Tag Archives: blessing

Has it Already Been Done?

So I hope that you all read my last post, which was our testimony, if you haven’t done so you may want to check it out. Now I move on to the next phase, and in order to get my mind around this, I would like to explain it to you. I hope that this will help to strengthen my faith, and help you to do the same with yours.

So my wife and I are pregnant, now it is time to start believing for the financial provision. I have been running my own business for a few years now, but it is not quite at the stage where it can support both of us. I have asked God if I should quit it and get a full time job, and He has told me in no uncertain terms to keep the business. Now my spirit is telling me to do that, but my brain is throwing a wobbly, because logically it is a very risky move. I have been a Christian for long enough to know to listen to my spirit, but how do I have that peace, when my brain is disagreeing? One way I find that helps, is to understand why I can expect it to happen. Understanding scripture helps to build faith. If we understand God’s promises, it is easier to believe them.

One of the main issues which I have come across of late, are 3 generally accepted statements, which we as Christians tend to believe and say. I’m not sure if they are true though, here they are:

  1. It will happen in God’s time.
  2. Pray until God gives it to you.
  3. If it is God’s will, it will happen.

Now I don’t want to be rude, as I have heard all of these comments by people that I love and respect, but they are misleading at best. They are often said to encourage, but they do not encourage me, let me explain. Let’s start with number 3, if it is God’s will. Yes, it is God’s will that I prosper. How do I know this? Simple, the Bible says so. Yes, you may know someone who loves Jesus who is not prospering, but that does not change what the Bible says. So if the Bible says that God wants us to prosper, and we are not prospering (yet), then what is the problem? The problem is that we have not yet received what God has given. This brings number 2 into play, if God has already given it, why do we need to pray? Well in short, we shouldn’t pray only for things, praying is just communicating within a relationship. If you have a best friend, and you only ever talk to them when you want something, what do you think would happen? I pray because I love God, I try and pray mostly just for the sake of it. Do I sometimes get sucked into praying only for things, yes, but that shouldn’t be the case. So where does that leave me? I don’t need to wonder if it is God’s will, I know it is, so 3 is irrelevant. God has already provided for me, so I don’t need to hassle Him in prayer. Still not sure of this? Let me ask you a simple question. When did Jesus save you? If you’re thinking about when you became a Christian, then you’re wrong. Jesus saved you 2000 years ago on the cross, you ACCEPTED it when you confessed with your mouth that you believed that Jesus is Lord. Now you may thing that I am splitting hairs, but I am not, I believe this is true for most things. Jesus did what He needed to on the cross, we just haven’t received it all yet, which brings me to number 1. If things always happen in God’s timing, then why did the Israelites spend 40 years doing a 2 week journey? Was that God’s plan, or their disobedience?

So here is where I am now. I believe that it is God’s will that my business prospers, I also believe that He has already provided me with all that I need in order to see this happen. I know that I need faith, and I know that I need to be obedient to what I believe that God is telling me. There is a fine line between knowing that God has done it, believing that we will receive it, and taking any action required on our part. Doing all of this without worrying, is what I am trying to get right.

Any thoughts? Do you agree with me on this? Do you understand it differently? How do you get this balance right? I would be interested in your views on this, it is not something that I have accomplished, but more a current walk of mine. I know what I believe to be the truth, but walking in that is a whole other story.

Richard

Half Time

Today I was thinking about life, and all of the missed opportunities. I was thinking about all of the times that I had the opportunity to minister to people, whether for healing, words of knowledge or just a friendly chat. Opportunities that I had, which I didn’t take. Missed chances. I have changed my life since then, that is not to say that I don’t still miss opportunities, but I now take some too. I sometimes look back and think, “I wish I knew then what I know now, I would have done things differently”. You see you can beat yourself up for missing chances, but how does that help you take them in the future?

Let’s have a look a sport. I know that most of the readers of this blog are in the States, but I’m going to talk about soccer (football for those in the UK). There is a team called Liverpool. Now I don’t really like Liverpool because I am a Manchester United fan, and they are big rivals, but I’m going to use them for this illustration. In 2005, Liverpool were 3 – 0 down to AC Milan at half time in the Champions League. Now just to clarify, a match is 90 minutes long, 45 minutes each half. The Champions League is the top competition in Europe (arguably the world) for a club side to win, and AC Milan were arguably the best team in the world at that stage. Very few teams managed 3 goals against them, least of all in 45 minutes after being 3 down. Long story short, Liverpool scored 3 goals and the game went to penalties which Liverpool won. Down and almost out at half time, champions by the end.

Even though it hurts a little to tell that story (being a Manchester United fan), there is still a point to it, and believe it or not there is something that we as Christians could learn from it. I said in the first paragraph that there were things that I regret not doing (or doing) and that I wish that I had done things differently. There is nothing we can do about the past. We can change the future. Liverpool could have cried about the fact that they were 3 goals down, but they didn’t, they looked to change the future. We must learn from our mistakes, and put changes in our lives in order to see a better future. Look at what we have done wrong, and put it right. This is repentance. Repentance is not apologising profusely. It is merely changing from our ways to the ways that God has called us to.

We should be spending time reading the Bible. We should be listening to sermons, meditating on the Word and praying. Seeking first the Kingdom of God. If we are doing this, we should be growing, learning new things. Becoming more like Jesus. This means that instead of crying over what happened yesterday, learn from it and make the changes today. This way we can look forward to a more blessed tomorrow. We shouldn’t be envious of others, but if we see others doing things that we want to be doing, ask them for pointers. I really wanted to get prophetic words, so I asked the guy in our church who usually got them. I asked him to teach me how to do that. He did. I now have people asking me to teach them. This is how the Kingdom of God works! We see people healing and casting out demons, and we wish that we could do that. We want those gifts. Well here is a secret for you, you can do it! Matthew 10:8 is for all of us, not just those with a ‘gift’. There is a place for spiritual gifts, yes, but we can all do the things in Matthew 10:8. (Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.)

If you have never done this before, if you regret not doing it. Take a stand. Find someone who does these things and ask them to teach you. Spend time in the Word, meditating on scripture. Don’t just read it, believe it. Put it into practice. Let it become the Truth in your life. It is only half time, there is still another half to play. Make the most of it!

Bless and be blessed.

Richard

Happy New Year!

As you may well have noticed, I don’t necessarily post about relevant dates. I resisted the urge to post any Christmas posts as they are a dime a dozen and I didn’t want to add to that just for the sake of posting something about Christmas. I do feel the need to post about the new year because we (my wife and I) have had an interesting but rather stressful and ‘growing’ year, so we are glad to see the back of it.

We always wish people a Happy New Year. What do we actually mean by that? Do we hope that the 1st of January is a happy day, or do we mean the whole year. We, as Christians, should look forward to the new year, especially if the last one has not been that great. It is easy to get into a downward spiral where we think that because this year has been bad, so will the next. Romans 8 v 29 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” This means that although we may have had a tough year, better things are to come. We just have to ask ourselves what we can learn from the last year; how have we grown by what has happened?

I don’t believe that God brings bad things onto us, or drags us through hardships, but I do think that He teaches us valuable lessons when bad stuff does happen. He uses those bad things to strengthen us and to teach us, He doesn’t send them. John 10 v 10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”.

I think that the changing of the year is a perfect time to thank God for what He has done for us over the last year. Instead of making new years resolutions like going to the gym and eating less chocolate (however positive they may be), why don’t we do some repentance? Not repentance as in saying sorry, but repentance as in changing our lives. Changing what we need to change to get closer to God. Use this opportunity to ask God what He wants us to be. Not what to do, but to be (I got that from the church sermon on Sunday). If we can line ourselves up with the will of God, how much better off will we be? Some people think that the blessings we receive will only be in heaven, and not here on earth, but Luke 10 v 29-30 would indicate otherwise. We need to learn from our mistakes and not dwell on them, as there is no condemnation for those in Jesus, and look to the present to change and the future to succeed.

So those of you that, like us, have had a difficult year, let’s learn from it but leave it behind. Get ourselves in line with the will of God, and look forward to a good 2014! Let us keep our minds focused on God and what He wishes us to think about, let’s not look at what we can DO for God but what we can BE for Him!

Happy New Year!

Richard

Let It Be..

This blog post is a difficult one for me, as it is a very personal story, and it is fairly fresh, so it is still a sensitive issue. I am not sharing it because I want everyone to see how wonderful I am, I am sharing it because I think that there are many people out there who could benefit from taking similar action. The last job that I was at, before I started my own business, was for a company that was run by a less than honest person and, to cut a long story short, they short paid me 2 months salary. Fortunately we had money in the bank to cover this, but that money was earmarked for a car, which we now have not been able to go and buy. Being the responsible people that my wife and I are, we decided to keep that money in the bank for now, as starting a business can be unstable, and we need that money to help us until the income stabilises.

I went the legal route, and the courts ruled in my favour (without a court date) as I was owed that money, but the sheriffs have been unable to get my money from these people. They have pleaded bankruptcy, yet are still living a comfortable life, with their children at a private school! This obviously made me upset as every time I get on the bus, it reminds me that I should have had a car if they had paid me. It was getting to me. It was eating away at me, making me bitter.

This is when I decided to let it go. There is no shortage of scripture telling us to forgive, but it is really difficult when we are in the right and someone has blatantly stolen from us. I am starting my own business, and I believe wholeheartedly that God will bless my business. I can’t afford always to be looking back at something that could have been. I also realised that I trust God for my money, not my old boss. God will provide, my old boss won’t. So I decided to hand it over to God, let Him deal with my old boss, and put my need for a car in His hands and see how He provides! The only problem was that this involves me forgiving my old boss. This was really hard. Really hard.

When I said the words, “Lord, I forgive him for what he has done”, it was difficult to get them out, but when they were out it was like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders! It is now in God’s hands and I am excited to see what He does with it! I am pushing forward with my own business and the future is looking good.

I would like to encourage everyone out there to forgive those who have wronged you, even if they were blatantly to blame. Give it over to God, let Him deal with them, and put your needs into His hands. Besides, who is more likely to provide, the God who created the universe, or someone who has already wronged you? I know it is not easy, believe me, but it is so helpful. Remember, if you want to take hold of what God has for you, you first have to let go of what you are holding on to.

Keep up the good work.

Richard