Run Naked!

I’m a woman who walks in victory.  I’m born-again, saved and definitely a new creation.  I march onwards every day, taking Kingdom territory in God’s strength.  I put on my armour, resist the devil and I hope in what is unseen.  I do my best to keep my mind on what is good, noble and just.  I think on heavenly things and keep my mind stayed on Him.  I learn what it is to be content in all circumstances and I’m not surprised when trials come upon me.  I don’t live in the pain of my past anymore and have received massive transformation of my heart.  I’m gentler, softer and more loving than I ever knew was possible.  I’m conscientious, caring, kind and count others more significant.
And, I really believe in the fact that I have been given right standing with God through Christ.  I mean, I believe it!  I will not be convinced any other way.  His blood has covered me.  His grace over my life is indeed an ocean and I am overwhelmingly, thankfully, drowning in it.

I am all of those things and I am also…

Incredibly broken, full of weakness and beset with failures.  I fall short every day.  I muck up as soon as I get out of bed and I often let people down.  I sometimes inadvertedly watch the wrong thing and stumble. I (very) often say the wrong thing at the wrong time, in the wrong way.  I sometimes allow my flesh to get the better of me, I still have areas of sin that I’m struggling with and I can be totally selfish instead of loving.  I sometimes judge instead of being merciful, I can condemn instead of being gracious, I get irritated instead of being patient and I can definitely think I have the answer instead of simply loving by listening till the end.
And, no matter how much God has transformed my heart I can still suddenly have a ‘hard moment’.  No matter how much I believe in who I am in Christ, I can still forget.  No matter how much I trust God, I can still have moments (or seasons) of fear and doubt.  Oh yes, there are days indeed, when the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak!

This is the reality of who I am.

As a receiver of grace, a beautiful bride, a precious daughter and a committed disciple of Christ, I am not one or the other…I am BOTH!!

I am all of the things mentioned in the former paragraph because of my utter awareness of all that is mentioned in the latter!  I have come to know, that ignorance is not bliss, as the world would have us believe…but that it is bondage!

“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.
 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin”.
Roms 7:17-25

Three times Paul mentions the ‘sin that dwells within’.  Paul did not shy away from that fact and neither should we.  He did not hide it or deny it and I think you will agree, it definitely did not diminish his faith!

In fact, Paul boasted in it!…

For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out”. v.18

“… Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong”. 2 Cor 12:9&10

To look at what dwells within us, is not a sin.  To acknowledge the full complexity of our brokenness, weakness and failures is not a sin and it is not a lack of faith either.  It is in fact a gift from God!

The world is in denial of these facts and the cover up is devastatingly leading them to hell.

Again…Ignorance is not bliss…it is BONDAGE!!

To see clearly is the blessed gift of truth and it is only the truth which sets us free.  It is a merciful gift to be able to lay our all before God and cry out… “Search me, and show me if there be any grievous way in me”.  Of course, it is true that we are new creations in Christ, that the old has passed away, that we’re dead to sin (the power and penalty of sin) but, along with that, like the mighty apostle Paul, we are beset with weaknesses and there is a sin that dwells within that cannot be ignored.

But, as one young lady in our community group said… “We just feel we can’t talk about that”.

How often are we rejected, scorned, or crushed by others because we dare to be honest about what we are contending with whilst being a lover of God and a committed disciple of Christ?  How often are we made to feel like we have no faith because we shared the fear and doubt which is having its way with us today?  How pathetic are we made to feel when we go to someone, asking for help because that wound from the past – you know, the one you thought was dealt with – is haunting you all over again…and your sister or brother tells you ‘in love’ just to get over it?!!  How often, have we not had our pain or our struggles, our doubts or our fears listened to and acknowledged, but instead, had them brushed over with a quick fix ‘spiritual’ answer?

How often has that happened to you and sadly, how often have you been that person to another?  I know I have experienced and been both.

We have grown afraid to be victory and weakness; faith and failure, mistakenly believing that we can’t be both.  We are afraid to be real in the face of criticism or lack of sympathy.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin”. Hebrews 4:15

Jesus came and took on the form of a servant, He was tempted in every way, so that when He stood in the gap for us, He understood all that we are and all that we’re going through.  He isn’t a lofty God, abstract and detached from reality.  He doesn’t look at us and go “Oh my gosh, you’re dealing with that!!

Walking in victory is not the absence of our weakness, our frailty or the sin that dwells within…it is in fact those very things that escort us into total dependency on God. They are the blessed vehicles that draw us into deeper humility and the vessels pre-determined by God to display His glory.

We know that Paul’s story doesn’t end at the acknowledgement of what lied within, and neither does ours.  It always concludes with a “Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ!”  Paul was not condemned by the sin that dwelt within or the weakness of his flesh…

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus” Roms 8:1

Hebrews warns us that there’s an earthly grief over sin that leads us into a pit instead of repentance, which is the fruit of Godly grief. Condemnation is not repentence it is self-pity. So stay off that path. But…do not shy away from all that you are or from all that your neighbour is.  Contrary to what you may have believed or been taught, ignorance (the lack of knowledge) of what lies within, will only ever keep you from walking in the full victory Christ has already claimed for you.  You will never understand the fullness of what Christ has done for you, unless you know the fullness of what He has, and is continually saving you from.

So hide no longer dear friend and don’t encourage another to either!  Our Father knows everything.  He knows exactly when you fluff up, He knows the motive of your heart and He knows the words you’re going to speak the very next time you open your mouth.  He knows what you struggle with and what wound causes you your greatest distress. Though He is doing a work on your heart to bring it in line with His love, He loves and accepts you just as you are right now, knowing that You are HIS workmanship in Christ Jesus.  You cannot separate who you are…God doesn’t!

His power is made perfect in your weakness, so stop trying to hide it and stop listening to those who are perhaps encouraging you to hide it…Perhaps you have a thing or two to bless them with, in your honesty?

Be real, be honest, be boastful…of what it is you truly contend with in your walk with God, so that He can be given ALL the glory.
Allow God to crawl down and be with you in the darkest places of your soul, character and actions and see just how quickly He will turn your greatest failure into His greatest success!

It takes real bravery to ask God to show you.  It takes courage.  It’s also uncomfortable, sometimes painful and mostly just darn ugly but…you get freedom no other way.

At the end of Psalm 139, being shown if any grievous way be in you, is unfortunately the prerequisite to being led on the way everlasting!  Awareness of the sin that dwells within only ever frees you!  Our loving Father spent so much time in Psalm 139 laying a foundation of verses to tell us that He knows everything about us so that when it came to us taking a good look at ourselves, we could do it with the confidence and joy of His salvation at work in us.

It’s not a coincidence that in this earthly life, the ultimate gesture of feeling free in oneself, is to run naked, arms wailing in the air, squeals of delight pouring forth.  A bit like this…

credit to the

So run…run naked!
(Spiritually people….SPIRITUALLY!!!!!!!)

Yes…run naked before your God, before yourself and before others.  Hide no more, but embrace all that you are, so that you can accept all that He has done for you on the Cross.  Run naked and embrace your ‘wobbly bits’/‘ugly bits’/‘broken bits’, knowing that those same things that others scorn you for, are the very things that will glorify Him when He empowers you to overcome what is humanly impossible.

“And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account”. 2 Cor 5:3

“And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed”. Gen 2:25


O’God, You Are My God

Anything in our lives can become our God. An object, a person, a pastime, a campaign, even a ministry, all have the potential to consume the affections of our hearts.
The Bible says…”Hope deferred makes the heart sick”. When the affections of our hearts are captured by anything other than God, our hope is in that thing and in that, our hope is deferred and our hearts get sick.
This is very different from enjoyment. ‘All good things come from God’ and ‘Our Heavenly Father knows how to give his children good gifts’. All that I am given, I am given to enjoy…and enjoy I shall. But, I must remain on guard about what consumes the affections of my heart and what I place my hope in!
Today, I ask the Lord as the psalmist did…

“God, search me and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts, and show me if there be any grievous way in me.”
And then, I rely on HIM, to…

“Lead me in the way everlasting”
We are told that “we cannot serve two masters” because naturally, “we will hate the one and love the other.” This tells us something important – of course on earth, I can work for two masters quite happily, but here God is not talking about the practical, He is talking about the HEART, and God’s call, His first commandment to us, is to love Him, our Lord God, “with all our heart, soul, mind and strength”. Whilst we can ‘love’ and enjoy in an earthly sense, the things of this earth, when it comes to our hearts, we are called to love with all consuming affection, one thing and one thing only…
May we be able to say today, and may it be wondrously true, of all of us who know Him, that…
“O’God…you ARE my God!”
X x x

How’s Your Wise-o-meter?

After talking to a friend and advising them to be wise and avoid a certain situation, instead of placing themselves in unnecessary harms way, it got me to thinking about the words from Matthew 10…

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”


Being wise is very different from paranoia. The latter is fear based and irrational, the former is faith induced, based upon a knowledge of the reality of who we are, where we currently reside and who our enemy is.

The minute we were adopted and redeemed by Christ, we became aliens to this world (John 17:16) and in that, everything changes for us. I sometimes refer to the Kingdom of God as being upside down and back to front – We are called to forgive when hurt; bless when hated and give out of lack, not abundance. What we once regarded as innocent, may not be now?! What we once thought was acceptable, may not be now?! And, what we once considered wise, definitely may not be now?!!

So, we are called to be…”wise as serpents”. Why serpents? Here’s what I found…

“The prudence of the serpent is specially apparent in the quickness of its perception of danger and the rapidity with which it escapes from it”

“The serpent is a very sharp sighted, cunning creature, and uses various arts and stratagems for its own preservation, and especially of its head; and is so far, to be imitated by the followers of Christ….to not expose themselves to UNNECESSARY dangers: and to avoid all snares and TRAPS that are laid for them.”

God was instructing the disciples….

“…to avoid all things which gave advantage to their enemies”

“…to conduct themselves with common sense in avoiding UNNECESSARY danger!”

My question to you and myself tonight is…
How’s our wise-o-meter? How rapidly do we sense danger and unnecessary traps? As a disciple, do we consciously avoid situations that could give advantage to our Enemy?

Good news is, if God calls us to be something, then He supplies us with the means to live it. His word says in James…

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to ALL without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

May we be encouraged to take advantage of this wonderful promise and constantly ask for more!

God bless x x

Think Again!

I learnt a few valuables things at the funeral of a homeless man today, that made me…think again.

Firstly, everybody is somebody….
The man was an epileptic, schizophrenic, homeless alcoholic.  He was aggressive and argumentative at times and so, he was hard to handle at times.  He walked about alone and refused any real help out of his situation.  But, as I watched his mother and father, sister, cousin and niece crying their eyes out today, I realised that everybody is somebody to someone.  Underneath his fragile broken shell, he was somebody’s son, brother, cousin and much loved uncle.

To God, we are ALL somebody!

Secondly, brokenness does NOT negate love….
There was complete openness today with regards to what the man had struggled with.  Everyone was fully aware of the way his mind, health and addiction had deteriorated and caused him to become one of life’s outcasts.  But, whatever he had succumbed to, however he had seemingly failed in this lifetime, regardless of his addiction and no matter the pain it had caused his family, it did not prevent his family from loving him.  Oh, how they all loved him.

Our brokenness does NOT prevent God from loving us!

Thirdly, we’re somebody’s somebody….
There are many mixed opinions regarding feeding the homeless.  Should we, shouldn’t we?  Do we just become a crutch for them, enabling them to feed their habit?  Are they my ‘neighbour’ or is that just a Christian brother or sister?
Even though feeding the homeless is what I do, I too have battled with mixed feelings on the subject at times. Am I really making a difference as I give out a cup of tea and a chicken curry?  I believe that today, God showed me a new perspective which has smashed any doubts to pieces.
The man’s family were so grateful for what we did for him. “Thank you, thank you, thank you” they said over and over.  Often, families are the last people that can help in a situation like his.  It’s too close, too painful or their help is simply rejected.  It seemed to bring them great comfort to know he had at least been looked after in even the smallest of ways.  And that got me thinking.  If I had a daughter, a son…if YOU had a daughter, a son…and that child, after years of nurturing suddenly went off the rails, and wound up ‘out there’, in the big wide world alone, far away from you, wouldn’t you want to know that they were being cared for?  No matter what they had done, no matter how low they had sunk, no matter how helpless you felt, wouldn’t you be praying every night that someone, somewhere was helping them?  Wouldn’t you want to know that wherever they were that night, someone, somewhere, would be willing to lay all judgement aside and just feed them, clothe them?  I have no children, yet I can tangibly feel a parental desperation in my heart tonight at even the imagining of such a situation. Whatever terrible course their life had taken, no matter how much I couldn’t help them, would the desire that they were being cared for ever go away???

God as THE Parent of all parents, sends US, calls US, asks US, to love His children…wherever they are, whatever they’re doing.  You, me, we may be the only somebody that somebody’s got!

– We are of infinite value to our Father.  He sent His only Son to die in our place so that we could be reconciled to Him.
– Our brokenness doesn’t surprise God, faze Him, daunt Him or offend Him.  It doesn’t put Him off.  While we were dead in our sins Christ died for us.
– God created ALL of us – “ALL things were made through Him and without Him was NOT ANYTHING made that was made”.  Whilst our rebellion and rejection of Him does hinder us having a full, reconciled relationship with Him, it does NOT negate His love for us!  “For God SO LOVED THE WORLD, that He sent His only Son…”

So the next time you think you’re not good enough…think again!
The next time you think, I’ve done too much…think again!
The next time you think someone else isn’t worth it…think again!


Accompanying Jesus

“Soon afterward, Jesus went on through towns and villages, preaching and bringing the good news (the Gospel) of the Kingdom of God.  And the twelve apostles were with Him.  And also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had been expelled; And Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager; and Susanna; and many others, who ministered to and provided for Him and them out of their property and personal belongings”.  Luke 7:1-3

I encourage you to meditate on these few questions for a moment using the women written about here as an example…

– Do I minister to Him?  What a question that is!!  Do I start my day ministering to my King, enquiring of HIS needs for this day?  Or, do I only enquire Him of my own?!
– Do I come before Him and ask “What do YOU need of me this day Lord; How can I assist YOU?”
– When did I last put my own comfort before His needs?  When did I cross the road to avoid a person, not open the front door, not answer the phone, stay in bed, not help someone, not provide for someone etc etc…?

– Are my property and belongings open to being used?

– Am I providing for Jesus with the sacrificial surrender of my life/my body, to be used as and when HE chooses?

– Do I consider that it is Jesus himself who shares the Gospel through me?  I don’t have to strive to deliver a ‘good speech’ to someone, I only have to deliver myself up to be used by Him, resting in the knowledge that it is Him that binds up the broken hearted and opens the prisons of all those who are bound.

What are His needs?  Well, St Theresa of Avila says this…
“Christ has no body now on earth but ours, no hands but ours, no feet but ours. Ours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good”

Within the truth of God’s self-sufficiency, we, as His children and representatives, have been chosen to carry and manifest His presence to the people of this world.  The ministry of Jesus, when He was walking this earth, is the very same thing He is doing now.  In the time when the verses above were lived out, the women accompanying Him ministered to Him and the apostles in a very practical way – food, money, shelter, washing etc.  We could wrongly believe that Jesus doesn’t have practical needs today.  He does.  He needs us to be available….to give of ourselves, our lives and our hearts, to such a degree that our first thought in the morning will be “How can I minister to YOU today Lord?  How can I accompany YOU today as You seek to touch the lives of those You love?”

This has really challenged me, encouraged me and stirred me up and I have once again been brought back to the simple truth….
My life is not about my own needs.  And neither is it about everyone else’s.  My life is about HIS needs first and foremost!  In accompanying Jesus and ministering to Him, myself and everyone else’s needs are taken care of.  Yes, God’s Word says that I should ask, that I should make my specific requests known and of course I need to look to God as my provider and love my neighbour and take care of the poor, the lost and the oppressed..but…if I were to really listen to what I pray about, even in my prayers for ministering to others, would they be more about me and my needs, than His???

God Bless x

My “God LOVES Ugly” Moment

Today I have ceased from resisting your love.  I don’t want to fight it anymore…indeed, I cannot.  I can no longer whisper ‘I love You‘ with one breath and resist You in another.  Your love is the highest form of love.  Above it, lies no other.  Today I accept that you did for it me.  You did it for them, but today, you showed me that you did it for me.  Today you showed me my worth to you, my infinite value.  That caused you to die in my place.  Today you showed me my ugliness and made me utterly grateful for Your grace…how deep, how wide.  Today I accept the fullness of the beauty of the Cross, knowing that in it You have made me beautiful.

“I praise You…for I AM wonderfully and fearfully made.  So wonderful are Your works, my soul knows it very well” Psalm 139

Thank you Christa…you wrote the words which speak out the history and future of my heart today.


When the towns unloved first started to knock at the house, despite never shutting up about God everywhere else, I never seemed to talk about God with them and felt a failure. But God said to me… “NO!  They’ve been loved with an agenda all their lives, I want you to love them without an agenda.  Just love them and leave the rest to me!”  So those simple cups of coffee, a hot meal and lengthy chats have always been given freely and unconditionally.

God also told me, at that time, that loving the lost was not a one way thing… “you need them as much as they need you, in fact…you need them more!!”  As Christians, in our immaturity or arrogance, we often think, the lost only need us, when the truth is, we need the lost.  The reality is, that with no opportunity to love, I would not grow in love!

The other evening, as I pondered love, trust and my relationships in loving the lost, I got the words pop in my mind… “The same principle applies!” I felt God saying to me, all that I have learnt in loving those outside the church, applies to loving those inside the church too! God wants us to love our brothers and sisters without an agenda and understand also, that without relationship together, we wouldn’t grow. Relationship is developed as we endure with one another, bear with one another and are built up by one another.

Think about what it takes for you to have relationship with someone.  What did it take for you to come to love that person?  How do you know that a person loves you?  People often say… “Because we’ve been through alot together; They’re always there for me; I can rely on them; When I’m in need, I can count on them.” A relationship is built upon those things and also upon the building blocks of unconditional love, encouragement, kindness and patience.

In loving those outside the Church, in the smallest of ways, I do all those things.  And no less is required of me towards my brothers and sisters in Christ.
God’s agenda towards a person whether lost or not is always love.  His agenda is always long suffering, is always patience.  Without God’s agenda, we are just a noisy gong or a clanging symbol.

There was a day when I thought I had it all sorted.  I had a fast, dramatic conversion, a total life transformation….God renewed my mind fast!  He downloaded me with wisdom and revelation of who He was in a very short space of time.  In my first year of returning to my Maker, and still bedridden from sickness, I consumed his Word for up to eighteen hours a day, memorising up to one hundred scriptures a month, just because I loved it.  I was privy to alot of truth.
Paul talks of the thorn in his flesh, the messenger he received from Satan.  We quote that scripture often, but what we don’t quote along with it, is why he had received that messenger…it was to keep him from becoming conceited, because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations he had been given.  I was conceited.  Truth without love made me hard.  Truth without love made it hard for me to be loved or to truly love in the way God loves.  Truth without love meant relationship was near on impossible.  God, through His mercy upon me, showed me that I could indeed understand all the mysteries of God, have all knowledge of God and even have all faith, but without love, HIS kinda love, I would be nothing.

So…the same principle applies! The way I endeavour to love the lost is the same way I must endeavour to love the saved.  We are not only called to love the lost, we are called to love everyone!! So whilst I may pat myself on the back for loving those outside the church, God says, I can actually give away all I have and even provide food for the poor, but I will still be nothing without God’s love in me and…God’s love is no respecter of persons! He does not love the lost more than he loves me or you and in precisely the same way I am called to have relationship with those outside the church, I am called to have it with those within the church.  In fact, I believe it matters more!

A good friend of mine once gave a sermon on marriage and divorce and in it he said that God had shown him, it was his righteousness at home that counted the most, not his righteousness before men.  It was how he treated his wife, his children, his family that really showed what kind of a man he was before God.  In the same way, that is true of us individually and it is true of us corporately.  So much damage has been done by the body of Christ because of us not loving each other in the way Jesus commanded us to do.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another,  just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13

It is not the knowledge of God which saves souls, it is the love of God, manifested through Christ crucified, outpoured through us via our hands and feet towards humanity that saves!  1 John tells us that no-one has ever seen God but when we love one another, God’s love is made manifest through us.  It really is that simple…people will come to know God as we love one another.  Let us not miss this, it is everything.  Without it we will indeed be blind, pitiable and poor whilst foolishly thinking ourselves rich and prosperous.

Love is a choice, a decision, a commitment.  It has to be, because to truly love is hard…it flies in the face of all that is evil and conquers all darkness. We cannot love without God’s grace upon us and His strength at work in us.

Our relationships on earth should grow, develop and mature parallel to our relationship with Christ.  We cannot separate one from the other.  Jesus said… “Love each other as I have loved you”.  The relationships around us should mirror the love we have received from Christ.  Will we be perfect?  I think not, but, we must press on to forgive as we have been forgiven; to extend mercy as we have received mercy and to love as we have been loved.
As God is patient with me, so I too, must endeavour to be patient with others.  As God bears with me, so I too, must bear with others.  As He encourages me daily, long suffers with me yearly, so I too, must do that with others.  As I give away that which I have received, I will naturally produce the fruit of healthy, Godly relationships in my life.

In turn, relationship reaps a harvest of righteousness in itself.  Relationship rooted in Christ and founded on God’s love, changes, encourages and motivates a person towards God’s higher calling.

So how does relationship happen?  Well…I believe as in all things, Christ is our model.  “Greater love has no-one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”  I believe God is asking us at this time to go deeper…
Are you ready to lay down your life for your friends?  And he’s not talking about you going and starting some ministry somewhere.  He’s saying…Right now, here, are you willing to lay down your life?  Are you willing to love ALL of those around you – the lost and the saved, in the way that He loved you?  Are you willing to lay down your fears and enter into relationship with each other the way He entered into relationship with you?
God places relationship above anything we could ever do for him.  Our ministries must never come at the expense of relationship within the body of Christ.  Are you willing to do all it takes, to relationship with each other in this life (that He gave you!), according to His blueprint for church…to eat together, fellowship together, pray together, devote ourselves to the Word, carry one another, and encourage one another?  Are you willing to let go of the excuses that prevent you from doing just that?

John 13…again!

This was a new commandment.  The newness is in the fact that this was a command for the disciples themselves, the ones closest to him.  Jesus had relationship with them and was urging them, as they moved forward together, to remember to love each other as He had loved them.  Jesus did life with his disciples. He ate with them, bore with them, encouraged them and then told them, as He’s telling us now, to do the same thing He did.  Knowing through that, and only that, would the world come to know we are truly His disciples!

Amen!!…and God Bless x