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.

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Walk With God: 5 Ways to Partner with Gods Plans

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us [Luke 1:1]

Every now and then I take a moment to look at how far I have come. Not to boast in my own efforts, but to recognise and acknowledge how far God has brought me. On the other side of where I used to be, God & I have come a long way. On the journey He has done some incredible things, some of which I haven’t even noticed. Yet His plan for my life is taking shape and when reflected upon, it is truly amazing.

There are lots of things I have learned about being a better partner in the plans and purposes God has for me. I have discovered all of them throughout the Bible too.

In Luke 1, the writer comments how he wants to make an orderly eyewitness account of those things which were fulfilled. Even in this chapter we see people demonstrating 5 simple truths about the unfolding of Gods plans for our lives…

Be willing to hear Gods voice. 
Especially if what you are hearing may not make sense to you. Look at Zechariah coming out of the temple, dumbstruck by what God has said to him.

Be willing to obey those words.
Especially as others may just think you are crazy or talking plain nonsense. Mary is amazing. ‘Let it be to me according to Your word’.

Be willing to embrace the impossibilities of God.
Especially when you can’t work out how God could even make it happen. From barren to parenthood. From young woman to mother of the Saviour of the world. Nothing is impossible with God.

Be willing to see what God is doing through me.
When you hold the promise or see what He has said could happen, has happened. As Mary proclaims, ‘For He who is mighty has done great things through me’.

Be willing to magnify Him for all He has done.
If only because God deserves all the praise. Rejoice in His plans being accomplished.

Remember that God wants us to get where He wants us to go, more than we want to get to where God wants us. So let’s be willing to embrace the adventure and enjoy the journey has those plans for our own lives unfold.

Walk With God: 7 Words to Help You Discover True Rest

Rest is not about doing nothing.

When the Israelites were instructed by God to take a Sabbath year for the land every seven years, it didn’t mean a year off, becoming lazy and just sitting with their feet up.

They were aligning themselves with a God-created rhythm which would bring blessing into their lives. As they rested the soil it would gain strength and ensure its future fruitfulness. In the meantime they would continue to build their home, look after their flocks, care for each other and take some intentional time to draw close to God.

For us then to rest has to work the same way. It is a rhythm of grace we are invited to walk and work with Jesus. It is a true rest which brings blessing to our lives.

As we rest our souls we gain strength and ensure our future fruitfulness.

As I withdraw from the day to draw close to God I have found these words helpful.

PAUSE: We can be so busy doing that the hardest thing to do to withdraw is to actually stop and make time just to be with God. We have to remember that however driven we may our true identity is never found in what we have accomplished but found only in knowing whose we are.

THINK: Meditate on God, thank Him for the journey so far. Like the Israelites were being reminded about their past, we were once slaves to sin but now we have been set free. Think about all the good things God has done for and thank Him for them all.

REFLECT: Take a scripture, read your word, worship and reflect on what God is doing  and saying right now in your life. Don’t over think it but all the Word of God to speak to you.

LISTEN: This goes with the reflect. Having tuned out the noise and removed the distractions, we will be better able to hear what God is saying. We can be very quick to bring all our requests to God, yet make no time simply to listen and hear His voice.

CAPTURE: When you hear something, feel something, see something, then capture it. I use a notebook on my phone and the Evernote app for noting down particular scriptures and thoughts that go with them.

RESPOND: We have to be willing to be obedient to what God is saying to us. Through obedience is where the blessing comes. That was key for the Israelites and the rhythm of the Sabbath. In keeping it, God would bless them, prosper them and provide for them.

TRUST: Ultimately, acting on the word of God requires faith, which is simply us choosing to trust God is more than able to do what He has said He will do. Having paused, taken time to think on God, reflect on all He has done in our lives so far, listened to His voice, captured what He is saying and then responded, trusting Him should begin to come much more easily.

What do you think? How might this help you when taking time to truly rest with God?

How Would You Review 2016?

Between Christmas and New Year ~ isn’t this just the weirdest time of year? Christmas Day has come and gone. Now, it can seem like all we are doing is simply waiting for the New Year especially if you are not at work. 

It can test my patience by not really being focused on anything. I am naturally a doer and don’t do ‘nothing’ very well. 

To counter this I thought over the next few days I would post some blogs to help me help you. To ask some questions to cause us all to reflect, be thankful, but also to look ahead with purpose and challenge too. 

Question 1: Looking back on 2016 ~ what 3 things are you most thankful for? Maybe reflect and use this time to give God some thanks for the things He has done in your life during the last 12 months. 

I look forward to reading your comments and your stories.

7 Things to Be Thankful to God For This Week

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With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name, O LORD, for it is good [Psalm 54:6]

Make this week a week of thankfulness. Create space each day for a moment with God where you deliberately appreciate all He has done for you, is doing right now for you and all He will do for you in the future.

Thankfulness is a choice, it will not happen by accident.

Some days thankfulness can be easy and on other days it can be tough. Life is unfair. Life is difficult. Life is not always a party time and celebration. At these times we choose to bring a sacrifice of praise, we bring our thankfulness as an offering, a gift, a purposeful decision. We recognise that is hard but we are deciding to say thank you anyway.

In doing so, we lay aside our own feelings and walk by faith, confident in the knowledge that God is with us, that He loves us and is always with us.

Let me help you with your devotional time this and give you 7 things to be thankful for, one for each day, to help you in your giving of thanks and praise to our God. What you will say thank you to God for will be in relation to your own situation and circumstances.

  • He has saved us, we are adopted in to His family
  • He has helped us, through so many different times
  • He is faithful, and His love never fails
  • He is with us, in all things
  • He is on our future, he has great plans for us
  • He protects us, keeps us safe
  • He hears the cry of our heart

I would love to hear what you thankful for?

Be in the House of God

“We have thought on your steadfast love, O God, in the midst of your temple.”‭‭Psalms‬ ‭48:9‬ ‭ESV

It’s by being in Gods House where some things often happen. 

As we gather together as a body of believers, with our focus not on ourselves but on the one who created us, some things often happen.  

Making the decision to be planted in a healthy, thriving local church is the cause for some things to happen in our lives. 

In Gods House we remember, we praise, we worship, we lift up our eyes, we focus on God. 

In Gods House we place our thoughts on His steadfast love, His faithfulness, His loving kindness and who we are becoming because of all He has done for us. 

In Gods House, in those moments I am reminded to keep making it less about me and more about God.

Today in Your presence I think on Your steadfast love and I smile to myself and I am happy, thankful and energised by the knowing all that You are to me. 

It’s Not All About Me

“In God we have boasted continually, and we will give thanks to your name forever. Selah”‭‭ [Psalms‬ ‭44:8‬ ESV]

How great ‘I am’ might be considered the cultural message of the day by some. Let’s be honest, we do love to tell stories about ourselves. 

  • Of our wonderful victories. 
  • Of our sad failures. 
  • Of the trials we are facing. 
  • Of how others have lifted us or pushed us down.
  • Of how much or how little we have

Too many of us just can’t stop boasting about our own accomplishments. 

Yet without God we are without. We are nothing. We can do nothing if He does not first provide the opportunity. Everything good comes from God.

I may think it is all me but it is not. It is all God. He won the victory. By His mighty hand I am saved. I am established because of all that He has done for me. 

When I make it all about me I embarrass myself not You God. I am ashamed how with my mouth I celebrate me over You. I limit me to my own ability when I forget the influence and impact You have had throughout my life. 

Instead I must make my boast about You. I must praise Your name above all others especially my own. I should give thanks for You forever. I choose to do this above either praising myself or wallowing in my  own pity. 

You are my God. In You I boast. To You I give all the praise and glory and honour. Amen!

A New Song

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.”‭‭Psalms‬ ‭40:1-3‬ ‭ESV

What great verses. They capture the heart of God toward us. 

He hears our cry. He then rescues us from destruction. He then sets us on a new path. Which mean He has put the new song in our mouth.

When you realise all that God has done for you then why wouldn’t you sing?

Every morning I do my best to take a moment to thank Him. To say thank You for saving me. I take a moment to give Him the honour He deserves for all the good things He has done for me. For setting me free. For the victory He won for me. For the opportunities that lay ahead because of Him.  

I sing my new song. 

What would your new song say today?