God knows the desires of your heart – Part 2 of 2

Desires of your heart

Part 2 of 2

… It was at the end of that sentence (see previous post) that I drew a blank and didn’t know what else to write.  Although, I did but I didn’t…  it was as though there was a silencing over what I wanted to say, in order to make way for what God truly wanted to say.  It was then that I stepped away from the computer to have some lunch, as I was eating lunch I felt the prompt to go for a walk.

I thought: oh – but I don’t feel like it.

All the more reason to go for a walk.

I just want to bask in the presence of God

You still can – He’s still be with you.  He’ll be walking with you.

Ok – as I said ok – a route was being mapped out in mind – that involved walking through a couple of parks and then stopping by the supermarket.  Ok. I got myself ready with a scarf and jacket as we are entering winter here.  I grabbed my house keys popped them in my pocket – walked out the door and realised I have forgotten my reusable bag – back inside I went to get it.  Closed the door – to then realise the cord of my keys got caught in the door.  I couldn’t just pull it out but had to unlock and open the door to get this cord free.  I felt like I was being stalled or delayed.  But given the most recent revealing, that God sometimes causes delay to make way for the most perfect moment – a moment where you know you needed to be in and experience.  This happened once before – it’s probably happened many times – but this one time was really obvious to me.

I was in study week leading up to my final exam for my degree.  I was determined that the day was going be productive in study.  I dropped my son at school, came home to finish getting ready, including loading up my bicycle paniers with text-books, lunch, water – blah blah blah – everything you need for a day of study.  I was keen to go, but I felt this resistance, like a force slowing me down – and then it dropped into my head that I needed to look and read an old journal entry – this was all very specific.  I did, I read it twice – it was on writing my book – that I hadn’t yet started but knew I was about to start as soon as our exams we over… I was still blown away by this entry and this task that loomed ahead of me…I prayed into then and there… and then I felt this heaviness lift off me and I knew it was time to go.

I left – I went my usual route that went through a park and by the river to the bicycle path that ran parallel to the highway up to the university.  As I rode along this path, in the distance, I saw an off-road dirt motorcycle circling someone.  At first, I thought – maybe they know each other – as I approached he kept doing circles around this woman – and I could see just by her body language she was not comfortable with whatever was going on.  As I got closer, he stopped circling her and kept moving forward.  As I got closer, I slowed – as my bike is electric and had a full charge, it took me a moment to slow down to a stop.  I was a few steps ahead of her and backed the bike backwards on my tippy toes to ask if she was ok.

She was not ok – she was a bit shaken by the whole thing – and she didn’t know who the guy was.  Neither of us knew his intentions or – what it could have led it.  My timing in that moment was perfectly orchestrated by His truly.  Had I left half an hour earlier or later – who knows what would have happened to that woman.  I stopped and walked with her until we reached the end of the cycle path and trafficked intersection.  In that moment, I put my own needs to study aside to be able to walk with her to safety.  As we got to the end of the path – she said to me – you were clearly a god-send.  I said, it was the least I could do – and more than that – I knew there is power in numbers – my presence alone would have deterred that guy from trying again.  As we went our separate ways, I had a chuckle to myself – because I agreed with her that in that moment, I was God sent.  He knew my intentions were to study, I knew my intentions – but he also knew what was about to happen up ahead.  He knew that was my usual route, He knew that he could use me in that moment, so He placed a heaviness in me that caused me to slow down – or in my words – phaff about.  My plans were intercepted and put aside momentarily to represent Jesus in that moment.  To represent his and the Father’s presence, and protection.  And in this, I was protected too – for I can see had the guy on the motorcycle really wanted to harm her, he may have ignored my presence and harmed both of us…

This slowing down moment and what it led to was brought back to me as I got my keys stuck in the door this afternoon.  I wondered what I was being slowed down for – what moment was I being prepared for.  As I walked, I listened to music – not just any music but worship music.  I picked the sunny sides of the streets to walk along and marvelled at the golden leaves that caught the light on the path and the red leaves that still clung to their trees.  Autumn is my favourite season, and I was reminded as to why it is my favourite and I was able to bask in its beauty.

As I walked down some steps, I had many thoughts running through my head – like  God knows your heart and your hearts desires – he wants your heart and your commitment to him and from there all will be added to you.  Some of you may desire marriage and your own family, some may desire that dream job or house, or to be healed – he knows your desires, he knows what you want – and this is a gentle plea to stop fighting, to stop placing all your effort into finding your perfect partner (they may already be with you or near you), stop fighting for meeting your own career desires – he knows your desires.  It shouldn’t be this difficult – this fight isn’t yours to fight – know your own heart and hand it over to God, allow him to bring the desires of your heart into being by simply committing to him whole heartedly.

After this moment, I stopped at park and again, I delighted in the golden glorious autumn light.  I sat in a prime sunny spot – so I could feel the warmth of the sun on my face.  I was basking in the sun – basking in the light of the Lord – in his warmth.  Behind sunglasses I lifted my face up into the light and warmth as music danced through my ears and mind.  It’s here that songs merged from one thing into another – and I have no idea what the song was called but it connected to my spirit and tears were released and gently rolled down my cheeks.  The theme of these songs were on dancing freely as children of God and with the heart of child.  I was reminded of a character that I started to develop last year, who was a patient in a psychiatric hospital in Nazi Germany during the second world war – she was mute and physically imprisoned; in body, and within her environment – yet there was a freedom to her that only happened through Christ.  I was reminded of a scene that one character had described of her dancing freely in his dream.  He saw bare feet twirling; although dirty and covered in what would have been excrement – she was clean in spirit.  Her night dress white – symbolising her purity, it swirled around her like the wings of an angel.  A thought intercepted this memory – You are this girl – you are this free and you will dance again, in freedom, just as she does… I felt the connection and knew it was true – tears escaped from the ducts.  I knew this was true.  I had not danced in many years – I mean, at least 12 years.  I am not a dancer – not one as you might think.  I took dance classes when I was 17 – but the true dancing freedom I had was in the privacy of my own home.  You know, dance like no one is watching – yes, that was me.  I would dance in my lounge room or my bedroom or the hallway – if I needed length.  I’d blast my CD player to tunes of… well, whatever took my fancy at the time.  I grew up listening to old school music like The Doors, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones (to name a few) and I liked the odd alternative things like Jack Johnson.  If it had a good rhythm and I could feel it in my body I would dance to it – and would dance with such freedom because no one was watching or judging me on well or poorly executed moves.  And maybe, just maybe I knew I missed this freedom but had suppressed it for such a long time – and it was in this moment, God was reminding me of this freedom I once had.  And I was being given the promise that I will dance again with that same freedom, if I allow it – if I allow him.  It was within this moment, that I saw a hand reach down and out and another hand being placed in that hand.  I believe this was God’s hand reaching down to me, to lift me up – not to be saved from a pit – His hand reaching out, was to say – will you have this next dance with me? – your freedom is with me.  You are my child – a child that is carefree and dances like no one is watching… yet I will dance with you – I delight in you just as much as you delight in me – but more.

I saw this hand and gesture as an extension of his love, it is an old-fashioned kind of love that is gentle and unassuming.  It is in this dance; it is when you are most safe.

I was taking note on the movement of the sun and when it hid behind a part of the tree that was ahead of me, I knew it was time to go.  I left and went to the supermarket and as I walked home, I reflected on all of this – and I knew that moment needed to happen – including the part with the cord of my keys getting stuck in the door.  All these little things needed happen and that included skipping certain songs, in order for me to experience that moment and retell it here.

I feel He is asking for your hand; He is asking for the next dance with you – if you will allow it.  He is asking for your heart and your wholehearted commitment. He’s gently saying – “stop fighting your fight, I know the desires of your heart – keep your eyes and focus on me and I will give you the desires of your heart.  Don’t worry about your peers or what others may say – ‘you have to fight to get what you want’ – you don’t have to fight for your desires.  I don’t want you to lose your authenticity – the person I created you to be – the free spirited dancing child that you are – the one I delight in so much.”

I don’t know what you’re holding onto or fighting for – but this may be time to let it go; hand it over to the Lord; give him your time and commitment and He will give you the desires of your own heart, if you allow Him… Just as it was revealed to me that my desire is not to work in an acute setting – yet I am waiting for it happen because I think it is what I need to get experience – and there has been delay after delay after delay.  Although, I am so grateful for the delay as it has allowed me to focus on God and develop a deeper and more personal connection with Jesus.  It has allowed me to try home schooling – which was a desire of my heart, however I discovered it was not for us as I discovered my son needs routine and dare I say it, my patience needs him to be at school.  It has also allowed me the time and space to work from home in writing these – and yes, another desire of my heart.  So, if that  – and all of this is not evidence of God supplying the desires of my heart – then I don’t know what is…

He is truly wonderful in all his ways.

I pray these words have uplifted and encouraged you – and filled you with the love of God – just as it has with me.  I pray that your fight – whatever it is – is severed by the sword of truth and replaced with the knowledge that it is God who supplies the desires of your heart.  Wonderful and marvellous things await you… all you have to do is drop your fight and commit to the Lord.  Know, I love you (I know I may not know you but I feel this is God’s love extending through me to you) – he wants to prosper you – not harm you.  He wants to prosper you, not harm you.  Wonderful and marvellous things wait for you on the other side of your fight – but know you don’t need to be fighting for it – because it is already yours.  I pray that these words, and His word may be planted in your heart and take root as truth.  I pray that these words maybe nourished by Jesus and pray that God allows growth in this area.  In Jesus glorious name I pray, amen.

Amen.

Xx

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Author: Elizabeth New

Copyright © 2020

All Rights Reserved.

 

God knows the desires of your heart – Part 1 of 2

Desires of your heart

Part 1 of 2

 

God knows the desires of your heart, so do not fret about what you are doing or where you are – for you are exactly where you need to be.  God knows the desires of your heart – and this is what His word says:

Psalm 37 (NIV)

Of David.

Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.

Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land
and enjoy peace and prosperity.

12 The wicked plot against the righteous
and gnash their teeth at them;
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he knows their day is coming.

14 The wicked draw the sword
and bend the bow
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose ways are upright.
15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts,
and their bows will be broken.

16 Better the little that the righteous have
than the wealth of many wicked;
17 for the power of the wicked will be broken,
but the Lord upholds the righteous.

18 The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care,
and their inheritance will endure forever.
19 In times of disaster they will not wither;
in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.

20 But the wicked will perish:
Though the Lord’s enemies are like the flowers of the field,
they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.

21 The wicked borrow and do not repay,
but the righteous give generously;
22 those the Lord blesses will inherit the land,
but those he curses will be destroyed.

23 The Lord makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

25 I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.
26 They are always generous and lend freely;
their children will be a blessing.[b]

27 Turn from evil and do good;
then you will dwell in the land forever.
28 For the Lord loves the just
and will not forsake his faithful ones.

Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed[c];
the offspring of the wicked will perish.
29 The righteous will inherit the land
and dwell in it forever.

30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom,
and their tongues speak what is just.
31 The law of their God is in their hearts;
their feet do not slip.

32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous,
intent on putting them to death;
33 but the Lord will not leave them in the power of the wicked
or let them be condemned when brought to trial.

34 Hope in the Lord
and keep his way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land;
when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.

35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man
flourishing like a luxuriant native tree,
36 but he soon passed away and was no more;
though I looked for him, he could not be found.

37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright;
a future awaits those who seek peace.[d]
38 But all sinners will be destroyed;
there will be no future[e] for the wicked.

39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.

 

I have included this Psalm in full for full context as I came realise how easy it is to take God’s word out of context and thus changing it’s meaning. (I would explain how but feel that’s another story for another day.) So, I felt it needed to be here in full context.  Now I realise there is a lot to digest in this Psalm and I don’t think I will come close to writing into all of what it says – but here are the key phrases that catch my eye:

Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

I feel like this speaks for itself – and I could happily leave it there and allow it to speak to your heart in only a way it can speak to you… however, I want to make it and keep it real – and show you how it applies to me, to show how it may also apply to you.

Take delight in the lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.  To me, this is about committing yourself to the lord through worship, prayer and reading his word.  It is about placing the Lord first over your desires and needs.  It is about seeing the work He has already done in your life, it is about recognising and see how far you have come and knowing you are not in the same place as you once were – you have been brought out of the darkness and into the light.  It is taking delight in all he has done, all he will continue to do and all that is yet to be done.  This is your joy being placed in the lord – this is where your joy is.

For me, this looked like committing myself to honouring the words that were being placed in my heart, writing them here and sharing them.  It writing it has strengthened my faith, my knowledge and wisdom in the Lord.  It has ironed out imperfections to be realigned to Lord and made whole again – to be the best version of myself and the person He intends me to be.

Last Friday, I woke early – it was an instant awakening at the early hours of the morning.  As I am stubborn and knowing we are entering into winter, there was no way I wanted to get up and leave my warm bed at 4am.  So, I stayed in bed and read some emails and whatnot on my phone until I felt ready to return to sleep.  It was in this time, that I came across the job I mentioned in my previous post, in being in a general practise setting – also my dream job – also could be seen as a desire of my heart.  I strongly believe God was waking me up to show me that job.  I was also reminded later, that this was not the first time this kind of awakening had happened.  Before Easter, the same thing happened, I woke early at an inconvenient and cold hour, to be shown a posting looking for a post-graduate nurse in psychiatry – another area of interest.  This job’s closing date was in a day or so – I looked at the selection criteria and other requirements of needing to be enrolled in post-grad study.  I felt overwhelmed and I didn’t think I had the head space to address the selection criteria in a short amount of time.  I didn’t think I would get and interview due to my limitations.  So, I let that opportunity go.  Again, God knew and knows the desires of my heart and woke me up to see this opportunity that was waiting for me – if I allowed and placed my trust in Him to carry me into that opportunity.  But instead, I placed a limit on myself in saying that will never happen – in saying and doing that I placed a limit on God – I denied him from bringing about the desires of my heart.  He’s saying, I am trying – I am trying to give you what your heart desires – I know you have been committed to me – you have been seeking me over your own desires and needs.  I am trying but I need you to trust me – I need you to try for me.  I need you to try for me…  I need you to try for me.

As I continued the rest of my day on Friday, I thought, I have learnt so much in a matter of hours – to do with limitations. A thought rose above and intercepted that thought – what are you going to do to show what you have learnt? (For a lesson also requires action.)

Apply for the job.

Yes, yes you are.

And I did.

I went home and made a start on the application; revisited an old cover letter and made some changes to it – and rearranged my resume.  I allowed it to sit over night and revisited it on Saturday – made another few little tweaks and submitted it and prayed – knowing I had done my part; I officially tried and the rest is in the hands of God for He knows the desires of my heart.

I do not know what is going to happen in this space, I may be overlooked, or I may not be.  But what I do know is the lesson and correction I have received is so much greater than landing that job.  It made me aware of my limitations and the freedom I truly have in trusting God – for he truly knows my heart and its desires.  It has given me a new boldness – but this kind of boldness may look different from the worlds perception.  This kinds of boldness is gentle, it is patient, it is still – it waits in the presence of the Lord.  To the world, this kind of boldness will look weak, like as though you have given up – that you’re not enough as you are and you need to fight to get into that thing your hear desires.  But know, you don’t need to fight – not in the way the world thinks you need to – you don’t need to fight from a selfish-ambition kind of perspective.  This kind of fight – or fret – will only lead to trouble or evil.

Over the rest of the weekend, I was shown a lot and how God had met the desires of my heart.  The first was fuelling the desire and giving me the words to write a book – when for a long time I thought writing was dead to me.  He revived it and enabled me to write that and to write here – a long lost desire of my heart.  Praise God – thank you!

Also, He showed me a reason as to why it was taking so long for me to break into the hospital. It didn’t have to do with there being a waitlist for the program they were trying to get me into.  It doesn’t have anything to do with the fact I ordered the wrong size in my uniform and needing to re-order – or the fact that there is a pandemic – these are all things that are delaying the process but it is not the reason. But God’s hand is in delaying the process.  Simply put, God revealed and reminded me that acute care is not a desire of my heart – there it is.  My heart desires to work in primary healthcare or mental health.  He knows the desires of my heart – He knows the desires of your heart too.

I was reminded, that I thought as new graduate I could not afford to be picky and needed to get into whatever position will take me for the experience and continue to utilise and consolidate my skills.  But what happens when you go into something if your heart is not in it?  I have discussed this many times over, we lose our authenticity as there is a disconnect between heart and mind.  I was then reminded that, as a nurse I can’t afford that disconnection as it may compromise my ability to care and connect with the patients in my care.  Our hearts need to be in what we are doing; it needs to be whole and pure – and come from a place of authenticity for best results – not only for ourselves but for the benefit of those we may come in contact with…

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Author: Elizabeth New

Copyright (C) 2020

All Rights Reserved.

Stop limiting yourself.

 

“Stop limiting me, stop limiting me, stop limiting me, stop limiting me.”

 

This, was one of many things that were circulating my thoughts.

 

“Stop limiting me, stop limiting me.”

 

What limitations are you placing on Jesus – what are you stopping him from doing in your life?  He is limitless but we will put limits and boundaries on him.  We may as well be binding him and sending him back to the cross – the truth is, He is alive – He has risen – and by His spirit He moves amongst us – and wants to keep moving.  Do limit him.  Don’t bind him and put him in a cute little box with a ribbon – He is a gift but not one that can be contained.

We put limits on ourselves and in doing so will put limits on Jesus.

This morning, I came across an advertised job, looking for an RN in a general practise setting and in an area that would be considered rural and remote – and in an absolutely stunning part of the Australian countryside.  General practise is an area that I have longed to work in… I looked at the location and wondered if I’d be able to commute there by bus (as I don’t have a car) and wondered if could continue living in our area… I couldn’t find any answers… I had a look at rental availability and there were two properties advertised – yes, that is how rural it is!  One was ok, it would do the job and the other was beautiful and probably a little bit too expensive on a single income as about 50% of my income would go to rent.  Add to that, my son would have to change schools and, I can tell you now that won’t go down so well with him either – but then I know he would adapt, if needed, eventually… then I wondered, would that job and house detract me from my goal in saving for a deposit to buy and build.  Could this derail God’s plan?  Then I knew we may need a new church as I don’t have a car or license so we would be very limited – once we’re there – we’re there – that is it.

The thought that pushed through was, stop limiting me – in limiting yourself, you are limiting me – stop limiting me.  You only a know a few of my plans, you don’t know my plans in full.  You don’t know how working and living in this area may bless you – and how your presence will bless others – don’t limit yourself – and don’t limit me – you don’t know how I am going to change your limits to being limitless – you don’t know how I am going to enable you – you don’t know how I may work through you to reach others – this may in fact be where you are needed – don’t let your limitations limit me.  You are free because I am free – allow me to make the impossible possible. 

Allow me to make the impossible possible.

… May the truth be known, I can do all things through him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13 ESV)  and know – Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26 ESV) … For nothing will be impossible with God. (Luke 1:47)

Fill your heart with this truth, plant it and may it grow and manifest in your life as you step out in boldness, in trusting God with the plan He has over your life… and remember – nothing is impossible with God.  I pray this meets you exactly where you are – as it did for me – I pray it intercepts, corrects and straightens your thinking – it removes and breaks those limits that keep you bound – to knowing you are limitless – just as Jesus is… We invite you in Jesus and we allow you to do the rest.  Thank you, Jesus, for breaking these strongholds.  You know no bounds, you are limitless – you are free and we want you to move through our lives freely – have your way this us – we are your vessel, your hands, your feet, your voice – guide us into and on to the path you want us on, to do your work.  Thank you.  In your glorious name we pray, amen.

Amen.

Xx.

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Author:  Elizabeth New

Copyright © 2020

All rights reserved.

God’s timing… and timely reminder.

I looked at the time, it read 2:02pm – so I looked it up and the first thing I found was this and smiled…

My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ… (Colossians 2:2)

The reason I smiled… was that I included that exact verse in a dedication in my book.  I was led to it then and knew that was my goal then… And this is my goal here too – pure and simple… and what an honour it is to be trusted with such a task.

This honour awaits you too.  This honour can be yours too.

Xx.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Author: ELizabeth New

Copyright (C) 2020

All Rights Reserved.

My lips sincerely speak what I know… (Job 33:3)

My lips sincerely speak what I know (Job 33:3)

 

(Keeping it upfront. Long post warning.)

This morning I woke to the words, ‘ensure your heart is soft.  Make sure your heart is soft and malleable.’

It kept going around my waking and light sleeping thoughts, even as I kept snoozing the alarm for ten minutes more…  I asked, ‘what does this mean?’ as I became a little more conscious.

It means, you have a heart of flesh not stone.  It means keep it soft so you can still be refined and shaped into the person you are destined to become.

It means keep your heart soft, for everything that is stored up in the heart comes out of one’s mouth.

…what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person…

… Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. …Blessed in the one who fears the lord always, whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength for my heart and my portion forever. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men… A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. Delight yourself in the lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. … I will give thanks to the lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.

Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it…. Create in me a clean heart, o God, and renew a right spirit within me. I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Set a guard over my mouth, lord, keep watch over the door of my lips.  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your (our or my) mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. … (and finally) the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts. (Matthew 15:18 ESV, James 3:13-18 ESV, Proverbs 28:14 ESV, Psalm 73:26 ESV, Colossians 3:23 ESV, Proverbs 15:13 ESV, Romans 10:10 ESV, Psalm 37:4 ESV, Psalm 9:1 ESV, Proverbs 4:23, Proverbs 4:23 ESV, Psalm 119:11, Psalm 141:3, Ephesians 4:29 NIV Phillipians 4:7)

The state of our hearts are important, just as important as the words we speak.  Words serve a function to enable us to communicate ideas, feelings and needs.  The words we speak can have two effects, and share common trait; power.  Words have the power to destroy and tear others down.  Words have power.  They can be like poison, destroy others; crush their spirit, slowly and painfully.  This poison comes from the brokenness; bitterness or jealousy stored up in hardened stony heart. Or from a place of unforgiveness or selfish ambition.

If words have power, they can also be used for good.  They can be used to speak life into a situation.  Speak life into dry bones.  They can speak life in to healing.  They can break strongholds.  They hold power and authority.  They can build-up and encourage others, enabling the person to be the best version of themselves.

This is a reminder that we need to guard our hearts; protect it from becoming hardened.  This means, knowing the current condition of your heart; forgiving those that have wronged you, keep your focus on the Lord and all that you have been given from him – find your joy in the Lord.  In all you do, work heartily, as for the lord and not for men.  For it is difficult to please mankind as mankind is prone to failure and disappointment, we operate from a deficit and whatever we do will never be enough or be able to fully please mankind.  But working for the Lord, our efforts are always enough, our efforts are always seen.

This is a reminder to forgive, forgive, forgive, for it will help to keep your heart pure.

Forgive.

Fill your heart with the love of God.  Fill your heart with the word, truth, and teachings of Jesus.  Fill your heart and mind with the love and knowledge of God…

…Ok… here is a vulnerable moment for you.  I asked, what does this mean to me, on a personal level?  How does this connect to me, why should you tell me I need to ensure my heart is soft?  I know this is not just something you want me to write and pass on, so how does this connect to me? The understanding I was given, was about keeping my intentions pure.  He said, you are doing all of this writing and sharing, what and who are you writing for?  Are you writing for the praise of man-kind – for the ‘likes’ and for the ‘following’?  or are you doing it from a place of authenticity?

… I felt a strong tug on my heart and admitted I felt disheartened when some posts get ‘one like’ or ‘none’. (But that does not mean they’re not read either…) … and then I feel tempted to give up… but…  I dug further, questioned why and acknowledged – ‘well clearly, I want to be validated – I want to know that what I am writing is reaching others and touching them… but where is that coming from?’  I knew, there must be something more to it…  I was reminded of all the other times I fought to be seen, heard and noticed.  Like the time I studied film, I was one of three women in male dominated class.  I worked just as hard my male counterparts – I gave everything I had to tell interesting and creative stories… but… I never got the validation or recognition that I wanted… again, I asked why?  Where did this all this fight come from?    Simply, it came from a backlash of constant rejection which made me want to fight harder – to say, I do have something special going on… it was all to prove myself… It occurred to me; this could be a form of selfish ambition; the want to prove oneself…

But what happened then?

I lost my authenticity; I lost my own purity – the ka-ching-bazinga thing that makes me – me.  More than that, it means the wisdom I may be given when it comes from a place of selfish ambition may not come from God, it is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic…

Yeowzers.  How is that for a conviction?

Yes, that was it.

But… Does that mean, that all the words I had written previously are meaningless?

No, because this brokenness, this fight for validation had not surfaced yet.

The Lord was correcting this issue before it became a full-blown issue.  He knew of the brokenness and how I had reacted in the past and was correcting it, so I could continue to honour the words He presses into my heart, enabling me to deliver them from a place of authenticity.

That is how our God works!!  That – right there is an example of His work in progress.  He is so amazing – He never ceases to amaze me.

This was my daily reminder that I already have a heart of flesh, not stone.  And I need to ensure I keep it soft and malleable.  I can see now, had I kept going down the path of wanting/seeking validation, my heart may have slowly hardened, and the given words would not have come from God or would have stopped.  Out of His love, He brought about this correction, but He did it ever so gently… but also in a ‘in your face kinda way – like you can’t miss this thing!!’ … This also made me realise, even more now, that I work for the lord, not for mankind – all the validation that I need comes from the Lord.

I know the truth He sets in my heart; I know the words He has given me.

My job is simple, to listen and respond through writing – whether I get one view or not, it doesn’t matter – because I know that I am honouring the words that the Lord has pressed into my heart.  And in that, I know that these and subsequent words will reach the people it needs to reach by the grace and hand of God.  I also know this, as I came across a ‘new’ woman of god on YouTube; Lana Vawser, who speaks such strong and inspiring words.  She was new to me but has been around for a while as indicated by the number of subscribers and views per video.   I also noticed, well, it became evident to me that she operated from a place of authenticity; in being able to listen and respond to the words God placed on her heart.  I could genuinely see she wasn’t in it for the ‘show’ or the ‘likes’ but it was to honour the words God had given her and continued to flow through her.  I was surprised and not, at the same time, that I had only just come across this strong woman of God.  But then, I know that God was revealing her to me – that He is the one who delivers and reveals words to the people that need it.  And perhaps, the reason she was revealed to me was that I recognised her authenticity in myself – to be reminded it’s not about the ‘show’ or the ‘likes’, it is about the authenticity, connection to God and being obedient to his word and promptings.

Having said that, there have been moments, as I have been writing these words where people; some who I haven’t thought about in a long time were dropped into my mind – and I knew I needed to send them that word.  And I did… whether they read it or not, doesn’t matter as such – as the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.  But – the most important action here, is honouring and being obedient to God’s word or promptings.

In all honesty, writing these words, it is the least I can do – God does so much for me every day and I feel so in-debt to Him as it is.  I don’t think I could ever repay God for all that He has done and will continue to do for me.  And I know it’s not expected either… but, this – it is the least I could do – but it is not the most I can do.  I could probably do more but I won’t until it is revealed to me as to what is next… and for now, I know this is what I am called to do – so I will honour and treasure the words I am given and write and release them as intended.

____________

… Also… I forgive those who I felt rejected by in my past, that made me fight to prove myself. I know now that it was not my time.  God had other plans for me.  I do not need to fight to prove myself.

Those days are over.

Those days are behind me, they are in the past.

They are done.

Finished.

I am not the same person I was.

I do not react in brokenness.

For my heart is healed and whole.

I am already proven.

I am already chosen.

I am already worthy.

I am already validated.

My heart is pure.

My heart is soft.

And this is my authenticity.

I will keep on honouring the words that the Lord presses into my heart.  I will guard and keep my heart pure, soft, and malleable so I may continue to be refined into the woman; the person I am destined to be.

And know, dear reader that these words are also for you – you are proven, chosen, worthy, validated, and pure in heart.  You do not need to fight to prove yourself anymore.

 

Lord,

I pray that you may guard our hearts – keep our hearts pure – and guard our mouths, so when we speak, we speak with power – power that speaks life into dead situations; that uplifts and encourages and corrects.  May you guard our hearts, so you may speak life into our hearts, and we may be able to re-lay that message to others, keeping its purity and intention.  Remove our brokenness and replace it with wholeness.

We love you and thank you for this new day and all that has been given to us.  We thank you for your presence; for you are close to those that are broken-hearted – and I know you are forever close to me.  I know you are constantly healing parts of my heart to make it whole again. You are constantly renewing, turning stone to flesh and preventing flesh from turning to stone.  We thank you and are so grateful for your continuous grace and unconditional love.  You are worthy of all the praise – and the highest of highest praise.

Guard our hearts, guard our mouths.  In Jesus’ mighty name we pray, amen.

Amen.

 

My words come from an upright heart; my lips sincerely speak what I know…(Job 33:3) and … listen to me; be silent, and I will teach you wisdom… (Job 33:33)

 

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Author: Elizabeth New

Copyright © 2020

All Rights Reserved.

 

Arise and Go

(I wrote this a couple of months ago, it is a chapter in my manuscript.  I re-read the chapter and found it ministered straight to my heart and into my current situation.  I may have laughed at the timing, and at the fact I wrote it and it still minister’s to me.  Clearly, it was led by the Holy Spirit.   I don’t know who needs this but I felt it needed to be shared. I don’t know what your situation is – but it may add some clarity.)

 

Act 3 –

(Saul of Tarsus becomes) Paul

Chapter Twenty-two

…But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop…

 

Saul had a life changing encounter with Jesus; one that changed the trajectory of his life.  He thought he was in his purpose, but he was not in line with God’s purpose because he did not recognise Jesus.

The scriptures say, Saul was made blind by an encounter with Jesus.  He was sent to Damascus and told to wait.  He was blind for three days and during that time he didn’t eat or drink.  What the scriptures do not say, is that he was not only physically blind, but he had been spiritually blind to Jesus all his life. He needed to become physically blind, to have his eyes spiritually and physically re-opened to the truth of Jesus.

He was blind for three days – to him, it would have felt like a lifetime.  It would have felt like a lifetime of sitting in darkness.  He would have felt so vulnerable like as though he’d been stripped bare and was wondering through the wilderness naked – not being able to see anything that lurked in the darkness waiting to take him.  His senses would have been heightened – heightened sense of fear, hypervigilant hearing and sensitive to touch and sound.  He would have been scared and thinking – this is it – this is it – life, as I know it, is over for me.

What he didn’t know – the thing that he was blind to, was that Jesus had plans for him.  It is written in The Passion Translation, that the Lord appears to Ananias in a vision.  He gives him exact instructions, to go to this street called Abundance and find a man, Saul of Tarsus at Judah’s house.  He continued to say, while he (Saul) was in prayer, he had a supernatural vision of Ananias laying hands on him and restoring his sight. This alone, would have been an incredible experience for Saul, going from dark formless vision to suddenly being able to see – with supernatural vision.  It wasn’t just a vision but it was supernatural.  It had became supernatural because he was without sight.  He could suddenly see the room that he was in, the exact location that he was sitting, he could see the floor beneath him and the textures in the floor.  He could see his nose in front of his face again, sending him cross-eyed.  He could see his hands in front of him, the detail in his nails; the almost invisible lines of nail fibres and he silently rejoiced that he could see the dirt under his nails.  It became supernatural because he could see everything in great detail.  He wasn’t just given a supernatural vision; he was given foresight.  Saul was given the ability to see that this was in fact not it, it was not over, and he was going to be healed.  He was given foresight that he was going to be healed.  That also made it a supernatural experience for him because he was given foresight into his future and it left no room to doubt.

However, Jesus did not reveal everything to him straight away.  He knew that Saul was only capable of receiving bits at a time.  He wasn’t ready to be shown all that He had planned – because if he had, he most likely would have freaked out and said – nope – I’m not doing that, I can’t do that.  In our own weaknesses, we will devalue ourselves and say we can’t do something.  When in fact, we can do the task we’re presented with.  Jesus knows our capabilities more than we do and he will provide direct instructions on where to go and who to contact, what to say et cetera.

Jesus gave Ananias direct instructions, Ananias protested. In a way, he said this but not, (it would have been his subtext;) his thoughts behind his actual words – but he’s Saul of Tarus – he’s a man to fear – he’s dangerous and he’ll surely persecute me too.  Jesus says, simply –

Arise and go! (Subtext: I won’t hear any more of it. I have plans.)  I have chosen this man to be my special messenger. He will be brought before kings, before many nations, and before the Jewish people to give them the revelation of who I am.  And I will show him how much he is destined to suffer because of his passion for me. (TPT Acts 15:16)

Arise and go – He only needed to say it once – that is how much authority Jesus has and Ananias was obedient although he was fearful of what might become of him.  Jesus didn’t say it, but He knew he would be ok and kept safe.  Jesus knew Saul was physically blind and vulnerable like a new baby, therefore he would be more fearful of Ananias than he was of Saul.  So, Jesus knew he would be kept safe.

Arise and go – Jesus may say this to us and like Ananias we may be filled with fear and have the echo of the serpent in our ears – did God really say that?  I know, I did when I first started writing this book.  I didn’t know what kind of content was going to be in it, all I knew was that there were three acts Leah, Saul and Paul.  I knew it meant delving into my past, but I didn’t know what that included until I was told to look into old journal entries.  I was in fact filled with fear – I thought – I don’t want my close friends and family to be all up in my business – I don’t want them to know I smoked and drank and was promiscuous at times.  A thought intercepted those thoughts –

If that is the only thing that is going to stop, you from writing this… then that’s selfish… it’s a small thing because it isn’t about you anymore – they need to know these things for context because it is what you have been brought out of.  And how many other people are there in the world that this is going to relate to and speak to?  It’s not about you anymore.  It needs to be written. It will be written. Arise and go.

I was filled with fear, but I have been given all the instructions and words to include in this book as I write.  So, I know, I am not doing this out of my own will.  If I am honest, most of the content within these pages, I had no intention on discussing – so I know I am not in this – not as me – it is led by the spirit – the spirit of truth.

So, I’m saying I understand Ananias’ fear in going on this mission initiated by Jesus.  But can see that there is no need for fear, for I will be protected.  Jesus has a plan and a part of that plan is being his messenger to spread His word and truth.

Now, before I continue, I want to establish that because I am aware that He has chosen me to be a messenger; His messenger.  It does not mean that I am better or higher than anyone else. If you believe in Jesus, we all have the capacity to be his messenger and to represent Him – it’s not an exclusive club or anything – if anything it aims to be inclusive.  He’ll use you as a shepherd to seek out and reach the dear sheep that have gone astray – the ones that have wandered into their own path or down the path of darkness.

If you were a drug addict, He’ll use it.

If you were a convicted criminal seeking the root of all evil – money, He’ll use it.

If you experienced discrimination for your race, colour, gender or sexual orientation – He’ll use it.

If you wanted to be an actor/writer and fought to be seen and loved and became a single parent – He’ll use it.

Jesus does not discriminate, the world will but He will not.  He will use whatever your story is to reach the people it needs to reach, to change the lives, hearts and thinking of those who need it most.  It is not an exclusive thing, it is an all-inclusive thing because Jesus does not discriminate.   The world may disqualify you – you may be too skilled for a job or under-qualified and they cannot see your worth and what you have to offer because you potentially do not tick a set of boxes.  But, Jesus qualifies you – as you are, in all your glorious brokenness and imperfection.  He says, your beautiful and I know how I am going to turn this around…  and He will turn it around, you just need to believe and have faith… and the story that you’ll be given, it will point back to the glory and goodness of our God.

So, my dears – I say, if Jesus has given you a mission – arise and go.  Do not fear the road ahead because you will be protected.  If you have not been given a clear mission, like Saul, I say wait – stand firm in where you are and wait for further instructions.  Pray and maybe you will be given a vision; foresight on what is about to happen or where you need to go.  We don’t need to take things into our own hands all the time, as tempting as that may be.  We don’t need to take things into our own hands because it is not happening in our time and we need that thing immediately.  Be still, stand firm and trust with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding… If you’ve been given a mission – arise and go.  If not – wait until you have been given that command.

 

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Dear Reader, I feel this time is about stepping into God’s purpose and the plans he has assigned to our lives.  It may be that he has revealed elements of His plan to you in the past, and now, it is either a time for action or it is a time to wait.  For each person, it won’t be the same.    As for me, I know it is time to arise and go.

Father, thank you for this word and reminder.  Thank you for your grace and the knowledge that rests in our hearts – that you are in control and you have a plan for our lives.  We pray that our eyes may be opened to you; that we may recieve foresight into your plans – enough to know – this is not our lot – that there is more to our lives – whatever situations we may find ourselves in now – this is not where our story ends.  You are our joy, you are our light when our situations look dark – you are the one that has mapped out our path and lives.  We love you and thank you for all that we have.  We know and acknowledge that everything that is good and lovely comes from you.  In Jesus’ mighty name we pray, amen.

Amen.

Until next time, God willing,  w.a.r on with praise and prayer. Xx

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Author: Elizabeth New

Copyright (C) 2020

All Rights Reserved.

Your beauty astounds me…

Praise and Prayer

Your beauty astounds me. I don’t know how you love me but I know you do.

Your grace astounds me.

Your mercy astounds me.

Your peace is with me…

Your peace is with us.

Thank you for loving me when I feel unloveable. Thank you for delighting in me. I know that your light is in me and I pray I shine it for you. Your love astounds me; it’s flawless and full of grace and mercy. Your beauty astounds me and shines from your centre; your heart. Thank you lord, for first loving me. Thank you for choosing me, to know, experience and believe that you are He, the one and only, the king of kings. There is none like you. There was no one like you before and no one after you, but we trust you will return. We love you, trust you and delight in you as you delight in us.

Your beauty astounds us. Your grace astounds us.

Daily.

You are a daily delight.

Thank you for today. Thank you for your presence and your peace. Thank you for bringing us through tests and trials that some of us may have faced today – it was your hand that stopped the storm or directed us through that storm.

Thank you for this time of refinement and strengthening, we know that something new is happening and about to happen and I can’t wait for that revealing.

Thank you for all that you’re doing and have done and will continue to do. We pray for healing and that you may be close to broken hearted and crushed in spirit. We pray that they may be comforted during this time. We pray for those who are blind to you, dear Jesus, we pray that their eyes may be opened to you, to your love, your grace, your beauty, love and protection. May their lives, heart and mind be transformed by you. In Jesus name we pray, amen.

Author: Elizabeth New

Copyright (C) 2020

All rights reserved.

Chosen and Treasured Part 2 of 2

 

Part 2 of 2

I feel with the excerpt, there needs to be some context.  Prior to writing this moment, I had been writing out my timeline and development as a Christian.  Put like that, it sounds really boring, but it’s not – not to me anyway.  For context, this excerpt is from late 2018. When I went back to church after having a gap-year so to speak.  At the beginning of 2018 we moved to the other end of the state, so I could continue with my nursing degree on another campus.  Our then church pastor had referred us to another church, however once we moved and settled in – every time I heard these words from my own father: ‘you should go to church…’ I had a gut churning feeling – that said no.  Without fail, it happened every time.  I listened to this gut churn and we didn’t go.  I felt weird though.  I often question myself, and asked – ‘what kind of a Christian avoids going to church?’

This year, as a whole, for me was spiritually dry.  I prayed when I needed to – most likely when I was sitting in the exam room waiting for exam to commence.  I may have done the physical work and learning – but it was God that carried me through – and yes He answered those said prayers.  I barely touched my bible.  I may have read the odd devotional sent to my email account – but otherwise, that was it.  Dry, dry, dry.

As I was coming up to writing this chapter, I knew I had had a changing moment or an encounter like Saul did with Jesus.  I knew I had had that moment, but I didn’t know when or where it happened.  And then I was reminded of this day and this is what I wrote out of that moment…

 

Chapter Twenty-One

2019 – It is not finished until He says it is finished and we’re not finished yet…

 

Towards the end of 2018 a dear friend invited me to a new church.  It was said they had just been planted.  My response was simple – ok.  Yes.  There was no gut churning.  I attended.  I cried.  I worshipped. I Cried.

There is none like You, Lord
Jesus, you’re beautiful
There is none like You, Lord
Jesus, You’re beautiful…(*)

While these lyrics were sung to Jesus – it occurred to me now, as to why I cried. No, not cried but sobbed uncontrollably.  It was as though a choir of angels sung directly at me – saying, there is no one like you and you are beautiful – you’re beautiful.

Jesus was calling me – He was calling me in my brokenness.

He was calling me in my fragility.

He was calling.

Jesus called me – saying – you – as you are, you are beautiful

I sobbed, still not believing – how could I possibly be loved in all my brokenness? But He kept saying – you – as you are, you’re beautiful – there is none like you.  There is no one, there is no one like you – I choose you.

I choose you too.

I said yes, I choose you too.

I said yes.

However, I still didn’t know what I was saying yes to – my spirit knew what I was saying yes to before I did.

My spirit was being awakened by the spirit of wisdom.

My spirit eyes were opening.

My spirit was being awakened by the spirit of revelation and my heart was being opened – preparing me to receive the spirit of truth.

It was that moment, Jesus, intercepted my path like Saul, instead of asking: why do you persecute me?

He said – I choose you.  “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you” (John 15:16).

He said – the world will say ‘no’ – the world may not see your worth, but I do.  I will say ‘yes’ to you – you are my ‘yes’ and I am your ‘yes’.  I see your worth – I see your heart.  The world looks with their eyes but I look at the heart. I see your heart and I choose you because I know your heart will be right with me – your heart will be able to accurately represent me, my Father and the Holy Spirit and the love we hold for all people.  Your heart is right with me and I choose you.  I choose you.

My spirit agreed and said, I choose you too…

 

\

End of Act Two.

 

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I don’t know what I need to say after that…

I don’t know what you need me to say…  Perhaps, nothing – perhaps that speaks all for itself.  And perhaps, it speaks straight to your spirit in a way that I will never know, unless you tell me…

I am literally lost for words but feel I need to say something.

Maybe, it is this – that sometimes as Christians, we can walk in faith without fully knowing Jesus, and without having an authentic encounter with Jesus. (That was me.) Perhaps we get caught up in the religiousness of being a Christian; as a dry bone kinda thing – it’s one sided, it comes from our perspective – we participate when we feel like it – or because we feel we must; out of obligation like going to church every Sunday and participating in bible study group.

But, I can tell you, It is not an obligation or a chore.

It’s a choice but it’s also a relationship; it’s a two-sided kind of thing – it’s alive, it grows, it takes work and perseverance like any relationship.  But I can tell you, it is worth the work.

I do not know what your encounter with Jesus was like or if it has happened yet… I don’t know, only you can know the answer to that.  But I sincerely pray in Jesus name, that the words written above from my encounter may seek and speak straight to your heart – that you may know He has chosen you – yes, you – in all your brokenness.

You are beautiful just as you are and in all your brokenness.

You are his chosen and his treasured.

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Author: Elizabeth New

Copyright © 2020

All Rights Reserved.

 

(*) Lyrics from Jesus You’re Beautiful, written by Jon Thurlow, Genius Media Group, 2020 https://genius.com/Tribl-music-jesus-youre-beautiful-lyrics

Chosen and Treasured – Part 1 of 2

 

Part 1 of 2

 

This morning as I participated in our on-line church worship – I had one-word pop into mind – chosen.  I was then reminded of a chapter in my book that dealt with this very word and felt prompted to share it here.

Before I do, I want to share some verses that I was led to that also deal with being chosen by God.  (Full disclosure, I am not going to elaborate on these verses but, simply allow them to speak for themselves and verse reference is noted at the end of these paragraph, noted in order of appearance. So not to disrupt flow.)

For you are a people holy to the Lord God, and the lord has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the people on the face of the earth.  Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy before him. 

Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.   “You are my witnesses” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he.  Before me no God was formed, nor shall there be any after me. 

…Now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:  Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.  For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your saviour….  But he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I may preach him among the Gentiles… You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of the darkness into his marvellous light.

(Deuteronomy 14:2 ESV, Ephesians 1:3-4 ESV, Jeremiah 1 ESV, John 15:16 ESV, Isaiah 43:10 ESV, Isaiah 43:1-3 ESV, Galatians 1:15-16 ESV, 1 Peter 2:9 ESV)

You – we are chosen with great purpose and function.  Our purpose being called – chosen to proclaim the excellence of our Lord Jesus and Father God – who saved us from the darkness and brought into his marvellous light.  (That’s my life right there – summed up.  I was brought out of the darkness and into his light.)  His light that is his love, his protection, his provision, his healing, his grace and mercy.

We are chosen and treasured by God – meaning we will be kept in a safe place, we will be well looked after; our needs will be met, we will be guarded and protected. – All because we are treasured by God.

Thank you for treasuring us – thank you for protecting us and save guarding us – thank you for your excellence and your marvellous, wonderous light.  Thank you for choosing us.  Thank you for knowing us and loving us before we knew you.

 

End of Part 1 of 2.

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Author: Elizabeth New

Copyright (C) 2020

All Rights Reserved.

Made beautiful in God’s time…

Made beautiful beautiful in God’s time…

 

The lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18 NIV)

 

In my early days, after becoming a Christian, I struggled with the concept of being loved by God and that his presence was always with me and that he wanted nothing more than anything to heal my brokenness.

At this time, my heart was still so broken, shattered, and crushed – so was my spirit.  I struggled to understand this concept of being ever so loved and cherished by God because I was so broken that it blinded me to the truth.

I thought and believed for a long-time that there must have been something wrong with me. I believed that everything that happened in my life – or didn’t happen in my life was a result of my own actions.  That I was deserving of this life struggle, in being a single parent, experiencing financial hardship and frequent dead ends – in career.  Everything I tried to do failed to take off or failed to become established.  It died before it had the chance to sprout.  I believed I must have deserved this struggle, that it was punishment for the actions of my early twenties.  The truth is, I viewed everything from my brokenness; from a place of unprocessed pain.

In truth, in my twenties, I was lost – I was always searching for something – for love – and I fought for it.  And I was met with many dead ends in relationships and very broken hearted… and my turning point was having my son.  My son was God’s saving grace – my son put a stop to all the self-destructive behaviour that I was putting myself through.  The irony is, I did not know that what I was doing I was self-destructive.  If I am honest, I can now see, that even then God was with me.  He was trying to get my attention by placing people in my path to point me towards Jesus – but my heart was too broken to see or receive this love.  I was like Leah, in Genesis who was married to Jacob who did not have eyes for her.  But God loved her; opened her womb and enabled her to have a son – not just one but went on to have four sons.  When she had her first son – she said – surely he will love me now (See Genesis 29 ESV)…  This passage resonates with me so much. The thing that sticks out the most, is the fact that the Lord could see her anguish in not having Jacob’s love returned to her, God allowed her to have a child because the love she would experience from her children would surpass the love of Jacob.  I was Leah.  And God gave me the greatest love I could experience from my son – despite my Jacob never having eyes or love for me.  Now, I can see this – but let us say, that even 5 – 6 years ago when I first became Christian, I still looked at religion from a broken perspective.  I always thought and questioned – how can God possibly love me – how can Jesus possibly love me?  How can I be forgiven for my mistakes?  To be honest, I still don’t know how or why he does – but simply, He does.  He loves us the person, He doesn’t love us by our actions. His love is unconditional, His love never ends – He is always faithful.  He is always faithful even when we have messed up.

Now, add this to the equation of misconceptions.  For a long time, I lived with the idea that Christian’s had it all together.  That they were good people meaning they didn’t mess up, they had the perfect marriage and children – they were in fact, all without sin and again – had their lives all together.

Wow.  Am I right?

This makes me laugh though… only because I know now – how untrue it is!!!!

This was such a misconception.  I was blinded to the truth.  And dare I say it, it was a tactic from the enemy to prevent me from coming to know the truth.  The truth is, I know we’re not all perfect and there are marriage struggles, struggles with children, health and finances – the struggles are still the same – they are still there in many and varied conditions.  The difference is knowing that we are not fully in control of our situations – we don’t have to take these struggles in our own hands, fight this battle to fix it ourselves – this is God’s battle.  However, He will equip us with strategies to overcome these struggles.  He is our strength when we are weak.

He is our strength when we are weak.

He loves us when we are seemingly unlovable.  He forgives us when situations look unforgiveable – that’s His mercy, that’s His grace.

It is done.

God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Romans 5:8 ESV) ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.’ (Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV) ‘To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name’ (Acts 10:43 ESV).

It is done.

All will be forgotten – forgiven – all will be wiped away.  This is how the great I am works – ‘I hold no records of wrong…  I am with you now, with you tomorrow – just as I was with you yesterday.  That is all  – simply remember this – when you feel wronged for your own actions – when you feel no one will ever forgive you for the mistakes you’ve made or the crimes you have committed – through Jesus you’re already forgiven and wiped clean – given a new start.  Everyday is a new start – a new place to start fresh – by the grace and mercy of God – and Jesus, the great I AM.  The great I am that says I am here, I am healing, I am hearing you – the great I am is providing for you and comforting you.’

You are forgiven – every new day is your second chance.

Every new day is your second chance at life.

You’re being given a second chance to be more forgiving than you were today, to be more loving, kind, patient and compassionate than you were yesterday – you have been given a second chance with each new day to be and become a better version of yourself – better than the person you were yesterday.  This in and of itself is a gift – a merciful and gracious gift.  I pray that you may find the joy in this day – in your second chance.  Jesus is the great redeemer – the one who provides second chances when you may feel overlooked by the world.

You are already forgiven.

You are already forgiven.

You have been freed from your mistakes – your mistakes do not and never will define you – although the world will try to define you by your mistakes – but the world operates from a deficit and will try to destroy and crush your spirit.

Do not allow it.

The world has already been overcome – victory is yours – it is just a matter of time – allowing God’s timing to bring this victory to light – but know it is already yours.

That’s it.

Amen.

 

… I don’t know what you need forgiveness for or whom you need to forgive or maybe you need to forgive yourself – but know it is already done… confess your mistakes to one another and to god and know, it is done – you are forgiven by the blood of Jesus.

Put on then, God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgive each other, as the lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive’ (Colossians 3:12-13 ESV).

It can be difficult to forgive when you are hurting or have experienced significant pain because you were sorely wronged by another person.  I know this.  And the truth is, that I have had to deal with this pain for almost ten years and it is still a work in progress.  I can tell you; I am not where I was, but I am also not where I want to be…But…

Everything becomes beautiful in its own time.

Everything becomes and is made beautiful in God’s time.

Just like my own pain – it will be made beautiful in God’s time – and I can assure you I can already see its beauty – although, only in part.

So, last year, God revealed to me the story of Leah and Jacob and how it connected to me.  In that, I could see God’s grace and love for me.  I could see Him putting a stop to destructive behaviour and saving me.  It was beautiful.  However, it came at the cost of being hurt by Jacob.  In my own story, it was revealed to me that Jacob had other motives; to satisfy his own motives and needs.  He was manipulating and coercing a situation to be like someone else; a good mate that he looked up to. He was wanting to place his identity in the likeness of his friend… The key to the problem of the situation is right there – he was looking for his identity and looking for it in mankind – when he should have been looking for it in Jesus…it also became apparent, that I needed to understand what love is not, to be able to understand what love truly is… This situation was grim but it was turned around, and turned into something beautiful…

In truth, dear reader, I know I am not explaining this as well as I could.  The full situation deals with some explicit and confronting themes.  Themes that I have only ever told one person – and I can hardly bear to repeat it here.  I know, this is on par with a friend saying, I have a secret to tell you, but I cannot tell you what it is.  A total tease, I know and it is so annoying. So, why am I even discussing it – because I feel prompted to – and it is about my own struggles with forgiveness.

So, towards the end of last year, I wrote a manuscript and it dealt with many things including the pain inflicted by Jacob.  It resulted in things that I cannot name here, being named.  It released things that I had kept buried; supressed to be revealed and released. It gave me freedom in letting go of something that had kept me chained for so long.  It gave me perspective and an understanding that I would not have come to on my own – without the guiding force of the Holy Spirit, without Jesus and without God.  In truth, I had known for a long time that I needed to forgive Jacob, but I thought that by forgiving him it meant I had to let him back into our life.  Forgiveness does not mean that.  Forgiveness is about understanding and processing your own pain and seeking understanding from their perspective.  The understanding that I found was that Jacob was seeking his identity in mankind – and wanted what his friend had, rather than living his own life and story. And like with Leah and Rachel, he was never going to have eyes for me…  (I know, it doesn’t make much sense without filling you in on all the detail but you must bear with me, as I do not feel comfortable going there – just writing this much takes a lot of strength to be this vulnerable with you.)  So, in writing this manuscript, I was able to write and express my own pain.

In truth, I felt manipulated, devalued, betrayed, abandoned, rejected, worthless.  All self-confidence was stripped away.  I felt unloved and that I could never be loved again.  I felt like it was my fault and that I had brought this upon myself… I felt like I had lost my voice; I was forced into silence.  I never told anyone my ‘secret’ because I thought – why would anyone believe me – I have no physical evidence and it would basically be my word against his… In writing all of this, it enabled me to acknowledge all that was felt – it was uncensored and whole in truth – my truth.  There, I found my voice again.  I found my strength again – but not my strength – it was strength that came from Jesus.

Throughout this writing process, I also had the words of Jesus repeating: forgive them for they know not of what they do…  Forgive them, forgive us, forgive me for we do not know of what we do or why we do it… Perhaps, another key to unlocking forgiveness…

We don’t know what we do or why we do it, as we may react automatically to situations around us.  Reaction can be defined as something that happens immediately or it is when two or more substances are mixed together to create a chemical reaction.  It’s fast, abrupt, immediate and explosive.  We’ll react in anger, we’ll react in fear, in haste, in wanting to prove ourselves to others.  Whatever the reaction is – we may find that our reactions are automatic in response – it happens before we have a chance to think it through.

A response is literally defined as a verbal or written answer.  A response is a very different process to reacting. To respond, it takes time to process thoughts and emotions, it takes self-control to put aside emotions, to deliver a clear and concise message.  In general, I feel we should aim to be responders rather than reacting from an immediate ‘chemical’ reaction.

We should be responders; I say this knowing that I should also be this too.  I still find myself reacting to situation rather than taking a moment to respond in love; with kindness and patience.  We’re not going to get this right in every moment we are in, but God willing, we will be given a second chance to try again…  Jesus gives us that chance…

I also found that I had been reacting to the pain caused by Jacob – which led to unforgiveness.  More than anything, it was causing more damage to me, it was stifling and suffocating me.  In writing, it allowed me to respond to the pain and process the pain he caused, to make way for healing.

Does that mean I am completely pain free, now?

No.

Like I said, it’s a work in progress – it is God’s work in progress, and all will continue to be made beautiful in His time.

… Something else that I can tell you, is that at one point in this process it was revealed to me – that everything that happened in my timeline needed to happen as it led me to where I am now.  Had anything, and I mean had anything changed, it would have changed the trajectory of my timeline. Had Jacob re-entered our story, I am certain I would not be where I am now – I may not be a nurse and nor would I have found and grown in knowing Jesus.  (However, I am certain He still would have pursued me.) And add to that, the power of story – this thing that happened, it gave me a story that only I can tell, and in a way that only I could tell it – that’s being made beautiful in God’s time.  What ever your story is – know it is your story to tell because I can assure you, I would not be able to tell it the way you can.

Love it. Own it – it is being made beautiful.

You are being made beautiful.

 

… One thing I can remember Jacob saying to me was, ‘why can’t you just forgive me – it has been so long already?!?!?’  I cannot remember my response or more, it would have been a reaction.  Forgiveness, like moving through grief takes time.  For some, it is immediate, for some it takes weeks, months, or years – there is no acceptable or expected timeframe for forgiveness to happen.  But know, more than anything, that for the health and state of your own heart, you need forgiveness.  I don’t know what kind of grief, pain or unforgiveness you may be carrying – but –

In the name of Jesus, I pray that these words seek out that pain you may be carrying and pray it is broken from your spirit.

I pray you may find understanding and are given peace in that understanding.

I pray that the pain that has been hardening your heart falls away to reveal a new – fleshy heart.

I pray that the Lord may protect your heart from further pain, to allow for deeper healing.

I pray that unforgiveness is replaced with understanding –

Unprocessed pain is processed – giving way to deeper healing, to revealing a full, whole, and healed heart.  In the name of Jesus, it will be done, and it is done – just as the lord has forgiven us – we too will forgive.  In the name and power of Jesus, it is done, and all will be made beautiful in God’s time.

Amen.

…Right now, I am saying I forgive Jacob – this is not for his benefit, nor to let him back into our lives, but I forgive for my benefit.  I forgive for the benefit of my son.  I forgive him for the benefit of my future spouse.  I forgive for the benefit of others, so I may respond with a full and whole heart and not a broken heart.  I forgive him for the benefit of my God.  I forgive so I may be forgiven for my shortcomings too.  I forgive you…

 

… Dear Reader, know this:

‘There is a time for everything,

 and a season for every activity under the heavens:

 

 a time to be born and a time to die,

 a time to plant and a time to uproot,

 a time to kill and a time to heal,

 a time to tear down and a time to build,

 a time to weep and a time to laugh,

 a time to mourn and a time to dance,

  a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

  a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

 a time to search and a time to give up,

 a time to keep and a time to throw away,

 a time to tear and a time to mend,

 a time to be silent and a time to speak,

 a time to love and a time to hate,

 a time for war and a time for peace.

 

What do workers gain from their toil?  I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race.  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end… (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 NIV)

There is a season for everything and the time is now… Please remember, the Lord is close to those who are broken hearted – He is close to you now.  And He saves those crushed in spirit… He will walk with you and carry you through this (forgiveness) process and will revive your spirit.  You will laugh again, you will love again, you will find joy again.  Your heart will be healed and whole again.

Healing is happening.  You will be whole again.

…The time is now.

There is a season for everything – a time for forgiveness, a time for processing and a time for letting go.   That time is now...

Xx

 

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Author: Elizabeth New

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