Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

The Day I Stopped Being A Law-abiding Citizen

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As a Christian that’s been brought up in the church things can get tricky when it comes to deciding what’s wrong. Lots of people will hold beliefs based on their perceptions of God or what they feel convicted of and you aren’t always sure whether going against their 11th commandment is sinful or just choosing to live life differently.

The usual culprits that cause confusion:

“That’s an ungodly hour to be on the phone”

“Christians shouldn’t drink alcohol”

“Parties aren’t events you should be attending now you’re saved”

“Don’t be alone with a person of the opposite sex after 6pm”

The list goes on, and suddenly you’re not sure where Christianity ends and option and culture begins. I remember when I was having an argument about one of my piercings and had to highlight that the other person not liking something didn’t automatically mean there must be a deeper sin behind it.

Therefore we must not pass judgment on one another, but rather determine never to place an obstacle or a trap before a brother or sister. I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean in itself; still, it is unclean to the one who considers it unclean. Romans 14:13-14

I think being reminded not to judge is a key part of this scripture. As we’re pointing the finger at our fellow Christians for choosing to talk on the phone late at night or for not having their ears pierced, we have to remember that each of us have our own convictions that should guide how we live. We don’t know the journey that God is taking someone on, so how dare we try and force them to become a changed individual overnight and not allow God to lead the process of transformation. Similarly when people abide by rules that we consider irrelevant, who are we to tell them they’re wrong for doing so?

I stopped feeling condemned of the rules that I couldn’t find in my bible when I realised that I didn’t have to walk through my faith, looking like the image of a Christian imprinted in the minds of others. With the bible in one hand and the Holy Spirit in my heart I could live according to the word of God and the convictions I felt in my heart.

For the kingdom of God does not consist of food and drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17

The little rules that we argue over are somewhat irrelevant in the grand context of accepting Christ’s love and showing it to others. Let’s not have others say that Christianity is about ad-libbed rules and regulations. In my experience of God, there’s more to life than not getting tattoos or deciding to have adventurous piercings.

Live out your faith according to the way you feel led by the word of God.

Love and hugs and kisses

Dani xxx

My Dad Was A Pastor…I Was An Atheist

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My Dad was ordained as a Pastor the year I was born so my earliest memories are of him preaching to hundreds of people about the grace of God and the love of Jesus Christ. I have grown up watching him teach, preach and do his best to share the love of Jesus with everyone he comes into contact with. I could honestly write this whole post about how great my Dad is because he is my hero; he was the first person who showed me what Jesus could potentially look like and through his love and instantaneous forgiveness no matter what I did (and I’ve done some pretty bad things) I grew up having a firm understanding of the love of Jesus Christ.  Love you Dad! (He doesn’t read my blog so won’t even see this mushy introduction – awkward.)

Despite his consistency, relentless pursuit of God and being a model Christian, my questions regarding our faith in God began around the age of 13. “Daddy, how do you know Jesus is real?” “Daddy, are you sure?” were questions I would ask him regularly. I was in church every week and I was half listening to the preaching and although at times it made sense, there was one underlying obstacle that I kept encountering: How do we know that this is real? How do we know that God even exists? This could all be a lie! I would look around my church while everyone else was worshipping and often feel isolated and lost because everyone was ‘in the spirit’ but me. If I kept missing this spirit, how could it really exist?

My questions continued to grow and the fear that I was believing a really amazing fairytale became greater than my faith. I asked those around me what their thoughts were on Jesus and I got unhelpful and opaque answers:

Me: how do you know Jesus is real?

Friend: He just is!

Me: I’m sorry, what? How does that help me?

Friend: You just have to believe

Me: SORRY, CAN’T YOU HEAR ME? THAT IS THE PART I’M HAVING TROUBLE WITH

My heart grew cold, I switched off during the service and my life stopped reflecting the Christ that I once believed to be true. It was as though this belief in Christ was a club that I just couldn’t join. I wanted so desperately to believe but I couldn’t believe in something I couldn’t see so I simply stopped believing all together.

I don’t know when exactly my belief in God returned. I didn’t wake up one morning and suddenly have all the answers I had searched for during my teenage years. All I remember having were pockets of faith here and there, prayers now and again and life shaking events that brought me to my knees and caused me to run back my default setting – belief in a higher power. There was a need to believe that my pain would one day make sense and that it could not last forever; that need kept me searching. Although I actively sought all the answers to the questions I once had, one day I had to accept that I would never obtain the answers that I longed for.

One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them,“Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.

Mark 10:15

Children aren’t cynical, they ask questions to gain knowledge and to increase their understanding, not to disprove your argument. This scripture says that we have to become like them. Children ask questions but more easily accept the response; there is no pride, just innocence and a willingness to trust that what is being said is true. When they are told that the answer may be beyond them or the answer is yet to be discovered, they accept that too. I had placed my own limitations on God – he couldn’t do the things the Bible said he had done simply because I couldn’t imagine them happening and because I could not conceive them in my own mind, they simply couldn’t be true. But to be honest there are many things I cannot imagine that happen all around the world every single day and my disbelief or ignorance doesn’t make these occurrences any less real.

The honest answer to the question “how do you know that God exists?” is that I will never truly know. I will never be 100% sure that God exists because I have never met him face-to-face in the way that I’ve met other humans. I have, however, had very real, life-changing encounters with him and I can only point you to the broken person I used to be and show you who I have become in the hope that you will see and believe in him also. People from my past don’t recognise who I am now and at times, I don’t either. I am different because of him.

To the Christian having trouble explaining to people why you believe in a God that you cannot see but can only feel, I implore you to connect people with your experiences with God, not just your faith in him. Sometimes as Christians we want to show people the finished product but we don’t want them to see  the wounds that lie underneath our clothes which speak of the battles we had to face in order to become the person the world now sees. Our scars are important and our stories make our faith make sense to someone who simply cannot fathom the depths of our belief. My story speaks of car crashes, heartbreak and hours in A&E wondering if I was going to live or die -and that’s only the last four years! You may not believe that your story is dramatic or glamorous enough, and it may not be the rags-to-riches story-stand-up-on-the pulpit-and-everyone-cries-because-you’re-such-an-overcomer type of story but it is yours. Your story is the reason you have faith so be brave enough to share it and be strong enough to keep believing despite the questions you may still have. We will always have questions but the beauty of God is that he can handle them.

Have a beautiful weekend,

Joy xxxxx

The Things They Don’t Teach You About Mind Control: Battlefield of the Mind

Reading this book is genuinely one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long while. Those who know me, know I generally don’t give Christian books the time of day, just because I question what they could possibly have to say that I can’t read in my Bible. To my fellow sceptic, Christian Books are not the enemy . If ‘Battlefield of the Mind’ is anything to go by, they aren’t adding anything to scripture, they are merely explaining what the Bible says and giving their own interpretation. Basically a sermon that you read. Anyway, I’m rambling but I just wanted to say thank you God for allowing me to discover the blessing that can be found in reading the words of those that walk with you also, and thank you Joyce Meyer for writing such an amazing book.

What I learnt about the mind: Why mind control, why me?

I’ve always knows that what goes on in the mind is important, but Joyce has opened my eyes to just how HUGELY important it is. First of all, Joyce highlights that the mind is where the devil will attack us. I know we don’t like to think about the devil but the devil is just as real as God and as soon as you decided to root for #Team-Jesus, you and the devil became enemies. Is this scaring you? I hope not, but if you are feeling a slight chill, you’ll appreciate just how important it is to know how to win the battlefield of the mind.  We learn that the devil puts strongholds in our minds; these are lies that he’s told us that we’ve bought into and are now affecting what we believe and how we act. However, our three spiritual weapons are: The Word, praise, and prayer. Really it all comes down to knowing God’s word to the point of being able to say it back to him.  As Joyce puts it “God’s word and our need is the basis which we come to him.” Still with me? I shall summarise.

There’s a battle, it’s you against the devil and it’s being fought in your mind. The devil comes with his A-Game trying to attack you with strongholds that he places in your mind. Your weapons are the very words of God.

What I learnt about myself: I have a judgemental mind.

After explaining the importance of the mind and were our mind is at, Joyce shares about different states of the mind that are not of God. Eventually I found mine…

Do you ever exhibit Judgement, Hateration, or come to conclusions about people? However you want to put it, it’s not okay! There’s something about seeing your issue in black and white that makes you want to do something about it. Here’s the diagnosis:

  1. We judge people because we think we’re better than them.

That’s a bit hard to stomach isn’t it?! Simply put ‘Judgement and criticism are fruit of a deeper problem-pride’ EEK! Using Romans 12:3 which tells us quite simply not to get gassed (think too much of ourselves) Joyce highlights that when we have an exaggerated opinion of ourselves, it causes us to look down on others and value them as ‘less than’ us. Needless to say, this is not good.

  1. The fact that we haven’t sinned doesn’t make us special

Galatians 6:1-3 Says that we’re supposed to help people that have gone off track without any sense of superiority. We are supposed to carry each other’s burdens and whilst helping them, be mindful that we don’t get tempted to join them in the sin. If we’re so busy gossiping about people’s problems and ostracising people because we’re shocked at the sins they’ve committed we’ll forget to offer the helping hand to pull them out of it. We are one body in Christ. Imagine if every time a part of us was sick the heart just stopped pumping blood to that region so that it eventually lost all connection with the body and died. Sounds so ridiculous but that’s what we do to ourselves when we judge instead of showing love. Instead, when we hurt ourselves our body pumps extra blood there and starts fixing itself. I know I’ve just given you a very badly remembered version of GCSE Biology but you catch my drift I hope.

  1. Judging brings condemnation

Not to them, but to you! Judging others is literally like praying ‘return to sender prayers’ on yourself. For all the non-Africans reading, it’s like cursing yourself then saying, whoever curses me shall be cursed, but you were doing the cursing so it’s all coming back to you. Do you get it, or have I just confused you? Romans 2:1 says we shouldn’t judge others because in doing so we condemn ourselves. I hope that makes what I was trying to say clear. There’s just no benefit in criticising others and if this is where your mind is at, don’t accept it as ‘ok’ or ‘just another part of your personality.’ We need to use The Word to fight against the judgemental thoughts that creep in!

What I bet you didn’t know: Mind control 101

  1. Your mind at its normal state should be peaceful

We’re so used to thinking a hundred things at once that we’ve become desensitised to it, but this is not a safe land to live in. God wants your attention and to give you the guidance you NEED to live life. How are you supposed to hear him over all the other voices competing for your time?

  1. Your mind and your spirit have to be aligned

So here’s what I gathered. The Holy Spirit is trying to communicate God’s message to us. He deposits it in our spirit, and then in order for us to understand what that message is practically, our mind and our spirit have to be aligned ( in one accord, speaking the same language, basically both besties with God and the things of God).

  1. Reasoning won’t get you anywhere

For someone who loves breaking down arguments and just generally thinking, this was a bit of a shocker. What I think is important is that we don’t try and use human logic to understand scripture but instead allow the  Holy Spirit to give us the interpretation. This does make sense, because it’s so easy to dismiss what God’s saying because we don’t think understand it, but He is the same God who told Abraham to kill Isaac, and then not to kill him because He wanted to see if Abraham would obey him. You don’t always have to get why God is asking, just be willing to obey.

  1. Doubt, unbelief, and disobedience are inter-connected

In a nutshell: Faith is the ultimate. Doubt puts you in two minds about the things you should be certain of. Once you’re uncertain you can go down a slippery slope that leads to unbelief and once you’re there, you disobey. (=BAD)

  1. The only good thing about worry is the weight-loss

I half joke, but in all seriousness worry adds nothing. It can’t make you taller, put food on the table or pay your bills so why bother? Save your time and pray about the things that bring you stress!

Should you read?

This book is perfect for anyone who is Christian and has thoughts. In other words, yes! Purchase! Joyce beautifully unpacks The Word and directs you to the scriptures that will prepare you for the battlefield of the mind. I couldn’t possibly write all the things I’ve learnt in one post; grab your own copy so that you can learn how to fight your own battle. If we’re going to fight, we might as well fight to win.

“I am a winna, I am a winaaaaaa, the devil knows that I am a winna”

Dani X