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Seasons in life

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

We all undergo different seasons in life and at different times to others. In these seasons it could feel lonely because we may feel or believe that we are the only ones in this current situation. This could very well be true, to the degree of your surroundings at least, however the fact that our situation is unique and tailored to us at a specific time is proof that the Jesus himself is walking through the current situation with us. We may not be surrounded by people that understand completely how it feels to be in our situation but neither can you put your feet in someone else’s shoes due to the fact that everybody’s situation is different and has been predetermined by God before the beginning. “also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,” Ephesians 1:11.

Covetousness

<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">In this world we are given the illusion that we have been manufactured with an internal clock that determines the time of which certain situations are due to occur in your lives. Biologically this may be the case but ask yourself when has this limited God? I believe comparison robs us of the peace and contentment we could be experiencing in the unique time we may find ourselves. In <strong>Deuteronomy 20:17</strong> the Israelites were pre-warned to not covet anything that belonged to their neighbour;<em><strong> "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."</strong></em> I believe that the reason behind this command is because God knew that as fleshly humans we would have the tendency to compare our situations, belongings or character with our neighbour, thus causing us to covet and robbing ourselves of happiness. Have you ever realised how someone may be happy with a salary until they realise that a colleague of the same level is getting paid more? This is robbery in its classic form, because we have failed to know that there may always be someone better looking, smarter or richer than we may be, but that doesn't take away the value of what we have in Christ.In this world we are given the illusion that we have been manufactured with an internal clock that determines the time of which certain situations are due to occur in your lives. Biologically this may be the case but ask yourself when has this limited God? I believe comparison robs us of the peace and contentment we could be experiencing in the unique time we may find ourselves. In Deuteronomy 20:17 the Israelites were pre-warned to not covet anything that belonged to their neighbour; “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” I believe that the reason behind this command is because God knew that as fleshly humans we would have the tendency to compare our situations, belongings or character with our neighbour, thus causing us to covet and robbing ourselves of happiness. Have you ever realised how someone may be happy with a salary until they realise that a colleague of the same level is getting paid more? This is robbery in its classic form, because we have failed to know that there may always be someone better looking, smarter or richer than we may be, but that doesn’t take away the value of what we have in Christ.

Learn to be content

Paul says in Philippians 4:11 that he had acquired contentment; “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” In this scripture I believe Paul is not saying to wallow in your situation, in fact he is saying learn from them and pray whilst you’re in the midst. He continues in verse 4:12 saying; “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” Notice the word “learned” this tells me that this wasn’t always the case for him, that the fact that he is content in every situation could almost be described as a skill he had acquired. Words like these implies that this is something we can ask the Lord for in prayer. This reminds me of the bold father that had a son that was demon possessed, and he cried out to Jesus asking him to help him overcome his unbelief (Mark 9:24). He wasn’t ashamed to make such a request. We too as children of God can also ask to receive.

Blessings,

Nathalie

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And Then The End Will Come..

As we approach the close of the year, it would be slightly challenging to ask ourselves to think of positive things we may have learnt this year. But before we hastily complain, how about your faith and your spiritual walk with Christ. you may or may not be a believer but whether we like it or not we have reached this point by a grace that was freely given to us before we were ready to acknowledge it.

..Whether we like it or not we have reached this point by a grace that was freely given to us before we were ready to acknowledge it..

The End

The title of this message was extracted from Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” The reason behind this title was to remind us of what the word says about the end. we have already reached the last days and so far what has been impacting the world has instilled a great amount of fear. However are we acting in faith or fear? The events that will transpire in the coming years have already been prophesied in the bible which means that it will happen with an absolute. However this was not spoken to manifest fear it was spoken to 1.) prove the bible as truth and 2.) to ensure that we are watching and praying so that we are ready to receive Christ when he comes.

The Blood of Jesus

Did you know that the blood of Jesus gives us the opportunity to commune with God the Father? The fear that we have been witnessing in the world is due to the fact that people are unaware of where they will end up after death therefore would like to remain on the earth for as long as possible. However if we were certain of where we were going would we be so reluctant and fearful? The famous scripture John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” As mentioned earlier this was given as a gift before we were able to acknowledge him. To summarise and restrain myself from going to far in depth with this now, we should be walking in the confidence and the faith that after physical death we will enter a new stage called everlasting life. However the main question is; where are you going?

Blessings

Nathalie

Is Anything too hard for the Lord?

This question was posed to Abraham by the Lord himself, after Sarah laughed at the statement that she was going to give birth in her nineties (Genesis 18:4). Sarah and Abraham had been waiting for a promise that God had made but it had not yet been realised and time was passing by which placed them at a cross road, one leading to faith and the other to fear. In such a situation it is far too easy to identify the odds that are so prevalently against us, but have we considered the size of the God we serve? this often demonstrates what we are truly made of, and our foundational beliefs. What has God promised you? Are you still hopeful? Are you trusting God?

Your Belief is your credit

He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars–if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be. “Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:5-6). Here Abraham not only received a word from the Lord, but he believed. Besides the fact that he was already in his old age, and had probably not experienced cases where woman gave birth beyond the age of ninety. In today’s world this would be summarised as being biologically impossible, but the question is; what do we believe is possible for God in this situation? In Mark 9:23 Jesus corrects a father of a young boy demonized and heavily afflicted by an evil spirit when he used the words “if you can do anything… ” (Mark 9:22). “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Here the father had lost all hope because not even the disciples of Jesus could cast the unclean spirit out, and it was later said that it was due to their faith. However in Christ hope is not lost, it is renewed. A question I often asked myself is; would Abraham still have received the promise if he had doubted? I believe his faith deemed it possible, more explicitly, his faith in the One who made the promise carried more value. So to summarise, your faith determines your righteousness and in turn makes all things possible.

Do not waver in unbelief

In the Bible it says that without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). This is not something we get to contemplate, it is a command. Here in Romans it mentions how Abraham didn’t waver through unbelief, this means he didn’t even entertain any doubt. “Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” (Romans 4:20-21). This explains exactly what it means to have faith. God has the power to change our situation, which opens up all possibilities, but we need to do our part. It is written in the word of God that Abraham was a father of faith; I believe it is because his walk with God was greatly influenced purely by his faith.

God has the power to change our situation, which opens up all possibilities, but we need to do our part.

Miracles still happen

Whether you believe it or not miracles still do happen however our faith walk greatly determines whether we experience it or not. But because God is so gracious we may still witness it happening to others. Please don’t make the mistake of isolating these situations in the past, for it is written in Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

Blessings,

Nathalie

We are in the world but not of the world

We all know about the Exodus and how God delivered his people out of the hands of the Egyptians. How God set his people apart and made a clear distinction between the Israelites and the Egyptians; “But among the Israelites not a dog will bark at any person or animal.’ Then you will know that the LORD makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. (Exodus 11:7). Now the question is would people today be able to tell the difference between the holy and the common as mentioned in Leviticus? In other words can people perceive who is of God and who isn’t? “so that you can distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean,” (Leviticus 10:10).

As Children of God we have automatically been set apart which means that our course of life and experiences will always be for the glory of God. This also means that here on earth we have a job to do that has been predetermined before we ever existed (Ephesians 2:10). Now this may be contrary to popular belief but this does not exempt us from problems, heartache and pain. However it does ensure that we don’t not walk through these problems alone, and guarantees our victory over every situation. To strengthen this argument I bring to your attention the time when Jesus had informed Simon that Satan had requested to “sift him as wheat”. Now we may not know how or to what degree Simon was sifted but we know that Jesus had assured him that he had already prayed for him to retain his faith and furthermore to strengthen his brothers once he has turned back. If Simon was meant to be overcome by this “sifting” Jesus wouldn’t have commissioned him to strengthen his brothers once he had overcome the issue (Luke 22:31-32) this shows us that we are overcomers.

“As Children of God we have automatically been set apart which means that our course of life and experiences will always be for the glory of God.”

God is Love

At one point Jesus was questioned as to what was the most important commandment for us to follow this was his answer; “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:29 -30) this was then followed by; “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:31). Here Jesus is explaining to us that we need to replicate the very nature of God which is Love, this is how people will be able to perceive that we are indeed from God. Now please note that this type of love is not our perception of love as we know it. We live in a broken world and this perception may have been manipulated. It is however the love of God within us that we are sharing to those that are so desperately hungry for it.

You will know them by their fruit

It is important that we have a sober judgement when dealing with people, God knows the heart of all people and thus knows how to demonstrate this love to everyone of his children through you. As Christians we are constantly being watched and judged by our works, therefore we need to be aware that everywhere we go we are demonstrating Christ. If you need to feel the love of God ask him to show you his love so that you can then transfer this love unto others as we have been commissioned.

Blessings,

Nathalie

Who’s report do you trust in?

“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1

We are living in a time today where information can be found and obtained from almost anywhere, with everyone having the right to publish their reports/information to the world without giving the receiver the opportunity to fact check. The main question is how do we know whether this information is indeed correct? The answer is we do not. This is because for all we can vouch for this could be tale concocted to influence our reactions.

Anxiety

I am almost certain that at some point in our lives we have experienced some time of anxiety. According to the Oxford dictionary the word anxiety means “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.” The first question you should ask yourself is; what has caused the anxiety in the first place? hasn’t it been generated by an acceptance of information from a ‘trusted’ source? Maybe this could also be a good time to note whether the anxiety ever paid off as a benefit to your life.

“Maybe this could also be a good time to note whether the anxiety ever paid off as a benefit to your life.”

The Truth

I bring this to your attention simply because at times we believe certain things without actually considering the only book that actually states that it contains The Truth. Yes ladies and gentlemen I am talking about the Holy Bible. In Philippians 4:6 it says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God“. Here is clearly says we shouldn’t be anxious about anything but in every situation we should approach and submit it to God. This was what drove my main point as to what benefit you had received for being anxious.

Trust

This is not to disprove the fact that we go through situations that may pose a threat. However at times such as these we have two options 1) to believe the stories we hear about people in similar situations or 2) To believe the word of God when it says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6. This clearly tells us to submit our fears, uncertainties and worries to God and He will make our paths straight. Notice how it mentions that we have an understanding, which means that the way we may see a situation may not actually be correct, and thus we shouldn’t be quick to trust it. My final question would be; have you ever submitted your worries to God? if not then who else do you trust them with?

Blessings,

Nathalie

When nobody understands

Growing up I always felt misunderstood, mistreated and misinterpreted. So I would regularly find myself enjoying my own solitude. I would think inwardly “at least I wont argue with myself” or hear the words “you are not good enough”. It says in the bible that Jesus regularly withdrew to solitary places; Luke 5:16. However when Jesus withdrew it was to seek the face of God in prayer. But when I withdrew myself it was because I felt that every time I was around people I would get hurt, so I became a loner to avoid pretending to be something I wasn’t. Looking back I wished that I would have shown myself more grace, as a teen you are still developing finding yourself, discovering what you actually like, carving your opinions and finding God for yourself to develop a solid relationship.

Peer Pressure

My first question is; how are you supposed to find yourself when society is constantly being directive in telling you how you’re supposed to dress and how much you should pay for a pair of shoes? And these are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to societal demands. If you are feeling like you are going against the tide I would like to encourage you with the fact that God chose people that saw themselves as ‘too young’ or unskilled to be in the ministry. For Example I marvel at the words God utilised whilst calling Jeremiah; “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5. What an immense calling for such a young person yet God declared to Jeremiah that he had already made plans for him whilst he was still in the womb. The response of Jeremiah was classic saying he was too young. Just note that in your supposed humble beginnings God desires to use you and has already defined a purpose for your life.

You are not alone, you have a Lord that both loves you and understands you.

Run your race

At some point we have compared ourselves to someone or perhaps asked God “why weren’t we blessed with the same things?” This robs your uniqueness and tries to place you on a type of product line with no distinguishing factor between you and your peers. When God calls us to be eagles, not only do we have the privilege of being called the children of God but we have a responsibility of being an effective follower of Christ. just like Paul did in the new testament, he had a clear goal which was maintaining his faith through all difficulties; “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7.

A final note I want you to know is that people may not fully understand you, but know that there is one that does, his name is Jesus and any insecurities you are going through he can help walk you through them “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.

Blessings,

Nathalie

Created to subdue : The study of Genesis 1:29-31

This week I had accidentally stumbled across Psalm 18 and followed the trail the Holy Spirit was leading me to, all the way back to Genesis. Which opened up a whole bible study of which I would like to share today.

“He is the God who avenges me, who subdues nations under me” Psalm 18:47. From this scripture the word ‘subdue’ caught my attention. This was simply because I noticed the commonality it shared with the book of Genesis, specifically in verse 1:26. “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” The word subdue means to overcome, quieten or bring under control. This was one of the first instructions God gave to man once he had formed Adam and Eve, It was the introduction to man’s purpose/role from the beginning.

Genesis 1:28 “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (NIV) Again we see words that indicates ruling, and once again the word subdue makes an appearance. Another note is that the verse starts with God blessing them, which also means that the intention of God from the beginning was also to bless man. It was within the will of God for man to overcome every living creature that walked the earth. which is why God had presented the animals to Adam for him to name every species (Genesis 2:19). This is a symbol of giving authority. However sadly the mistake that man had made and still makes today is forgetting the fact that the authority to given, which indicates that it was acquired through a kindness from someone as a gift. And in our case given through God the Father himself. Man lost the authority through disobedience which started with the desire of crossing beyond the parameters permitted, and in turn losing the authority and allowing the enemy to gain territory over his life through sin.

Genesis 1:29 ” Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” Once again we witness something that was gifted unto us. However notice the fine detail “every tree that has fruit with seed in it”. A seed defined by the dictionary is “the unit of reproduction of a flowering plant, capable of developing into another such plant”, this was the boundary of which God had given man whilst blessing him. The question here I pose is what type of tree was the tree that got us all into trouble; the tree of knowledge of good an evil?

Genesis 1:30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground–everything that has the breath of life in it–I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. (NIV). Again God provides plant for food however he also describes what type of creature man has been given to subdue; “everything that has the breath of life”. This gave me the awareness that Adam had authority as long as he had the life God had breathed into him, and therefore was capable of having dominion over everything that had the breath of life, unfortunately as soon as sin came the authority left.

Jesus came to restore authority

Matthew 10:1; “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.” Jesus came to take back the stolen authority from the enemy and restored it unto us, which came to reality the very moment he spoke the words above. Notice he gave them authority whilst he was still with them on earth, this was because the word had already been determined from the beginning. “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.‘” Isaiah 46:10 (NIV).

To summarise, this really demonstrates unto me the love of God through Christ. The Lord longed to restore back unto us what was originally intended and went through any lengths to do so. There is no one else that can love you like that. The fact that we now have the authority is the good news, so we need not to walk in defeat, however lets remember that this also is a gift that was freely given unto us.

Blessings

Nathalie

Though it tarries wait for it, for it will surely come

The Waiting season

Waiting is an act of trust and faith. In other words you do not wait for something you are not expecting. I believe the very purpose of this whole life is to trust God and Christ fully and unreservedly; “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” John 14:1. Here Jesus states so clearly what we are supposed to be doing in all situations, the question is; why aren’t we doing it? I have been going through a season of trust where God has been illuminating areas in my life where I had placed all dependency upon myself due to situations which forced me to be independent at an earlier stage in my life. I almost never considered the fact that I could ask for help, and then rest upon the knowledge and assurance that I would receive what I had asked for. I had to learn the lesson that being in a relationship with Jesus equated to the breakdown/surrender of the very character and ideas I had built up for my entire life. And then purely base my belief on the fact that He is Truth. Also mentioned in Romans 3:4. “…Let God be true, and every human being a liar… “

Your Journey is unique

It is almost as if this world thrives on comparison, almost like someone at some point in time sent a memo informing that being unique is not only undesired but also strange. Therefore the generations that follow had no choice but to desire the things that had been already accomplished. Why would we want a job that has already been taken? why do we desire the success of someone that has already lived it? Jesus mentions in his parables that our very hairs are numbered (Luke 12:7). Shouldn’t this very statement make us feel unique and special. We must understand that our purpose was determined in the beginning, as mentioned in Ephesians. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.“Ephesians 2:10. Reading this scripture instantly makes me think what “good works” does God want me to do? Everyone has been assigned a type of work to do that is deemed good to the Lord. Our quest is to understand what that is.

“Everyone has been assigned a type of work to do that is deemed good to the Lord. Our quest is to understand what that is.”

How do I wait?

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to give advice however when its your turn to adhere to the advice it becomes complicated. If i had a penny for every time I’ve heard “be patient” I think my bed will be made of gold. The question I always think about posing is “how”? I believe the key behind this is to actually take the bible at its word. For example the title of the blog piece was extracted from Habakkuk 2:3. “For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” (NIV). This scripture speaks to my heart when it says “though it linger”, I am sure many of us has felt this at different points of time in our lives. However the sentence ends in “it will surely come and will not delay” which means that everything comes on time and is never late because we are dealing with a God who is not restrained by time, simply because he created it.

I believe that if we strengthen our faith on the fact that whatever we may be waiting for will surely come this will free us from the bondage of worry, fear and will allow us to cast our cares unto the Lord joyfully.

Blessings

Nathalie

Shaken but not overcome

It is being made apparent more now than ever that everything that was once under the surface is beginning to be revealed. Just look around; no one wants to stand close to anybody, we are more distrusting of our surroundings, anger issues are being exacerbated and televised, all this yet it seems that no one is discussing the spiritual effects the year 2020 is having on people and the church. In Haggai 2:6 its says “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land.” This was a prophecy that came through the prophet Haggai. Prior to this in verse 4, the Lord gives his people this encouragement; “But now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ declares the LORD. ‘Be strong, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the LORD, ‘and work. For I am with you,’ declares the LORD Almighty.”

Warning and encouragement

In these two verses you get both a warning and an encouragement. For God to inform his people to be strong indicates some sort of turmoil ahead. For example when Moses died and Joshua took over leadership, the Lord commanded Joshua the following, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9. All this was before the Israelites were to take ownership by force of the Land the Lord had promised them, i.e. before a battle. This was the same case in Haggai with a difference in that the Lord promised that he will shake the Heavens, Earth, Sea AND the Dry land! Notice also that the Lord reassures his people that they should not be afraid of the events that will soon unfold that The Lord himself will be with them. This encourages me that whatever is going on in the world today, even if it comes unexpectedly I am assured that as I remain in Christ his blood covers me and thus casts out all fear. This is your case also, if you haven’t already; ask Jesus to come into your life, take control and help you, he will do it.

…even if it comes unexpectedly I am assured that as I remain in Christ his blood covers me and thus casts out all fear.

Jesus our confidence

In John 14:1 Jesus was encouraging his disciples with this verse “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” In this scripture I noticed the word “let” meaning when we feel low or disturbed it is a sentiment we are allowing our hearts to manifest. Which also means that Jesus has given us the authority to not “let” our hearts become troubled! Now this doesn’t say that we won’t experience situations that will try to persuade our hearts to let troubles in, however it does say that we have a way out and an authority to resist only if we have Christ in our lives.

Separating the chaff from the wheat

In these last days we have plethora of people walking in fear of not only what is to come but of the present situation. For example one thing I learnt this year is that no one is certain of anything. In Luke 22:32 Jesus says; “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” This was an indication that Peter was to undergo a shaking, similar to when someone is trying is trying to separate wheat from other unwanted contaminants. I am sure that a lot of us have been going through a sifting of some sort including myself, however Jesus also mentions that he already prayed so that our faith will not be compromised. What a wonderful thing to know that Jesus has already given us the ability to overcome and to also strengthen our brothers and sisters!

I believe that the church is yet to see the glory of God if we do not waver, stay strong and know that you are not alone.

Blessings,

Nathalie