A couple years ago, I was waiting at the doctor’s office when 3 men in hand- and foot cuffs were ushered into the waiting room.
I assumed they had to be suspected of, or convicted of violent crime because they were under the surveillance of six prison guards. Two guards were assigned to each man, and they arrived separately.
As I sat there, thinking about the thieves that hung next to Jesus on the cross, I was reminded of the one thief’s cry for Salvation, his sincere repentance, and Jesus’s promise of redemption.
“One of the criminals who was suspended kept up a railing at Him, saying, Are You not the Christ (the Messiah)? Rescue Yourself and us [from death]! But the other one reproved him, saying, Do you not even fear God, seeing you yourself are under the same sentence of condemnation and suffering the same penalty? And we indeed suffer it justly, receiving the due reward of our actions; but this Man has done nothing out of the way [nothing strange or eccentric or perverse or unreasonable]. Then he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when You come in Your kingly glory! And He answered him, Truly I tell you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”Luke 23:39-43 AMPC
It’s so easy for us to judge those around us. These men did not look any different from the other people in the room. If weren’t for the fact that their clinking chains echoed through the hallways, they would probably not even have caught my attention.
As I mulled over the two thieve’s diverging reactions to Jesus and the fact that He was willingly crucified, I was overcome, anew, with a realization of the immensity of God’s Grace — the ministry of reconciliation!
“But all things are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him].”2 Corinthians 5:18 AMPC
People are not in need of powerful sermons or public protests. They don’t need “turn or burn” appeals.
That’s not the heart of the Gospel — which is the ministry of reconciliation, the declaration that the Kingdom of God has come near.
The world’s need is simply this — unconditional love.
Surely it’s not easy — especially when we feel like some are not deserving of love.
But, if one sinner repents because He recognized God for Whom He is, and received forgiveness, are we not to share this GOOD NEWS with every man?
The Gospel is the Good News of reconciliation for all men from every tribe and every tongue and every nation for all time.CG
The love with which you love shapes your legacy. So, share the Good News. Make disciples. Impact generations.
A while ago, I read a quote by Charles Spurgeon that was something along the lines of, “If ever you come across a piece of Scripture you can’t face, read it until you can.”
This simple statement changed the way I read Scripture.
You see, there are many passages I avoid — no, not drawn-out lineages, rules for the building of the temple, or ‘scary’ things I don’t understand — but passages that CONVICT me.
It’s often easier to avoid the things from Scripture that convict us, rather than to work through them, asking Holy Spirit for fresh revelation, and fresh grace so that we might continually grow in relationship with Him.
You don’t have to be a Scholar to read and understand Scripture. If teenage fishermen were entrusted with this Message, and we have the Holy Spirit, it shouldn’t be hard to read, understand, and apply the FULL teaching we have through Scripture.
Nowadays, we have various options available to us — beautiful hardcopy, leather bound editions in many languages, or digital easily-accessed apps which give us the Bible on multiple devices. But this is not how Scripture started out.
Most of the New Testament was written as letters to new believers to the many new churches that were found across the world. The Old Testament is made up of chronicles, stories, laws, prophesies, et cetera!
There is so much more to the Word than black and white (and red!) letters which provides us with a manual to living a God-filled life.
The Word is living and powerful and active!
When you’re offended by something, view this as the perfect opportunity for God to renew your thinking, for Holy Spirit to establish a new heart within you, for you to grow into the likeness of Christ. Don’t change Scripture to fit your convictions. But align your convictions to the Truth of the Word so that you might discover and grow in the fullness of all that God is, and who He is in you and through you!
There are a lot of people these days who are “cherry picking” scriptures which support their lifestyle choices, while they often ignore the context, as a whole, from which those scriptures are drawn.
This first verse here in Romans 8 is one of those scriptures. For, these people assume they are “in Christ Jesus” merely because they made a profession of faith in Christ, or merely because they made some acknowledgment as to who he is as the Lord, the Christ, the Son of God. Or, perhaps it was because they repeated some words after someone in a prayer where they were then congratulated that they are now in God’s family.
But, is that all there is to it to be “in Christ”? Or, is there more to it?
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life…
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In the busy season, Rapid14 is home to over 100 missionaries, AMT students, and expedition members.
Nomads, Missionaries, World Changers, Expats — terms we use to describe some aspect of what it means to live in a culture, a country or a nation that is not native to you. Kids grow up in multi-lingual and multi-cultural environments, and we often have to learn new languages.
We adapt to the ‘difference’ between this new ‘home’ and wherever we grew up. It might be something as insignificant as not having network coverage when you’re out in the bush, or it might be something ‘big’ like living within a 7-hour drive from your nearest grocery store.
So, what makes Home, ‘home’? I believe the answer is TEAM, and by team I mean family. In Overland Missions we are surrounded by a network of amazing people who provide spiritual, physical, emotional and real-time support. No matter where you are in the world, you’ll never be ‘alone’.
When I was very young, my understanding of ‘a missionary’ was based on the cork board with the world map at the back of the church. In some obscure little corner, there would be a picture of an unknown farce, ID-photo sized, and a red ribbon connecting the picture to some remote area on the world map. And then, once a year, there would be a special offering to help out the poor missionary who’s probably living under a bush, starving, in some Unknown Country.
This is not what HOME is to missionaries, though.
Rapid 14 is the headquarters for Overland Missions in Africa and all the work that happens on this beautiful continent.
It is here where Expedition trucks are built, torn apart, and re-built. It is the admin office that’s in constant communication with America to make sure there are enough funds ready to get the work done. It’s the dining room that feeds thousands every year. It’s the 5-star view that attracts government officials and local friends daily. And yet, it is so much more!
It’s the place that’s quiet enough to hear God speaking nations into your heart, yet loud enough to often hear singing from across the property. It’s a place where mothers homeschool their children; where couples fall in love and start their life together; and where friendship looks more like family.
It’s where words like “can’t” and “won’t” are replaced with “let’s make a plan.” Rapid 14 has seen birthday parties stop to pray for a friend in need and prayer meetings break out into dance parties. There are barefoot children growing up together, countless meals eaten together, and tears and laughter exchanged-together. It’s a place that takes seriously the words “go into all the world, preach the gospel and make disciples” and makes dreams a reality.
Rapid 14 is the home that welcomes and refreshes weary travellers and sends them out again ready to win the nations for Christ.
What’s a missionary?
If your answer is something along the lines of “Jehovah’s Witnesses” or “Mormons”, and you’re not aware of the evangelical commission of the Apostles, found in Acts, then this is a good kick-off to transform your thinking.
Listen to this amazing vision by founder and CEO of Overland Missions, Philip Smethurst.
Apostles are pioneers, breaking the hard ground of unbelief.
Apostles aren’t humanitarian activists. They are ministers of the Gospel, they are paramedics, they are builders, they are innovators, they are entrepreneurs — the Gospel is a wholistic answer to every humanitarian issue in the history of mankind.
It’s a fundamental human right for men from every tribe and every tongue, from all nations, for all times to have access to the Gospel.
And THIS is the mandate of the Apostle.
One of the most central issues within the [modern] church, that seems to pop up every now and then is the question:
Should women be allowed to preach?
Essentially, this question does not relate to the official platform of ‘preacher’ as it relates to pastor or whatever official title you’d like to slap on to the formal structure of [church] ministry. Rather, the question is this — are women supposed to publicly speak out about the Gospel?
One would think that, within the modern era, this question is finite, and also redundant. Yet, it’s something that constantly pops up in church discussions, social media, and feminist campaigns. Personally, I’m not an advocate for feminism. I’m an advocate for the Gospel, and that intrinsically implies equality. Perhaps we’ll have a discussion about this another time?
Part of the recent uproar was caused by criticism toward Christian Author, Beth Moore, and others who were told to ‘go home’.
Nijay Gupta recently wrote this brilliant commentary as Paul, in an open letter to the church:
An Open Letter from the Apostle Paul to John MacArthur Regarding Beth Moore
I think it’s important, when interpreting Scripture, to consider the context in which, and for which it was written. It is impossible to fully understand Scripture, especially in the New Testament where letters were written to specific churches [new Believers that were birthed out of the Apostolic mandate that followed the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2] without also considering these words from Hebrews 4:12:
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”Hebrews 4:12, KJV:
I am, by no means, a Theologist or a Bible Guru, but from what I read, and see, and understand, the Word — all of it — is relevant and active to the here and now.
When reading Scripture that is culturally-specific, I think it’s important to consider that culture is such a diverse notion. It’s not something that is easily defined, and it’s even harder to transfer. But, when interpreting Scripture, we should be wary to not fall back under legalism. Christ said that He didn’t come to abolish the Law [the Levitical Law of Moses, as found in the Torah], but to fulfil it. Therefore, under the New Covenant, we are governed by the Spirit, and not the Law.
Does this mean that Scripture is no longer relevant? Absolutely not! It does mean, however, that we should interpret Scripture and its cultural notions through the Holy Spirit. There is an argument to be made, of course, that this is very subjective, and again — let’s be careful not to enforce the opinion of man on Scripture and call it Gospel — but, Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, and therefore is an agent on behalf of Man to intercede before the Father, and to reveal the will of God to the hearts and minds of Man.
Feminism aside, if you look at Scripture, you’ll find that, aside from the 12 disciples, there was a crowd of people who followed Jesus as he ministered. The vast majority were women.
Should women be allowed to preach? Absolutely.
Because the Great Commission, and the whole Scripture, is for Believers.
It’s not Elitist. It’s not meant for Scholars. It’s not culture-specific or culture-exclusive. It’s not language-specific. It’s not age-specific. it’s not race-specific. It’s not gender-specific.
Are you called to preach?
If you consider yourself to be a Believer — yes.
A minister of the Gospel is not a preacher, a bishop, a pastor a prophet — titles and job descriptions that [the church] has slapped on to formal structures to try and make sense of [the church]. Being a minister of the Gospel means to be like John 3:8 says, to be led by the Spirit, to be obedient to the whole Scripture, to preach the Good News of the Gospel, to be a witness to the Nations.
And if you happen to be a woman, does this disqualify you? No. I say — rise up and preach!
AN OPEN LETTER FROM THE APOSTLE PAUL TO JOHN MACARTHUR (RE: BETH MOORE)
John, I appreciate the love you have for the Lord and the passion you have for the church. I know that you think that the world would be a better place if women did as they were told and “stayed home.” But I need to tell you that you are damaging my ministry with these notions. The great gospel mission cannot impact the world in the ways God has planned if you hold back the kingdom’s servants. “The fields are ripe and the work is great,” Jesus used to say. Women have played such a crucial role in my apostolic mission, I could not operate without their wisdom, partnership and leadership.
They can’t go home, there is simply too much at stake.
Euodia and Syntyche (Phillipians 4:2-3) can’t go home. Sometimes these women don’t get along, but they have been leaders in evangelism and outreach and have worked alongside me to fight for the faith. They have to journey beyond their doorsteps to do this work.
Junia can’t go home, John. Sorry, she is in prison (again) because of her work for the gospel out there in the world (Romans 16:7). In fact, the other apostles have some pretty amazing things to say about her ministry.
Phoebe can’t go home, John. She went to Rome—actually, I sent her there (Rom 16:1-2). I sent her with my letter to the Romans and also to provide ministry support there.
It might provide a little comfort to you that I sent Nympha to her home in Lycus Valley (Colossians 4:15); not to do domestic duties (she has servants for that), but to be the house church leader and patroness.
John, we must part with any sentimental or nostalgic notions of womanhood where women sweep and cook while the men do the “real work” of ministry. I wish you could meet with the women who contend alongside me as co-workers of the gospel mission: they are gifted, wise, and brave (when was the last time you were in prison?).
John, I know you care about the gospel, and we can’t do the work with one hand tied behind our backs. The gospel of Jesus Christ is just too important. Let the Phoebes, Junias, Euodias, Syntyches, and Nymphas do their work—and you do yours too.
Grace to you, John, and let others also know you are a grace-filled believer as well (remember: grace is generosity mixed with love out of the compassion of Christ)
Paul, slave of Jesus Christ
the tyger || burning bright || #runwildlivefree
On 29 September, two weeks after my dad passed away, I was visiting my friend Carené — I was making my way though town, coming back from KZN where I went to see my dad’s lawyer earlier that morning.
It wasn’t an unusual day, and I wasn’t very emotional. I think, even now, I’m still numb to the reality of my dad’s physical absence. anyway, I’ll tell you about this another time.
As usual, Carené set up some series, and we got ready to art because, as she famously says, “kuns maak alles beter.”
I don’t know why, because this definitely isn’t my usual style, but I felt that I had to draw this tiger, with me curled up against it’s belly, in the middle of the jungle.
Now, despite famously being a cat-person, I see myself more as a wolf (and it has nothing to do with weird spiritual stuff), and I’m not convinced that this is a self-portrait, but, here we are — the tyger, an ode to William Blake’s beautiful poetry, a journey of healing, and a refuge in this jungle of in-between chaos.
One day, we’ll see the Lion lying with the Lamb.
But for now, here I am, resting in the shadow of the tiger.
Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand, dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!
When the stars threw down their spears
And water’d heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tyger Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
Twenty six days ago my father passed away.
These words still seem unreal to me, even as I write them here. In a month’s time I’ll be celebrating my first birthday without him, and that is even more unreal.
“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet, and a light for my path.”Psalm 199:105
One of the most referenced scriptures surely has to be Psalm 23, and it’s especially quoted in times of hardship. Today I find myself asking what this Valley of the Shadow of Death is supposed to look like? I’m no theologian, but I do believe that Holy Spirit speaks to us through the Word, and breaks open the scriptures so that we might know Him. And therefore, even though I’m sure there’s so much more to Psalm 23 than what I can endeavour to break down in a single post, here are some of my thoughts on the matter:
The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd. I always have more than enough. The Lord gives me a place to rest — I am safe in His love. The Lord makes me whole, and gives me new life. He shows me the paths of life, and leads me to walk in His ways. By walking where He guides me, I bring honour to His name.
Lord, when your path takes me through valleys of darkness, I will not let fear be my master because You take care of me. You remain close to me, and lead me all the way! In your presence, I am strong, and my heart is filled with peace. Your love comforts me, and takes away my fear. I will never be lonely because you are always near! You anoint me with your Holy Spirit, and you fill me until my heart feels like it will burst! I am not afraid of the future because Your goodness and love is always with me — all the days of my life.
And afterward, when all my days have been lived, I will enjoy your presence — forever with You!
- God does not change.
Our circumstances might change — for better or for worse — but that does not alter who God is. His Word remains true — He cannot lie! One of the scriptures that I’ve prayed most over my life has to be Romans 12:2 — that Holy Spirit would renew my thinking to line up with the Truth of His Word. There is only one truth I care about, and that’s the Kingdom’s perspective. This does not mean that we live in denial of reality. It means we are anchored in Him, and when the storms of life tug us into deep waters, we are sustained by His presence and His word keeps us steady. He is the same — yesterday, today and forever!
- He is faithful
Time and again I find myself flipping to Genesis 22 in my Bible to read how God called Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. It seems ridiculous that an Almighty God should go back on His promise and take back Isaac whom he had promised to Abraham as his legacy — to be the father of nations. And yet, that’s exactly what happened. This is one of the most important events in Christian history, in my opinion, because it prophesies the death of Jesus — God’s plan to reconcile Man to Himself with a worthy Sacrifice that would settle the claim of death and sin for all eternity. This is of course an important lesson in obedience as well. Faith does not require understanding. It requires obedience. If God does not change, and His word is reliable Truth, then faith requires obedience (action) as a response to this Word. The one thing that stands out to me in Abraham’s life is that obedience is always better than sacrifice because He who has promised is faithful. We so often hold on to the promises, that we loose our grasp on the Promise Maker. He is faithful to provide above and beyond anything we could hope for, pray for, or imagine. He provides the Sacrifice. The journey through impossible times, this valley, might be tough, and you might be questioning God, or your own sanity as you undertake this step of faith. John 10:10 assures that it is the enemy who is the destroyer and that God brings Life and Life in abundance — this is the assurance we have; He is faithful to restore! He is faithful!
- perfect Love casts out fear
Psalm 23:4 notes that even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. Fear paralyses us into passivity. Faith empowers us to be obedient. One of the most transformative revelations to come into my life, was the understanding that God lives inside me — Holy Spirit empowers me to act and live outside my natural gifting and limitations, and to live according to a supernatural truth. This isn’t some pie-in-the-sky philosophy, but a DNA re-structure of our spiritual blueprint, the Divine Design which God laid down when He created man in His likeness. The God who speaks Life into existence, who is the personification of Love, lives inside us — He expels darkness, and He defeated death. So, when we find ourselves in circumstances that tell us death and destruction are upon us, we don’t have to fear or believe the lies of the enemy, because He is the hope that anchors our soul.
On 18 September, four days after my father passed on, I had the privilege of sharing this scripture as part of the message I preached at my father’s memorial service.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.John 10:10
Isn’t this wonderful?
No matter what we lose on this side of Eternity, it can never take away, steal, kill, destroy or diminish that which holds eternal truth in Him: life, and life in abundance.
Of course, the death of a loved one is never easy, especially not the chaos that follows the absence, but our hope is secure in Him, the author and perfecter of faith, the One who gives life, the One who restores the years the locusts stole, the One who holds the keys to the Kingdom, the One who defeated death, the One who sits on the throne, the Lamb who was worthy to be slain.
This is the fulness of the promise we have in Christ: a life of fulness, not only here and now, but forever in His presence.
So today, as I look back on September, and the many ways in which every September from here on after will be different, I know that the valley isn’t the final destination. There is more to come! He is faithful! Death is not the end — in Him we have fulness in the here and now, but also forever in His presence!
on écrit sur les murs pour la monde || run until the pavement turns into untouched places
Today’s Parkrun was more of a park-stroll than a run, but it was done in the exhilarating company of laughing kids in prams, dogses with waggy tails, my best friend’s sister and her husband, and lovely mild Spring weather.
Last night for the first time in a while, I decided to listen to French news radio.
Obviously my ear is out of practice and I struggle to keep up with the Québécoises, but if Justin Tudeau wants to pour honey down my ears — in French no less — it’s a price I’ll pay.
The thing is — sometime we get caught up in life, running from end to end to get stuff done. And we tend to miss out on the simple pleasures — like children laughing and wet dog noses; taking a stroll in stead of a sprint.
I’ve been putting in some effort to reclaim me-things.
And no, it’s not out of selfishness.
We need to do me-things to recharge, to have an introspection pit stop, to breathe.
And yes — for me, that means listening to French radio, and reading a book in stead of a zillion academic articles, and having a nap in stead of doing the dishes.
And, when you take time to slow down, it might mean writing on the walls to leave a legacy for those yet to come.
A year ago, I climbed Masada, walked through Jericho, and ate icecream in the blistering humidity that Israel calls autumn.
More than anything else, I became vividly aware that Scripture is alive — in and around me, as it is reflected off this harsh landscapes with its hidden treasures of milk and honey.
God’s Word is alive and working and is sharper than a double-edged sword. It cuts all the way into us, where the soul and the spirit are joined, to the center of our joints and bones. And it judges the thoughts and feelings in our hearts.Hebrews 4:12
I’m growing increasingly appreciative of the Jewish people, their stubbornness, their devotion, and the richness of their journey as a people and a nation.
everywhere I go, I’m wrapped in Scripture, and more than ever, I am convinced that the Word is God, that the Word is living and active, that the Word is made manifest in us and through us, and that it is impossible to live life without Him.
to me, it’s not so much about following in Jesus’s footprints, as it is the realisation that Holy Spirit inside us is the Hope of Glory.
So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself).Romans 10:17
This morning Facebook reminded me of this seemingly simple event that took place two years ago — my conversation with Lucien.
As a teenager and student, I faithfully kept journals, but nowadays (especially trying to minimize weight while travelling often), I keep my thoughts and memoirs digitally. So, when I read over this ‘inscription’, I could not help but be amazed at the way God strategically line things up to work together for good.
Two years ago I was having a conversation on mangled French in a parking lot, and now I’m preparing to move to the Democratic Republic of Congo, and make it my home. Set your mind on the things of the Kingdom, look for Him, and all these things will be added — He is not slow in remembering His promises.
I quickly popped into Checkers because I needed milk, cat litter, and strawberries (I blame my friend Sanet for the craving). Most of the car guards at Checkers are Congolese and though I often greet them, it’s usually no more than a polite hi and bye.
Today however, I spoke to Lucien.
We had a quick chat about the heat, where he grew up near Kinshasa, how long he has been in South Africa for, and he complimented me on my native-sounding French accent.
I laugh at this now, because I realise that — without speaking it aloud — God has heard my prayer. I’ve been looking for ways to practice speaking French on a regular basis, and in one morning I hung out with Mariëtte and Arno (see previous post) who are emigrating to Canada soon, and Lucien — with plenty French-speaking opportunity.
While I was drinking my Crazy Chai Latté I noticed the inscription on Esthé’s glasses: LOOK FOR HIM.
Seek and you shall find. God is not far away, apathetic or angry. He is near us — in our hearts and minds, through the Holy Spirit, and He knows exactly what we need. Our simplest prayers are pleasing to Him.
Recherchez d’abord le royaume et la justice de Dieu, et tout cela vous sera donné en plus.Matthieu 6:33 S21
tree of life || Jordan || run wild live free
Jordan is home to some of the most beautiful hand-cut limestone mosaic.
the intricate details of each artwork (whether decorative or functional) reflects the heart of the people and their beautiful land.
I’ve had many conversations with many different people about which Scripture version/translation is most accurate, and therefore most reliable, and preferable.
I’m not a theologian, but I am a language practitioner, and therefore I tend to view Scripture translations as exactly that — the recording of words and phrases for a specific culture or people group.
any translator will tell you that there are things that are un-translatable.
therefore, the aim in translation is to transfer meaning and content, and not just “say in one language what has already been said in another language.” (different argument in its own right, but I won’t saddle that horse now.) again, as a language practitioner I read many translations, both for the pleasure of language, but also for a wider understanding of the text and it’s context.
I’ve been reading the Messianic Tree of Life version for some time now, and I keep discovering new beauty in it.
I find that Scripture translations are often like beautiful mosaics — carefully put together in order to convey it’s truest message.
I say, read the translation/version that speaks to you (language wise, and revelation wise) with the enlightenment of Holy Spirit, and allow Him to reveal the depths of it’s truths to you.
On either side of the river was a tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in the city, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. Night shall be no more, and people will have no need for lamplight or sunlight—for Adonai Elohim will shine on them. And they shall reign forever and ever!Revelation 232:1-5
mount nebo || jordan || run wild live free
this, friends, is what Moses saw when God showed him the Promised Land.
extremely hazy, I know, but to the left you’ll notice the Dead Sea, toward the middle lies the Jordan, and directly opposite, the land overflowing with milk and honey.
my first impression was probably the same as yours — how is this paradise?
however, I discovered that there are many treasures to be found in the Promised Land.
if crossing the wilderness has taught me anything, it is to be uncompromisingly obedient to God, and to fully trust in, and rely on Him to show you the path to take.
Abraham, Moses, Joshua — they’re some of my favourites from the Old Testament.
how often does it happen that we hold on to the promises, and not the Promise Keeper?
whatever wilderness you’re in, and whatever challenges lie ahead, I hope you have the courage to step out in obedience to whatever He calls you to.
may you see beyond the haze and the desolation of the wilderness, and may you see the promise hidden in the unknown.
just keep your eyes open, my love.
AND MOSES went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is opposite Jericho. And the Lord showed him all the land–from Gilead to Dan, And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah to the western [Mediterranean] sea, And the South (the Negeb) and the plain, that is, the Valley of Jericho, the City of Palm Trees, as far as Zoar. And the Lord said to him, This is the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, I will give it to your descendants. I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.Deuteronomy 34:1-4
I make it a firm policy not to live in the past.
However, I love looking back because over and over and over again, I see GOD IS FAITHFUL written in giant capitals all over this journey.
This past year has been squished in and running over with adventure– it has been a year of Unknowns, of growth, of pruning, of sowing, of reaping, of joy, of loss.
But, above all, it had been a year of expansion.
In more ways than I can explain, this has been a year of Revelation, in that things that I have been praying for and prophecied into for many years, are being made manifest around me.
My heart bursts with thankfulness that I get to do this — to run to the Nations with this Good News.
There is nothing that I will ever have to lay down, that’ll be worth more than this — because He is worthy.
Fourteen days ago, my dad passed away unexpectedly, and while I’m still dealing with the reality of his absence, I’m overjoyed to know that death is not the end for those who believe in Him.
One of the young guys I was discipling a while back once remarked that John 10:10 was one of the Scriptures that I refer to most, and I had to laugh, saying, “Yes! That’s what the Gospel is about!”
Heaven is not about escaping Hell and damnation.
Eternal Life is about Man’s original design — to live in fellowship with God. To enjoy His presence forever.
And that starts here — on earth, in fellowship with Holy Spirit.
A year ago, I was standing in the Israeli desert, inside a replica of the tabernacle, facing the ark of the covenant which was a place the High Priest could only enter once a year on behalf of the people.
As a 16 year old, one of the promises God had given me came from Joshua 1:3-7. In this moment, as I was standing in the representation of the Holy of Holies, I was over ome by truth that we don’t need a house to worship Him in, because we are the temple of the Holy Spirit– the DNA and Breath of God (Ruach) lives inside of us when we are born again into Eternal Life!
Isn’t it amazing that we have a better deal? The claim of death in which sin separated God and Man has been dealt with, the debt has been settled in full, the veil was torn! This is the Gospel: we have free access to the throne of Grace through Christ Jesus, who intercedes as High Priest on our behalf.
You see, when God first told me, “You have to cross the wilderness in order to get to the Promised Land,” I never expected this Word to be so layered. I knew this would be the ignition point, but more than anything I’ve come to realise that it has been a deeply personal journey. We’re not meant to camp out in the wilderness, but to take hold of the fullness of all that God has promised. But, even more than that, we’re meant to hold on to the Promise Maker.
We’re not meant to camp out in the wilderness, but to take hold of the fullness of all that God has promised. But, even more than that, we’re meant to hold on to the Promise Maker.
I have no doubt that this journey, this adventure, this calling, this YES to a life of obedience, will have many more obstacles and opportunities for growth. And while it may take a while for me to settle into the rhythm of things, I know for a fact that He is faithful. And that He is not slow in remembering His promises.
I am incredibly honoured that I get to run to the Nations carrying this message.
And I pray that you may have the courage to face the giants, to take hold of the fortressed cities, to cross the Jordan, so that you might fulfil the calling on your life, so that you might possess the land, so that you might see His promises fulfilled, and so that you might live in eternal fellowship with Him.
Dare to #runwildlivefree so that #everytribeandtongue may hear this message be preached, run #untilthewholeworldhears
Every place upon which the sole of your foot shall tread, that have I given to you, as I promised Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon to the great river Euphrates–all the land of the Hittites [Canaan]–and to the Great [Mediterranean] Sea on the west shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong (confident) and of good courage, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only you be strong and very courageous, that you may do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you. Turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.
A village church ⛪ | by Caitlyn R, Zambian missionary
When I first found out that Joel was going to Zambia, I started reading up on it and found it is declared a Christian nation. I innocently asked why he was not going as a missionary where there are lost people? Then I took a trip to Zambia 🙂
What I found was that there are mud village churches everywhere, and many people – even in the bush – identify as Christians, but are so far from Jesus (Zambia didn’t feel very far from America then ♥️).
And I was very surprised by what I found in the pastors. Many aren’t even saved and don’t know who Jesus is. Many think salvation is earned by becoming a member of a denomination and by works, they know nothing of grace through faith. Many have never read the Bible, or even held one, so what do you teach then? Well, tradition. We have walked into village churches just as the pastors were inviting the “angry spirits of the dead” into the building.
When one pastor told me he did weekly evangelism, I asked what he preached when he evangelized. He told me, “I go to every house and tell them if they don’t leave their denomination and come to my church they will go to hell.”
There was nothing about Jesus, only legalism and competition.
And while some preach religion and legalism, others preach witchcraft and encourage charms rather than speaking the truth that will set people free, because they are not free themselves. We have sadly found that many choose to be pastors to gain a title, position, or money.
Some pastors are drunk on Saturday and behind their pulpit on Sunday. Some teach that only the leadership of the church can know the Word of God and forbid the congregation to read the Bible for themselves. And some encourage childhood marriages so the congregation doesn’t lose money for their daughters bride price if they have sex before marriage.
So tomorrow we are spending several days camping in the bush to hold a pastors conference – inviting all local Lozi pastors, their wives, elders and deacons to come and be ministered to. Believing for them to encounter Jesus in a life-changing, real way. And praying that they will be set free so that they can set others free. ♥️
Today I bought a pair of pants and a jumper from a beautiful woman manning (yes man-nig) her stall at Aardklop.
her name is Christina.
I suppose, like many others, she depends on the sales of her wares for a living, and festivals and markets like these provide a platform for her to do so.
Our conversation was casual.
“Sjo, it’s cold today!”
“Yes! But yesterday was colder! See? I even brought my blanket!”
“Yes. It is much colder here than in Zambia,”
“Ah! You’re from Zambia?”
“Yes. I work there.”
“I’m from Zimbabwe.”
“I don’t know many Zimbabweans. Are you Shona?”
“Yes, I am.”
“I’m trying to learn Tonga, and I think I only know one Shona word, because I get them mixed up.”
And then, we really got into it.
This beautiful woman told me that she did not mourn Mugabe, because he ruined her country.
“I’m here, trying to make a living, so I can send money to my family, but I should be there — in my home country– making a difference.”
My heart breaks for her.
My heart breaks for my beautiful country, and so many other African nations, that are torn apart by xenophobia, war, racism — a list a mile long!
My heart breaks for the nations, because despite the many challenges we might face there is only one Answer, and His Name is the Name above every other name.
His Kingdom is not one that brings division or the sword or famine.
His Kingdom is not just an ideal or an idea — there’s no political agenda.
There’s no pretence to this King who became a Man, a carpenter who bore a cross, so that His people might be reconciled to Him.
This is the Good News!
This is the Good News for Christina — the Good News for all men from every tribe, from every nation, for all tongues and for all time!
This is the Kingdom that will not pass away!
Nations of Africa — I cry out for you! This is the inheritance I contend for! You will not be lost without hearing this News! You are not forgotten!
Violence shall no more be heard in your land, nor devastation or destruction within your borders, but you shall call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise. The sun shall no more be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you, but the Lord shall be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory and your beauty. [Jer. 9:23, 24; Rev. 21:23.] Your sun shall no more go down, nor shall your moon withdraw itself, for the Lord shall be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended. Your people also shall all be [uncompromisingly and consistently] righteous; they shall possess the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified. The least one shall become a thousand [a clan], and the small one a strong nation. I, the Lord, will hasten it in its [appointed] time.
Isaiah 60:18-22 AMPC
We’ve assimilated into a culture that declares, “don’t judge” — perhaps in reference to MATTHEW 7:2.
However, practicing DISCERNMENT is a Biblical mandate.
When we look at outward appearances or practice judgement over other people’s lifestyles or choices, we’re not discerning, or even judging, we are condemning.
Wouldn’t it be better for everyone if we looked at other people the way God looks at them?
I’m not saying we should be apathetic toward injustice, or tolerant of discriminatory behaviour, but I urge you to consider this:
Even those who act dishonourably, are deserving of honour.
So, do not look at outward appearances, but consider, as God does, the conditions of the heart.
Practice compassion and not comparison.
Love without small print.
Honour without prejudice.
But the Lord said to Samuel, Look not on his appearance or at the height of his stature, for I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7 AMPC
For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you.
Matthew 7:2 AMPC
BUT [as for] you, teach what is fitting and becoming to sound (wholesome) doctrine [the character and right living that identify true Christians].
Titus 2:1 AMPC
[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body]. Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own. I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward. So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and hold these convictions; and if in any respect you have a different attitude of mind, God will make that clear to you also. Only let us hold true to what we have already attained and walk and order our lives by that.
– Philippians 3:10-16
We have just returned to base on Rapid 14 after a week of ministry in Masukatwane, Sekute, in the Southern province of Zambia.
Every day, our team of 20 people divided into groups and went from home to home to minister the Gospel.
We saw MANY people come to Christ for the first time, and as many healed from sickness and diseases, and delivered from the bondage of witchcraft and other demons.
On Sunday, the first full day of our expedition, my team and I walked 10km (so, 20km in total) from our camping spot to church, which was supposed to be just beyond the next tree. It wasn’t as far as we had expected to walk, and though it was extremely hot, the walk was certainly worth the effort!
Joey, Fred, Pastor Felix, myself, Jackson, Dominic and Samuel made our way to the Pentecostal church in Mutatosi Village. When we arrived, there was no one there. One of the children quickly ran to fetch the pastor where he was labouring in his fields. It immediately reminded me of the passage from Matthew 9, and the first part of Matthew 10 that says:
“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness, when he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”Matthew 9: 35-38
In the first part of Matthew 10, we see that, as Jesus labouring to bring in the harvest, He gave us authority to do the same:
“He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.” – Matthew 10:1
Later in this passage, we find Jesus’ specific instructions in sharing this message, carrying His authority:
“As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of God is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” – Matthew 10:7-8
I think, for many, as for myself, a large portion of our first expedition was a school in identity. Despite the fact that I have been on and lead multiple short-term missions over the past 10 years, there is always a moment, or even multiple moments, where the revelation of our identity, our redemption, our acceptance in Him and by Him, our calling, and our purpose is challenged. We may feel overwhelmed, insecure, over-confident, or simply we may never have been in a position outside of our known reality or comfort zone where we were presented with situations or circumstances, we come across in doing home to home ministry. I have come to realise that one of the most important ingredients in discipleship training and ministry is character development – the willingness to grow, to be teachable, to accept instruction, to be available for instruction, shaping and moulding, in that the end-goal is to model the character of Christ. Therefore, as ministers, we do not only carry his authority and His commission, but we are to become like Him, embodying Him to better serve those to whom we are sent.
On this particular Sunday, as I meditated on the Harvest and the Lord of the Harvest, I was again reminded of the simplicity of the Gospel, and how this simple message has the power to shake Nations, and to restore His people to Him.
It wasn’t long before we were seated on rugged benches in the shade of a tree. Members from the community started to gather, and soon we were a church of more than 20 people.
We shared the Good News of the Kingdom, and 12 people responded to the call of Salvation. More than 14 adults were baptized in the Holy Spirit, as were multiple kids.
It reminded me of the church in Acts where God poured out His Spirit, and believers were added to their number on a daily basis.
As people with a western worldview, we often make the Gospel complicated. We have courses and programs for different things; ministering to various needs. While there is nothing wrong with sculpting ministries to serve different needs, as lead and empowered by the Spirit, I am convinced that the Gospel is the WHOLE SOLUTION to ALL of Man’s brokenness. Therefore, in its most basic form, the Gospel is everything we need to be reconciled to God – to know God and to enjoy Him forever.
Friends, as this period of Advanced Missions Training draws to a close, I’m excited to share some Big News with you soon!
I wanted to share this testimony from our final Expedition in Somwatochela with you. May you be encouraged and blessed by God’s faithfulness!
I was running the kitchen for our final expedition in Somwatochela, and though we had allowed for generous portion sizes, our team was filled with college-aged men who ate their weight’s worth. I was halfway into dinner prep when our team leader came up to me and asked, “Can we feed eight more people?” “Yes,” I said, “If we start praying now.”
I was reminded of that young boy who brought his five loaves and two fish to Jesus, a meagre offering, but it fed more than five thousand. When we bring all we have to Him, He will achieve infinitely more than our greatest requests, our most unbelievable dreams, and wildest imagination (Ephesians 3:20). And so, we fed eight guests and multiple children on a 25-person budget.
In His fullness, He provides!
the last stand || Meigiddo || Israel
A year ago, I was exploring the Promised Land and surrounding nations.
I suppose many people undertake this journey as a pilgrimage, to walk in the footsteps of the Messiah.
For me, though, it was a very spiritual experience, not because I walked where He walked, but because I was actively aware of Holy Spirit’s presence wherever I went — whether it was the Mount of Olives, or Bethlehem in the heart of Palestine, or standing on Armageddon, where the last battle is said to will take place.
The one thing I’m certain of is that, regardless where we leave our foot prints, if we keep in step with Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:25), He will direct our ways.
And so, having done all (Ephesians 6: 12-18), will stand.
If you commit yourself to live the life of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race. • Hebrews 11:5
spiritually and practically equipping missionaries
AMT is the gateway to enter into a career in missions with Overland Missions. It is a course designed to equip people with the tools to take the Gospel anywhere in the world and make a sustainable impact. The class consists of 17 subjects that are a mixture of classroom learning and practical field exercises. For three months you will live fully immersed in a missions style environment with full-time missionaries. You will be part of a team of 20-30 people who are of like mind and faith and are all there to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You will experience a unique and challenging missionary training course that will prepare you to handle
any road…any load…any time.
Spend three-months submerged in a mission style environment. This course is split between nine weeks of classes and three weeks of expeditions. The curriculum is the following: Wilderness First Responder (WFR), 4X4 Driving and Recovery, Missionary Theology, Come Back Alive Survival Course, GPS Navigation, Bush Cooking, Ministry Ethics, Preaching, Sector Management Development, Cross Cultural Communication, The Gospel of Identity, Expedition and Mission Training, Vehicle Mechanics, Workshop, Leadership, and Final Presentation: Sector Research Project.
Mozambique 2020: March 10 – June 1
Zambia 2020: May 12 – August 10 | August 25 – November 23
Who can apply for AMT?
Anyone who believes Jesus is Lord and has an interest in full-time missions.
Is there an age limit?
The minimum age requirement is 18 years old.
Are married couples or families welcomed?
Yes. We certainly encourage couples and small families to engage in AMT. There are many couples and families involved in AMT and within Overland Missions’ staff. Special couples/family rates are offered for AMT.
More questions? Contact us
rejoice || wilderness
a well in the wasteland.
There are times in life where we’re “stuck” in the in-between.
One of the toughest lessons I’ve had to learn, is to actively wait while I’m in the in-between.
As Westerners, we’re conditioned to be time-conscious — not to waste time, but to save it and steward it.
What I’ve learnt is that ACTIVE waiting is very different from PASSIVE waiting.
The in-between is a time for growth.
A time for stewardship, for cultivating, for digging deeper wells.
In the desert, there is no commodity more valuable than water.
When you don’t know what’s next, or even if you know, and you’re waiting for the release, don’t pop up an umbrella and camp out under the palm trees of the oasis.
Now is the time to break through the hard ground, to dig deep, to be filled with Living Water that flows out of your belly.
His promise is that this will bring healing to the Nations.
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17 NIVUK
“I was once young, and now I am old, but not once have I been witness to God’s failure to supply my need when I had first given for the furtherance of His work. He has never failed in His promise, so I cannot fail in my service to Him.”William Carey
1761-1834; British missionary to India
Everything God gives us has two purposes:
- seed to sow
- food to eat
God provides us with seed. We are to plant this seed where God directs us. It is foolishness to expect a harvest where no seed has been sown. You only receive when you give.
In the right environment, a small seed has the potential to become a powerful tree. We see this in Isaiah 55:10-11 explains this, illustrating that when God’s Word enters our hearts, the seed of faith brings us to Salvation; and now that we are saved, we are to share the Good News of Salvation with others so that they too might know their Saviour.
We are not called to be consumers, but farmers.
Every truth and endowment that God has given you is for your benefit, but it is also destined to bless others.
As Believers, we often think that giving is limited to tithing — if that, and rarely do we give as if we serve a God whom we cannot out-give. He is able to supply abundantly according to our every need, yet we often live as if we’re not convinced that He will.
Be willing to share what God has given you — finances, skill, time, resources, relationships.
“I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you.”Acts 20:20
Freely you have received, now freely give — this is the heart of Missions.
GIVE: your prayers, your material resources, the Message of the Good News, your giftings and anointing.
“Heal the sick, cleanse the leper, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”Matthew 10:8-9
click here if you’d like to give to World Missions.
I can hardly believe this was a year ago! This popped up on Facebook memories, and when I look at it now, I’m amazed at how things have fallen into place.
Before leaving for AMT in May 2019, I told one of my close friends how I felt that I was living in the prophetic – – things that I had been praying for for more than ten years was literally becoming manifest around me!
If only I could count the amount of times I experienced déjà vu, only to recognise it as something from a dream or a vison I had years before!
It’s not just about living the dream, about adventure or travel or new people groups – – it’s about sharing the Good News of the Gospel with all men from all tribes and all tongues; a Message for all men, for all time!
Philip Smethurst, founder and CEO of Overland Missions once told me, “Run towards people, and you’ll never grow tired!”
So, here I am – – about to start Chapter 4 of this amazing adventure that kicked off a year ago!
run wild || live free || for King and country
in 34 days, I’ll be kicking off one of life’s greatest adventures yet.
I’m filled with excitement and the anticipation of everything God has in store, but I’m also soberly considering the challenges of change that lie ahead.
I’ve moved 8 times in 3 years, and I bet there’s more of that to come.
It’s sad to leave family and friends behind (even if it’s not forever).
the wilderness x the promised land.
And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. [Isa. 52:7.]Ephesians 6:15 AMPC
wherever it is, and whatever lies before me, it’s for the King, and his country.
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you,” Matthew 6:31-33.
When Overland pioneers into an area, our greatest focus is sharing the Gospel. But the Gospel brings with it promises of physical provision that are extended to all who believe. Much of this more “practical” Biblical wisdom is done by Overland’s Sustain department. “Sustain is founded on the truth we find in 2 Peter 1:3 which says, ‘His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness,’” says Lauren B., a member of the Sustain team.
“We know that through Jesus, God has provided all we need to be reconciled back to the Father. But in observing the world…we often don’t see the abundant life, provided for in every way, which is promised to us! We want to see people come into the understanding that God has made a way for every need we have to be met. Every single one—whether spiritual, emotional, or physical, no exceptions. Our goal in the Sustain department is to see people walking in the fullness of God’s promises in a way that means their lives, their families, and their ministries are provided for.”
Missionaries like Lauren teach sustainability in finances, relationships, spiritual life, and, as well as, sustainable agriculture through Farming God’s Way. “We teach Farming God’s Way because in the places we work, many people are farmers. We don’t teach agriculture because we have some deep-rooted opinion about how people should farm, or because we’re pushing some agenda, or even because we hope they’ll listen to us if they’re better fed. We teach agriculture because God cares about every part of the lives of His people, and His people are farmers. He gave us farming as a gift (Genesis 2:15), to bless us and provide for us, and we know His promises hold true throughout all generations. It’s our joy to proclaim His goodness to His people, to see them reconciled to Him, and to see them step into the abundant life He always intended them to live.”
God’s provision extends to our physical bodies as well—after all, he calls himself “the LORD your Healer” (Exodus 15:26). Through our Life Project, Overland helps to promote the value of life and protect those who can’t protect themselves. Our God is a healer, and he uses us to accomplish that will on the earth. Manon K. of the Life Project puts it this way, “Within the Life Project, we are focused on how we can improve the health situation for the people around us. We help and teach in order to create a good and sustainable health care system.” The Life Project has trained hundreds of workers through their program Helping Babies Breath, which has greatly reduced the mortality rate amongst babies.
In Overland, we seek to minister to each person as a whole. While the spiritual side of ministry is incredibly important, God still cares about the physical needs of His children. He is present with us in the midst of our every-day needs, and through Sustain and the Life Project, we work to be present as well. We have found a way to effectively meet the needs of people and introduce tools for sustainable growth — not only in spirit and soul, but for the body as well.
I never thought that when I started ministering to a tribe with no knowledge of Jesus Christ or Christian theology, my own understanding of the gospel would be so deepened. There’s no need in ministry here to dig and strive for a new concept to teach every few days, as even the most basic concepts are brand new. Even recently, when I made the statement, “Jesus is the son of God,” the response of my disciple who was translating was, “That’s too complicated—they don’t know what God is.”
And so, for the past two years, I’ve been teaching the most simple, most profound thing I could; God, who created everything, loves you and became human to be near to you. He died in your place so he could give you his life and fill you with his very own spirit.
The more I’ve taught this, the more I don’t want to teach anything else. Even my personal growth with the Lord has become less about what new things I’m learning, and more about how much I actually believe in the redemptive work of Jesus’ life and death.
In Luke chapter 4, Jesus reads the scroll from the prophet Isaiah (specifically what we now call chapter 61) about the spirit of the Lord being on him to preach good news to the poor, liberty for captives, sight to the blind, and so on. Then he sits down and gives what may be the simplest sermon ever spoken: “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
These nine words, simple as they are, have a profound effect on everything we know. This statement breathes life to the beautiful, hopeful words of Isaiah 61. Good news has come for the poor. Sight is available to the blind. Freedom is available to the oppressed. Joy and beauty are available to those whose lives are in ashes. Redemption isn’t something we hope for, but instead something we trust in. When we simply teach the story of God’s redemption, we’re not avoiding or ignoring the hardships of life; we’re actually unleashing the potential for true, genuine transformation, which can only come through the power of Christ.
There is rest and there is peace
Inside the shade of Your garden
Jesus, you’re the only one for me
there’s no way I’m leaving you
Your the love the way the life the truth
You’re our the door I’m walking through
Your love is the reason that I am here
and I’m running to you cause your all I need
I’m praying for the Nations of Africa today.
Northern Africa and the Middle East has been at the center of persecution for many years, and yet, many new believers turn to Christ as Lord and Saviour.
one of the largest threats to the Western Church is lukewarm faith.
persecution is one of the best things that can happen to a family of believers.
the harvest is plenty, but the labourers are few.
perhaps this is the time for which you’ve been called.
For you have been granted [the privilege] for Christ’s sake not only to believe in (adhere to, rely on, and trust in) Him, but also to suffer in His behalf.Philippians 1:29
“The world asks, ‘what does a man own?’ Christ asks, ‘how does he do it?'”Andrew Murray
1828 – 1917
South African pastor and author
When Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt, they left with all the wealth of Egypt and disappeared into the desert with it. Why did God place a great wealth into the hands of a people who would have nowhere to spend it?
Moses knew the answer to this question, but his brother Aaron did not.
The purpose of the wealth was to build God a tabernacle so that He could dwell among His people in the wilderness. When Moses went up the mountain for 40 days, the people grew restless, and urged Aaron to provide leadership. Because he lacked vision and understanding of wealth, Aaron instructed them to bring their gold, and they made a golden calf to worship.
If we don’t understand the purpose of wealth, Christian leaders today also run the risk of building idols. So, what is the purpose of wealth? We are blessed to be a blessing, not to squander it on ourselves.
We can build larger churches, but without fervor for the lost, they simply become temples to Man’s glory, rather than places to disciple the incoming harvest of souls.
How did this great multitude get there?
Someone went, someone was sent, someone was finances, and someone had been praying.
They got there because Jesus died for their sins, and charged His faithful followers to go to the ends of the earth.
Someone plowed. Someone seeded the fertile soil. Someone tended the field. Someone will bring in the harvest.
1 Corinthians 3:6-7
Each member of the Body of Christ has a part to play in God’s World Harvest Team.
Some are called to go to the nations and some have a part to play back home — one is not more important than the other. Collectively, we have the power to change the eternal destiny of entire nations.
Every believer is called to the harvest. The task of world missions is the responsibility of every Christian; there is no one exempt — it is the responsibility of every pastor, the nursery worker, the sound engineer, the worship leader, the child, the mother, and the father.
If we rise up and take responsibility to do something, we would reach our generation.
Take charge of your heart and life, and begin to say, “Here I am Lord, use me.”
Wold Missions cannot be treated as a side-issue because it ultimately involves the destiny of nations, tribes, people and tongues.
Regardless of our level of commitment or sacrifice, we are merely doing what is expected of us as co-labourers together with Christ.
All the increase and glory comes from God, and therefore must be returned to Him.
“I will go anywhere, provided it be forward.”David Livingstone
Pioneer, adventurer, discoverer, and missionary.
All vision is born in our hearts, not by the size of the task or need, but by the love of Him who saved us.
“We are debtors to every man to give him the gospel in the same measure in which we have received it.”P.F. Bresee
founder of the Church of the Nazarene
“We must be global Christians with a global vision, because our God is a global God.”– John Scott, 1921
British Pastor and Evangelical leader
Recognizing God’s appeal in this vision, Paul’s ministry took a drastic turn and he went to Macedonia.
Vision turns us toward the purposes of God, and for some, this heavenly touch will activate us into reaching the nations.
Vision is defined as the ability to see into the realm of the Spirir and thus be awakened as to what God has implanted in you for your life and ministry.
Without vision it is unlikely that we, as creatures of habit, will change course.
When we hear God’s appeal for labourers to go into His vineyards, our lives are changed to live sacrificially so that His vision can be fulfilled.
Paul was thrown in jail because he cast a demon out of a young woman, but he found great solace in the knowledge that he had been faithful to that which God called Him to.
All Christians agree that the Great Commission should be a priority, but few regard this as a personal mandate. Although you may give mental assent to the Great Commission, you will never accept it as a personal responsibility without vision.
Vision without corresponding action will cause frustration, and destiny will be denied. One man said that he would rather die doing the will of God, than live outside of His plan. When someone asked Hellen Keller what was worse than being blind, she said, “to have sight but no vision.”
Do you have a dream?
Do you have sight but no vision?
There is a Macedonian call coming to the hearts of those that are hungry for God.
It is the cry of the neglected, the abused, the sick, and the broken.
Nations are calling. Will you hear and respond?
Three years ago, my friend Sanet told me, “Aligning yourself with Holy Spirit is more important than aligning yourself with offense,” and it still resonates within me — when we choose to align with Holy Spirit, and allow Him to renew our thoughts and hearts, offense becomes a matter of little importance as we learn to forgive and set free.
In Matthew 14, we read of John the Baptist’s execution.
The disciples brought this news to Jesus, and He withdrew in a boat to a solitary place. Crowds of people followed Him, and when He saw them, He went ashore, had compassion for them, and cured their sick.
Later in the chapter we also read about the miracle where Jesus used a couple loaves and two fish to feed the multitudes.
His cousin had just been murdered, and normally it wouldn’t be too much to ask for a quiet moment alone, but rather than being offended, Jesus was compassionate.
Compassion will propel you beyond your natural resources and your comfort zone; it prompts us to look beyond our own needs and pain, and urges us to respond to the move of Holy Spirit.
With only four more days to go (the countdown is set to midnight!) before I leave for Zambia, I am INCREDIBLY excited for all that lies ahead!
You may not know me long enough to know the journey that God put me on to get me here: to this day, in this place, but it’s been a journey of more than 10 years!
This morning I was reading through Philippians, and it struck me anew how Paul interceded for the new Believers, how he eagerly hoped to be able to join them in person.
These sentiments are found throughout all of his letters. He takes special care to mention those who labour with him – Timothy, Aquila, Priscilla, and many others – honouring them for the work they do in the Kingdom. And he always points the church to Christ.
What a legacy!
One of the children’s stories that I finished up yesterday was about the Damascus road encounter (Acts 9).
I am constantly amazed that God specifically chose Saul to work among the gentiles, because his reputation was so well-known, and that made his testimony all the more believable.
In the end, God doesn’t care how amazing we think we are, or how skilled or able. He is simply looking for someone who is willing to take up his cross, to lay down his life — simply so that others might receive Life.
Like a drink offering, being poured out on the altar, nothing is worth more than honouring Him.
The first words God spoke after he called Paul was, “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” (Acts 9:15-16)
This morning, as I’m quite literally closing the books, I’d like to thank the hundreds of people who have journeyed with me over the years, sowing into the Kingdom, speaking God into my life, partnering in prayer, giving financially, interceding, weeding, watering, and harvesting.
I am incredibly honoured by each of you!
I cannot begin to call you all by name, but know that, I am deeply humbled by each of you keeping my arms up!
May you receive the crown of honour for your faithful work!
“Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Israelites went through on dry ground with a wall of water on their right and on their left.”
Exodus 14:27, 29
Exodus 12:1-42; Exodus 14:5-31
Moses did as God commanded him, and went to speak to Pharaoh, saying, “Let God’s people go!”
Moses and his brother Aaron went to Pharaoh and did everything God commanded. Aaron threw his staff on the ground, and it turned into a snake. Pharaoh laughed, “My sorcerers can easily repeat this little trick!” The Egyptian magicians also threw their staffs on the ground, and they turned into snakes as well. But the snake from Aaron ‘s staff was bigger, and it swallowed the magicians’ snakes.
Pharaoh was a cruel and strict king, and he did not want to let the Israelites go because they were hard workers and they were his slaves. God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he refused to set the Israelites free.
Moses trusted God for a plan, and God sent plagues to Egypt. First, the Nile turned into blood. All the fish died and the river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink the water. Then God sent a plague of frogs. There were so many that they covered the land. Then there was a plague of gnats — they were so many that they looked like dust from the desert. Next, God sent a plague of flies. The fifth plague God sent on the Egyptians was death to livestock. All the Egyptian horses, donkeys, camels, goats, sheep, and cattle died.
Pharaoh would still not listen! He would not let God’s people go!
Then God sent a plague of boils that caused the Egyptians to become very sick. He also sent hail, and the hail destroyed all the planted crops. Then, a plague of locusts came, and they ate all the crops the hail had not destroyed. The Egyptians had no food reserves left!
Then the lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand toward the sky, and darkness will spread over Egypt. It will be as thick as a blanket.” Moses did as God commanded, and it became very dark for three days.
“Pharaoh, let God’s people go!” said Moses, but Pharaoh still refused.
Then God said to Moses, “Gather the Hebrews, and tell them to slaughter a lamb. Put the blood of the lamb on your doors and windows, and eat together. Tonight I will send an Angel through Egypt, and he will kill all the firstborn children. When the Angel sees the blood on the doors and windows, it will pass over, and will not come into your houses.”
That night, the Angel went through Egypt and killed all the firstborn children to every family — even Pharaoh’s son. At last, Pharaoh gave up and said to Moses, “Take your people, and leave.”
The Hebrews rejoiced! God had freed them from Egypt! When they came to the sea, there was no way to get to the other side, so God split the water in two, and they could safely pass on dry land.
Discover: God wants what is best for us.
Memorize: “Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Israelites went through on dry ground with a wall of water on their right and on their left.” Exodus 14:27, 29
“You will be in charge of my palace, and my people will submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”
Genesis 37 – 50
The bottom of the pit was dark and cold. Joseph looked up, and saw some movement at the top. There were many voices talking together in a language that he did not understand. A rope came falling down the side of the pit.
“At last!” thought Joseph, “My brothers decided that they were wrong to throw me in this hole, and they have decided to save me.”
When Joseph reached the top, strong hands grabbed him and tied a rope around his wrists.
Judah folded his hands across his chest. “You thought you were so important telling us about the dreams you had where we would bow down to you. And our father even thought you were special and made you colourful clothes.”
“Here comes the dreamer!” said Simeon and bowed down to mock Joseph.
The people speaking a strange language loaded Joseph on a wagon. His brothers had sold him as a slave. He looked back at them as they were laughing and cheering, and sadness filled his heart. He knew that God was faithful. Joseph trusted God.
Many years later, Joseph was working as a servant in Potiphar’s house. Potiphar was the captain over Pharaoh’s guards. The Lord was with Joseph, and he did very well in the house of his Egyptian master. Potiphar’s wife grew jealous of Joseph, and she thought of a plan to have him thrown in jail. But, while he was in jail, God’s favor was on Joseph. Joseph made friends while he was in jail, and he helped them to understand the dreams God had sent them. They promised to tell Pharaoh about Joseph and his ability to understand dreams when they were released.
One day Pharaoh sent one of his soldiers to fetch Joseph from jail.
Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream; and no one can understand it. But I have heard it said that you can understand dreams,”
“I cannot interpret dreams,” said Joseph to Pharaoh, “but God will give you the answer you desire.”
Pharaoh explained his dream to Joseph. He was standing on the bank of the Nile while seven fat cows were grazing nearby. Then, seven skinny cows came, and they swallowed the seven fat cows. Pharaoh also dreamt about seven healthy heads of grain that grew from a single stalk. Then seven more heads of grain sprouted, but these were thin and they were blown away by the wind.
Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Both dreams Pharaoh had have the same meaning. There will be seven years of abundance, followed by seven years of drought and famine. Pharaoh will be wise to save grain during the years of abundance so that Egypt and the nations around here will not starve during the famine.”
Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one as wise as you. You will be in charge of my palace and all my people will submit to your orders.”
God had remained faithful and kept his favor on Joseph’s life. That which others intended for harm, God used for good.
Discover: God makes everything work together for the good of those who love Him.
Memorize: “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.” Romans 8:28
“She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”
Pharaoh was a cruel and strict king. He wanted the Israelites to work as slaves and build big palaces and temples for him. One day, Pharaoh realised that the Israelites were becoming more than the Egyptians.
“The Israelites are slaves,” Pharaoh said to himself. “If they become too many, they will start a rebellion and overthrow my ruler ship. I will find a way to get rid of them.”
Pharaoh called his advisors together, and they wrote a law that said every Hebrew boy younger than two years old had to be fed to the crocodiles in the Nile.
There was a young Hebrew woman who had just had a baby boy. She did not want the soldiers to kill her son, so she made a basket from reeds, and covered it with sticky tar to make it waterproof. She told her daughter Miriam to take the basket down to the Nile, and hide it between the reeds.
Miriam carried her baby brother down to the Nile, and placed his basket on the water. She hid close by where she could watch the basket.
Suddenly, a big Egyptian boat passed by and it caused big waves. The baby and his basket drifted further away from the shore. Miriam could not catch it in time! The basket was already floating downstream.
“Oh, Lord! Please protect my brother,” Miriam prayed.
The basket tossed and turned in the waves, and crocodiles swam around it — snapping their jaws.
Then, the basket drifted into a quiet part of the river, right in front of Pharaoh’s palace! The Egyptian princess saw the basket, and told one of her servants to fetch it for her.
When she opened the basket, she saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him.
Miriam came closer and said, “Princess, I know a Hebrew woman who would be able to care for this baby.”
“Go and fetch her,” said the princess. “I will call this baby Moses, because I drew him out of the water.”
Discover: God takes care of us through others
Memorize: “She named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.” ” Exodus 2:10
I promise — I do more than run around and take unstable videos of things.
This is a summary of yesterday’s jaunt.
The mud was kindly supplied by hurricane Kenneth.
For the past few days, we’ve had the loveliest showers and I’m so excited to see rivers and dams filling up.
South Africa has been suffering under extended drought for the past 4 years, and as a water scarce country surface water is not nearly enough to maintain the continually increasing demand for water for humans, animals and crops.
Large parts of Kwa-Zulu Natal have been flooded, and even now Hurricane Kenneth is ripping through northern Mozambique and the lower end of Tanzania.
Infrastructure is completely destroyed, taking with it the meager crops that was left over after hurricane Idai ripped through the country, less than a month ago.
So many precious people lost their lives, many lost loved ones, and many still lost their homes and livelihood.
I remain confident that, even in the destruction, there will be testimony of God’s faithfulness and His abundance.
My friends, these are the signs of the times!
The harvest is ready, but the labourers are few!
Therefore, pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send out more labourers into the fields!
Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).
summer || pantone
By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
Matthew 7:16-20 NIV
“God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”
Genesis 18:1-15; Genesis 21:1-6
One day Sarah was sitting in the shade of the tent, fanning herself to cool off. The sun was blazing, and it was too hot to work outside. The camels were sleeping in the shade, and the sheep were gathered around the cool water of the well.
Abram came running in to the tent.
“Sarah! Visitors are coming! Call the servants! Fetch water so that our visitors can wash, and prepare some bread for them to eat. I will slaughter a calf, and we will give them a place to rest from the heat.”
The men sat down to eat and rest.
“Where is your wife, Sarah?” the visitors asked Abram.
“She is in the tent,” replied Abram.
“In exactly one year your wife Sarah will have a son,” said the visitor.
Sarah couldn’t help but laugh! Was this a joke? She was already 90 years old. That’s too late to start a family.
“I am old, but Abram is even older than I am,” Sarah said to herself. “We won’t be able to raise a child at this age.”
The visitor entered into the tent.
“Why do you laugh, Sarah? Is anything too hard for the Lord? In exactly one year I will visit you again, and then you will have a son.”
The Lord was gracious to Sarah, and He fulfilled His promise. In their old age, Sarah and Abraham got a son and they named him Isaac.
“God has brought me laughter and He has restored my joy!” Sarah said. “Everyone who hears about the birth of my son will celebrate with me!”
Abraham and Sarah lifted their son toward God, and thanked Him for his faithfulness.
Discover: God brings us joy.
Memorize: “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” Genesis 21:6
“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”
Abram stood on the hill overlooking the valley. In the distance, he could see the lights of the city. The night was quiet and a cool breeze blew across the hilltop. Abram looked up at the stars above him. They were spread out like bright jewels on a dark velvet cloth, shining brightly. In the distance, he could hear his sleep bleat as they shuffled around, looking for a place to sleep. Abram looked up at the moon and tried to see if he could recognize any constellations. He even saw a shooting star!
Abram knew it was God speaking to Him.
“Yes, Lord. Here I am.” Abram answered.
“Look up at the heavens and count the stars. Tell me how many there are.” Said God.
Abram shook his head and replied, “Lord, you know that I am old and that I cannot see that far! Besides, there are too many stars to count!”
“You shall be the Father of Nations, Abram. You will have as many children as there are stars.”
“How is this possible, Lord?” asked Abram. “I am an old man, and I don’t have any children. Isn’t it too late for me to have a son? I am nearly one hundred years old!”
“Abram,” said God, “I have many great plans for you and your family, and their families to come. I promise to watch over you and your descendants,” said God.
Abram closed his eyes and imagined what it would be like to hold his own son for the first time. Ten toes and ten fingers, and the brightest brown eyes! He would call his son Isaac. Abram was not sure how everything would work out, but he knew that God would keep his promise. Abram trusted in God.
God explained that He would change Abram’s name to Abraham, which means Father of Nations. God promised that Abraham’s family would become kings, and that they would be His special, chosen people. God’s promise, which is also called a covenant, was the beginning of an adventure for Abram and his family.
This promise, or covenant, was part of a long, long friendship God keeps with his special, chosen people. God promised to protect them and lead them, and show them the way through every adventure.
Discover: When Isaac was born as the first of many sons, Abraham was 100 years old, and Sarah was 90!
day the Lord made a covenant with Abram.” Genesis 15:18
“I have put my rainbow in the clouds… The waters will never become a flood to destroy all life again.”
Genesis 9:13, 15
One afternoon, Noah was sitting in the shade watching his sons play with a ball. Shem passed the ball to Ham while Japheth tried to stop him from scoring a goal. Noah laughed aloud when Shem gave Ham a high five after scoring.
God said to Noah, “The people on earth have grown corrupt and violent. This is not why I created Man. I am going to make a new start to the earth and its people.”
All of a sudden, Noah heard God speak to him.
Noah was a righteous man. He always lived close to God. God chose Noah and his family to be part of the new start He was planning.
“What do you want me to do, God?” said Noah, and he kneeled down to pray.
God told Noah to build a big boat and call it the Ark. God gave Noah specific instructions about the size and shape the Ark should take.
Noah finished praying, and got up from where he was kneeling. He called his sons together and explained God’s plan to them.
“Shem, Ham, Japheth, God wants us to build the Ark. It is going to be a safe place where we can hide when the flood comes.”
“Father, what is a flood?” asked Japheth.
“God said it is going to rain a lot. The many waters will cause a flood”, answered Noah.
Noah and his sons started building the Ark. They worked hard every day to complete the building project in time. Every day people from the villages around them came to look at the Ark. They laughed at Noah and his sons and pointed at the Ark saying, “That will never float! Where will you find water?”
Noah and his sons remained obedient to God.
When the Ark was finished, Noah and his family went inside, along with different kinds of animals. This was part of God’s plan to start new life on earth once the water of the flood had drained away.
It started to rain, but Noah and his family were not afraid. God had a plan. They would trust in Him.
Discover: It rained for forty days and forty nights, and the water covered the tallest mountaintops. Everything on earth died. Only Noah and his family were left. God remembered his promise to Noah and He made a new start with Noah, his family, and the animals on the Ark.
Memorize: “I have put my rainbow in the clouds… The waters will never become a flood to destroy all life again.” Genesis 9:13, 15
“You must not eat the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden.”
On a sunny afternoon, Eve was sitting on a rock, when she saw a creature she had never seen before.
“Who are you?” she asked.
“I am the sssssserpent,” said the creature, flicking its long tongue. “Do you sssssssmell the delicioussssss fruit on that Tree?”
The Tree was at the centre of God’s beautiful garden. Bright fruit hung from the Tree’s branches.
“God told us not to eat the fruit from The Tree,” said Eve. “Any other tree is fine, but not this one.”
The serpent slithered up the tree and coiled itself around a big branch.
“Are you ssssssure God ssssaid you sssshouldn’t eat thissss fruit? He is jussssst afraid you will become like Him if you eat it. Then your eyesssss will be opened, and you will underssssstand many thingsssssss.”
Eve’s stomach growled. She was hungry. Maybe she could try just one bite?
She reached up toward The Tree and picked a bright fruit from the branches. Then she took a big bite.
As the juice from the fruit dribbled down her chin, Adam peeked out from behind The Tree.
“Adam, you have to try this! The fruit is sweet and delicious!” said Eve.
Adam knew that God told them to eat fruit from The Tree, but he took a bite anyway.
Adam looked at Eve. Eve looked at the serpent. The serpent slithered off into the bush. Something had changed. Something was not right. Adam and Eve heard God walking in the Garden, but instead of running to him like they always do, they felt ashamed and decided to hide.
Adam and Eve had sinned. They were disobedient to God. Sin had separated Adam and Eve from God’s presence.
Adam and Eve could no longer live in the Garden. They knew God still loved them, but they knew life would be very different from now on.
Discover: After Adam and Eve left the Garden, God placed an angel with a flaming sword at the entrance to the Garden so that nobody could get back inside.
Memorize: “You must not eat the fruit of the tree in the middle of the
garden.” Genesis 3:3
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”Genesis 1:1
Everything began when God said, “Let there be light!”
Then God separated the light from the darkness. All in one day! God called the darkness night, and the light day. This was the very first day.
The next day God made water. It bubbled and whooshed, and it covered the earth with oceans and rivers and lakes. And up, up high, God placed the sky. All in one day! This was the second day.
God pushed the whooshing water to one side to make land. He made trees with roots that dug deep into the soft ground. He made sprouts that burst into budding plants, bearing fruit and beautiful flowers. All in one day! This was the third day.
Then God made the sun and the moon, and he put them in the sky. He made the sun to shine during the day, and the moon to shine at night. God also made stars and planets, and He scattered them across the sky. God wanted the planets and the stars to show different seasons. He saw that everything was good. All in one day! This was the fourth day.
In the sea, God placed different fish and all kinds of creatures. In the sky, He put birds – some of them large and soaring, and some of them small and chirping. God made the fish and the birds all in one day! This was the fifth day.
Then God made wild animals of every kind – tall, short, furry, smooth, round, skinny, some crawled and some jumped, and some walked! He made every animal according to his or her kind, and He saw that it was good.
Now it was time to create the Masterpiece! God said, “let us make Man in our image and likeness so that He can rule with us”.
God made Adam, the very first man. Then He made Eve, the very first woman. He created Adam and Eve to have relationship with Him, and He saw that he made them very good! God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number. Help me to rule over Creation by looking after the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, and all the animals on the ground.” He made wild animals and people – all in one day! This was the sixth day.
By then God had finished the work he had been doing, so he rested. For an entire day. He blessed the seventh day and set it apart as a day of rest.
God created everything, and now the world and everything that lives in it was ready for the adventure to begin!
Discover: God created Adam from the dust of the ground. Then God formed Eve from Adam’s rib.
Memorize: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
A year ago, I took this picture after a much needed rainstorm had passed. I walked through the garden, praying.
At the time, I had just resigned from my fulltime job, I had packed up my house and put everything in storage, and I was living in a friend’s guest room — waiting to hear from God about the next step I should take.
But surely God has heard. He has listened to my voice in prayer. Psalms 66:19
At the time, I had been walking around with a sense of dissatisfaction. Not because I was unhappy, per sé, but because there was an element of unfulfillment that had managed to weave itself into different areas of my life.
For many years, I had been praying, trusting, holding on to His promises, and even reminding Him about the pages and pages filled with prophetic words that I had written down through the years. From where I stood, I had done everything I could to be faithful, to be obedient, to fight the good fight, to run the race with endurance.
I was unsatisfied in my relationship with Him, feeling that church and worship had reached a plateau; that I wasn’t being released into the things I felt called to do. I was unsatisfied because, to a large extent, my friends and spiritual family did not understand why I was frustrated with the lack of momentum.
I felt like a racehorse, chewing at the bit as it was reigned in to keep the vegetable cart it was pulling from bucking and falling over. Why was I stuck in this in-between?
In January of 2018, God told me to enlarge my tents, and as I felt the buildup of this increase take place, my frustration with the external lack of growth increased.
I had a choice to make: do my own thing because I was convinced this is what I felt God had said, or honour my leaders in obedience, submitting to the authority which God had appointed.
In February of 2018, God told me to throw the net out to the other side, and within 24h I had resigned, gave notice for the apartment I was renting, and stepped into the Mission I had been praying about for more than 10 years.
I was, and still am, determined to be uncompromisingly obedient, to trust Him with every step, knowing that He is the hope that anchors my soul.
In this in-between season, I had been praying about a bunch of things, asking Him to give me a clear answer about What Comes Next, now that I had taken the plunge into the Great Unknown.
Isn’t it true that we sometimes go through seasons where things seem to be dreary and stale, where nothing seems to move forward and where breakthrough seems like a desert mirage? Distant and unattainable.
There are some specific things that I’ve been praying about for some time, and the Lord’s response is simply this: SHAMMAH. THE LORD IS HERE. HE HEARS.
A good friend recently shared this nugget of wisdom with me:“If Sarah had a son at 30, it would’ve been normal. If she had a son at 50, people would’ve thought it’s great and look how well she takes care of herself! But she had a son at 99, and the only One to receive glory from that is God.”
There are SO MANY examples from Scripture where people sought the Lord, crying out to Him.
There are AS MANY examples from Scripture where God answers prayer.
He knows our every thought, our every desire, our every prayer — even those we don’t know ourselves, or those we dare not whisper aloud.
He knows the depths of Man’s heart. He loves us all the same. And He is GOOD.
He is FAITHFUL.
He is not slow in remembering His PROMISES.
When the time is right, He will make it happen.
A year ago, I was chomping at the bit. But now that I look back I’m astounded by His faithfulness! Every day I get to live my dream: to run wild, live free; to share the Good News of the Gospel with men from every tribe and tongue. Indeed, my tents have been enlarged!
You see, whatever we’re praying for, even things that we’ve placed on the back burner because they seem to go unnoticed before God, ALL OF THAT is working for His glory!
Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.
Whatever breakthrough you’re trusting Him for, know this — THE LORD HEARS.
Hold on to the Promise Keeper and not simply the promises.
He is faithful.
It’s for His glory.