Monday, 15 August 2016

God is a God of Order

"For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. " 1 Corn 14:33
Order can only be achieved through finding balance in our lives. 

If you look at the natural state of the world everything is perfectly balanced out. God created both land and sky. Night and Day. Boys and girls. Plants and animals. Happiness & Sadness, hungry & full. Even if you look at the body it is perfectly balanced. Because we are created in the image of God we naturally want things to have order, and to be balanced.

But what happens when our desire for order is out balanced by the chaos of our reality?

We want to have a close relationship with our friends and family but we don’t make time for them.
We want to be treated with respect yet we disrespect others.
We want more money, yet spend the money that we don’t even have.
We want more time but then we spend the time we do have on our cell phones.
We want to do right yet we choose to do wrong.
What about when we want miracles but it’s too much of a mission to pray.

If we look at the book of Job he goes through a lot of chaos in his life even to the point where he wishes he wasn’t born. Job is a holy man and the devil saw that. So he asked God if he could challenge Job and God allowed it because God had faith in Job. Long story short job losses his family, his belongings and became very ill. Through it all Job did not curse God, but he did question why he was going through the trails because he believed he was blameless. Elihu was the only friend who offered him sound advice which made Job realise that his chaos was never about him, it was about God receiving the glory through his restoration.

“But Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry with Job for justifying himself rather than God.” Job 32:2

“But you (job) have said ‘I am pure, I have done no wrong;    I am clean and free from sin. Yet God has found fault with me;  he considers me his enemy. He fastens my feet in shackles; he keeps close watch on all my paths.’ “But I, Elihu, tell you, in this you are not right, for God is greater than any mortal. Why do you complain to him that he responds to no one’s words? For God does speak—now one way, now another— though no one aware of it.” Job 33: 8 -14
“God does all these things to a person—   twice, even three times— to turn them back from the pit, that the light of life may shine on them.” Job 33:29
It was only when Job's heart changed, that God changed Job's world. In the end God restored everything back to Job in double portions.
If we look to find God in every bit of our chaos, our disobedience and our failures then he will turn our chaos into order.

Here are three steps to achieving balance:

1. We need to start finding the purpose of our chaos.

In the beginning of July I decided to do a 4 month, part-time, web course. The week before I began my studies I freaked out a bit; as if my current busy life wasn’t hard enough to manage, I couldn’t image adding something else to my plate. I began the downward negative spiral convincing myself that I would be unable to balance part-time studies, a full-time job, serving at church and still making time to see my boyfriend, family and friends. I went on my knees and began pleading with God to somehow give me one extra hour in the day and that’s when I heard His voice as clear as day, “You asking me for more time, but you not giving me the time that I have already given to you.”

And it clicked, the one thing I didn’t prioritize in my to do list was the fact that I needed to get into the presence of God every single day. Instead of being too busy to spend time with him, I needed to tell me “busyness” that I’m busy spending time with God.

So instead of asking God for more, ask God to help you manage what he has already given you and then He will bless you with more.

2. We can only gain control by losing it to God.
God is more concerned about our heart conditions than our living conditions. Sometimes he will allow us to go through a trail because he knows that it might be the only way for us to draw close to him again. Let him change your heart so you can change your world.
3. Put God in the Center.

Your chaos will become order once you learn how to balance what God has placed in your hands. Take off the weights of what is unnecessary, any doubt, negativity, or condemnation and put on the weights of the God’s promises, while finding rest on the axis of God.
“Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you” Psalm 139:12
The darkness, the chaos, the confusion will not feel like chaos once you have found its purpose, given the chaos over to God and put God in the centre of it all. I now know that no matter how busy my season is, God is always busy working. He is busy turning things around for my benefit and for His glory.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Piece for Peace

Pieces, broken and scattered pieces; it's the way we feel when God sends us a trial, when we are faced with fear, put in a tough situation or even going about our day-to-day activities failing to sense that God is with us. What about when people let us down, when our dreams and hopes don't turn out according to our plans or when our goals become bigger than our God? Have you ever stopped to think that maybe God isn't missing, we're just missing the point. God doesn't give us His heart in pieces, yet every day we give God pieces of our heart, our life, our time, our trust and our thoughts.

Jesus is called the Prince of Peace, but sometimes we treat Him like the prince of piece, only taking time to think about His death and resurrection over times like Easter, Communion or when we decide to read the Gospels once every couple of months. How can we expect to truly find Jesus, if we fail to seek Him wholeheartedly?

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart" Jeremiah 29:11

In the book of Hosea, God instructs Hosea to marry a promiscuous woman who ends up being adulterous. God uses this story to show us how Israel has been betraying God by loving and lusting after things other than Himself.

1. We Belong to God:

God doesn't need us yet He chose us. "Yet I will show love to Judah; and I will save them—not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but I, the Lord their God, will save them." Hosea 1:7

God is the only one that can save us and the only one who can save others. God is a jealous God, we need to remember that our life and the lives of the ones we love belong to God. He makes the decisions, He gets the glory, we are His people and He is our God.

2. Love God With All Your Heart:

'I will not show my love to her children, because they are the children of adultery. Their mother has been unfaithful and has conceived them in disgrace. She said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my food and my water, my wool and my linen, my olive oil and my drink.’ Hosea 2:4-5

How often do we confess with out mouth that we love God above all else, yet we choose things daily over His presence. I spent an entire year longing after what I thought was a dream God gave me and it gave birth to things in my heart that were not from God. 'I will not show my love to her children, because they are the children of adultery'  I conceived self-righteousness, entitlement and wariness as I seeked to complete tasks rather than seeking more of Jesus.

What about when you get what you want? The food, the water, the linen etc. Last year I met the man of my dreams, He loves Jesus, serves whole-heartily and respects and treats me the way every girl deserves to be treated. But ever so often I have to remind myself that I said "I do" to Jesus, who is and forever will be the lover of my soul, my groom, before and even after the day I say "I do" to my earthly husband.

3. Find Jesus and You'll Find a Way.

"Therefore I will block her path with thornbushes; I will wall her in so that she cannot find her way." Hosea 2:6

Most times we think the more we practice the better we will be, the more we work the more we will achieve, the more time we sow the more we will reap and after a while we become so consumed with our doing that we forget who we are becoming. If our actions start affecting our heart instead of our heart affecting our actions then we start to lose sight of our path amongst the thornbushes.

"She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them." Hosea 2:7

When we chase after the things we love instead of the One whom we love, there will always be a longing for more, a whole that cannot be filled, a missing piece that cannot be replaced.

4. Acknowledge God as the Source

"She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold-- which they used for Baal." Hosea 2:8

Day after day we give recognition to others and we desire to be recognised, celebrated and praised. We may forget that every good thing comes from God and put our trust in things other than God. Who do you acknowledge as your source of information, joy, peace, affirmation and love. When we lose sight of God as the source our heart of thankfulness turns into a heart of self-righteousness. God will withdraw what withdraws you from Him, when you place your trust or desires in something or someone other than Him.

"Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens, and my new wine when it is ready." Hosea 2:9

5. God will Expose your Heart

"So now I will expose her lewdness before the eyes of her lovers; no one will take her out of my hands." Hosea 2:10

When you set your eyes on things other than God, you heart will be filled with things other than the fruits of the spirit. You'll become defensive and insecure, compromise on decision and choices that were once steadfast and immovable, be tired and worn out as you do things out of your own strength rather than from the overflow of God's strength in you, become desensitised, losing compassion, in the things that once brought you to tears in thankfulness and so on.

BUT.... (read Hosea 2:14 - 23)

  • God will draw you back into the quiet place and the Holy Spirit will start ministering to your soul.
  • God will restore your fruits and it will give others hope.
  • He will restore your passion as in the days you first fell in love with Him.
  • God will be faithful to you even when you weren't faithful to Him. He is your Husband, your first love.
  • God will remove your desire for anything else other than Himself.
  • God will restore your security, confidence and safety.
  • God loves you daily even when you choose things over Him daily "I would rather do..", "let me first do.." instead of seeking first the Kingdom of God and all of it's righteousness.

 "I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD." Hosea 2: 19-20

God is everything you have ever been looking for, everything you have wanted and everything you have ever needed. Aim to see Him in the midst of it all, when you find yourself lusting after things other than God, don't beat yourself up, give it to God and He will put all the missing pieces back together. He gave it all to be with you, so give it all back to Him! 

Have a blessed Easter. 

Friday, 8 May 2015

Becoming a Heavy Wait Champion

"Why wait?" The concept of waiting has grown dim in a world ruled by impatience, we want things now, without delay, not grasping the concept of what it means to wait in joyful hope for the promises of God.

Waiting Brings Clarity and Patience Brings Peace:

Towards the end of Exodus we see that Moses went up Mount Sinai to receive the commandments written by God. The people grew restless as they waited on Moses to return, having not heard from Moses or God they decided to take matters into their own hands:

"When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.” Exodus 32:1

All too often I have fooled myself into thinking I have waited on God, all the while I've gone ahead of Him and did it my way hoping He would bless it. We are so quick to manipulate situations thinking it's God's will, resulting in failed relationships and wrong decisions, when all we need to do is remain patient in times of pressure, and wait on God's voice of instruction instead of listening to the voices around us, like Aaron did. They say it's a good thing be a go-getter, but I've come to realise that it's better to be a God-getter, as God will work the world for those who work His will. Sometimes holding back requires more faith than stepping out, as we wait on God to fulfil His promises in our lives.

Let God Lead you:

"He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” Exodus 32:4

You have a choice to be led by two things: Obedience or Emotions. We often make our own promises and try lead God instead of letting God lead us, basing our decisions on things that make us feel good rather than waiting on God to give us what's best. "What are you worshiping in your wait?" If something is distracting you from giving God all the glory, then it probably doesn’t belong in your life. God will bless what blesses you and will take away what takes you away from Him. Let Him lead you into all the promises He has for you.

In Our Waiting He is Creating

Just like God waited on us to give Him our heart, we have to learn to wait on what His heart desires to give to us, and as we do that the desires of His heart will become the desires of our heart.

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

In Exodus we read that pure Gold was used to create the ark of the testimony, mercy seat and all the furnishings of the tent of meeting. When Moses or any of the high priests entered into the tent of meeting they were anointed with pure oil and pure or sacred spices were made into incenses and set before the testimony. Jewish men also had to be circumcised and only clean animals could be sacrificed to God for the atonement of sins.

God reminded me that He only gives good gifts to His children, so in order for me to be a gift to others, I need to be a pure sacrifice unto to Him. He has given me a pure spirit through salvation, a pure body through wise choices and a pure heart through daily heart circumcisions.

"Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God" Matthew 5:8

In order to see God in every situation and relationship I have to allow Him to create in me a new heart, circumcising setbacks, struggles and bad fruits from it, like impatience, selfishness and insecurity. Sometimes we don't know what the promise will look like but we should know what fruit we want the seeds of our patience to produce.

Ps Steven Furtick puts it this way: "The Bible is not filled with ways to find the right person, it is filled with ways to become the right person"

Pure means unaltered and not contaminated by the world, let the Bible circumcise and give you a pure heart daily. If  the people in your life are willing to wait while He creates, then you know that God has given you something worth waiting for!

Grace, Grace:

"Now go, lead the people to the place I spoke of, and my angel will go before you." Exodus 32:34

Even though the people were impatient and didn’t wait on God, God still led them to the promise. God is a God of His Word so even if you fail He will not fail you. He will direct your path to align with His promise

"Therefore, [inheriting] the promise is the outcome of faith and depends [entirely] on faith, in order that it might be given as an act of grace (unmerited favor), to make it stable and valid and guaranteed to all his descendants" Romans 4:16 AMP

We need to acknowledge that all good gifts are given to us and not taken by us. Once we wait for what is given, it will be valid and guaranteed and won't be taken away.

Are We There Yet?

"To those who by patient persistence in well-doing seek [unseen but sure] glory and honor and [the eternal blessedness of] immortality, He will give eternal life." Romans 2:7

The moment you said yes to Jesus He gave you glory, honour and immortality, now the only thing left for you to do is follow peace and pursue patience. Following peace is like taking a photograph, you need to know what you want to capture, find the perfect subject and wait for the perfect moment, you'll feel it in your heart, the moment the light hits the lens and everything is illuminated. To capture light, is to capture the very essence of who God is. If you can find God in the thing you are waiting for then you'll know it's God's gift and not just a good gift.

I am so inspired by the story of boxer, Manny Pacquiao, he could only dream of where God wanted to lead him. Through his practice and preparation he probably expected to win the fight against Floyd Mayweather, as many others did too. Although he didn't win the fight in the end God used him to win thousands of souls for His kingdom, which just goes to show that God's ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. Every decision needs a vision, every victory requires a battle and every promise requires preparation: this is the power of patience.

The God things in life are worth waiting for...

Monday, 23 March 2015

The Pursuit Of Happiness

"We always want what we can't have" is a saying we have all grown accustom to. We are on a constant pursuit of happiness because we choose to covet things instead of trusting God's new and everlasting covenant, Jesus...

The Pursuit of Power

"The LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly." Ex 14:8

In the book of Exodus, after Pharaoh releases the Israelites from slavery, he is quick to realise that he made a mistake and he makes it his mission to recapture the Israelites. Pharaoh sat on a throne, he exalted himself above anyone else, yet he needed the Israelites to serve him to feel superior, to feel important, to feel accepted and to feel appreciated. My question to you is, what are you pursuing to make you feel powerful? Whether it be a position of authority or people to empower you, we need to remember that all promotion and position of influence comes from God.

The Pursuit of People

"The Egyptians pursued them, all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and his horsemen and his army, and overtook them encamped at the sea, by Pi-hahiroth, in front of Baal-zephon." Ex 14:9

Pharaoh and the Egyptians pursued after the Israelites, who were called God's people, and that's exactly it, they were God's people not their people. So how can we pursue after people if they don't even belong to us? Whether it be pursuing after the attention and love of new friends, old friends, a person you like, a lover, or even a family member, we have to realise that they belong to God and not to us.

"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Ecc 4:1

A three fold cord takes time to be woven together and once you find people who's mind, body and soul tie with yours, then you know God has blessed you with relationships that can endure anything.

The Pursuit of Promises

"Therefore, the people contended with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said to them, Why do you find fault with me? Why do you tempt the Lord and try His patience?" Ex 17:2

The Israelites were in constant pursuit of God's promises instead of being present in His presence. From pursuing after the Promised Land to pursuing after something as simple as water, they failed to trust and wait patiently on God. It's like rushing to open the biggest present under the Christmas tree, only to realise that the gift wasn't actually meant for you. If we rush ahead of God we will get what we want but it won't be what God wants for us!

"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" Matt 7:11

To put it plainly; God's promises are His promises not ours, and we shouldn't let our persistence compromise His promises, we need to wait on God to gift us in His perfect timing.

Learn to be Lead

"The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh's horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea." Ex 14:23

God appeared to and instructed Moses to lead His people to the Promise Land before Moses even knew God. Moses led the Israelites across the Red Sea knowing that God would protect them, but the Egyptians pursued after the Israelites without any reassurance of their safety. God won't lead you, where He won't protect you. God is the lamp unto our feet, therefore we need to let Him light up our next steps before running ahead of Him!

God Pursues Us

How can we pursue what doesn't belong to us? If all belongs to God then we need to learn to surrender what we want most to the one who wants us most. When you pursue someone you often find yourself wanting to be around them all the time, taking an interest in their interests, becoming a bit obsessed...

We are God's object of obsession, He loves us so deeply that He pursues us even when we choose to pursue everything else other than Him. He wanted to be around us so much that He became flesh and walked the earth with us. He is so passionate about our purpose that His plans became our promises and His Son became our Saviour.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Your Response, Your Responsibility

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

As Uncle Ben once said in the Spider-Man movie “With great power comes great responsibility” I believe we have the responsibility to lead people to Jesus, according to the power of the Holy Spirit at work within us! It is our responsibility to make others a priority, to love, inspire, encourage and equip them to go out and do the same.

It Is Our Responsibility To Establish:

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28: 16 – 19

The last words of Jesus before He left earth was an instruction to make disciples of all the nations. This is the Great Commission, but it has to start with a great decision. We can be good at being good and want to change the world for the better but if salvations isn’t the reason behind why we do things then there isn’t a point to it. Being good with God is “O” (nothing) and I believe we are called to be soul-seeking and not self-seeking. We are not called to sit back and be a stagnant Christian, living just to get ourselves to Heaven. The Great Commission is to seek out as many people as we can to come to Heaven with us.

The moment we made a decision to become a Christ follower we automatically took on the responsibility to become a Christ ambassador. Can I encourage you to be bold, to step up and to take ownership by making use of the power that is at work within you.

It Is Our Responsibility To Impart:

“So Samuel asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.” So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” 1 Sam 16:11-12

My entire life has been one of exclusion, I have always been the one who’s invite was forgotten when all my friends went out, the one who was made to feel unimportant and insignificant, the one who didn’t really fit in no matter how hard I tried. Truth be told this still happens to me up until this very day but God reminded me of David.

David was chosen by God to be King but His own father, Jesse, excluded him when Samuel came around looking for one of Jesses Sons to be anointed as King. David just did what he did without expectation and when the time came where none of Jesse’s other Sons wanted to step up to take on Goliath, David did because he knew God would be with him.

I’ve realised that because I have been through many seasons of feeling excluded and lonely, God has used that as my ministry. I feel it is our responsibility to use what God teaches us, to teach others because our lesson is someone else’s blessing. I may not have many close friends but I do have many people to invest into, many people to love on and many people to welcome and show what it’s like to feel completely accepted no matter what! And just like David stepping into his anointing I believe that even though I may be left out of many things right now in this season, God has a role waiting for me that only I can play. I want you to remember that you are called even though you may feel ignored.

God gave me a word last year that only recently became a revelation.

“After staying there some time, he left and went from place to place in an orderly journey through the territory of Galatia and Phrygia, establishing the disciples and imparting new strength to them.” Acts 18:23

I may not know where I am going, what I am doing or who is going with me but one thing I do know is that I am called to establish disciples and impart strength and so are you! Let your response become your responsibility, the moment you said yes to Jesus is the moment you said yes to His Great Commission. Be sold out for Christ, be passionate and be purposeful. Be a light to those who can’t find the light-switch. The only way we are going to live an abundant life is if we live to see others experience it with us! You are the hands and feet of Jesus so take a stand and fight for those who feel they are not worth fighting for – this is the Core-ageous Movement!

Friday, 6 February 2015

The Perks Of Being A Wildflower

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” Matthew 6:30-33

Over the past two weeks I have come to realise what it means to be in your lowest low and highest high, what it means to call on Jesus for answers and direction, what it means to lose the things closet to you and not understand the reason for it. But through all this I now know that Jesus is my provider.

He Always Provides A Way:

Moses, set apart and called by God to free His people from slavery, oh the things I have learnt about Moses. Moses didn’t know God when he was called “What is his name, what should I tell them?”, Moses doubted himself “Who am I?”, he doubted his ability “I am not eloquent or a man of words”, He doubted his calling "Lord, please! Send anyone else."

I love that every time Moses states why he can’t do something God always provides an answer.

I was in a really tough season recently trying to figure out whether I wanted to volunteer full time at my church or go back to working permanently, it was a decision that scared me as I knew the calling that God placed on my life and where I wanted to be but at the same time I needed money to survive. Until a couple days ago God asked me “Do you want to pursue your calling or your career?” God sent Moses with a staff and Aaron, God will not send you empty handed or without support, God says “I know the plans I have for you” this includes provision because a plan covers ALL areas.

He becomes all that is necessary to complete our need. Knowing this I made my decision and told my boss I wanted to volunteer full time, but my boss asked me to stay on for two days a week which was exactly what I wanted, provision and volunteering at Church.

With this I realised that God is NOT an either/or God He is an exceedingly, abundantly, above, all I can think, ask or imagine God.

He Always Provides Freedom:

Rejection can be a stronghold in many people’s lives, whether it be rejection in relationships or even in friendships. I was struggling to understand why God kept placing people in my life only to take them away and make me feel unappreciated, insecure and unloved and then I read this:

“And I will make Pharaoh's heart stubborn and hard, and multiply My signs, My wonders, and miracles in the land of Egypt.” Exodus 7:3

God sent Moses to Pharaoh to ask him to free the Israelites knowing that He would harden Pharaoh’s heart. God is in control of people’s emotions, God is in control of everything, and He will keep hardening the hearts of those who don’t belong in your life to make you grow and surrender to Him just like Moses kept going back to God and calling upon God for direction. When God finally softened Pharaoh’s heart, Moses walked into his Destiny. When God softens the heart of the right person at the right time, you will experience true freedom, with God at the centre of your relationship, knowing that He was with you and fought on your behalf even if you did not get what you wanted first time round.

He Always Provides Healing:

God provided several plagues, from frogs and locusts to boils and hail, before Pharaoh finally softened his heart and let the Israelites go. Sometimes God will let the same thing happen to you over and over again, the same issues disguised as different situations, so that you will realise that God is more worried about your heart condition than your situations. He wants you to keep coming back to Him just like Moses did, until your heart conditions become your heart convictions. If God gives you what you want immediately you would harden your heart and God would not be able to work on it. Let God do His work in you to prevent the same pattern from occurring over and over again.

He Always Provides Strength:

Moses Said “For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done evil to this people, neither have You delivered Your people at all.” Exodus 5:23

Sometimes we don’t understand why we go through difficult situations, why we lose opportunities or people yet we are still expected to keep on moving forward.

The path only gets tougher when you start walking on it, like climbing a mountain. It’s only when you deal with it, push through and the end is in sight that you have the will power to move forward. God is motivating us to never give up, so that when we go through the same things it will be easier to keep going. A God plan: Process + Pain = Progress

The only thing God wants for us is to trust Him and make Him the centre of everything in our life and the only way we can do that is to want God more than what we want in life. He wants to be our Joy, our hope and our first love, He wants this because He loves us, made us and chose us to fulfil our God given plan and purpose…

Friday, 2 January 2015

Prison Break

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a prison as a place or situation from which you cannot escape or a state of confinement or captivity. Every day we are exposed to situations where we may feel imprisoned, either kept in the holding cell of a temporary situation, held captive for an extended period of time or even isolated in solitary confinement.

The Holding Cell:

The holding cell are those temporary situations we can’t change, but somehow ends up affecting our emotions and reactions. The holding cell can be as simple as traffic or even petty arguments with your siblings, parents or friends. The holding cell can lead to long term imprisonment of your feelings, emotions and reactions if you don’t learn to deal with it there and then. People will always irritate you, time will always go faster than you’d like, there will always be someone who is better than you, richer than you and smarter than you and you won’t always get what you want… but Jesus will set you free if you learn to surrender everything to Him on a daily basis and choose to respond in love as an ambassador of Christ.

“But what does it matter, so long as either way, whether for personal ends or in all honesty, Christ is being proclaimed? And in that I now rejoice, yes, and I shall rejoice hereafter also.” Philippians 1:18

Long-Term Imprisonment:

Long-term imprisonment can mean several things to a number of people. Mine more specifically being insecurity, impatience, fear and frustration. Even memories of one’s past can hold one captive for years on end, like the wrong relationships, bad decisions, distrust, abuse or failure. I believe that it’s in the long term imprisonment that we can either choose to lean on Jesus, accept His grace and let the joy of the Lord be our strength or we can choose to give up hope and not experience the abundant life God has set out for us!

“This is in keeping with my own eager desire and persistent expectation and hope, that I shall not disgrace myself nor be put to shame in anything; but that with the utmost freedom of speech and unfailing courage, now as always heretofore, Christ will be magnified and get glory and praise in this body of mine and be boldly exalted in my person, whether through life or through death.” Philippains 1:20

Solitary Confinement:

This can be defined as a form of imprisonment in which a prisoner is isolated from any human contact. Ever felt like you’ve had to make a decision or go through something completely alone, that turning to friends and family or even to Jesus felt somewhat impossible? Ever become so consumed with your life that you have forgotten to spend time with the one who gave you your perfect life in the first place, and you go to bed wondering why you have a yearning for something that can’t be satisfied? The moment we isolate ourselves from God, we find ourselves in solitary confinement. The only way to set yourself free is to make a choice, a choice to run towards Jesus at all costs knowing that the confinement you are in is only temporary! Sometimes we are put in an environment to show the deliverance and salvation from God as seen in Philippians 1:28

“And [also] most of the brethren have derived fresh confidence in the Lord because of my chains and are much more bold to speak and publish fearlessly the Word of God [acting with more freedom and indifference to the consequences].” Philippians 1.14

Time and time again Hollywood has shown us the impact imprisonment can have on an individual but Jesus and Paul teaches us that our imprisonment can lead to someone else’s empowerment. Sometimes by us being bound, just as Paul was, we have the ability to set others free. We just have to choose to rise above every and any situation and set an example for others to follow. We can’t choose our situations or the length of our sentence but we can choose the way we react and deal with it. Prison will reveal your true motives and the true motives of others in your life.

“It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.” Philippians 1:15

You can preach the Gospel through your spirit and willpower to overcome.

How can you set yourself free? It’s simple;  Let your prayers and a bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ turn your prison into your preservation (for the spiritual health and welfare of your own soul) Philippians 1:19

Your prison can develop patience, and patience can develop peace and peace will set you free! My prayer is that in 2015 you will let God give you the keys to unlock peace in your life and to open the gate to freedom in every situation and circumstance.