Monday, 28 July 2014

Check Please!

Over the past few months God challenged me with one simple question; “Do you live to please people or do you live to please Me?” Life is a constant battle, we seek acceptance from friends, desire attention from loved ones, strive for the appreciation of leaders, yearn to be acknowledged by the one and long for the approval of our parents while on an unmerited pursuit to earn the favour of God.

“Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life! One man said no to God and put many people in the wrong; one man said yes to God and put many in the right.” Romans 5:18-19 (MSG)

Adam and Jesus were both created by God and purposed as life giving vessels, Adam and Eve vessels for humanity and Jesus a vessel for eternity, created for the same destiny, but resulting in different destinations all because of one simple decision.

Why the different outcomes one might ask? Adam bowed down to the created (Eve) and Jesus bowed down to His creator (God). Adam lived for one and all died, but Jesus lived for one and died for all.

 “And to the man he said, “Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you.  All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.” Genesis 3:17 (NLT)

Every generation from that point onward was cursed as a result of Adam’s one act of disobedience. He was in good council yet he didn't seek the council of God when faced with a simple choice. If you choose to make decisions based on your feelings towards the people around you, it will steer you away from all God intends to accomplish through you. Our reason for living is to make others happy without letting our happiness depend on others. If you strive for the approval of people and receive it, you will always be striving to maintain it, you might start to feel like a burden and eventually burn out.

When you are a people pleaser you will in-turn become a people praiser; thanking people for the recognition they give you instead of thanking God for using you as a vessel of His goodness.

Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.” Romans 6:16

Then God sent Jesus, whose decisions to follow God’s will above all else gave us eternal life. People tried to distract Him from His destiny, He, however, decided to follow God’s will instead of the people’s pleas.

“From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” Matthew 16: 21-23

Often those closest to us think they know what’s best for us, but our future extends far beyond us therefore we need to be selfless in our decisions. We are just a spec in God’s spectacular plan therefore we need to surrender our life to God and not to people to live in true freedom.

Human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need.” Acts 17:25

God doesn't need us to please Him either. He didn't create us to serve Him, He created us to serve one another. God said it is not good for man to be alone so He created Eve the trouble comes in when we turn to others before turning to Jesus. All God desires is our gratitude in exchange for His grace and every act of obedience is an act of gratitude. Instead of staying in the season we are in to make others happy, we should continue reinventing ourselves in the identity of Christ.

The only way to explain it is to look at those who create, Peter, Paul and the rest who established the early Church, artists, authors, and poets such as Emily Dickinson, Anne Frank, Vincent van Gogh and John Keats. All of these created because they had a passion and love for their craft but only achieved recognition long after they were gone. Just like God created us but only received the proper recognition He desired after the death and resurrection of Jesus. If we continue to serve people and love God because we have a passion for Jesus and an innate desire to see the world know the same Jesus that saved us, I believe that our will, will always line up with the will of God.

“Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8 (NIV)

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

I Can See You Now

He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. John 1: 10-11 (NIV)

The Bible tells us over and over again to have faith in the things we do not see, to have hope in the promises that have not come to pass, but today my question to you is, do you have faith in the things that you do see? Let me explain, if a man came up to you right now with all the characteristics of Jesus, would you believe Him? I doubt I would, and I feel guilty for it. Sometimes it’s easier to have faith in the things that we do not see than believe in the things that we do see. Jesus has always looked at us with love in His eyes but due to our impaired vision of trust in today’s modern world we may find it difficult to recognise the full extent of God’s glory!

I sometimes wonder why we don’t see miracles to the extent of those in the former days; like people being raised from the dead or others surviving the pits of fire? You see God hasn’t changed, we’ve changed! His word hasn’t dissolved, the world has evolved. It has evolved to the extent that every day miracles are written off as coincidences or close calls and the power of success is as a result of our hard work rather than His favour. If we continue giving the works of the world credit for the goodness of God then we will keep evolving until we don’t recognise God at all.

So how do we recognise the work of God amongst the works of the flesh?

No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known]. John 1:18

God will ALWAYS make Jesus known. Just as our eyes are drawn to anything light in a dark room, we need to continuously recognise that anything good in our life or in the lives of others is as a direct result of His grace! It is our responsibilities as “witnesses” of Christ to not only recognise Him but to give Him recognition for every good work.

Recognising the Holy Spirit in Another’s Life

John's Account

Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.” John 1:32-24

It is important for us to have a great intuition when it comes to recognising Christ followers within our everyday walk of life. When we realise we are not alone we are able to strengthen each other making the battle for salvation a whole lot easier.

Recognising Jesus Through an Intimate Relationship

Mary's Account

They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. John 20:13-14

Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). John 20:16

If you close your eyes and someone speaks, you can easily identify who is speaking. If we have a close relationship with God, we can recognise His voice without the need of having to see Him. The better you get to know someone the easier it is to sense their presence; from their footsteps to their laugh to their cough and even their sneezes. Just like each of us are unique, so is God. His voice is unique amongst all the other sounds in our head, if we spend more time being attentive to His voice I believe we will be able to hear God’s voice before standing in His presence.

Recognising Gods Workmanship

Thomas' Account:

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” John 20:27-28

We are provided with miracles yet we still say statements like “I don’t believe it”, “How could this be”, “It won’t last” “Something bad is bound to happen” Sometimes a touch of God is not good enough, we find it difficult to believe in the power of a miracle, we think our blessings will be rob if we “jinx” it and we need to touch wood if we speak something bad over our lives or the lives of others. A touch of God is greater than being strangled by hopelessness, God gave us everything so why would he take away anything, Jesus’ life was laid down so that we could rise up.

Jesus poses this question "I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?" John 3:12

At the end of John Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him, Peter replied yes consecutively. Then Jesus instructs Peter to feed his sheep. In order to feed the sheep of Jesus, Peter needs to recognise who the Shepard is so that he can take on a similar role. As disciples we are called to bear witness to Christ, a witness gains knowledge from observation or experience. The more observant we become of Christ in our daily lives the better we fulfill our God given roles. When Jesus comes again, may it be tomorrow or in a thousand years from now, I want to be able to recognise Him without a doubt… do you?

Friday, 28 March 2014

Keep Calm and Carry On.

"Then He said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23.

Take up your cross daily, is a phrase that carries a lot weight. We stand at a cross road of choice, we can chose to make the cross heavy and somewhat of a burden or we can embrace the weight of responsibility knowing that our life and the lives of others will be better because of it.

After Jesus was sentenced to death, He experienced a beating that made Him unrecognizable. Sometimes we go through things, to take us to things. When we turn from our selfish ways we may become unrecognizable to many people from our old life but as long as we know that our identity remains in Christ, we have the courage to get up and carry our cross, leaving behind the people who don’t want to familiarize themselves with our new identity.

Know where you are heading:

Jesus knew what was awaiting Him at the top of Golgotha, but He had a choice, either to focus on His pain or to focus on His purpose.

"And just as my Father has granted me a Kingdom, I now grant you the right to eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom. And you will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Luke 22:29-30

Become Kingdom focused, choosing to die to yourself daily and focusing on the bigger picture, only then will you have the strength to endure to the very end.

Take small steps:

"If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones.” Luke 9:23.

I’m sure every step Jesus took wasn’t easy but it was necessary to take Him to where He needed to beMost Sundays at Kid’s church I chose to prepare the offering message even though they stare at me with blank expressions. I say yes when asked to pray in public, at connect groups, or at church even though I hate it, I give 100% in all my design work even though I can barely keep my eyes open, I am devoted to spending time with God no matter how busy my day gets, I share the passion I have for Jesus on social media and my blog in hope that atleast 1 person will come to know Christ because of it, even though I have been deleted or unfollowed by a numbers of annoyed people. I trust that if I am faithful in the small steps I need to take no matter what, God will entrust me with greater, life changing, opportunities to contribute towards His Kingdom.

Pick up your own cross:

If you are in church long enough you tend to see many familiar faces leave, and not come back, I struggled to understand why, and I tend to take it upon myself to try and bring them back, without any luck. After seeking council from God, I realised our responsibility is to carry our own cross and not the cross of others.

“Whoever does not persevere and carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:27

Let me explain; If we have to carry our own cross as well as the cross of others how much more difficult are we making it to reach our final destination. Our responsibility is to disciple ours not discipline others! Discipline is self taught with a willing heart. We should continue pointing people to God, encouraging them that there is hope in the midst of their hardship, but He simply wants us to direct them not dictate to them. As leaders we should take responsibility for others but to a certain extent. We can’t save anyone on behalf of God, in the end it is their decision. We can lead a horse to the water but we can’t force it to drink, our duty is to plant the seed and let God do the watering.

You are not alone:

With that being said, God will never let you carry your cross alone, even Jesus had Simon from Cyrene to help Him carry His cross up the mountain. We have Jesus right beside us carrying our cross every single day, His burden is light and His yolk is easy.

Get up when you fall:

Yes we might trip and drop the cross along the way, Jesus fell three trips before He reached the top, but all we need to do is pick it up daily and continue walking and we need to encourage others to do the same. With every fall we become stronger because we have the greatest encourager of all!

But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:32

It’s never to late:

Just like Jesus saved the resentful criminal who hung next to him on the cross, Jesus will use every bit of his energy to pull us out of our pits of despair, and we should have the same mentality with others. Those who seem hopelessly lost will always have a glimmer of hope and it’s those people that God has called us to reach. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

What is the cross?

#CrossEqualsLove. We should carry our love for Christ daily, as well as our love for others. We need to set out with a purpose to passionately seek and serve no matter how hopeless a situation may seem. If we fall along the way God will always be there to lift us up again. Lets keep our eyes fixed on the cross as a reminder that we are victorious because of what Christ has already done.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Spiritual C.V.

“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. Luke 10: 1 – 4

We are appointed by God to bring in the harvest, with that being said I want you to look at what your goals are for this year. Many of you have given up a lot since you got saved, whether it be an amazing job that didn't line up with the calling God has placed on your life, maybe a season out of your original 5 year plan, or even giving up a lifestyle that hindered you from stepping into your new life. We did this because we all believe that Jesus has a greater plan for us, that we are set apart to bring glory to His name by pursing our divine purpose and destiny.

As we take our relationship further we step into the calling we believe God wants to achieve through us from serving in a specific department at church or even taking a leap of faith to share His gospel in a different country, learning the ropes and being the new kids on the block can be a bit intimidating almost as if God is sending us out like lambs among wolves. We step into our season of faith with knowledge and understanding from our previous experiences but God tells us not to take a purse or bag or sandals. God warns us to not lean on our own understanding!

“For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 1 Corinthians 1: 19

In Luke 10:5 - 7 it says “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.”

Live out your calling with peace, peace in the sense of listening and learning no matter how challenging people or situations become. Learn as much as you can, take in every opportunity that is given to you and stay planted no matter. When you are content, you will be given the opportunities that God has specifically set out for you and you will excel at these tasks and bless many with your innate abilities! If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large things.

When I read that passage in Luke God spoke to me in a really odd way, he asked me this question, are you doing the internship to grow your personal C.V. or your spiritual C.V.? Let me explain, if your intention is to grow your personal C.V. you serve to obtain position, however if you focus on growing your spiritual C.V. you serve to position others.

Personal Information

When we gave our life to Christ, we had to deny ourselves and follow Him. God has given us a new identity, He has renamed us as his sons and daughters, He has given us a new birth date, He knows the finest detail of our lives from the of the amount of hairs we have on our head, He has already reserved a place for us in Heaven, and we have a direct line to Him through prayer.


He trains us up in His word, using vessels like the church, servant hood, connect groups, leaders, pastors, conferences and events, Godly conversation, bearing witness to the testimonies of others and giving thanks for our own answered prayers.

Professional Experience

We gain experience every time we act in obedience, doing the things God has asked us to do and every time we step out in Faith regardless of the outcome. Whenever we are employed to bring hope, light, encouragement, life and love to a hopeless situation its added experience.


We gain skills and bear good fruit if we continue to educate ourselves and grow in experience. God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness, he equips us with all the necessary skills we need to fulfil a specific task whether it be the correct words to say in a prayer, the right advice to give in counselling or what steps to take when leading a lost person home. We may feel that others have more skills or “talents” than us but we should always make use of the talents we have been blessed with, God promises us more talents in return. In order to become a better you have to give your best.


God will always elevate you and make you achieve in every area of your life if you make yourself available to be used by Him. God wants our availability instead of just our ability, that way he will be able to use us way more than a person who is too busy pursuing their personal desires. If we give God access to every area of our life we will impact and influence way more situations than a talented, busy, person can.


Always make sure that there is someone who you can seek good counsel from, someone you can confide in and people who will always bring out the very best in you. You are only as good as the company you keep.

Covering Letter

Jesus is the author and finisher of our spiritual C.V. therefore he also has our covering letter covered. He makes all crooked paths straight so that when you venture out into a new season, a new challenge and new opportunity he has already set you up for success.

If we have a strong spiritual C.V. and make ourselves available to God I believe we will see things and experience things people can only dream of witnessing.

"Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” Luke 10:23-24 "

You are set apart for a reason, go into each day with the passionate desire to learn something new. The more knowledge, skills, experiences and achievements you gain through Christ Jesus the more employable you become in your contribution to building the Kingdom. God will never place you in a situation you can’t handle, although He had confidence in you from the very beginning you need to learn to have confidence in yourself.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Simply Believe

Ever heard of the term K.I.S.S.? No, it’s not what you planning to do on Valentine’s Day, it’s the marketing acronym that stands for Keep It Simple Stupid. As humans we live busy and complicated lives, complicating the uncomplicated. We have a knack for making hurdles out of tiny bumps in the road but we tend to forget how simple our God is. Okay yes He created the heavens and the earth, yes Jesus explained the truth in complex parables.... but God simply spoke the world into existence, He created us with a simple breath and Jesus healed with simple phrases like... “Get up and walk”. Jesus simply chose to love the unloved, include the excluded and use the unusable. If it was me the gospel would’ve been a pity party about everything I had to endure, and that is exactly why I am not Jesus.

You see if God is a simple God who takes on the form of a simple man, to spread the good news in a simple (and small) country then why do we as Christians make it so complicated to be a Christian? God has spoken to me over the past few days on how to live a simple life and can be summarised as follows:

Simply Love:

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” Philippians 2:3 (NIV)

Love people and love God without the continuous need to prove that love and earn it in return. Jesus already chose us, so why do we continue to pursue His acceptance? Jesus loves a pure heart, someone that passionately chases His purpose in their life simply because they love Him and acknowledge His love for them in return. Jesus’ love is everywhere you just need to allow Him to love you, only then will you be able to sense God’s love for you in the simple moments of life.

Simply Serve:

We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. We should learn to simply serve and serve simply. Just like you don’t think about the next step you about to take or how you are going to use your hand to pick something up, serving should be natural and birthed out of the passion we have for building God’s Kingdom and seeing change happen in our community. If we simply serve we are making a commitment to set time apart to give back; to serve simply means to make a decision not to serve to obtain position or to serve in all areas of church life at the same time without giving each area the necessary attention it deserves, it means to select an area or two that God has placed on your heart and give it your all. Remember our goal is to serve the lost not only to socialise with the saved. Church is not about us, it’s about Christ and we should always be prepared to simply serve no matter what our leadership role entails.

Simply Pray:

If you know me, you would know how much I hate to pray in public but Jesus tells us to pray simple prayers. Simply just talk to God as often as you can no matter where you are or what you are doing.

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Matthew 6:7-8 (NIV)

God has really worked on me in this regard over the past couple of months pushing me to pray in public for selected people but I believe in the power of a simple prayer that comes from the heart. Don’t pre-think your prayers, don’t post-criticise your prayers, just enjoy the presence of the Spirit during your prayer, that way you can ensure that each word that comes out of your mouth was perfectly placed by God Himself.

Simply Praise:

Worship God without feeling the need to raise your hands in the air and shake it around like you just don’t care. I raise my hands only as a sign of surrender when I feel the prompting of the Spirit to do so, but if raising your hands and speaking in tongues becomes nothing more than a religious act, something you feel you need to do to reach out to God then you have it all wrong my friend. God is already in us, if we do these things out of an act of love and gratitude then you won’t feel convicted if you don’t do it. Honour God with the way you live your life, the words that come out of your mouth and the compassion you have for people. It should be a way of life, not a way just to do life!

Simply Play:

We are free and a new creation, we are called to simply have fun and enjoy every minute of our new life. If you love and understand something it becomes simple to do because you want to do it. They say the narrow road is complicated, but I say it’s exciting! I love not knowing what God has in store for me next but I simply trust that His plans are far greater than anything I can think up for myself. If we enjoy life and live it in abundance, people will be drawn to our joy and enthusiasm which will ultimately result in one of the simplest and most effective ways to introduce people to Christ.

Simply Believe:

“But Jesus, on hearing this, answered him, Do not be seized with alarm or struck with fear; simply believe [[a]in Me as able to do this], and she shall be made well.” Luke 8:50 (AMP)

Everything that I have shared with you can be simplified to two simple words… simply believe. We have a God to pray to, a love to cling to and a home to look forward to, all of this if we simply believe. Our simple actions have extraordinary reactions.

Take a look at the woman with the blood problem:

“When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.” Mark 5:27-29 (NIV)

She chose to believe that simply touching the hem of Jesus' clothes could heal her and with that simple faith Jesus was greatly moved. When people pray for breakthrough in our lives don’t think of it as just another prayer. Choose to believe that chains can be broken, choose to believe that God loves you enough to ensure that you live a life with His stamp of approval on it. If we simply believe then all the “duties” of being a Christian will come to us as easy as inhaling and exhaling or the blinking of an eye. God doesn’t want to burden us, He wants to elevate us so that we can live a simple life just like the post-sin days of Adam and Eve, living in peace, joy, hope and love.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Active vs. Passive Christian

I want to pose this question to you; “What is the point of going to church if you are not going to let it change you?”

47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” Luke 6:47-49

It’s so easy to hear God’s word and not listen, to pray without concentration, to believe without conviction, to have faith without trust and to change without the intention to make a change.

The majority of us are driven individuals, if we want to achieve a specific goal we actively pursue it until we succeed so shouldn’t we carry the same mentality into our walk with Jesus Christ? Shouldn’t we stop at nothing to see our friends and family saved and be compassionate and loving to every single person who crosses our path? I love what Brian Houston says in his new book How To Maximise Your Life, “To have a Kingdom spirit means you have a vision that is bigger than you – you will always be devising generous strategies or plans to bless others.” Jesus actively pursued his purpose without hesitation he was always moving and bringing about change to crowds of people. He never gave up until the very end when “It was done”.

People often like to compare the Holy Spirit to the wind, “You can’t see it, but you can feel it”. If the spirit who lived in Christ now lives in us then we too should be free and moving like the wind touching everyone and changing everything in our path. We can choose to be a subtle breeze or a gale force wind. A breeze is comfortable, people delight in it, but it doesn’t bring about change, the leaves only move a short distance until the breeze dies down. A gale force wind however, is uncomfortable, people try to hide from it, but it moves and affects everything around it. It doesn’t only move one or two leaves but a whole bunch of leaves will soon follow the motion of the wind. I want to encourage you to actively pursue God like a gale force wind, it may make you feel uncomfortable, people may try to avoid the truth, hide behind walls of empty promises but gale force winds are able to bend the firmest trees. You will inspire others to come along with you and with that motion many more people will venture on the journey too. Your willingness to never give up will bend and shape the mindset of those you deem as completely lost. When the truth moves it brings about change.

We weren’t saved just to be well behaved. We weren’t called to push people away but to point them to the way. We were chosen to reach further and make a different with every motion. We made our decision to ensure that people hear the truth with great precision.

You see we are so focused on being loved that we forget that our mission is to love everyone else unconditionally. With the power that Jesus had he could have easily built himself up and become one of the most loved individuals at that time. But he loved us more than his desire to be loved, he delivered the truth and although it made people feel uncomfortable, he was unapologetic about it which led to his crucifixion.
Can I encourage you to actively pursue God’s calling in your life, don’t sit back and allow others to do the job for you. Yes the church may have amazing leaders but you too can become a great leader and Jesus may be our shepherd but “The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.” Luke 6:40. We will never be Jesus but we can try with all our might to live by the principles he lived by, leading by example in every area of our life.

Jesus left the earth and entrusted us with the responsibility to carry out the message of his good works in the generations to come and nothing feels worse than disappointing your father. Follow God persistently with a pure heart in 2014 and I can promise you that you will see God’s blessing in every area of your life as well as in the life of others. 

Friday, 3 January 2014

The Dawn of a New Year

"The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom." Deuteronomy 28:13

As the sun set on another incredible year, people exchanged laughs about the crazy memories they’ve shared, they reflected on the loved ones lost, new births celebrated and true loves found. They raised their glasses in honour of all they have achieved and all they are going to achieve, all their challenges overcome and their incessant battles won. As we look to Facebook to remind us of our “highlights” of 2013, can I maybe just encourage you to look at the lowlights which weren’t necessarily in the spotlight but have been a lamp unto your feet to get you to where you are today. The little moments that have shaped your heart to be bolder and more courageous, the moments that have stretched you to trust more and to be content with the love that God has for you. If I look at my year in reverse it has truly been the best year of my life, in 2012 God showed me a bit of the world, last year God showed me a bit of His world! I can honestly say that if you can’t sense God in the sunlight, in the smell of the ocean or in the splendour of nature then it’s all useless and the beauty of the world is without purpose.

Who knew that my travels wouldn’t end when I arrived home from London on the 14th of December 2012, but that God had greater travels in store for me, to take me to new heights and to push me beyond anything I could have ever imagined, challenging me to rise above and beyond any obstacle I had to face with surety that His love would be there to catch me when I fall. As humans, love is just as much a necessity as water, light and oxygen, I’m happy I’ve found a love that never runs dry, a love that glows in the dark and a love that makes me feel like I can breathe again, I found my hope and love in Jesus Christ.

Here is a personal highlight reel of everything God has done for me in 2013:

My Job:

When I got back from overseas it was very, very tough trying to get back into the design industry, I went to several interviews all posing different problems, I was praying about it and wanted God to bless me with the right job. I met up with my friend for sushi and she gave me the contact number of the design agency her company uses and low and behold it was perfect, very close to home and they were indeed looking for a new designer but haven’t advertised the position yet. I went for the interview and got the job. During my first 3 months I wasn’t really entrusted with any work so the boss decided to cut my salary to half of what I was originally earning. For the first time in my life I doubted myself as a designer but instead of giving up, I decided to press into prayer and ask God every morning to bless me with more responsibility and then deliverance, and so He did. Each week I got more tasks and more clients and everyone was beyond happy with the work I was delivering, I received an increase and come year end I was running campaigns for huge clients. Sometimes God knocks you off your high horse so that you will become dependent on Him and not on your own abilities. God kept reminding me that 2013 was a year of preparation, and that this job was an “in the meantime job” I held onto God’s promise and now I’m lucky enough to be part of the Internship programme at Hillsong Church next year. The company I worked at was amazing, but I know that God has called me to do something even greater!

The Passing of My Uncle:

My uncle passed away at the beginning of the year, although he was only an uncle through marriage to my aunt, the loss of his life was no less painful. The family fought the good fight, we prayed and I fasted, and we truly believed for a miracle, but unfortunately God took him home. Through the loss of His life, the rest of my family gained life. We have not only become closer to each other but we have drawn closer to God. The loss of my uncle made me realise how desperately I needed to have God in my life which ultimately led to my salvation, and for that I will always be grateful. You see sometimes we have to lose the things closest to us to realise that inner strength can only be found from the sacrificial love of our saviour.

Driver’s License:

After failing my drivers twice in 2011, having my learners expire during my move to London in 2012, I was determined to make 2013 my year. You see some people are gifted with the ability to drive, and then there is me... frozen at the thought of ally-docking and pulling away on an incline. Not having my license made it very difficult to serve at my church so I decided to start this blog in the mean time. I made a promise to God and told Him that if He gave me my license I would serve my heart out. God blessed me with my license but because He always gives you more than you expect He also made it possible for me to use my dad’s car in the evenings as my dad’s working hours were shortened a week after I got my license. I now serve in Hillsong Kids and run a connect group with one of my best friends, Tara.  Can I just encourage you to get plugged in at church during 2014, not only will you develop a deeper relationship with God but you will start to see people the way God sees them, the more time you spend serving and growing in fellowship with people the more you will love them and have a deep desire to elevate and encourage them to become the best that they can be. To love others and to be genuinely loved in return is one of God’s greatest blessings.

Meeting New Friends:

Okay if you know me, or know me well, I’ve probably tried to make you my best friend by smothering you in hugs, adding you on Facebook and/or following you on Instagram. I don’t know why but I have an insane obsession with meeting new people, I wasn’t always like this but it’s become a habit of late. At the start of the year “I was just a small town girl, living in a lonely world...” okay enough of my Journey rendition, but being part of a huge church like Hillsong has its perks and its drawbacks. I found it very difficult to make friends at church especially when everyone already knew each other. After I was saved, I felt very alone, I didn’t really want to party hard anymore but I didn’t have a different group of friends to just chill with when my other friends were out partying, but after weeks upon months of prayer I met some amazing girl friends at Encounter the youth conference and as they say, “The rest is history”. Now I have the amazing Blackpanndjat, 4Shore and my connect girls, yes we name our girl groups because we cool like that. God still continues to bless me with amazing new friends all the time and this continues to be God’s greatest blessing in my life.

Favour is yours for the taking, you just have to be willing to acknowledge and accept the blessing. People often use the term, “Everything happens for a reason” to justify the so called failures in their life, but we sometimes forget that all our decisions should be within reason and that things will work out according to His reasoning no matter what silly mistakes we’ve made or what silly mistakes we’re bound to make. Let’s be sure to make 2014 a year of reason, to guarantee that only the best fruits are produced during each season. May you continue to draw close to God no matter what circumstances you are faced with, this is the only way I can promise you a prosperous year ahead!

Can I encourage you to start your year off on the right with the How To Maximise Your Life Devotional by Ps Brian Houston.