Tag Archive | holy spirit

Rise up and work!

  
Eph 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

Mission Monday: 
Wow! Didn’t the weekend just fly?! As we enter a new week, let’s refresh and refocus our minds on what God’s mission and purpose is for us.

We all have different jobs and occupations. Some are in high powered corporate positions of responsibility, others may be students, housewives, janitors or in church ministry. Whatever it is and no matter how demanding it is, know that God has equipped you with all you need to fulfill that mission!

You may feel as if you are on track or you may feel as if you’ve been experiencing setbacks – workplace conflict, or unexpected projects or tasks; maybe you’re in the midst of a career or ministry change and it’s daunting; or perhaps dealing with a health challenge or an ailing spouse, parent or child. We all have difficulties and troubles that can slow us down and cause us to be too preoccupied with ourselves and the situation, causing us to lose focus on our deeper cause – to live out Christ’s purpose through the highs and lows of our lives.

Sometimes it may be as though certain things have died or are dying and it may be quite difficult to cope with changes in circumstances and relationships especially if they are sudden.  

Today for Mission Monday, I want to encourage you to rise up and work! Continue to do what God has called you to do even in the midst of seeming setbacks.

Remember Jesus..at 33 years old, at the height of His successful ministry He was crucified (killed)..at least that’s all it appeared to be. In reality however, so much more was taking place! God was performing His greatest work since creation..the redemption of the human race from the power of sin and death.  

Things may have to die..things in us, things or people we’ve relied on must go, circumstances and situations will have to change and sometimes God would call us..like Christ to live out this great plan of His..trusting Him alone. 

Sometimes it means that we have to review methods, certain attitudes, actions or strategies and make changes. Don’t resist God. It’s all about Him and for Him. He can see the end from the beginning. He knows what He’s doing. He’s saying to trust Him, make the changes where you can and don’t rely on your limited understanding of that situation. It is not all that it seems..God is working a greater work and you must view those circumstances and guard your heart in the light of His word.
Proverbs 3:5-6(NIV) Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Jesus wasn’t just crucified..He was buried in a dark lonely abysmal tomb. Yet by the power of the Holy Spirit, He rose up in 3 days..not immediately..but in 3 days and was glorified and seated at the highest place..above every principality and power. 
John 16:33 (NIV) “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

A season may be 3 days, 3 months or 3 years. You may feel as if you’ve been hidden or buried in a dark place, grinding and sowing that seed for a while..as if things God spoke to you are not bearing fruit..but be patient. God will in time, in the time of His favor cause that hidden seed He’s planted to break forth from the ground and grow into a tree, with branches of healing for others (the nations) and evident fruit. 

Trust God! Trust God! Trust God and obey what He’s saying to you. 

Your greatest level of worship at this time or any time in your life, is your obedience to Him.
So as you go into this new week, be refreshed and refocused with new strength. Move forward with renewed faith! Draw from God (your greatest resource) all that you need to be godly (like Him) in your life and circumstances. 

You are not merely a “man” or a “woman”, in a position, you are a supernatural agent of God with access to His supernatural insight and power through the Holy Spirit. So go live out your God given purpose..do the works He has created for you to do in obedience and worship to Him.
Have a powerful, focused, God-filled week!

By Carol-angel Jackson

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Two or Three

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(photo credit: http://www.theignorantfishermen.com)

Matthew 18:20 (NKJV)
20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

God loves to dwell in the midst of the unity and togetherness of His people and His Spirit joins believers together despite age, gender, social class or ethnicity. Even if we’ve never met before, there’s that bond of peace that connects us as brothers and sisters.

My eyes were opened to this so amazingly again as recently I was asked by a friend in ministry to accommodate a friend of theirs as they travelled through Barbados on business.

Although we had never met before the fellowship I experienced with this lady was so wonderful and refreshing that it was unmistakably evident that God’s Spirit works between His people..even though we may be “strangers” in the flesh. In Christ however, we aren’t strangers because of that common bond and link. The very same Spirit that dwells in her is in me also.

He used her to minister to me and remind me of His promises and as we prayed together one evening we sensed the presence of the Spirit of God so powerfully that all we could do was worship Him.

I want to encourage you today not to forsake fellowshipping together with God’s people. Whether you meet at church or in each other’s homes, or in the coffee shop..meet together and pray and watch the Spirit of God move in your midst. Be open to God and His unconventional ways as He is not restricted to moving within the four walls of a church building. He can move powerfully among us anywhere we meet in our twos or threes.

Have a blessed weekend!

By Carol-Angel Jackson

Chasing heaven!


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Coll 3:1-7 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.  Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.  Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.  You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.

Some months ago, my Pastor preached a message about heaven and afterwards there was open discussion. As I sat there listening I was encouraged as I was reminded of my future hope. So often our minds are pre-occupied with the cares of this – world, money, jobs, our children, our spouses. As demanding and pressing as all these things can sometimes be, we are told to set our minds on things above. We are put here to have dominion and be faithful stewards of all that God places in our care but the bible is clear as to what our minds are to be pre-occupied with and where our hearts are to be..“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. Matt 6:21.

So how do we prepare for it? Firstly by receiving Christ as our saviour and then by actively and daily putting to death, all of those things that belong to our earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and the idolatry of greed. You see, the road to the kingdom of heaven is a narrow one, not for the faint hearted or weak willed. The other way on the other hand, the path that leads to destruction is broad and anything goes.

Do you remember that old book, “Pilgrim’s progress“? It showed how the main character, Christian, faced struggles on his way to the celestial city..the walk of the believer is certainly not an easy path. Paul described it as a struggle or war continually against our fleshly nature. We need to be daily focusing our minds on Christ, asking Him for the help of His spirit and living in complete dependency upon Him. The moment we take our eyes off Christ or feel..”Yeah, I could handle this” we begin to sink like Peter did. The winds and waves are just too strong!

The wonderful truth is that when as believers we put to death the works of our flesh, there is something far more glorious that fills and emanates from our lives- the aroma of the fruit of the Spirit..love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, self-control, gentleness and temperance. I know I would rather have that in abundance rather than the other stuff..wouldn’t you? 

Today let’s ask the Lord to re-focus our minds. To help us to conduct ourselves with an awareness of the future hope we have in Him and to prepare for it, denying the flesh and giving way to His spirit- all in the midst of all the demands of this present world.

Have a great weekend and keep up the good fight of faith!

1 Tim 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

 

By Carol-angel Jackson

 

MAKE ROOM FOR THE NEW!!

ISAIAH 43: 18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

I’d been looking at that storage area in our home, dauntingly for too long. It had become this place to put things that didn’t belong anywhere else and now it was messy, dusty and just an eye-sore. I knew it needed to be dealt with, that I’d have to go through the stuff, throw things away and clean the area but I was avoiding it like the plague, putting if off because it just seemed like a huge undertaking and.. boy I just wasn’t ready for that process.
Image   The disaster area

Aren’t our lives are sometimes like that? Circumstances and relationships dump burdens on us that pile up in our hearts and make us feel weighed down with emotional clutter. We can then begin to anticipate a future based on past occurrences in our lives.

Thanks be to God that He is our healer and a “clutter-cleaner”. He knows our thoughts, our circumstances, struggles and He sees how the stuff of life can build up like garbage. He also knows exactly what process to put us through and when and how long it needs to be, in order to get rid of the old stuff to make room for the new.

The cleaning process is not often pleasant (as I discovered in trying to clean that messy area) and for a while it may seem like more mess and upheaval is created as things are pulled out and examined in order to determine whether useful or not. Sometimes it’s downright painful as God may work on different “rooms” in our lives at the same time. He examines us and asks us things like.. “Is this attitude really useful”, “Is this perspective you’ve held for so long useful?”, “Why are you so fearful about this or that?” or He may say to us “I want you to give up this habit” or “Let’s change this pattern in your life”. If we trust Him and submit to His cleaning process in the different stages of our lives, at the end of it, there’s clarity, new perspective and new opportunities in God. The fog lifts!!

So, what is your process today? Is it a health situation, a financial situation, a relationship issue that you’re having to deal with? Be strong in the Lord knowing that this seeming difficulty is balanced with His grace that is sufficient for you. God is in control and the Holy Spirit is using it to get rid of unnecessary clutter so that new things can emerge. Hold onto His promises and trust, knowing that He is faithfully leading, renewing and restoring. The one who has overcome the world is with you so this circumstance is not meant to destroy or defeat you!! Just as the sun rises at the beginning of a new day, at the end of this, you too will have a new beginning with clarity and you will be brought more fully into all that He has for you.

1 Cor 2: 9 But as it is written: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.”

Isaiah 43: 1 But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.

By Carol-angel Jackson

Personal Testimony – Before They Call, I Will Answer!

Is 65:24 Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.

Can you imagine loosing your handbag with all your travel documents and money in busy London?

This is exactly what happened to my family while on vacation in the UK. After a day of sightseeing and shopping we boarded a Double Decker bus and sat upstairs to take in the city. Upon arrival at my Aunt’s home, to our distress, we realized that the bag with our money and other important documents, was missing.

Anxiously we scampered back to the bus-stop hoping to board the same bus, but it was another. We then rushed to the bus terminal lost and found section and waited until all the buses had returned, but nothing was reported. Next we went to the police station and we were told that they would investigate, but nothing seemed urgent to them, it was obvious that they didn’t think we would find it. Dejected, we returned to my Aunt’s and related those details.

Without a word, she led us calmly into the living room and THERE ON THE COUCH WAS THE BAG!  We couldn’t believe our eyes! Questions flooded our minds..how? where? when? who? My Aunt, a believer in Jesus and a prayer warrior, explained – Seeing our desperation, she stood at her kitchen window and prayed “Oh God, please bring the bag back! Please don’t let this spoil their holiday!”

Almost immediately, she heard a knock at the door. There stood an agitated woman who pushed the bag into her hands while saying “Take the bag, take it! He didn’t mean to take it!” She explained that her son, who had recently been released from prison, had brought it home. As he began to unpack it, she was “arrested” and convicted to return it so that he would not get into any more trouble. She saw a letter, written by my Aunt to us with her address and immediately grabbed the bag and went hurriedly to my Aunt’s.

When we searched the bag..everything was there, nothing was missing. Immediately we praised and thanked God for this miracle. Our omnipresent and omnipotent God knows our needs. Even in our moments of carelessness, He intervenes and answers us before we call!

By Leslie Hull

Sharing our hearts- personal testimony

Remember to send us your testimony so that we can all be encouraged by, and celebrate, what God is doing in your life. We are sharing personal testimonies for the month of August.
“Whom the Son sets free is freed indeed!” John 8:36
I was talking with some friends the other day and praising the Lord for the way He is able to deliver from bondage and fear. All of us go through difficult circumstances and the enemy tries to use those circumstances to put us in bondage.
When I was a child, my family moved every 3-5 years to a different island of the Caribbean as my Dad’s job required transfers. When younger, my brother and I enjoyed this. It was exciting to go do a different place and meet new friends. However, as I got older, it became much more difficult. One particular move proved traumatic to say the least. It was when I was sixteen years old. I had to leave my friends, change countries and go to a school which made every day painful to attend. Everything felt wrong, the teachers, the students and the work. As my grades fell and I felt out of place, I suffered from the most severe blow to my self esteem I had ever experienced. I found it very difficult to utter a word in public without breaking into a full-on anxiety attack..profuse sweating, palpitations and inability to speak. I felt so bound by it that I chose not to speak in public. I wouldn’t ask questions, I kept mostly to myself and prayed that no-one would ever ask me to stand up and do anything. Throughout those years and somewhat after, I thought I would never recover my confidence or ability to speak in public. Furthermore, I loved to play the piano and sing and whereas before I would perform in competitions and examinations with confidence, I felt I had lost my ability to do so.
Sisters, I’m happy to say that as I submitted my life to Christ, over the process of time, the Lord has freed me from this. Through the empowerment of the Spirit, I can speak, teach or sing for Him in whatever capacity He asks me to. It may not seem like such a big thing to others, because they didn’t know me then or know my anxieties, but I remember the gripping fear I felt and how in my own natural self I would have avoided anything like this. The Lord is able to deliver us completely and lead us into our God-ordained purpose!
What is keeping you in bondage today? God knows the plans He has for you and it may be the very thing the enemy is seeking to restrict you in. Submit it to Christ and allow Him to work His process of healing and liberty through the Holy Spirit. Step out in faith. God has your back!

Weakness to strength

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Heb 11:32-34

And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.

God’s omnipotence:

It’s amazing the way God works- He chooses foolish things to shame the wise and weak things to shame the strong (1 Cor 1:27); He calls things into being that are not (Rom 4:17); He is able to make things intended for evil work out for good (Ro 8:28) and He says if we have faith as small as a mustard seed and speak to something as big as a mountain it will be moved (Matt 17:20). He is all powerful and in His power we can do all that He has called us to do.

For each and everyone of us, there is a prophetic destiny that God speaks into our lives. From the time we were conceived and in our mother’s wombs, He says that He knows us, calls us and He says that He has prepared good works for us to do (Eph 2:10). As we get to know Him and His word, His Spirit reveals His will to us. 1Cor 2: 9-12 However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived, the things God has prepared for those who love Him, these are the things God has revealed to us by His Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 

Our weaknesses:

When God called Jeremiah, he said, “Lord I cannot speak, I am only a child”. God said, “I will put my words in your mouth” (Jer 1). When God called Moses, he said, “What if they don’t believe me?” and “I’m not eloquent but slow of speech and tongue”. God said, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say” (Ex 4).

When God speaks to us about His purpose for us, like Moses and Jeremiah we may say, “I can’t, because I don’t have the ability”, “I can’t speak, write or sing like that”, “My health is not the best”, “My circumstances are complicated and make it difficult”. Yet His call is not based upon our natural abilities but upon His supernatural ability which is freely available to us if we believe!  He is fully aware of our weaknesses and says: “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9). This is why Paul said:  “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Faith:

Hebrews 11:1-3 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

Self-sufficiency is one of the greatest hindrances to faith. To be self-sufficient is defined as: 1. able to supply one’s or its own needs without external assistance. 2. having extreme confidence in one’s own resources or powers. Faith is so much more than just positive thinking, or visualizing things we desire or hope for. It is the spiritual connection to God’s supernatural power. It is an unrelenting belief in the life bringing word of God that can create something out of the “nothingness” of our present circumstances. It is BELIEVING GOD, who promises that His word will never return to Him void but will accomplish all that He sent it forth to do. It is the casting off of our self-sufficiency and relying of God’s sufficiency. It doesn’t matter how long it takes or how adequate or inadequate our resources seem, through faith, our weaknesses are turned to strength..God’s strength!

I don’t know where you are or what stage you are at on your journey, but know that God is able to call things that aren’t as though they existed. After all, this was how He created the world. In the same way, His word has creative power in your life and is able to shape your destiny. Believe God! Be lifted beyond your capabilities into His supernatural power. Be patient! He promises that in due time, the time of His favor, He will answer and we will reap the harvest if we don’t give up.  God bless you!

By Carol-angel Jackson