The Battle is the Lord’s

Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s [1 Samuel 17:47a]

Fasting makes the Word of God a little bit clearer. Those usual phrases you have read many times, jump out at you, to get your attention.

Too many times I have endeavoured to deal with different situations the best way I know how. After all, I am a reasonably intelligent person, I should be able to figure out a way of overcoming something, of removing an obstacle.

Then these words come at me. The battle is the Lord’s.

These are words I know. These are words I have spoken. But in this moment these words came alive.

The context here may be familiar to many of us…David is speaking to a giant, a literal giant, and one who is shouting him down, belittling him, telling him how he will be defeated.

Somehow David stands tall. Unintimidated. No fear. And it’s because he understands how things work for those who have God on their side. This battle was not about a natural fight, this was not about swords and spears, this was about God bringing a win as David remained faithful.

My ‘giant’ may be different but it can still shout the same intimidating things. Yet sword and spear, those man-made solutions are not the answer, working out the fix in some clever way through my own creativity is not the answer. David demonstrates that with some giants in our lives, only God will do.

The battle is the Lord’s.

I have seen a victory this week while fasting and praying which could only have happened because the battle is the Lord’s. A human response would probably have created frustration, a well-worked plan for all parties to keep to. Instead the battle was the Lord’s and our own-made solutions got ripped up.

Maybe you need to remind yourself today, while trying to work something out, that the Lord doesn’t save by sword or spear, not through our own made up solutions, but instead ‘THE BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD’.


Pour Out Your Heart

And it happened, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli watched her mouth. Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. So Eli said to her, ‘How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!’ And Hannah answered and said, ‘No my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither win nor intoxicating drink, but I have poured out my soul before the Lord. Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now [1 Samuel 1:12-16]

I read this at the beginning of 10 days of prayer and fasting and it immediately spoke to me about how to approach those 10 days.

I am not a woman so I cannot comprehend the emotion she was feeling as a result of being unable to have a child. However, I can understand barrenness. I can understand what it is like to have a deep desire for something significant to happen and for it to not be, while around me others are quite obviously living a fruitful life.

Reading these verses encouraged me in a few ways…

Hannah would not allow barrenness to define her. Instead she kept believing and trusting in God. It’s too easy to think how things are is how things will always be. With God, things always have the potential for change.

Hannah poured out her heart to God. Sometimes it is not about the words we could say,  but the cry of our heart before God. He hears the deepest of sighs, the longings we have which are caught in the depths of our souls.

Hannah was misunderstood. In pouring out her heart in such a way, comment was made. Doesn’t that happen? The emotion of all which is going on, can cause others to wonder why you are behaving the way you are. Why fast for 10 days? Why pray with such purpose for 10 days?

Hannah shared from a place of complaint and grief. We might know we are positioned in a place of victory, yet life may not always feel victorious. Be encouraged that it is alright to allow God to hear you, hear your complaint, to understand your grief.

Hannah left it all with God. Allow your heart to be heard by God. Allow those longings which come from a place of complaint and grief to make their way in to God’s presence and then leave them there.

Hannah sees something new birthed in her live. Within the year, a son is born. A gift from God, birthed from pouring out her heart to her God. And she immediately give what has been birthed by the power of God, back to God.

So here’s what I did at the start of my 10 day fasting journey…

I poured out my heart to God. I spoke some words, but more importantly from the quietness of my heart, I allowed my complaints and my griefs to shout out to my God. After all, I want to hear from Him, I want to be moved by Him, I want to see some change and some direction. I want some fresh revelation for myself, my family, for my future and for my Church too.

I am choosing to leave them in His hands. Just as Hannah said ‘I have spoken until now’, so have I. Now I am trusting God to birth something new, to bring something new to life, something which will grow to honour Him.



The Book ’19’ Has Arrived

So this week the delivery of my book ’19′ arrived. I am very excited, as well as a little overwhelmed too, holding a book which I have written. It’s been some journey since a passing conversation three years ago to now having the book in my hands. I am amazed that I have actually managed to focus long enough to make it happen.
Obviously, I am biased, I love it. The feel. The design. The content. The resource it can be in growing leaders but especially young leaders. I wrote it with them in mind. Bite size chunks so it would be a book which would actually be read. I know what I was like at 19, I only read a book because I had to, for Uni course work, and even then in was a struggle. I am encouraged too by the comments from leaders and friends in my world who are telling me how helpful they think this book can be too. Check out the endorsements at The 19 Project website.
Now comes the final 2 days before it’s official release date on Friday. If you are thinking about getting a copy then why not get it now, at the discounted pre-order rate of just £9.99 (£11.99 RRP). Don’t miss out. We all love a good deal!! You can purchase from The 19 Project website.
As I have shared on numerous occasions, my heart with both the book and the website has always been to create a useable resource. For use individually or with a group of leaders you may be investing in. In addition it is to build a hub of resource and then eventually add in other stuff like live Q&A’s, interviews, leadership connection, additional training resources, plus devotionals and maybe even an online conference some time in the future.
Together we can raise the next generation of young leaders. From providing opportunities for those first tentative steps, to helping them become influencers in the future. One thing is for sure, there is a great need for them to still be leading in local Church and across all spheres of life in 25+ years time.
Help shape the future of The 19 Project too. Sign up on the site for FREE, check out the resource and complete the survey you will receive. Everyones input is much appreciated and can help ensure that what people are asking for, being challenged by and really need, is what we are producing.
One chapter of this journey with ’19’ has turned the page into the next one. Thank you for being a part of the journey so far. Here’s to the next part of the adventure.

The 19 Project: An Update

2 great things have happened this week…

Firstly, my book ’19’ will be released on the 27th October. This is a book for leaders of all ages but very much to those beginning on their leadership journey. I was 19 when I was given my first introduction to leadership, becoming the leader of the local church youth group.

Now, 28 years later, I am still leading in local church, and I am passing on what I have learned along the way. Things I know any young leader will need to learn so they can still be leading in 25 years time.

Secondly, the website The 19 Project is live. Very much coming from the premise of the book and my desire to help resource and raise the  next generation of young leaders, my hope is the site will become a hub of useful articles, free resource and eventually offer access to live Q&A’s, training material, connection with other leaders, and much more.

You can join The 19 Project and help to shape it for the future. It’s free. When you do this, you will be able to download a free chapter of the book, pre-order it at a discounted rate and take a quick survey to provide some initial feedback on the site.

Thanks for the support along the way. Not sure what is going to happen with this site but why not come over to The 19 Project now and stay in touch with all that is happening over there. You can find me on Facebook too. Click on the links below…

The 19 Project Website

The 19 Project Facebook

Who Are We Taking With Us?

The currency of heaven may be many things but in my opinion, faith and people are at the top of the list.

The Bible tells us without faith it is impossible to please God. Add to this the greatest of treasures we can store up in heaven, people, and we are on a winner. Begs the question then, as we work out our faith in Jesus, who am are taking with us?

Joshua and Caleb entered the promised land, eventually. They had to wait what may have seemed like forever, 40 years, for the moment to finally arrive. Yet they entered with the same focus and determination they had when the first opportunity had been provided them. More importantly though, they didn’t just enter for themselves, they took the next generation in with them.

These two men demonstrate 3 simple but extremely powerful qualities which in the busy way of life can so easily get lost.




I watched an episode of Ambulance on BBC yesterday. The people being served were normal, every day people but they were broken people, some in desperate situations, others needing care, friendship, conversation, or even just someone to make them a cup of tea. Their stories were captivating and they stirred my heart.

Questions came flooding in.

Who am I taking with me?
How is my walk with God influencing the lives of those around me?
How is my people focus?
If my life is supposed to point people to Jesus, is it working?

This has to be the greatest of challenges for all Christians. We do well, we don’t do well. So maybe we need to be more vigilant. Is our belief coming through in how we live?

So here are some ‘top tips’ (for want of a better phrase) which I am committing myself to work on over the next few months and the rest of my life…

I will not let myself get bored with God.
I will work to keep my life pointed to Jesus.
I have to sharpen my people focus. To see people.
I won’t allow myself to become so easily frustrated with Gods ways.
I will always have people I want to take with me.

So who are we praying for, not preaching too? Who are we listening to, not just their voice but their heart too? Where are the opportunities to serve, not only ourselves but others too?

Maybe then, as we live out our faith in Jesus we will almost inadvertently be taking some people with us. And that will be AMAZING!!

Share your thoughts. Why do you think this is such a big challenge for us?

Walk With God: According to His Word

Then Mary said…. ‘Let it be to me according to your word’. [Luke 1:38]

Isn’t this the battleground we so often find ourselves in with God. My word versus His word. My desire to have control versus giving God permission to have control.

Walking with God well is possibly only about one thing, centred around adopting the same attitude and heart Mary so easily demonstrates. In fact, there are 3 things Mary does so well…

She has a willingness to serve. Let’s be honest the Bible reads so calm sometimes. Surely she was a little freaked out when an angel appears and tells her what’s about to happen. Or maybe she really was that calm. Ready to serve, ready to hear God’s word, ready to respond.

She accepts God’s Word. Let it be to me, just as you have said. Amazing. Mary is amazing. This is not your average request God is making here, this is a world-changing moment. Ready to trust God, ready to let Him bring to pass what He has spoken, ready to respond with a yes, no questions asked.

She remembers to magnify the Lord. There is no panic shown by Mary, just thankfulness and rejoicing. God has moved miraculously in her life and in the life of her relative Elizabeth. She was able to notice that God was most definitely up to something. Ready to praise, ready to see what God was doing in her own life, ready to see the difference He was about to make in the world.

I desire this kind of walk with God. There is great power in the simple faith Mary shows us. It wasn’t complicated to her that God would ask something of her. This was not about looking only for great things from God. This was about being willing and obedient. You get the feeling whatever the request had been it would have received the same response ‘Let it be to me according to your word’.

Let’s take a moment today to reflect on our own walk with God and how well these three things Mary did are demonstrated in our lives.

Lead Well: Work on Our Character

A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech, winks with his eyes, signals with his feet, points with his finger, with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord; therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly; in a moment he will be broken beyond healing. There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. [Proverbs 6:12-19]

Nobody wants to be known as someone with bad character, yet this is the state many of us find ourselves in, if only for the lack of a little focus and intentionality. Such a state  brings calamity, demotion and in reality means people don’t want to hang around us.

Good character is not our default position.
Good character comes through purposeful design.

Think about it. We are inherently selfish. We give most of our attention to ourselves. We want to make sure we have what we want, not just what we need. We will bump people out of the way to make a way. We expect as much as possible for as little as possible. We praise and curse with the same mouth. The list of our character flaws is probably endless.

I have learned this lesson by getting it right and getting it wrong. Through awkward conversations and times of confrontation by people who care for me. I have discovered that to lead well in life is to be watchful and protective of the right kind of character. And such watchfulness takes concentration and effort. Start by avoiding the list of those things which don’t look good from Gods point of view…

Killing people.
Quick to do wrong things.
False witness towards others.
Bringing discord.

Then remember how Jesus took the standard higher on many of these in His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, 6 & 7. Let’s be honest, we all have our weaknesses, those unredeemed aspects of our personality which we can use to quickly blame our words and actions on.

Instead let’s be those who are different. Living by design. Who lead well. Are above reproach. Live a life worthy of the calling to which you are called. Honour God in all things. Watch. Be alert. Sin and temptation are always at the door. Stay focused on Jesus. Keep your eyes on Him. Don’t allow yourself to drift. Hold fast your confession of faith. Do not be afraid. Repent quickly.