My Forever Firm Fortress

 

Lighthouse

Source of photo unknown 

One of my favourite photos, and verses.

“You’re as real to me as bedrock beneath my feet,
like a castle on a cliff, my forever firm fortress,
my mountain of hiding, my pathway of escape,
my tower of rescue where none can reach me.
My secret strength and shield around me,
you are salvation’s ray of brightness shining on the hillside,
always the champion of my cause.”  Psalm 18:2  TPT

 

Chosen

chosen

One of a kind. Photo Flickr

When we have our own children, by birth, we can’t really choose who or what we will end up with, unless of course we have some genetic engineering of some kind.  We cannot choose what sex they are, what colour eyes or hair they will have, whether they will be brainy or artistic, or whose nose they will have.  It’s a bit like a surprise package!

But God….. He chose us.  He knew what He was getting already, and He still chose us. He knows our end from our beginning, our faults, failures and our noses, but He CHOSE us.  He adopted us as His own beloved children with full knowledge of what He was getting up front.  And still He picked us out for Himself, in love.  Rather boggling, that is.  Should even make us feel rather special.

Check it out in Ephesians 1.  (and thanks to Joyce Meyer for giving me this idea)

New Year’s Resolutions – do they work?

Apparently there is a day in the northern hemisphere (where it is now winter), called Blue Monday.  It is typically the 3rd Monday in January.  This is when Christmas and holidays are over, the weather is miserable, and the debt from Christmas has kicked in.  To top it off, our New Year’s resolutions – our decisions to be better in some way,  we have not been able to keep, no matter how hard we try.  resolutions

And that’s just it – we cannot keep our New Year’s resolutions, unless we have a will of steel.  We cannot ‘fix’ ourselves and improve ourselves in some way, just because we make a resolution.  If we do, we are doing it in our own strength and are destined to fail.

On the other hand though, if God puts His finger on something in our lives, then His grace, strength and anointing will be there to help us.  His strength is made perfect in our weakness.

I was constantly trying to improve myself, and I didn’t even need a New Year to do it!  More like an All Year resolution.  If God hadn’t told me to look at a certain area in my life, and I was trying to improve myself in some way or stop sinning in some area,  there was no anointing on it, and I failed every time.  Then comes the guilt and condemnation because I failed.

The key?  Let God tell usif there is an area He would like us to work on, let Him direct our paths, and He will be there to hold our hands and encourage us to get back up when we trip.

HE is the One who is perfecting and completing the good work He has begun in us – we just need to get ourselves and our self effort out of the way.  We just need to co-operate with Him and then He gets all the glory.  There’s a rest and an ease in that.

2 Corinthian 12:9; Psalm 37:23,2; Philippians 1:6;

Journaling

So HOW do we journal?

Relax and enjoy the process.  You will get better at this the more you do it.  You will make mistakes and sometimes hear the flesh more than you hear God.  But even in that, there will be gems in what you write that you know weren’t you.

Find a quiet place free from distractions and where you will least likely be interrupted. Journal

Put on some quiet worship music if you like.

Commit this time to the Lord.  Present your mind and heart to God and ask Him to fill them.

Start off by writing or typing out what you want to say to God.  You may feel more comfortable talking to Father, Jesus or the Holy Spirit.  He is three in one, so He will hear you, regardless of Who you address your journals to.

An example of what you write may be:

  1. I seem to be having a bit of a struggle this morning Father. So here I am for our chat.  What are You saying in this?
  2. Father, I seem to be so angry, and yet I don’t know why! I just can’t seem to get on top of it.  It frightens me.
  3. Good evening Father. Boy it is cold today!  Thank You that I am feeling well at present.  I have just come to spend some time with You.  What would You like to do tonight?

Pause for a bit, and wait for Him to respond.  Write down what you feel He is saying to you.  Not sure if what you are hearing is God?  Write it down anyway.  This is an act of faith, and it seems to ‘prime the pump’ and gets the flow going.

So what does He sound like?  In most probability, He will not talk to you audibly.  I can almost guarantee that He won’t.  He will speak to you through your thoughts.  They will sound different to your own thoughts, and will be in the first person, ie using words like ‘I’, ‘we’, ‘me’, ‘my’ etc.  They will be a spontaneous flow of thoughts, feelings, words etc that will seem to ‘pop’ in your mind.

These are examples of the replies to what I have written above 1, 2, 3 etc

  1. I love you. I am your healer.  I am greater than any scary thoughts, because My word is truth, not the thoughts.  I will bring you through this.  All is well, and you are safe, safe with Me.
  2. I will draw the poison out of you with My presence. But you must come to Me, and come to Me often.  And  you will become more like Me as you come into My presence.  I am not angry at you, but pleased that you come to Me with your problem.
  3. I would like to whisper secrets to you. I love you.  You are precious to Me.  You are more precious than the most precious of gems.

How can you be sure you have heard from God, and are not being deceived?  There are three things you can test it against.

  • The Word of God – does it line up with the Bible? If you are hearing that you are to have an affair, or murder someone (!), then it does not line up with the Word.  Scrap it.
  • Does it witness with your spirit – does it sit right with you, or do you get a ‘check’ in your spirit? I recently thought I heard Him talking to me about chocolate chips, but I think it was more my bed calling to me.  It wasn’t sitting right or even making sense for that matter!
  • Ask a trusted, mature Christian friend to read through your journal and give you their honest opinion.

I would love to hear how you go.

Adapted from from Dialogue with God by Mark Virkler

Additional material from my e-book Staying Afloat due to come out later this year.

Photo  Flickr