, or have a strong sense from the Word or have been given a prophetic word regarding the plans that God has for you.

You may even have set out on this journey all bright eyed and bushy tailed only to face falls, failures, disappointments, and you have to believe that God still loves you and wants the best for you.

The thing is, God has already seen that new person. He knows what they look like. He sees the strength that has been built and the faith that has been cultivated and the gifts that have been discovered. He also sees where the chains were broken and where deliverance came and where burdens fell away.

So He is not calling you to an uncertain future. He is certain that you will be that person as long as you put your trust in and walk with Him. No matter how much like a fantasy it seems.

Remember, stop trying to picture this new person and giving definitions of what they are to resemble. You have NO frame of reference. You have no idea what God will do and how he will lovingly form and shape you, once you are in His hands.

Jump in!!! Feet first!!! You know He will catch you!!! Or fly with you. Or keep you afloat.

Ok God, so what now? Where do we go? What do we do next?

He is calling you forward but in all things be sure to count the cost. God wants all of you.

So be excited; not scared.

Don’t  imagine all the ways things could go wrong cause you are not God. There is no way that you could possibly know that.

I recently learned this saying: Stop borrowing trouble; which basically means stop worrying about something that you have no idea how it will turn out.

We can be quick with our ‘what ifs’. Just trust Him and be lead.

You are not your past. Your definition comes from your future. God’s future for you. His purpose for you.

Remember :

Don’t doubt Him. God knows the plans He has for you –  Jer 29:11

Don’t let the fear of failing stop you from moving. You may fall 7 times – Prov 24:16, Psa 37:23-24

Don’t think you know it all. No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him – Isa 64:4; 1 Cor 2:9

Don’t set limits. He is able to do far more abundantly beyond what we ask or thinkEph 3:20, Isa 55:8-9

Don’t try to do it in your own strength. Humble yourself under His mighty hand and in due time He will lift you up – 1 Pet 5:6-7

 

My prayer for all of us, is that we believe the infallible Word of God. The Word that speaks of who we are to God and who God has called us to be in Him. That we know that He cannot lie and that if He says something about us, then it is so. That we know that His Words are meant to comfort and not condemn, to lift us up and not pull us down; to cause us to see the truth and to desire His truth in our lives. That I know and that you know, undoubtedly, unashamedly, that He loves us beyond all measure and will reach out to us and draw us to Him. Let God – not this world, ourselves, other people – define us.

By Marisse Cropper

Whose Report Will You Believe?

 

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Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Psalm 119:11

(All Scripture references taken from the King James Version)
( Picture taken from http://ubdavid.org/advanced/new-life3/graphics/23_bible-sword.jpg)

Realization

Recently I had a dream. In this dream I had a number of pets including three snakes. Even though I do not like snakes, and acknowledged that in the dream, I did not get rid of them. One in particular was quite bold. Moving freely about the house and chewing on various objects. Even becoming hidden at times.  Needless to say, I woke up unsettled and woke my husband to talk about it.  Was it an insignificant dream or was God trying to tell me something?

We were able to discover after some searching that snakes represent lies from the devil. These lies I was obviously living with; two that were subtle and one that was making itself very much at home. They were in my space and I even counted them as pets!

Thank God for His love and faithfulness. He has given the strategy and thus the victory.

 

Exposure

What were these lies and how long had I lived with them? Were they all subtle at one time, gaining ground only because I was not aware and did not deal with them?

Talking it out helped to reveal them : low self esteem, trust issues, not having what it takes.

Exposure is the first step to dealing with the lies of the enemy. As long as issues remain hidden, they can grow and become part of your space. The words that you think you tell yourself can become a part of what you consider to be truth.

These thoughts of “I can’t”, “I’m not”, “This I not for me” and others, are born from various sources. Maybe harsh words spoken or a past failure, helped to plant the seeds of something that would become larger over time.

 

Destruction

Only by the word of God can the lies of the enemy be destroyed. After Jesus had finished his fast in the desert, the enemy came to sway Him; to tempt Him and only by the word of God was he vanquished.

God’s word says:

Psalm 91:4          He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Psalm 43:3          O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.

 Without the light that is God’s word we are defenseless and can be lead to a place that is not His will and purpose for our lives. Light destroys darkness. Truth destroys lies.

What does God say about you? What are His promises to you? Does He not speak of you with an unconditional love? Does He not tell you that nothing can separate you from Him? What has God called you to do?

2 Tim 1:9              Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the           world began

Psalm 139:14      I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

Phil 1:6                  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Eph 1:4                 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,

Know your worth in God’s eyes. Be assured of His plans and vision for you.

That way it is easy to disregard that which is not true. Disbelieving the lies is automatic when the truth of God’s word reside in us.

Are there any lies in your life that you have believed, that need to be exposed? Remember, you may not see them as lies but God knows.

Freedom comes from His truth.

 

Action

Now, write down 3 lies that the enemy has been bugging you with and find the truth in God’s word to counter it . Pray these words over your life and be patient as these words will change your life.

 

Father God, your word is truth. Expose the lies of the enemy that have taken root in my life. Your word is strength, light and peace to me. May it cause that which has sought to pull me down to be defeated, as I stand firm in you. Forgive me for not believing what you say about me. Thank you Lord for your faithfulness. I know that you love me and will not leave or forsake me. I will continue to look to you as the ultimate definition of who I am. For you made me and you know me. Lord, I will rest in you. In the name of Jesus; Amen.

 

By Marisse Cropper

Information about the meanings of dreams – Understanding Dreams and Visions

 

 

 

Jesus under pressure – Our example

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Matt 26:41- “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”.

Life has many challenges. While challenges make us grow, sometimes the pressure of those challenges can make us feel like we will explode. Let’s look at how our Savior, Jesus Christ, handled pressure and follow His example by applying these principles to whatever we may be facing.

 

1. Jesus did not use earthly tools, He prayed.
e.g. John 18:10 – When the soldiers wanted to take Jesus, Simon drew His sword (earthly weapon). Luke 22:44 – when Jesus was in agony He prayed..”Being in agony He prayed more earnestly.”

Why pray?
a. Prayer brings with it strength from heaven (an angel came and strengthened Jesus in His time of need).
b. Prayer brings with it the very presence of the all-powerful God (The three Hebrew boys in the furnace had the presence of the Son of God (Christ) with them in their time of extreme pressure).

Personalize it: What is your method? How do you react under pressure? Earthly weapons/solutions or prayer? e.g. Do you talk to everyone about a situation and gossip rather than praying? Proverbs 10:19 –“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise”.

2. Jesus resisted temptation.
Temptation lurks when the pressure is on – Matt 26:41- “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”.

We ‘react’ when we are under pressure and may say or do the wrong things e.g. Matt 26: 73-74 – Peter lied, denying knowing Christ when put under pressure. The pressure of potentially being arrested, charged and killed was too great for him to handle. Luke 22: 48-50 – The disciples asked, “Lord should we strike with the sword?” They had no sense of the hour that they were in. Christ’s response was very composed/cool/collected – ‘Permit even this’.

What are some of the temptations we face under pressure?
i. To react in anger and sin e.g. giving someone a good piece of your mind (Bible cautions us to be angry and sin not).
ii. To forget about Christ/God and take matters into our own hands especially if we believe that God is not acting fast enough or doing what we think he should do.
iii. To deny Christ – how do we do that? We can be ashamed to identify with him in suffering as Peter did. Enduring suffering for Christ is not something that comes automatically to us so we might try to ease our way out of it (Mark 14:50 says that they (disciples) all forsook him and fled). We flee suffering and deny Christ sometimes by throwing away our faith in God- There are people that leave the faith when they are under pressure – I have a friend whose mother was ill with cancer for years and after her prayers for healing were not answered in the way she expected, she left the faith – denied Christ.

The GREAT temptation when under pressure is to deny Christ, to abandon God ESPECIALLY when He seems silent. God was silent through Christ’s trial of crucifixion – He had no representation in the form of a host of angels (as they were when they announced Christ’s birth); no forefathers (Moses, Elijah like at Mount of Transfiguration); no voice appearing from heaven (like when Christ was baptized)…absolute silence. Under pressure, we have to learn to trust God ‘even when we can’t trace him’ – when he seems to have left us alone and there is silence.

I pray this was an encouragement to you. We will continue next week with the last two points. Have a great weekend everyone!

By Robertha Reid

Talk It Out

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Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:7

If we are to believe what we see in cartoons, the devil is portrayed as a red skinned creature with horns on his head, having a long pointed tail and carrying a pitch fork. An image quite easy to recognize and one that would send you running the other way if you ever had a real life encounter.

That, however, is not the case. Often times we unknowingly have an encounter and even listen to his voice. The bible tells us that we have an enemy who will disguise himself to deceive us; appearing even as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:14).

For some time, I had been having these unsettling thoughts. Many times I had thought to talk about it but didn’t. It had gotten to the point where I was sure that the thing I feared would become a reality and still I kept silent. I was convinced that to say it, would make it real.

Then one night, I felt this strong urge to speak to my husband about it. Just tell him and get it over with. The moment I said it, he identified it as an oppressive spirit and not of God. Strange thing is, as we talked I wondered why I could not have seen that for myself as it suddenly became so clear. It is important that we get out of our own heads and confide to someone. All the enemy needs is a small opening and he will  take that opportunity to invade our thoughts.

My husband encouraged me to rise up and pray and he stood in agreement with me. God brought Ps 91:16 to my mind and as I declared the words of that Psalm over my life, something moved. Light and life entered a dark situation. The power of God’s word was evident. That is how we defeat the enemy. He is no match for the word of God.

Rev 12:11 says They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony

What I learned from this situation:

  1. Talk it out. When you are going through something, don’t keep it in. Seek Godly counsel. A different perspective can be just what you need.
  2. Never underestimate the power of God’s word. It can break every stronghold.
  3. The enemy will try to isolate you if given the chance. Don’t let that happen.
  4. I had to identify this spirit, and face it. Only when I had clarity as to what I was dealing with could I accurately battle. It had to be my fight.
  5. Keep the yourself in God’s word. Ps 119:105 – Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
  6. God wants to help. He wants to get us out of our situations. Start walking to Him.

Father, I thank you that you have given us your word. Let us use it as a two-edged sword in every battle that we may face. Give us the ability to discern the enemy in our lives and stand against him according to your word.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Marisse Cropper

Family and Friends

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A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows,
Is God in His holy habitation.

God sets the solitary in families;

PS 68 :5 – 6 (a)

For some us, our family may not be of blood relation but may consist of a tightly knit group that God has formed around us.

Recently, I had the opportunity to interact with family and friends that I am usually not in physical contact with. Being that we live in different countries. It was refreshing to say the least. I spent time with people I’ve known for over 20 years and those I just met over the last few years. These people who have in some way given something into my life at various points along the journey. Truthfully, I  only realised this after we had parted ways and I was back home missing them.

To them I want to say “Thank you” and also thank the Lord for bringing them into my life.

God may bring some people into your lives just for a season but their deposits are there to build upon. Others may be around you for your whole life, continually encouraging and giving.

Those with whom we can laugh until it hurts.

Those who anticipate our needs.

Those who always have an open ear.

The shoulder on which to cry.

The advice we may or may not want to hear.

The friend when we needed one.

Those who stand by you, no matter what.

People who remember you when and keep you grounded.

Those who see the potential in you when you may not see it yourself.

Those who  give, wanting nothing in return.

Those who keep you in their prayers.

Who are you thankful for in your life?

It is easy to call to mind  those with whom you are in contact  most often but what if you took a moment and thought  about those who have come in and out of your lives. There may be those that you have not thought of in years or those with whom you are not often in contact.

Not everyone in our lives is there to nurture or provide a framework for our growth. Rest assured that God has provided those who are. He puts us in families. That is  His promise. Love, appreciate and do not these ‘families’ for granted.

Love to you all and may you continue to see the love, wisdom, joy, strength and wonder of our God into this new year and beyond.

Marisse Cropper

Living Life

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.

1Jo 1:1

In order to get water from a well, there must first be water in that well. Also, in order to consume the water or share it with others,the water should be clear, not murky or contaminated.

When a well is being dug, the goal is not just to find water, but water that is clear and fit for human consumption.

So it is with the living water – the Word of life; the Word of God.

For us to live our lives accurately, we must have the Word to draw from as we walk day by day and make our decisions. If we are to council others, this is also true. It is possible for the Word in our lives to become tainted with the ideals of the Word.

To keep this from happening, we must constantly draw on God’s word – meditate on it daily. Without it, we may become lost or confused, not knowing how we are to proceed.

Having the pure Word serves to strengthen, nourish and refresh us and does the same for those with which we share it.

2 Tim 4:2
Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction

The Word also removes the impurities from our lives and builds us up.

Eph 5:26
to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,

Can we imagine our lives without the word of God?

It only takes a taste to start to change our perspectives and to alter the things that we do. Drink of it everyday and life takes on new shapes. We will continually grow and become more like Him.

by Marisse Cropper

Submission: It’s a Choice | Blogs by Christian Women

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Recently my son came to me. He had been watching one of his favorite shows on TV and was curious about something. He had seen the parents on the show arguing and even insulting each other. This was done to a laugh track. The arguing parents were funny. This puzzled him as his parents did not act like that. Not to say we never disagree but not to that extent and certainly not calling each other names.

This brought to mind a trend that I have noticed in TV – sitcoms especially; where the wife insults and degrades the husband. I wondered if that was an accurate reflection of society or if it was just written for the sake of levity. Would it then influence how wives actually treated their husbands? Would it influence how a new generation of young people treated each other? Television and society as a whole seems to equate submission with subservience.

The following article is re-posted from Blogs by Christian Women and written by Samantha Elizabeth. It deals with of Godly submission and gives an interesting perspective on the topic.

Submission: It’s a Choice | Blogs by Christian Women.

By Samantha Elizabeth (An Excerpt)

Our culture has a very charged focus on women’s’ rights. There is no doubt that women have come a long way in forms of equality, but I believe historic moments such as; a woman’s right to vote, equal pay, and expectations to live a domestic life are things that should be separated when looking at biblical reference to “submission”.  Somehow…society ties it all together…and I am not quite sure where this all came about. The word “submissive” is known as the dreaded word in which Christians have been chastised for. The term alone has caused such an uproar that most can barely look past it. Sadly, this piece of scripture has been taken and skewed, cherry picked and distorted…to fit the lives and expectations of non-believers and believers everywhere.  I was one of them. 


A little background…

I grew up to be a very independent woman. The idea of ever submitting to anyone was not something I found flattering.  Who would ever want to submit? And to a boy (man) at that! In my younger years my relationship with Christ was just developing…so I fell in to the category of “cherry picking” verses that allowed me to find justification as to why certain biblical expectations were ludicrous and would never, ever, be applied to my life. As I have grown deeper in my faith, I have found a way to look at scripture and biblical reference about submission differently. 

Click on the link to view the article in its entirety.

Posted by Marisse Cropper