Psalm 1:3 “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”

I find that if I stay outside working in the garden long enough, God is surely going to reveal something whether I’m looking and expecting it or not.  Such was the case yesterday after a few hours, yes…hours, of watering (we really must sort out our irrigation system! – and no, that wasn’t the revelation!)

This is how I did it!

This is how I did it!

As I gave each  valuable plant a thorough soaking, careful not to simply wet the surface of the ground and move on, but hosed the earth (using the exact technique displayed in the above photograph 😉 ) s0 the water went down deep to the roots, God showed me that just like the life-giving water to the plants, so is His Word life-giving water to His valuable children.

God’s Word often speaks of “watering”, “planted and watered”, “washing with the Word”, and “quenching thirst”.  Soaking in God’s Word brings life, quenches thirst and cleanses believers; but we must drench ourselves with it.  If we do not thoroughly immerse ourselves in God’s Word but rather just taste a snippet occasionally, it will encourage shallow roots.  And this was God’s point – it must be deep watering.  Shallow roots do not produce an enduring church.

Mark 4:17 “and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time.  Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.”

The image of a tree beside a river is a perfect example of deep watering and a constant supply coming from God’s Word.  The verse preceding Psalm 1:3 explains who will be like this tree; it is the person whose “delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His Law he meditates day and night.” Psalm 1:2  This is not just watering the surface, but a saturation!

Just hearing the Word at church on Sundays, glancing at a daily verse on a calendar, or even reading a daily devotional penned by someone else, is not going to encourage the steadfastness and surety in God’s promises that really seeking in God’s Word provides.  I know that after opening God’s Word with a heart to receive from Him directly, I am refreshed and strengthened in my faith.  It is essential, like the air we breathe, and wonderful!

Be open to God’s Word. Seek His counsel in His pages with a heart open to the Holy Spirit’s teaching.  The roots of your faith will find depth and strength so that you will not be shaken in this dry and thirsty land.

Jeremiah 17:8 “For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.”

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Matthew 6:24-25 “24 No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (riches). 25 Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?”

There are things we are told by Jesus, not to concern ourselves with, yet often these very things become the main focus of our thoughts and actions. I have been struggling with this myself and as I laid it all before the Lord this morning looking for answers, He showed me great and wonderful things in His Word. Hallelujah! These very same things were what Satan put before Jesus in the wilderness.

I have been reading Love not the World by Watchman Nee, and together with my bible study which has been working through Isaiah, God lead me to a passage from Luke this morning which complimented the thoughts presented in both, and gave me the answers I needed. Luke 14:1-13 takes us through Jesus’ experience in the wilderness being tested by the devil.

From Watchman Nee’s book, a point was made that in the last days, the World will be as it was in the Days of Noah and as Lot went out from Sodom. “They ate, they drank, they married, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded.” see Luke 17:26-30. Scripture tells us not to concern ourselves with eating, with drinking, nor what we shall wear. Romans 14:17 tells us that “the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Scripture bids us “first seek God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to us” Matthew 6:31-33. This point also resonates throughout the book of Isaiah.

I have been engrossed lately with “What we shall eat”. Being 28 weeks pregnant with baby #5 and a bridesmaid at my sister’s wedding in 3 weeks, I have been concerning myself with trying to eat for the health of my baby but not the size of my backside. Add to this, struggling with cravings and a lack of willpower against all tasty treats that are bad for both! I have been utterly defeated despite my most ardent desire to succeed.

We are also looking to sell the house in which we live and the to-do list which must be completed prior to this becoming a reality is consuming beyond distraction!

Watchman Nee points out regarding Christians, “The undue attention to eating and drinking is far from normal; it is supernatural. For it is not just a question of food and drink that we are meeting here; we are meeting demons.” Heavy stuff! I had never considered this at all, but it makes perfect sense. It was clearly confirmed when I opened my bible this morning, but more on that in a minute.

Watchman Nee also states “the question today is not so much one of sinfulness as one of worldliness. Eating and drinking? Marrying and giving in marriage? Buying and selling? These things are so common and so simple, they are yet being used by Satan to ensnare God’s children into the great net of his world order.” He reminds us that, “There was a time when the Church rejected the world’s ways. Now she not only uses them, she abuses them. Of course we must use the world, but let us not want it, let us not desire it.”

When I read the passage in Luke 4:1-13 I saw the truth of Nee’s statements. Here we see Satan’s plan in action – he tried it out on Jesus first, yet Jesus “overcame”, let us take note!

The first temptation Satan presented was food! He suggests that Jesus should break from Truth and rely on Himself or His power to provide bread to eat. Rarely do I take the concern regarding “What I shall eat, drink or wear” to God but rather I plan and allocate finances (ultimately funds that are not guaranteed) sometimes weeks ahead. Jesus’ mind regarding this is evident in His response, a response taken from the passages of Deuteronomy 8:3. “Man shall not live by bread alone”. We live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of The Lord. Jesus lived His life this way and shows us this in action in John 4:32-34.

Satan then presents Jesus with an offer of worldly power, authority and the glory of man. This is ultimately what the world seeks after. Power, prestige, the never-ending striving for more. I see this within my own family – members who are not saved, strive and strive for what is never enough. It’s futile and easy even for Christians to slip into if we take our eyes off Jesus.

Jesus combats the offer with “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.” Striving after the world’s goods and glory is worshipping Satan, pure and simple – keeping your eyes fixed on The One True God in worship to Him only is the key to overcoming this trap.

The final temptation is one that was discussed in my bible study group this week. We did not see it as an influence of Satan but definitely as something facing Christians today. As I read the Luke passage, it became clear that the force behind this certainly comes from the pit of hell. In bible study we looked at Isaiah 32:9-11. The passage begins as follows: “9 Rise up, you women who are at ease, hear my voice; You complacent daughters, give ear to my speech.” The NIV translates this passage as: “9 You women who are so complacent, rise up and listen to me; You daughters who feel secure, hear what I have to say.”

In Luke 4:9-11 Satan then takes Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple in Jerusalem and tells Him to “throw yourself down from here” and have God save Him. As I read, again scales fell from my eyes and I saw the reality of what we had discussed in our group. It’s easy for today’s Christian to become complacent. We have no real “need” for God, being secure in our worldly endeavours fully able to provide for ourselves.  We also harbour an attitude of taking even our salvation for granted. We stand on the pinnacle of the temple, secure in our salvation but we often “tempt the Lord our God” Luke 4:12. When we live lifestyles in contradiction to God’s word, in hypocrisy to the grace offered to us, we “throw ourselves down” in opposition to the Truth of God’s Word.

In complacency we live each day with eyes set on the things of this world, showing little regard to redeeming the time as this age comes to a close. The salvation of unsaved loved ones does not weigh as heavy a burden upon us as it should and these passages have certainly been a wake-up call to me.

As Jesus stood firm against the wiles of the devil, He overcame him and the lures of “the World”.   Seeing who is behind these concerns certainly puts them in their proper perspective! 

As we take on the Mind of Christ and listen to the voice of God in all things, being willing to walk in His Way in obedience to His guidance, we too will overcome Satan’s schemes in the World and detach ourselves from it’s seduction.  We will discover the peace, rest and strength that comes from living by every word which proceeds from the mouth of The Lord.

“Incline you ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge; for it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; let them all be fixed upon your lips, so that your trust may be in the Lord;” Prov 22:17-19

As we ponder on the sayings in God’s word, the simplicity of the Gospel becomes a stark reality. Jesus has done for us, what we were unable to achieve for ourselves. God made the Way and we are now equipped to walk in it.

Discussions at our gathering yesterday revealed that the Christian walk comes down to one thing – the state of our hearts. Are they wholly set on God? While this post touches on two topics, they are really inseparable. Firstly, the futility of trusting in earthly assurances, and secondly, what it is that enables us to walk securely in Christ.

That night, as I meditated on the truths presented in our meeting, and sought God as to what to post here, the following words were planted in my heart:

“Let go of anything whose roots are in this world. (James 3:14-15) Let go of anything which has been elevated to a level of importance above God. These things will be shaken. Your trust, security and faith must be rooted in God alone lest your heart fail you. Your heart must be wholly His.”

“Lest your heart fail you…your heart must be wholly His”

The securities originating from sources within this temporal world will be shaken so as to reveal to us (God already knows) the true state of our heart. Many of us have not had to totally rely solely on God for our provisional needs. It is easy for our hearts to remain in a state of deception. Thankfully, God will not allow this to remain, and will cause the true affections of our hearts to be exposed lest we deceive ourselves. Let us therefore, examine our hearts thoroughly so we may stand boldly and confidently during any time of trial, trusting steadfastly in the faithfulness of our God.

Right through the Word of God, we see a common cry of God; He sought a people whose hearts were wholly His. (2 Chronicles 16:9, Jeremiah 24:7) This is the heart of a Christian. A Christian’s heart is Christ’s. A heart that is wholly God’s, is one that desires continual fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Yes, there is a time for solitude and waiting on the Lord – essential to renew our strength and gain wisdom from above (Isaiah 40:31); but the heart that walks with the Lord is one in communion with the Holy Spirit.

We often talk of the Fruit of the Spirit and living righteously – we cannot produce this. The righteousness we are called to display, is the righteousness of Christ and the Fruit of the Spirit. These only become evident in the lives of those who are willing to listen and obey the Holy Spirit moment by moment.

Someone who changes from “spiritual” living, to clear outbursts of the flesh does not have a heart wholly turned to God. When James states “My brethren, these things ought not be so” (James 3:10) he is saying that a Christian whose heart is wholly turned to God, just as it should be, will display righteousness and speak life. This is reiterated by Paul in his letter to the Galatians (5:16) and John in 1 John 3:6.

Those who have committed their life to Christ, have committed to following Him. Their heart’s affections are set after Him alone. A love for God will be evident by a willingness, or even more than that, a desire to listen, obey, change, forgive, love.

Friends, let us all examine our hearts, that we may let the Light of Christ expose every corner. (2 Corinthians 13:5) Let us also be in continual fellowship with Him, listening and obeying His promptings. This is how we prepare and make ready for the moment we all long for; that moment when we will stand face to face with Him who holds the world in the palm of His hand. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Our Life.

“Nevertheless, the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” 2 Timothy 2:19

My father-in-law heard this prophecy many years ago, and after re-discovering a copy of it, he shared it with us last night.  As we see once powerful and influential institutions financially crumble around us, we must see the hand of God in all things. As the first wind blows, let us hear what the spirit of God says to the churches…

A prophetic word to the church – given by David Minos midnight 6th April, 1987

The spirit of God would say to you that the wind of the Holy Spirit is blowing through the land.  The church however, is incapable of fully recognising this wind.  Just as your nation has given names to it’s hurricanes, so I have put My name on this wind.  This wind shall be named “Holiness unto the Lord”.

Because of a lack of understanding, some of My people will try to find shelter from the wind, but in so doing, they shall miss My work.  For this wind has been sent to blow through every institution that has been raised in My Name.  In those institutions that have substituted their name for Mine, they shall fall by the impact of My wind.  Those institutions shall fall like cardboard shacks in a gale.  Ministries that have not walked in up-righteousness before Me shall be broken and fall.

This is My Wind.

For this reason, man will be tempted to brand this as a work of satan, but do not be misled.  This is My Wind.  I cannot tolerate My church in its present form, nor will I tolerate it.  Ministries and organizations will shake and fall in the face of this wind and even some will seek to hide from that wind.  They shall not escape.  It shall blow against your lives and all around you will appear crumbling and so it shall.

But never forget, this is MY WIND, says the Lord.  With tornado force it will come and appear to leave devastation, but the word of the Lord comes and says, “Turn your face into the wind and let it blow, for only that which is not of Me shall be devastated.”  You must see this as necessary.

A second wind.

Be not dismayed for after this, My wind shall blow again.  Have you not read how My breath blew on the valley of dry bones?  So it shall breathe on you.  This wind will come in equal force as the first wind.  This wind too will have a name.  It shall be called “The Kingdom of God”.

It shall bring government and order.  Along with that, it shall bring My power.  The supernatural shall come in that wind.  The world will laugh at you because of the devastation of the first wind, but they will laugh no more.  For this wind will come with force and power that will produce the miraculous among My people and the fear of God shall fall on the nation.  My people will be willing in the day of My power says the Lord.  In the first wind that is upon you now, I shall blow out pride, lust, greed, competition and jealousy and you will feel devastated, but haven’t you read “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven?”  So out of your poverty of spirit, I will establish My kingdom.  Have you not read the kingdom of God is in the Holy Ghost?  So by My spirit, My kingdom will be established and made manifest.

Know this also, there will be those who will seek to hide from this present wind and they will try to flow in the second wind.  But again they will be blown away by it.  Only those who have turned their faces into the present wind shall be allowed to be propelled by the second wind.

You have longed for revival and a return of the miraculous and the supernatural.  You and your generation shall see it, but it shall only come by My process says the Lord.  The church of this nation cannot contain My power in its present form.  But as it turns to the wind of Holiness unto the Lord, it shall be purged and changed to contain my Glory.  This is the judgement that has begun to the house of God, but it is not the end.  When the second wind has come and brought in My harvest, then the end shall come.

I thought I would check in… I have been laying low the last week as after two nights without sleep due to two sick little ones, my body succumbed to the prevalent germs.  I had (and still have) a horrible cold which wore me down enough to develop that nasty infection which nursing mothers get, grrrr.  I am on antibiotics now and have been sleeping better so am on the mend. 🙂

I also had left my bible at my parent’s house (in-laws actually, but I claim them as my own) so have been feeling a little lost.  I have been reading my son’s bible, but its just not the same, know what I mean?  I have my little highlighted spots and can just find what I’m looking for in my familiar copy.  I retrieved it after my trip to the Doctor, so am happy to be united with it again. 🙂

I have also been reading a theology book – The Institutes of the Christian Religion, by John Calvin.  Its quite a lot to chew on, but I’m loving it and cannot read the 1000+ pages fast enough!  I thought I should brush up on my Calvinism 😉 so figured the best thing would be to go to the source.

I was challenged when I read this:

“For how can the idea of God enter your mind without instantly giving rise to the thought, that since you are his workmanship, you are bound, by the very law of creation, to submit to his authority? that your life is due to him? that whatever you do ought to have reference to him? If so, it undoubtably follows that your life is sadly corrupted, if it is not framed in obedience to him, since his will ought to be the law of our lives.”

and this:

“Moreover, if all are born and live for the express purpose of learning to know God, and if the knowledge of God, insofar as it fails to produce this effect, is fleeting and vain, it is clear that all those who do not direct the whole thoughts and actions of their lives to this end fail to fulfill  the law of their being.”

It is my intention that my life, and all that I put my hand to brings glory to God.  This blog is one of those things, and it is my desire, that the contents of it would glorify God and bring encouragement to others to follow him and seek him more intimately.  I feel I have been failing in this task.

A number of my posts have been critical of the church and have been focused on the inadequecies of it.  I do not deny that many churches are way off base and are following incomplete doctrines based on “another Jesus”, but this is not where I want my focus to lie.  Focusing on these things have been bringing me down somewhat, and I feel that this gives rise to things “which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.” 1 Tim 1:4. 

I acknowledge that the heresies of the church need to be discussed at times, and that in certain circumstances, God will allow opportunity for outreach to others who may be caught in deception, however, this is not where I wanted my blog to remain.  I myself, too easily, get caught up in a “self-righteous” position and begin to feed on pride.  I also get angry at the church, or rather, those in authority who are leading others down the path to destruction.  This anger is not constructive, but rather inhibits the love and mercy of God being manifested through me.  

In essence, I want to refocus on the wonder and majesty of our creator.  At a time when we see scripture unfolding in world events, we know that the time draws near that people will turn to one who is the son of perdition.  We must be willing to reach out to these people in love and share with them the complete and wonderful saving gospel of Jesus, the evidence of which is manifest in our own daily lives.   If we are not living the truth, then we have nothing to share with others.

I guess I just needed to get all that off my chest. It had been swirling around in my mind for a few days but I had not had the opportunity to put it to words until now.

I look forward to sharing all that God is revealing to me through His word, may we all be encouraged to grow to be more like Him day by day.

I have recently been accused of being an “Old Testament” Christian…whatever that is!  (I am of the assumption that this is because I do not believe that the “grace of God” is grounds for living under the hold of sin.)  This, by someone who has not even actually had a conversation with me regarding what I believe!  They have formed an opinion totally out of here say, however, whenever these things come up, I am forced to examine myself. 😀  I am always ready to take criticism and my first port of call is always the Word of God.

The title of this post is true and correct, but often spoken of out of context. Love is not a licence to sin, nor is it an excuse to walk in defeat of sin.

“Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins” Proverbs 10:12

“And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitute of sins.'” 1 Peter 4:8

Love, in this case is synonymous with forgiveness. We are called to love and forgive each other, just as God loves and forgives us.  God’s love does not necessarily change earthly consequences, but it can change eternal  judgement.  Forgiveness is gifted to us upon repentance. 

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

Your actions will display your true love.  “Desire” is the motivating factor of human beings.  “Good intentions” you may have, but ultimately your actions will be the result of your heart’s true desires. 

“Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.” 1 John 3:9

“Do not love the world or the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15

Seeking earthly rewards and success shows your hearts desire.  You walk a fine line when your focus is on the things of this world, it is easy to fall into sin.  When your eyes are focused on Jesus, and you are seeking Him and His righteousness in your own life, you will not be tempted to sin.  These things will not entice you as you are looking to fulfill His will rather than your own agenda.  You will live this way if your heart’s desire is for Him.

As the world becomes more and more morally corrupt and deceitful, we as Christians, should stand out ever the more. 

“He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” 1 John 1:6

“Therefore ‘Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.” 2 Corinthians 6:17

Non-believers are often put off by churches as they seem “full of hypocrites.”  I have even heard pastors confirm joke that “yes, that’s no excuse not to come to church, the church is full of hypocrites, so one more wont hurt”.  This is not the kind of church that Jesus is coming back for and many have fallen under it’s spell.

As these days become the last, it is more and more important that Christians draw close to Jesus, take a stand for a complete gospel and live lives of victory against sin. 

“For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.” 2 Corinthians 2:15

Well if the above NEW Testament verses don’t count for anything, I guess I am an “Old Testament Christian”.  😉

I know my thoughts are a little all over the place and scatty (it is nearly midnight after all) but for those of you who can make sense of my ramblings, please feel free to share your thoughts.   I can handle it. 😀

I was looking for a recipe for unleavened bread, (just thought I’d give it a go) when I stumbled accross this sermonette.

It has hightlighted the wonderful symbolism between unleavened bread and the message of Jesus Christ beautifully. It even references to today’s bread production and how far from the original it is…

“The bread baking industry takes the perfect grain and grinds it to a fine powder. No problem so far. Then it takes all the valuable nutrition out, leaving only the gluten. Then it bleaches the gluten to give it a false appearance of white. Then man-made nutrients are mixed with this white powder and it becomes “enriched” white flour to which leavening is added to make a puffy white loaf of bread that is unnaturally white, of no substance and of no true nutritional value.” Hmm sound like something else we know? 😉

If you have a few minutes, it’s really worth a look…especially to find out what happens when you add the salt!