Walking With God: Examine Yourself

“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” [‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭13:5‬ ‭ESV]‬‬

If we want a strong and healthy walk with God then it’s important that we make time to examine ourselves. Paul encourages us to do this in regard to our faith.

This is not a general observation. This is more than a look in the mirror and giving yourself a once over and declaring that you are ‘looking good’. I like to think this is more like a proper MOT.

I recently went to the Dr’s with a chest infection. I had my blood pressure taken, bloods done, ECG, chest x-ray and even an abdominal scan. All of these to discover if there was more than just an infection, maybe there was an underlying problem which had caused this.

Any purposeful examination has to go beneath the surface. Like a CT Scan that takes internal images, layer upon layer upon layer, giving the clearest picture possible of what’s happening on the inside. Can we be willing to do the same in our own lives?

There are 2 basic reasons why such natural examinations are important. To discover you are in good health or to discover you are in bad health. Then the right treatment can be prescribed. A spiritual examination will do the same.

We will remain strong in faith and strong in the Lord. And Paul prescribes 5 actions which may just help us…

Rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you [2 Corinthians 13v11‬ ‭ESV]

If we were to complete the right kind of self-examination today, what might we discover? What areas in our walk with God are not as healthy as they could be? What will do to improve them?

Gods Journey

Learning from the life of Joseph is a challenge. My world is fairly simple and certainly not as miserable as his was at times.

Check out my other posts from this week

When you are young you are ready to take on the world. You dream the dream and nothing is going to stop you. You can certainly make it but even the supposed overnight successes have times of preparation.

You have to be willing to go on the journey with God to get there. 

To travel the journey alone is to omit God from everything that happens and say that you know what’s best. 

If you are not willing to go on the journey with God then He may not have the same opportunity to shape you. 

On Gods journey everything is possible, even coming back and finding favour and promotion from seemingly impossible situations. 

What do you think to the posts this week? How does the life of Joseph encourage and challenge you?

Frame Your Life with God

Joseph didn’t seek to find a solution to every problem that came his way. He didn’t look for a way out. He didn’t assume that quitting would provide a better option for his future. Instead he trusted God for a way through. 

As we travel we will encounter many opportunities where we will have to make a choice. Which way will we go? The way of self or the way of God? To find a way out or a way through? To go for what we think is greener grass? Or to wait for our grass to grow?

Choices are often based on how we frame our life – the values, beliefs, and convictions that help us decide things? Many are almost subconscious, framed by experience, childhood, upbringing, and the so many more influences. 

When I look at Joseph I see someone who didn’t allow all ‘things’, ‘people’, ‘circumstances’ or ‘experiences’ to frame his life but only the faith he held in God. I read it and think it’s amazing he could do that, especially when you see what he went through. 

In an encouraged and challenged to live the same kind of live…

To keep the frame of my life set as God. 

To live within this frame so the choices I make are based solely from it. 

To guard the frame from other influences which may cause me to be led away from wholly trusting God.

Ready to keep walking with God. Thankful that God is always with me and His Holy Spirit is there to help me too. 

6 Things that Help my Morning Prayer

I don’t want to misrepresent myself here and look like some kind of spiritual master- I am not. My prayer life is poor, a 3 or 4 out of 10. That might be a bit harsh, let’s just say that there is more than enough room for improvement. 

That’s possibly why I am writing this after getting up today and spending about 15-20 minutes praying. It brings some much needed accountability. 

This week I was reminded of the thought – pray like it depends on God but work like it depends on you – both parts of that sentence need some attention. I was also reminded to have some things that I want to see happen that ‘only God’ can do. 

So, refocused and repurposed, the prayer life gets a boost. Here are some things that help me…

  1. I try and pray at the same time every day. 
  2. I have specific things I pray for each day, which help to make it not all about me. 
  3. I journal my prayers. This helps keep my attention and I can look back to see what God has done. 
  4. I use the simple TSP approach when I pray – thank you, sorry, please. It maybe a little childish but it works for me. 
  5. I have some ‘only God’ stuff on the lists – for others and for me and my family. 
  6. I make sure I take some time to listen to and get a feel for what God is saying to me. That is the harder part but very important. 

I’m not saying this is the only way. The key is to find what works for you and then stick to it. Consistency in anything is usually the key to seeing success, I think the same can be said for most kingdom activities – like prayer, being in church, giving and serving others. 

What’s your prayer life like? I would love to hear how you keep your prayer life the strongest it can be

How Time Flies

 
Who is this man with my children? So freshed faced and young looking. My girls so cute and loveable.

This picture from about 11 years makes me think…

Time flies. 
How easy it is to forget what you’ve done and where you’ve been. 
Nothing stays the same. 
I look old now. And have a beard!
My family are beautiful. 
They still are but just not that little anymore. Still cute though. 
What have I done with those 11 years?
What will I do with the next 11 years?

None of us are getting any younger. So making the most of every moment, living with purpose and for a cause bigger than yourself is so important. 

I am adamant that being involved in building local church and being in relationship with God has kept me young. Maybe not in the natural as we cannot stop that, but definitely young in spirit.

How has time flown for you? 

Your ‘Now God’ Moment

Choosing God is not always easy.

We can know that it’s the right thing to do but maybe when we begin to think about the consequences of that choice we can be tempted to back off from actually following through.

Don’t give up on that first decision. Loyalty to God will always bring reward from God. He loves  it when we put Him first. When we acknowledge Him and set His way above all others, I think we put a smile on Gods face. I have this thought that we put ourselves into the position for a ‘now God’ moment.

When Daniel said no to eating what had been presented to idols and honoured God with this loyal to God choice, He placed himself in the place for a ‘now God’ moment. You can read about it Daniel chapter 1.

Now God had caused the official to show favour and sympathy to Daniel [Dan 1:9]

At the time it can seem impossible. Our thinking gets challenged. How can we choose God? We can’t see the good in this. What if it doesn’t work out? Yet, in our heart we know that going with God is right.

So be encouraged and go for it. Lets be people who put themselves in the place where God has to move, to cause the favour of God to be presented in the situations and circumstances around us. It will be an adventure. It will probably be a little bit scary. It will definitely mean holding on to your faith in God and putting your trust in Him.

Above all though, I believe the other side of the decision to stay loyal to God will be such a great place to get to. Just look at Daniel. He was seen as 10 x better than everyone else. God gave him wisdom to solve enigmas and riddles. He was saved from the lion’s den. Gods favour was all over him and I would be happy for some of that.

The Lord is on His Throne

Have you ever said this?

As a Christian it’s something that I know. I say it from time to time. If I’m honest, sometimes I mean it and other times I think I’m trying to convince myself that it’s true.

The Lord is on His throne. [Psalm 11:4] According to the Psalm, ‘the Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven’.

From this position of glory, majesty, rule and judgement, the Lord has dominion, the Lord sees, the Lord examines, the Lord discerns our hearts.

Let’s declare it with a greater confidence. The Lord is on His throne.
Let’s declare it with stronger faith. The Lord is on His throne.

Let’s declare it with better understanding of its benefits.

He is out of sight but we are not out of His.
We may feel at a loss but He never is.
Our world maybe shaken but the heavens remain sure.
We might not know where to go but He has given us a place we can come to.

He may seem far off but He has made a place where we can see His face.

The Lord is on His throne and we can come boldly towards it for mercy and grace. Let’s people who don’t just know about this truth but instead be people who know this truth deep within their hearts and live from understanding all that it means for us.

What do you think?

Who Am I?

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? [Psalm 8]

It is quite incredible that God in all His majesty would choose to be in relationship with us. That He would decide to go to such great lengths to bridge the gap. To pay for the price of our sin with the life of His own son.

Who am I?

In the midst of all the grandeur of creation I’m not anything that special.

In the timeline of history and all those greats who have gone before me I don’t really match up.

Yet to You God I am worthy.

When I feel like nothing I remember that You God have already done everything to make feel like something.

When I feel like quitting I am reminded that You God never quit in Your pursuit of me.

When I feel lost in a whirlwind of feelings, emotions and circumstances I am encouraged and comforted that You God are in the whirlwind with me.

Who am I that You would be mindful of me? I am everything to You and I would do well to never forget that.

Be encouraged to day. God has His eye on You. His hand is moving in Your life. His care for You is constant. He is for you, with you and right there with you.