Sunday, December 30, 2018

Bless, Don’t Curse

Hello everyone,

One of the greatest struggles between our spirits and flesh, is stopping ourselves from speaking out against those who have treated us wrongly. The need to gratify our flesh by pointing a finger of accusation, can at times be overwhelmingly difficult to resist.  Truth is - the Bible is very clear on this issue.  In moments like this, even when the temptation seems irresistible, we must tell our flesh to be quite and refuse to bad mouth those who have treated us unfairly.  

Romans 12:14 says, “Bless those who persecute you [who are cruel in their attitude toward you]; bless and do not curse them.”

Why is it so important for us to deliberately and purposefully restrain our flesh from speaking badly about those who have disappointed us?  Because when we continue to speak accusingly, we refresh and rekindle the fire of that offence and in so doing, keep all those negative emotions that are attached to it alive.  This is only going to prevent us from moving on from that place of hurt. What’s more - not doing anything about that disappointment will cause it to fester and develop into a root of bitterness that negatively affects every part of our lives.  That bitterness begins to seep through our attitude and conversations - contaminating everyone around us.  So how do we stop the cursing process and turn it into blessing instead? 

The Bible says we are to bless those who are cruel towards us.  In the Greek, the word bless means to say good or positive things.  I know that must seem like a pretty tall order, especially when we are so caught up in hurt and anger that we probably can’t see or think of anything good to say about them at all.  Nevertheless, the Word is clear, and it’s always right.  Speaking words of blessing is not an option - it’s a deliberate act of obedience.  

The very best way to do this is ask the Holy Spirit to show us His heart for the ones who wronged us.  That’s because it’s impossible to sincerely bless and respond to them in love in our own strength.  But Romans 5:5 says the Holy Spirit Himself pours the love of God into our hearts - He gives us His unconditional, perfect love to do exactly what His Word tells us to do - bless and not curse. What a wonderful, faithful God we serve.

Let me tell you something else about the Wonderful Holy Spirit, Who is our counsellor and teacher.  According to Philippians 1:6, He has promised to complete this good work which He has begun in us, and see it carried through to completion.  What good work is that?  It’s allowing His love to override and dominate our own negative feelings and hurt, so that we can sincerely bless those who have wronged us.  That means there’s no quitting on this act of obedience.  You can’t just try mumble a few niceties under your breath about the person and then say, “I tried, it didn’t work, I’m done here...”.  No, that’s not what you are going to do.  The Holy Spirit is faithful to do exactly what He has promised to do - in and through you - and His ways are not only perfect, they are to see you free, healed, restored and moving forward in victory!

So let’s take a brief, but closer look at what Paul wrote in Philippians 1:6, “And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.”

There are two things I want to point out to you from this verse.  Firstly, Paul said the work the Holy Spirit began in us, He will perfect and complete in us.  That good work will be anything that involves our surrendering our wills to Him, and choosing to be influenced by His heart and attitude, so we can sincerely obey His Word.  In this case, it is to surrender to His love, forgive and bless those who have disappointed us.  Now, one translation says the Holy Spirit will not only complete this good work, but perform it in us.  That word perform translated from the Greek, conveys the idea of God’s own supernatural power and ability actually picking us up and carrying us onward.  Don’t you just love that?  In other words, when we have humbled ourselves to refuse our flesh and submit our wills to the Holy Spirit, as an act of obedience to His Word; He rushes right in, strengthens and equips us with His love so we can do it!  Then He carries us through it so we don’t get stuck, but move forward!  It’s that simple and brilliant at the same time!  All it takes is our willingness to submit to Him, obey, and trust Him to be exactly Who His Word says He is!

The second truth I want to point out, is how Paul says he is convinced of this happening to us.  He isn’t even suggesting, or saying it’s a possibility for us.  No, Paul said he is convinced this is exactly what we will experience!  One translation says he is persuaded and completely convinced that this is exactly what the Holy Spirit will do in and for us.  That means we can fully trust and expect it to happen.

So, where do we begin?  We start agreeing that God’s Word is the final authority in our lives, and that obedience to its truth is what will see us walking in victory instead of bitterness and defeat.  Then we stand up strong against our flesh and submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, through the strength of the Holy Spirit.  We tell the Holy Spirit we want to obey His will and not our own, and we ask Him to fill and flood our hearts with the love and empowering grace of God.  We ask Him to give us His heart for those who have wronged us.  We deliberately speak out forgiveness towards them and expect the powerful, supernatural love of God to go to work, through His Precious Holy Spirit inside us.  We can trust that power to pick us up and carry us through to pray for and bless those who hurt us.

Let me tell you, in an instant, what the devil set up for our downfall has been turned around for our blessing and God’s glory!

Now, just before I end this letter, I want to leave this thought with you.  Remember the verse that began this letter, Romans 12:14 says, “Bless those who persecute you [who are cruel in their attitude toward you]; bless and do not curse them.”?  Well, it’s interesting to note the Greek tense of this verse describes a continuous action.  

That means, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we are expected to bless and speak well of these people again and again.  This is not a once off deliberate act of obedience.  It must become a lifestyle.  It may seem extremely difficult at first, but the more we yield to the Holy Spirit and allow His perfect love for others to flood our hearts, the more that disappointment will lose its power over us.  Our words of blessing will begin to have a powerful effect on our own well-being and set us free from the trap the enemy set up for us.  God’s love is so liberating and continuously builds us up, heals us, and satisfies us in Him.  

So, when an accusing thought pops into our minds - instead of lingering on it, we call on the Holy Spirit, submit to His love, forgive, and speak God’s blessing!  You will be amazed at how those negative thoughts will begin to diminish.   This is how to live in victory when we’ve been hurt.  We have a wonderful, faithful partnership with the Holy Spirit - He enables us to speak blessing where it’s humanly impossible, and then keeps us in a place of  blessing - as His love sets us free and restores us!  

All my love,


Jenny

Monday, December 17, 2018

Tongues - The Purest Thanksgiving, The Greatest Victory

Hello everyone,

Have you ever wished you could be ‘like a fly on the wall’ to secretly witness something pricelessly spectacular, without actually intruding in on the moment?  One of my favourite portions of scripture where I feel like we can do this, is found in John 17:21-24.  This is where a very personal, heart to heart conversation between Jesus and His Father is revealed. It takes place in the moments leading up to Jesus being betrayed and going to the cross to fulfil His purpose.  It’s one of the most beautiful illustrations of their hearts concerning us, I like to call it a moment where the core of their intentions are revealed or unveiled. 

Now, before we go to that particular place in the Bible, I want to explain that in the preceding verses, Jesus is praying for those who walked closely with Him while He was on earth, as well as for us, who have subsequently come to personally receive and know Him as our Lord and Saviour today.  That means you can take this for yourself!  

He prayed...That they all may be one, [just] as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, ...
I have given to them the glory and honor which You have given Me, that they may be one [even] as We are one:
I in them and You in Me, in order that they may become one and perfectly united, that the world may know and [definitely] recognize that You sent Me and that You have loved them [even] as You have loved Me.”

Wow....just take a moment to let that sink in.  “I in them and You in Me, in order that they may become one and perfectly united, that the world may know and recognise that...You have loved them [even] as You have loved Me.”

This oneness and inseparable unity Jesus is talking about between Him and us and His Father, through the Holy Spirit, is the very same ‘partnership’ we find Paul speaking about in Ephesians 2:5-6, where he says, He (the Holy Spirit) made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favour and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation). And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).” AMPC

So, again, another glorious piece of scripture highlighting the inseparable connection every believer has with the Lord.  According to this scripture in Ephesians 2, we have been made partakers of the full extent of God’s salvation and victorious, resurrection life - through the Holy Spirit.  In other words - we have been made to be completely, and to the fullest measure - one with Him, loved by Him, made righteous through Him, and alive with His resurrection life - seated with Him in Heavenly places!

Now, let’s take this one step deeper.  In 2 Corinthians 13:14 it says, “The grace (favour and spiritual blessing) of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the presence and fellowship (the communion and sharing together, and participation) in the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen (so be it).”AMPC

The phrase ‘fellowship in the Holy Spirit’ means communion, and participation in Him.  The English dictionary defines the word ‘communion’  as the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially on a spiritual level.  The Greek word for ‘communion’ is koinonia, it is the idea of taking responsibility for someone.  

So, when Paul says “... the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”  He was saying, in our partnership with the Holy Spirit, He will share and exchange intimate thoughts and feelings with you and in doing so becomes the One that takes the responsibility of your life for you. 

That doesn’t mean we just throw our hands up and live as we please - expecting the Holy Spirit to run our lives for us.  No, it means becoming so intertwined with His thoughts and emotions and will, that as we follow after what He has influenced our hearts and minds with - we will see Him move supernaturally on our behalf, in every area of our lives.  He even moves behind the scenes bringing all things into line with His perfect will for us.  This is our partnership with Him!

So as we pray in the Holy Spirit, it stirs up, fine tunes, enhances and amplifies this communion we have with Him.    

Now it’s easy to see how the spirit of heaviness and fear, and any evil influence can’t hang around a believer who is constantly stirring themselves up, praying in the Holy Ghost.  This is where Romans 8:13 comes into play: “For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever.”

When this truth settles inside us spontaneous thanksgiving and praise begins to well up!  When we sing and praise the Lord from the depth of our spirits, singing and praying in the Holy Ghost because our own human language simply can’t express the gratitude and elation we feel in our hearts - we offer up thanksgiving of the purest and highest level!  Do you know why?  As we begin to praise and thank and worship the Lord, through His Holy Spirit, His presence and power is intensified in us and the situation we are praying about.  

Psalm 22:3 says the Lord dwells in the praises of His people.  He actually makes Himself at home in our praise.  The New King James Version says He is enthroned in our praises.  That means no matter what has raised itself up against His perfect will for our lives - He has dominated and ruled over it through our praise.  You see, that intimate communion we spoke about earlier, where His thoughts and feelings have so filled and influenced our own, making us one with elevates Him to a place in our lives where He truly is king.  Where He dominates and rules and takes responsibility for our lives as we are completely and wholeheartedly yielded to His will.  Our spontaneous thanksgiving through the Holy Spirit while praying in tongues seals and amplifies His active presence in our lives; at the same time, empowering us with whatever is necessary to overcome!

Our purest thanksgiving brings us our greatest victory!

As you spend time meditating on this truth, I pray the Holy Spirit will fill you up and flood your soul with His overwhelming goodness and power, and as you begin to thank and praise Him from your spirit - you will experience what it is to truly know the precious communion we have in Him.

All my love,

Jenny


Sunday, December 9, 2018

When God Prays

Hello Everyone,

Prayer is a very powerful tool that directly connects us to the heart of God.  It’s the way we communicate with Him and it transports us right into His throne room where we can hear and receive from Him in our time of need.  Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].”  

The idea of us approaching God and speaking to Him is not uncommon at all, but you may be as shocked, as I was, to hear how many people struggle with the concept of God speaking to us.  Now, anyone who reads the Bible knows and understands that from the very beginning, God has always wanted to have a meaningful relationship with man.  He created us for fellowship and to be inseparably connected to Him in a partnership where we are completely loved and filled with His Spirit and carry out His  purpose for our lives.  This purpose is one He predestined for us to walk in before the foundation of the earth - one that we were created to flourish in.

Hearing God’s voice is exactly what He expects us to do.  Look at what John 10:27, says, "The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me."  Jesus said when we belong to Him, we are listening to His voice.  That phrase is written in the continuous tense - conveying the idea that this is what is an expected, on-going practice for a child of God - to constantly be listening for and to the voice of our Good Shepherd. We do this so that we can follow Him and walk in His ways - which are always perfect!  In fact, His Word ensures us that He will always lead us into safety, provision and victory - as we listen to and follow His voice.

Now let’s take this communication and connection we have with Him one step deeper.  Acts 17:28 says, “For in Him we live and move and have our being;... For we are also His offspring.”  It’s pretty obvious that the relationship we have in the Lord Jesus is far more than a religious, one sided dialogue, where we offer up religious prayers to a far-off being who is relatively uninterested or unconcerned with our day to day lives.  No, we are completely know by Him, we are cherished by Him and He calls us His very own treasured possessions.  We were created by Him to live and move and exist vitally connected to Him - through His indwelling Holy Spirit!

Now take a look at what 1 John 1:3 says, “What we have seen and [ourselves] heard, we are also telling you, so that you too may realise and enjoy fellowship as partners and partakers with us. And [this] fellowship that we have [which is a distinguishing mark of Christians] is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah).”   Being vitally connected to God is a distinguishing mark of Christians!

In saying all this, I’m trying to explain and emphasis how when our lives are yielded to the Holy Spirit, we can enjoy such a oneness or unity in Him, where even our desires are directly in sink with His, and our agendas become aligned with His kingdom agenda. And this is extremely important when we pray!  Why? Because when we pray in tune and in harmony with the Holy Spirit, our prayers are in perfect line with His will.  Now mix faith in with that and God’s creative power is released - calling those things that are not seen in the natural, but are in line with His Word - as though they already exist in our natural lives!

The problem comes when we are overwhelmed, or distracted by the circumstances around us.  Or when our own human nature gets in the way of us clearly hearing and speaking God’s perfect will in our prayers.  That’s when we can apply the powerful gift of praying in tongues where God’s Spirit prays His perfect will, into and through our own spirits.  As we open our mouths and pray in the Holy Spirit - our words (inspired by Him) become the conveyer belt of His truth and power.  He prays through us.  As this happens, it immediately cuts off the influence of our natural, fleshly thoughts; and like a switch - fine tunes us into focusing in on, sensing and receiving God’s heart and perfect will - while He prays through us. 

If you remember, in previous letters we drew reference from Romans 8:26 with regards  to having God Himself pray on our behalf when we are at first unable to do so.  

Romans 8:26 says, “So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.”

When God prays through us, the supernatural presence and power of God dominates the natural world around us - and the impossible becomes possible.  Our own faith is stimulated and energised; and just like an athlete is warmed up and has stretched out his muscles, preparing them for a race - our spirits as well as our faith are being stirred up and made ready for supernatural action.  We are ready to hear and receive God’s perfect will for us to speak into any situation we are praying over.

Next week I’d like to spend some more time speaking about the special partnership we have with the Holy Spirit and how praying in tongues is our special, supernatural prayer language known only to God - that can become our highest level of thanksgiving - bringing astounding results!

Until then, treasure your relationship with the Holy Spirit and practice having Him pray through you!

All my love,

Jenny


Monday, December 3, 2018

Refresh Your Soul - Part 2

Hello everyone,

There is nothing more powerful on this earth than a Christian who is full of and controlled by the Holy Spirit.  He has spent time in the Presence of God and has received revelation knowledge from His Word. His spirit has been built up and is literally bursting with power packed faith, and he is energised and fired up to declare God’s Word over his circumstances and operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. He remains acutely in tune to the Spirit’s voice and is not moved by what he sees in the natural.  

Sound too good to be true?  Well, it’s really not.  Every born again, child of God - who has received the baptism of the Holy Spirit is well able to remain in a place of abundant, spiritual overflow by choosing to power himself up by praying in the Holy Ghost and meditating on the truth of God’s Word!

Even when circumstances get rough, and the enemy of our souls attacks our minds with negative thoughts, or our bodies complain with symptoms of sickness and pain, we can be refreshed in our souls as our supercharged spirits minister life and peace and healing to us.

And when we are weak in the natural and faced with challenges that are seemingly impossible to overcome, and we don’t know how to pray as we ought - that’s when we pray in the Holy Spirit and stand our ground in God’s Word.

Romans 8:26 says, “So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.”

As we begin to pray in the Holy Spirit and submit our minds to Him, He prays the perfect will of God into our situation. From our spirits, He begins to energise us with His power and gives us a word, that springs up like a spontaneous thought inside us.  Whatever that word is, whether it’s an instruction, or word of comfort, a word of knowledge, or wisdom, even a vision or dream - it will always come with a surge of life and peace that floods our souls and the refreshing process has begun!

Psalms 119:107 says, “I am sorely afflicted; renew and quicken me [give me life], O Lord, according to Your word!”

We are to take what has come up from our spirits, from the Spirit of God, and do whatever He says to do.  It may be to turn to a particular passage of scripture He has reminded us of, or directed us to. It may be a specific detail we need to attend to in our lives - some kind of adjustment to our attitude or lifestyle.  It could even be a message He has impressed on your hearts to give to someone.  Whatever it is, we must move swiftly in obedience because it has our soul’s salvation attached to it!  I don’t mean our entrance to heaven, I mean getting out of a state of worry, fretting and defeat, into a place of peace, joy and victory!

One vitally important key we cannot ignore during this process, where we have prayed earnestly in the Holy Ghost and received that spontaneous word from the Lord, is to harbour an attitude of praise and thanksgiving that rises up inside us!

Acts 2:28 says, “You have made known to me the ways of life; You will enrapture me [diffusing my soul with joy] with and in Your presence.”

As the Spirit of the Lord prays God’s will over your life and into your situation, you can literally feel His power go to work in and through the words you speak, because your spirit becomes supercharged and your soul (mind, will and emotions) is washed over by the presence of God and His Words of truth and... refreshing comes!

Praying in tongues and meditating on the Word of God most certainly refreshes your soul, bringing it peace and infusing it with supernatural life as the Holy Spirit washes His perfect Word over the recesses of your mind. Because this process is supernatural, it is able to correct any thought patterns that are contrary to His will and set you on a path of victory. You will receive the direction and comfort you need, and confidence to move forward in His ways as the Holy Spirit fills your thoughts with the truth you have paid attention to. 

To end this letter, I’ve chosen the words of Paul in Philippians 1:19, where he says, “For I am well assured and indeed know that through your prayers and a bountiful supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ (the Messiah) this will turn out for my preservation (for the spiritual health and welfare of my own soul) and avail toward the saving work of the Gospel.”  

May a bountiful supply of the Holy Spirit be what preserves the spiritual health and welfare of your soul as you spend time praying in the Holy Ghost and filling yourself with the truth of His Word this week.

Much love,


Jenny

Monday, November 26, 2018

Refresh Your Soul - Part 1


Hello everyone,

When worrying thoughts bombard your mind and threaten to pull you down into despair, you have a powerful weapon that will abruptly interrupt their course and declare the perfect will of God directly into the situation that is overwhelming you.  That weapon is praying in the Holy Ghost and as you use it, God’s Spirit prays through your spirit and redeems your soul out of all distress.

1 Corinthians 14:4 says that when we pray in unknown tongues we edify and improve ourselves. That means we build up and improve the current state of our souls.  Now the soul is made of three distinct parts: The part of the mind where we think and reason; the part that acts as our will and the part where our emotions operate from.  All these areas are positively affected when we pray in the Holy Ghost.

Jude 1:20 says, “But you, beloved, build yourselves up [founded] on your most holy faith [make progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher], praying in the Holy Spirit;”.

Why would a born again believer need to have their souls built up and encouraged?  Well, the Word of God teaches us that we have an enemy, the devil, who has made it his business to steal, kill and destroy every bit of faith, hope, peace and joy we have in this life (John 10:10).  

Now we know the finished work of the cross has disarmed him and prevented him from harming us - take a look at Colossians 2:15, “[God] disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it [the cross].”  

The fact is, even though the devil has been defeated, he has a deceptive and criminal nature, and will not stop trying to destroy the life and victory we have in Christ Jesus.  While he can distract our minds with negative, worrisome thoughts, he can keep our souls in a place of troubled anguish and defeat.

But the devil isn’t the only cause of our souls being troubled.  When we make wrong choices in life or react incorrectly to circumstances through shock or hurt, or disappointment, we can cause a ripple of events that lead to our minds being trapped in turmoil, resentment and bitterness.

So how do we pull our souls out of this downward, destructive spiral and into refreshing peace?  The answer is simple - we must get them into a place where the truth of God’s Word is more dominant than any other voice we are hearing.  We have to choose to cast out all thoughts that bring anxiety and panic before fear has a chance to neutralise our faith.  

As impossible as this may seem, we really can do it. Jesus said He has already overcome every opposing force or stressful trial we will ever face in this life, regardless of its source.  Take a look at  John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]”

In order to rescue our troubled souls and bring them into a place of refreshing and victory, we must have the Word of God dominate them.  And not just any word, the most appropriate word for our situation is what will give our minds victory over distress.  Take a look at what Psalms 119:81 says, “My soul languishes and grows faint for Your salvation, but I hope in Your word.”  

Psalms 94:19 says, “In the multitude of my [anxious] thoughts within me, Your comforts cheer and delight my soul!”

You may wonder what this has to do with praying in the Holy Spirit. Well, understand that praying in the Holy Spirit stops our prayers from being influenced by our own limited intellect, that has certainly been negatively affected by our anxious emotions.  

Instead, we are having the Spirit of God speak His perfect will, peace and power over us and into our situations.  It’s perfect because it has no trace of fear or doubt, only creative power to speak into existence what His Word has promised us.  What’s more, our own spirits are in complete harmony and agreement with God’s, which energises and stirs up a mighty inner strength inside us.

That’s what Ephesians 1:19 & 20 speaks about, “And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength,...Now to Him Who, by the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]...”

Until next week, spend time praying in the Holy Spirit and let His Presence which is at work within you refresh and restore your soul. 

Much love,

Jenny