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Archive for April, 2012

You don’t have to be alone to feel lonely

“When He has tested me I shall come forth as gold.”

Job 23 v 10

When I look through my box of stones, I am sad at how quickly I have forgotten the circumstances in which they came to me. How thankful I am too though that I wrote down on small cards a reminder of those times. A particular card was entitled Loneliness. You don’t have to be alone to feel lonely.

We may have busy lives filled with family, friends and a full diary. We may have finances, a nice home; brilliant job with great future prospects – ‘I wish!’ I hear you say (chuckle). We may be very involved in various aspects of church life. We might know the scriptures inside-out, yet something is missing and no matter what we do, nothing fills that void within us. We fear talking to anyone in case we’re judged as unbelievers. Maybe you, my dear reader, have never really known Father intimately. God seems a million miles away!

Maybe we had a vibrant spirit-filled walk, yet as time passed we find the flame of faith has become a flicker, the roaring fire in our heart now a dying ember. Rather than longing to sit expectantly at the Saviour’s banquet table, we have let ourselves scramble like dogs for the ‘crumbs from their master’s table’, because we don’t feel worthy. (Matt. 15v23)

We’ve done what we feel has been expected of us; said what we think people want to hear. If in fact we ever knew Jesus at all, what has happened is that we have replaced a ‘relationship with Father’, with plain old religion. When we finally realise our need we feel helpless. Father will always want to fill us with His love and presence, no matter how we feel. But at times like these we find it hard to trust, or step out in faith to open up to Him.

Be encouraged dear reader. He doesn’t lead us blind-folded into any difficult place to stop, remove our blind-fold and say: “Right here you are – get on with it – I’m off!” No, He promises: “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear…, for the Lord your God (If you’ve made Him your Father that is), He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deut. 31:6. This means we will NEVER be alone – ever!

We need to lay down our needy life at the foot of the cross, repent of a hardened heart and receive His love, forgiveness and passion. This is NOT a one-time surrender my friend! It is a daily sacrifice! When this happens, our lives are transformed, our faith and trust in His Word becomes more than our closest friend, for His Word (Scripture) is the Bread of Life. Feed on it (read and meditate on it) and live.

Dear reader, I speak here from experience. I’ve known loneliness and may do again. The times when I’ve not been recognised for something; when I don’t ‘fit’ into a particular group; when I’ve messed up big time or feel of little use anymore.

I can look back and see where the enemy’s army waited. His spirits of resentment, bitterness and self-pity ready to jump on my back. Little did I realise at the time that the good Shepherd was leading me through those places to a more intimate knowing and trusting Him is called ‘dying to self – more of Him, less of me’.

I cannot remember now how I came to have this stone, only that the card states it was at a time when I felt particularly lonely, bereft even after a close friend moved hundreds of miles away. I missed her dreadfully.

 

This stone is Pyrite (Fool’s gold) which contains Sulphar and Iron.

I am not foolish to desire more of God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. Ps.14v1 says: “The fool in his heart says there is no God”. It would certainly be foolish to ignore what Father is doing because when He is finished testing and refining me, I will be just like the real stuff – real gold, precious, refined and pure!

So start trusting Father today, it takes time for the Holy Spirit to change us, because He does not invade us – He must come invited.

God bless you.

Trisha

Prayer

Our Father, thank you for leading me to the place of loneliness and forgive me for my cold hardened heart, melt it and break the chain around it, put Your seed of love there. Behold me, here I am, an empty vessel for you to use as you will. Come Holy Spirit and fill me to overflowing with the flood-tide of Your Love. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Friday April 20th, 2012 in General News | Comments Off

The stones will cry out: Timing

“Can I not do with you as the potter? As the clay is in his hand, so are you in my hand.” Jeremiah 18:6

As I’ve got older, I have found myself thinking – the more I know, the less I know. As a young follower of Jesus, I felt I could convert the world; taking every opportunity to speak about my Lord and His plan.

I looked at the years ahead through rose coloured glasses. The ‘words of knowledge and prophesies’ spoken over me, led me to believe Father had called me to be in a certain ‘ministry’. Yet the years slipped irrevocably by and that certainty diminished to an unconvincing hope. Now much older and not much the wiser, I wonder if He will still bring about the fulfilment of those words.

When I read Hind’s Feet on High Places many years ago, I remember asking Father that he would not take me to that awful desert place called the ‘Furnace of Egypt, and a horror of great darkness’. Gen.15 v12, 17. In the book Much Afraid is led there by the Shepherd and she constantly questions why He takes her on the most difficult of paths which seem unbearable and impossible, for she saw only the hard journey ahead – not his delayed promise.

Now, looking back over the years, where perhaps my impatience said I should to be, I see I have been through that desert many times. To recognise when and how my faith prevailed and overcame and where it didn’t has been a painful growing experience. When at times I thought my stubborn and rebellious way was better, Father brought me back to the desert place where my repentant knees would meet the ground.

Nobody likes to be tested, not their word; their understanding; their faith; their will. However, IF we are walking IN Christ Jesus and He IN us; IF we KNOW the Father and not about Him; IF our heart cries out to Him what we often sing: ‘There must be more than this! Come Holy Spirit! Show me YOUR way!’ IF we submit with acceptance and joy, He WILL refine us and fashion us into the finest vessel, an instrument for His work, according to His will.

Scripture says: “If a man therefore purge (cleanse) himself… he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work… follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart”. 2 Tim 2v21

When I allowed the Holy Spirit to speak to my heart, I asked Him to break me and reshape me into anything He wanted. To say it’s been easy would be a lie, as often I have been those broken shards of hardened pots. However, I’ve come to know Father will take His time to make sure the change in me is one of a pure heart and a pliable will.

Uncut stoneLook at this uncut stone which was given to me at a time when I learnt this valid lesson about God’s timing. I believe it is Amber, fossilised tree resin, formed over millions of years from the now extinct Hymenaea tree in an ancient rain forest somewhere. Tree sap became buried then fossilised, sometimes trapping small insects. This beautiful stone, (likened to God’s glory in Ezekiel 1 v 4 & 27 and 8 v 2) had gone years of process, one of fire; when found is cut and honed into the most exquisite of jewellery.

So my friend, don’t let go of that vision, word or promise that Father has given you. Don’t stop praying for that miracle or answer to a situation or circumstance, because Father is preparing you for His work. If what you are praying for is to better His Kingdom, His purpose and His will, or to show compassion to others in similar circumstances or trials, then be patient, willing and open your heart for His light and to be tested and refined.

I find it sad that Hurnard did not continue in such a humble way in the following books she wrote. Losing her faith she turned from the high place to a low erroneous place theologically. In most of her following books including: The Inner Man (published after her death) her teachings on new age, mysticism and occultist beliefs lost her the respectability which Hinds Feet gave her but which continues to bless many Christians today.

 

Prayer

Father God, forgive me for the times I do not trust you, or listen to you. I want to know you more with all my heart, mind and soul. You know me well, better than I know myself. Please show me Your ways and speak into my life. For I believe you hear me and will answer when I call. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Friday April 6th, 2012 in General News | Comments Off