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.