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Who are You Feeding?

I gave my life to Christ on June 29th 2017. It wasn’t the first time I had dedicated my life to Christ, but it was the first time that something actually changed within me. It was the first time it didn’t feel like it was my decision, but something that God did for me.

So, naturally, within the first few days of this newfound longing for God all was well with me. Suddenly, sin was not a part of my daily life and I felt untouchable, but as any Christian knows, as time went on the battle against sin came slowly but surely. I began to fall into the same sins I thought I had overcome. All I could think was, ‘but I’m saved! How can I still be doing the same things when I’m not the same?’

Can you relate? Before I say anything else, one thing must be made clear. Committing a sin does not mean, and can never mean, that you do not love God. As humans it’s in our genetic makeup that we will fail sometimes, but as Christians, we are supposed to take assurance in the truth that God will always be there to lift us up –

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26 (NIV)

Our Christian journey is a constant battle between our flesh and our spirit. Whichever is stronger is the one which will prevail over the other. Consider the human body. When you exercise and eat right, you maintain good health and vitality. Conversely, a lifestyle of junk food and being sedentary will have harmful and potentially fatal effects. When we parallel this with how God has designed us to feed our spirit in comparison to our flesh, we experience the same results in the spiritual realm where gratifying our flesh results in our spirit being too weak and inadequately built to resist temptation i.e. spiritual decline. To avoid this, we must allow our hearts and minds to be ruled by God:

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:7-8 (NIV)

Feeding our flesh means concerning yourself with things of the world rather than with things of God. This can include things like gossip or sexual immorality, and when we involve ourselves in these things we only stand to maintain drawing further away from God. We need to fill our hearts with things that glorify Him so that everything we think or do is a reflection of Him;

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

Now, it’s all well and good to say that this is what we need to do, but I believe it’s important to have practical steps which you can apply to your lives.

Here are 3 steps to feed your spirit:

  • Prayer

Ask God to help you overcome your sin. With most sin it is not a case of praying once, but consistently and unrelentingly (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Many of us are plagued with the misconception that sin makes us too dirty to face God. In reality, these are the times we need to talk to Him the most.

 “In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.” Psalm 18:6 (NIV)

Cry to God! He hears you, and will always help you.

  • Scripture

Find verses which are specific to the sin you are struggling with. Collect these verses and meditate on them when you feel overcome by sinful thoughts or feelings. Prayer is effective when we pray in the word and God’s word is the strongest weapon against Satan.

 “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)

Struggling with sin often makes us feel helpless and lost, but it is the word of God which should be used to direct us.

2 Timothy 3:16-17; “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Also, build your knowledge of what God has done through reading scripture, learn about His power to diminish your doubt.

  • Accountability

Have people around you who you trust to help keep you from going down that wrong path. Yes, God is our main helper but He also sent people into our lives for a reason. Ultimately, we need people around us who will push us towards God.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NIV)

Fellowship with like-minded Christians is one of God’s many gifts. Surround yourself with people who are actively seeking God. Also, being accountable for a friend will be beneficial to your own walk because you could be helping each other with the struggle to overcome the same sin. Be there for each other. God has called us to care for one another as ourselves (Mark 12:31).

No one said this would be easy, but a life lived with the Lord is worth more than anything the world could offer. Do not be deceived by the thought that overcoming sin is impossible. Have faith in the God you serve, remember all the amazing things He has done for you and be reminded that He can do it again and again. Rather than feeling down about your struggle, find joy in the fact that God loves you and will always help you.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 (NIV)

Who are You Trying to Fool?

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“The context of grace is weakness”

I heard this phrase in a random clip of a sermon a few weeks back and it’s recently come back to my mind. Mr Preacher was preaching at a well-known Pentecostal ministry in America . One of the criticisms people had levelled at the church was that it had become religious; prioritising tradition over an actual authentic service to God. In other words, so long as you looked the part in your shiny suit or modest dress Sunday morning, your Monday to Friday issues were tucked safely away since they weren’t on display.

The problem with this is obvious; those with overt sins risk being ostracised and condemned, whilst those who look the part often end up being given a platform. And so because you know you’re struggling you hide and put on a mask. This is by no means limited to one church, I think you will find it has been indicative of us all at one point or another. We’ve all chosen religious “devotion” over authenticity somewhere along the line.

When people think of religion today in a secular context, they probably think the following: bible-basher, judgemental churchgoer, homophobic, “holier than thou” amongst other names. However, within scripture, religion has a completely different meaning. Religion, the one that pleases God, is characterised by looking after the vulnerable especially when the world teaches to look after yourself first. Unfortunately, the vulnerable have often been hurt by the very people who ought to have been a place of refuge for them, and so what often materialises from these situations is a life out of control or life enshrouded by pretence.

the vulnerable have often been hurt by the very people who ought to have been a place of refuge for them

It’s no surprise then that people end up living so much lower than their created value and purpose. Instead of being restored they end up being rejected. What religious tradition often then does is dismisses one’s experience and gives you a prescriptive, dogmatic way to change or risk being castaway. Banished. Forgotten. So then the message of grace in this environment almost becomes so much more alien, almost a like a foreign language.

“having a form of Godliness but denying its power” 2 Timothy 3:5a

Often times the scripture is used to advocate for the preaching of the gospel with power and demonstration (i.e. miracles, signs and wonders). But God showed me that the power is not just to demonstrate Him, but to BE like Him in truth, because sometimes our godly acts are actually void of godliness; they’re performance driven rather than person driven whereas authentic godliness is based solely on the person and work of Jesus Christ.

sometimes our godly acts are actually void of godliness; they’re performance driven rather than person driven

If you read the previous verses in the chapter you would see the character traits of the people having a form of godliness e.g. unthankful, unloving, and proud. If you focus so much on the external (having the look of a good, godly person) then you will never have the power to actually be the good, godly person. And in doing so people will not want to know and ultimately surrender to the God you claim to represent – no matter your godly acts.

Let’s go back to the first statement made by Mr Preacher.
“The context for grace is weakness”
I have struggled extremely this year in ways many may know but in ways a lot of other people won’t know. My whole identity has been under constant assault from a variety of different weapons. Weapons of self-destruction. If the weapons of our warfare as believers are mighty for pulling down strongholds, then one of the enemy’s most successful tactics is to deploy our own weapons against us. Instead of using the Word to build myself up, I began to use it to tear me down. And the more I tried, the more I felt I failed.

one of the enemy’s most successful tactics is to deploy our own weapons against us

I realised that I had been religious. I had tried so hard to change. I’ve called people, opened up (very very slowly) and then given myself prescriptive lists to try and overcome things. None of it has worked. I thought I knew what grace meant. I could tell you what it meant in Greek and the scriptures it comes up in, but I was leaning on my own finite strength to get me out of a pit.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” 2 Corinthians 12:9

To us, weakness is not attractive. It never has been (perhaps it’s why most men try to portray themselves as strong – and why I’m still single haha), but the Holy Spirit has told me the opposite; weakness is attractive. It’s attractive to the power of God.

Let’s look at Jesus as our example.
Philippians 2 talks about the humility of Jesus. His obedience to the Father was a decision made based upon his mind governed by the thoughts of the Father concerning Him – that he was indeed the very expression of God. Many of us think that humility is trying not to think highly of ourselves but rather, it’s about thinking of ourselves less.
Jesus, the highest of all, thought highly of himself because the Father thought highly of Him and so no other opinion mattered – not even his own as a man. Humility is therefore submitting to God’s thoughts about us, causing us to think less of ourselves and more about how dependent we are on Him for everything.

Here’s some closing statements that might help you accept your weakness as an opportunity to draw nearer to God, take the mask off and expose your true self to Him:

1. God is not surprised.

Often times when I’ve been in cycles of sin (especially after “repenting” the night before) I’ve felt that God is shocked. That this one is too much for God. That God wasn’t expecting me to fail…again. This one simple truth has helped me – God is the Beginning and the End (Rev 21:6) and with Him there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). He knows you and me from the end and has plans to bring us there with Him for all eternity.

2. Grace is not surplus.

With the religious mind-set I had, I thought grace was only there to initially save me and then cover my excess sins, the times when I mess up etc. In other words, I could do things myself and grace would get me over the line. But grace, the extension of God’s mercy and loving-kindness, is an everyday necessity. As we humble ourselves we begin to see more and more of our need for God. Hebrews 4:16 reads: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”. Our time of need is every moment of every single day.

3. God is not scared.

When you expose yourself to God He isn’t going to run away. Some of us have been vulnerable to people before and have been neglected because of it. We then, understandably, adopt this attitude with God. The truth is that He has been running towards you, even when you were far off, rebellious and religious. When we take off the mask, because of God’s love, you are “precious and honoured in His sight” (Isaiah 43:4).

If you want to change in whatever way, it does not come from a place of relying on your own strength – it comes from the grace of God. It also doesn’t come from a place of masking your feelings and struggles. Who are you trying to fool? God can’t give strength to a person who thinks they’re strong and God can’t give grace to a mannequin. Be you.

So if you are struggling in any particular place in your life, you’re not alone. There are a lot of us. But you’re at the perfect place to receive power from God to be the person He sees you to be. The person He values so much and has a specific plan and purpose for.

You May Be Part Of A Cult

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Do you want to come to my church?

This is often an earnest question that you have probably been asked at some stage, or if you are so bold, have asked someone you know. Now, the answer to the question should be simple and binary; yes or no. However, the truth – and the depressing truth at that- is that in the current ‘church climate’, the answer to this question really must now depend on whether you are receiving a genuine invitation to a church, or the many bodies that call themselves churches. In truth, the person extending you the invite could be inviting you to a movement, a group of believers, a weird personality cult or even a company.

The sad truth is that it is becoming increasingly hard to decipher what ‘church’ is. Those that know and study the Word of Truth increasingly feel like Elijah in the bible. To Elijah, it appeared that he was alone in preaching the whole counsel of God. Today it is the same; most churches do not preach all that is found in the Word of God. So then we are often ill-equipped in making these decisions. With church increasingly social, and with peoples’ life so deeply interwoven into the tapestry that is the church, it is hard to separate yourself from a church that you are not at peace with, and one that does not match the biblical portrait that God paints – even if you know what it is. This article may help, however, it is the spirit of God that will guide us in all truth (John 16:13)

There are many places to start, but perhaps it might be helpful to get some things out of the way. These are things I hear frequently and which, although felt sincerely, are sincerely wrong.

1) My Church is Legitimate Because: We have done/achieved lots of good things.

What follows this is a list of accomplishments that people may attribute to the church. They may say: we have brought people off the streets; we have removed people from gangs; we have helped people go through rehabilitation; we have built orphanages and helped families. People who read this list as necessarily legitimising the validity of a church are wrong. Now it is true that God accomplishes much of his work through people, however, taking note of that order is important. God uses people. It is God that that did these things, not the people. Just like the moon reflects the light of the sun and generates no light on its own accord, it is in the same way that God uses ‘believers’ and ‘non-believes’ to accomplish His purposes.

Here is what is important. If God will use a donkey or birds (1 Kings 17, John:12-14), then He can use anyone and anything. It is God’s commitment to saving souls that saves souls, and not our intellect and wise planning. It is God that controls every single part of salvation (Ephesians 2:8, John 12:32, Revelations 7:10). It is his doing that people make it through rehabilitation, his doing that people are brought out of gangs. This means God’s use of a body does not legitimise their position as a church. Although these acts may be a helpful indication, nevertheless, a church must be judged by how closely it adheres to the biblical portrait of church and leadership that God paints, and the fruits said believers who go to the church display (1 Corinthians 12:13), Galatians 1:1-2: Ephesians 1:22-23, Acts 2:42-47, Matthew 7:15-20). This is important because what people often do is think that, so long as ‘good’ things are happening there, it must be a church in which God is working. We are not to trust our sight, but instead, the blueprints as laid bare in the Bible for every believer to judge for his/herself.

Churches don’t change lives. God changes lives THROUGH churches. It may seem pedantic, but confusion about this order leads to churches that breed confusion.

2) My Church is Legitimate Because: We have a Global Presence and a ‘powerful’ leader.

This is something that is often said. With the mixing of churches and business, some churches have adopted a certain franchising mentality to church growth. This also leads to members confusing the body of Christ (which is the global body of true believers) to their particular local church or in many cases, their international, mega, super, world domination movement. It makes them scared to visit other churches, talk to members of other churches, or in some cases become friends with people that don’t worship at their church or submit to their Bishop.

In this vein, churches seek legitimacy not in how closely they adhere to the Bible portrait of church painted by God, but instead, to their growing number of members and the perceived power of their Bishop.

Over many years, pastors have erroneously equated congregational growth with church growth. The former is simply an increase in the population of the weekly assembly, whereas the latter is evangelism of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who otherwise would have been lost – and maturity and growth in the relationship with God through Christ. These churches seek legitimacy, advancing the argument that, a following with so many committed members worldwide cannot be corrupt, right? I mean if so many people say it, it must be true right?

These modern-day preachers have blurred the meaning of church by radically pursuing the building of stadium-like “worship facilities” and “anointing sons and daughters” to extend their “apostolic influence” – all as monuments to their greatness. As I’ve said in the past, often times megachurch pastors end up “trading members” as opposed to growing the church with new souls. What God calls church is clearly laid out in (Acts 2:42).

Jesus declared that He would build a Church that Hell could not conquer (Matthew 16:18). He didn’t say He’d build a building – He spoke of a living Body. Still, no man can glory that he is the “sheep herder-in-chief” for a region – only God is responsible for the growth of His Body (1 Corinthians 3:7-8).

Just because your pastor boasts that “we are 1 church in 32 locations”, or he has a network of “sons and daughters” who have “submitted under his covering”, does not mean that he is a church planter. In fact, often he is nothing more than a franchiser. Think about it: McDonald’s sells franchises by charging a fee for a franchiser to rightfully represent themselves as an official representative of the franchise. That was a mouthful.

The result of this kind of argument is that genuine believers get lost in the superstructure that is their international movement. They begin to equate the department they are in, to Christian service. Worrying about the choir, ‘will pastor like this song?’, working out how close they are to the next rung of leadership whilst missing the whole point of fellowship. It is hard to recognise this because as described, it is often a superstructure and many can become lost in it.

So what is a church?

The word ‘church’ as rendered in the New Testament, comes from the Greek term ekklesia which is formed from two Greek words meaning “an assembly” and “to call out” or “called out ones.” This means the New Testament church is a body of believers who have been called out from the world by God, to live as His people under the authority of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:22–23).

This group of believers, or “the body of Christ”, began in Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost through the work of the Holy Spirit, and will continue to be formed until the day of the rapture of the church.

What is the purpose of a church?

The purpose of the church is two-fold. The church comes together (assembles) for the purpose of bringing each member to spiritual maturity (Ephesians 4:13).

The church reaches out (scatters) to spread the love of Christ and the gospel message to unbelievers in the world (Matthew 28:18-20). This is the Great Commission; to go out into the world and make disciples. So, the purpose of the church is to minister to believers and unbelievers.

The church, both in the universal and local sense, is important because it is the primary vehicle through which God carries out His purposes on earth. The church is the body of Christ—His heart, His mouth, His hands, and feet—reaching out to the world: (1 Corinthians 12:27)

Thinking about leaving a cult or a church that is not right for you? Here are some helpful links:

How to leave a church well:

https://careynieuwhof.com/5-ways-for-a-church-member-to-leave-a-church-well/
https://www.crosswalk.com/church/pastors-or-leadership/ask-roger/how-do-i-know-when-it-s-time-to-leave-a-church.html

How to tell your pastor you are leaving a church:

http://forwardleadership.org/article/how-to-tell-your-pastor-youre-leaving-the-church#sthash.333JSQZn.kX6y3Kdd.dpbs

Conclusion.

It is important to note that, though no church is perfect, some churches are simply not churches. We are all ultimately imperfect people trying to do perfect work, and so we will always get things wrong. We must cut our leadership base. This being said, there is a large difference between a church that is growing and maturing, and structures built on dubious foundations. It is by applying the Word as guided by the Spirit that we have any hope. It should be noted that the Devil’s primary ploy in our age is deception; presenting the appearance of Godliness but denying its power (2 Timothy 3:5).

 

One step forward, two steps back

How many times have you seen a friend doing something wrong and neglected to intervene because of your fear of being called a hypocrite? ‘You’re not perfect, who are you to tell me what to do?’ Well, you’re not alone. It’s happened to all of us. But what I’ve learned the real problem is, is not that we repeat our mistakes, but that we live in a world conditioned to believe that we already have to have overcome before we are qualified to speak, and that’s far from our truth.

Adjust Your Crown

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Like rain, the droplets began to create a whirlpool of thoughts and emotions:
Unworthy, unloved, ugly, not good enough, you will never make it, you’re a failure, forgotten, rejected, second place, lonely, abandoned.
Thoughts plagued their minds.

“Broken, is that you?”
“Yes, it’s me.”
I answer to that name because that’s all I know.
People have hurt me, their words continue to haunt me.
I’ve tried to fill this void with people and things that, once taken away from me, made me feel empty.
How will I ever get out of this state of mind?
Who is there to help me?

Have you ever found yourself questioning your identity? Questioning whether or not you are good enough, smart enough, handsome enough, brave enough? I personally can say I have definitely been in situations like this in the past. I would often ponder and over think things in my mind and let the past haunt me with what people have said or the circumstances I was placed in. I, Shelly Ann Fung, had given too much power to these people to say things about me that were not in line with the Word of God.

Questions and the Answers we have pre-conceived in our minds:

Q. Do I have the ability to do this?

A. I won’t do this because this person said I am not able to

Q. What if I’m not good enough?

A. I won’t get into this relationship because the last person told me I would never be good enough for someone else

Q. What if I’m not qualified?

A. I got a 2:2 and not a 1st so why should I even bother trying for that job?

The Truth

As I was doing some reading and self-reflection the other day, I heard the Holy Spirit say “It’s time to Adjust your Crown. It’s time for my children to stop seeking validation from men and start realising that I define them, I am the One who gives them their identity and purpose.”

People may have said things directly to you or about you that made you feel rejected, abandoned, unloved, hurt or even unworthy. Situations may have left you feeling down and discouraged, to the point where you lose all hope and you no longer know who you are. You walk defeated and answer to names that certainly do not define you. And oh how the enemy takes joy in this. He plants these lies and tells you to listen to these voices, just so He can distract you from the One who has created you and given you His identity.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22
And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put His seal on us and given us His Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

Crowns are meant to be worn on one’s head, not left unworn for people to trample upon them. Adjust your crown and understand who you belong to. Adjust your crown and know who you do not have to be. Don’t you know that you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9). Yes, we are royalty, and so we must walk and act as royals do. Kings and queens, sons and daughters of the Almighty, wear your crown proudly. Build your identity on the rock, so that when situations come, who you are is not easily shaken (Matthew 7:24-25). Go back to the source, the Word of God. Through His Word your joy will be full and you will have no need to look for materialistic things or people to fill a void or validate you. You will look to Christ, the One who gives joy that is eternal, the One who calls you royalty. Rest in the identity that He Has given you, as through this, you bring Glory to His name; the very purpose for which you were created.

What does the word of God say about me?

I am no longer lonely, because He has called me His friend (John 15:5)

He has called me chosen (1 Thessalonians 1:4)

In Him my life has purpose. He has called me His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)

I am no longer bound by what people say about me or the way they’ve hurt me because He says I am free. Free indeed (John 8:36)

For those who have abandoned me along the way, there is no need to worry because I am a son and a daughter of God (Galatians 3:26)

When I don’t feel like I am worthy of being loved, remember that I am loved by Love Himself (Romans 5:8)

When I feel guilty and weighed down by the past, I should remember that in Christ I am a new creation, the old me has passed away and behold He has made me new (2 Corinthians 5:17)

The reason I write this post is to encourage you and remind you of who you belong to. We give too much power to worry, fear, doubt, uncertainties and our past, that it muddles who we think we are. Be encouraged and know that you are a child of God. You are deeply loved and cherished. You are highly valued!

Why not write these statements somewhere you will see them regularly. Renew your mind daily of God’s truth and you’ll find it difficult to live a life not guided by His promises.

Grace, peace, love and blessings to you all in the name of Christ.

Your Story, His Glory

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Jane Austen. Roald Dahl. Maya Angelou. There are numerous things that distinguish these three people. They were from different time periods, were of different races and probably had different experiences of life. Yet, what they will all be remembered for is the fact that they were exceptional storytellers. And though they have all passed away, their stories live on in the hearts of the many people who read their work. But do you realise that it’s not only their stories that live on, but their years of insight and wisdom, and their personalities too.

Now, think of your life as a story and God as the author. Have you considered how God is made known through it? Just as any author is made known through their stories, the God of the universe has chosen to make Himself known through you!

Knowing the connection between your individual story and its ability to reflect God’s identity, it’s hard to imagine that He wouldn’t care about its every detail, after all, He’s the author. It’s something that one may hear frequently as a believer, but too often it’s a truth we neglect. At the time of writing, I myself had gone through a prolonged phase where I had neglected my story, thinking to myself that God’s sole interest in me was for the help of others, and it highlighted a broken aspect of my theology that I hadn’t noticed.

I had come to think that God only cared about me in so far as He needed me for His mysterious purposes. You might say there’s nothing wrong with this at first glance, but on closer inspection you’ll begin to find that this paints a picture of God as more of a boss than a father. However, the bible gives us many examples demonstrating that qualities of a good father are not inherent for being a worldly boss. For example, being a loving teacher (Ephesians 6:4), a positive example (1 Corinthians 11:1), doning wisdom and providing protection (1 Corinthians 15:33) to name a few.

Unlike a father, a boss’ sole concern is achieving a certain target rather than the tool (person) being used to reach it. From this perspective, God becomes a results driven being with you as the “underpaid” worker, who might get a bit of time off before being used to recruit other people. This would also mean that the lives of the people affected were also of minimal concern to God, as they too are just part of a plan of mass recruitment. Everything would be inherently impersonal.

However, I now realise that though God does desire to use me for His purposes, He wants me to do it from a place of sonship. Service without sonship breeds a slave like mentality. God does indeed want workers as “the harvest is plentiful”, but, He is very much concerned about the joy that is birthed in you once you faithfully participate in His plans, His will – in Him.

But, reality check … you aren’t the main character in God’s story.

A lot of the time, we’ve been sold teaching that confuses God’s love for us as making us the ultimate centre of God’s universe. We’re told that God is for us and that He works the world to revolve around us. So when things don’t go our way we are left confused. “Isn’t God for me, so why isn’t this working out the way I want it to?” The truth is you are not the main character of the story. Jesus is. These are just some scriptures which should help you to see this:

  • “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (Romans 8: 29)
  • “When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subjected to Him who put all things in subjection under Him, that God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28)
  • “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36)

In reality this truth should free us, since the majority of the angst that we experience is because of how WE feel things should be in relation to our wants and needs. And this at its core is a very self-centred viewpoint. But now, Knowing that God does everything for His glory with His fatherly love for us in mind, it places our issues and circumstances in context. Your story – the good, the bad and the ugly – is for His glory.

What is God’s glory? It’s incomprehensible to the human mind, since as small finite beings made from dust, we can never fully grasp the attributes that make God, God. So my simple definition is that the glory of God is the “Godness of God”. Therefore, your story is testifying to a specific characteristic or attribute of God. Your story does matter.

What I hope this article does is cause you to appreciate your story more and be intentional in seeing God as the author of your faith. The situations, circumstances and suffering you may find yourself in now or in the future may not be pleasant, but by remembering that God is the author of your faith, you can begin to see that God is working things for His glory and your joy. Some parts of the story are almost a collaborative effort, where as we draw closer to His heart we begin to act in accordance with His will. Other parts of our story is simply about placing our faith in His sovereignty when we can’t understand what’s happening. Knowing that God is still for you (Romans 8: 31) gives us confidence that He who began a good work (or a good story) will surely take it to completion (Philippians 1:6).

I find this Jackie Hill Perry quote an apt place to draw to a close: “We get confused when suffering comes when we think God is more committed to our comfort than He is to our sanctification”. God is so good in that He makes us look more and more like the main character of His story each day.

In reflection, I would like to leave you with these three encouragements

  1. Get to know the Author. Characters in fictional storylines don’t have this opportunity. The author is complete unbeknownst to them, they just move as the author has them move. We, however, do know the author and have access to Him. In His story, and in history, we have seen God make his dwelling amongst men (John 1:14). God lives in us through the Holy Spirit, by faith and so in the same faith we can ask Him to show and lead us to where we are placed in His story.
  2. Share your testimony. Your story needs to be heard! A good example of this is the woman at the well in John 4. No matter how far you are in your journey with Christ, no matter how “dramatic” or “ordinary” your story may seem someone can always be blessed and God will always be glorified.
  3. Appreciate your story. This could get a whole article in itself, but I’ll touch on it briefly here. Your story is not worth comparing to someone else’s. Your story is precious to God and He died specifically to have a relationship with you. Whilst you might be on chapter 3, person X could be on chapter 7 and they may have had to endure certain things in previous chapters. Rest in the knowledge that everything God is allowing in your life as a believer is maturing you into the image and likeness of His Son. That’s the only person worth comparing yourself to.

 

The Pulse | S1:E10 | Do I Have To Care About Theology?

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Our God Given Mission (OGGM) is a registered charity in England and Wales.The charity is built on the biblical instruction of going out into all the world and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone that will listen.

Gospel simply means [ GOOD NEWS ]. The good news of Jesus’ coming to the earth to rekindle our relationship with GOD! The gospel is the greatest news anyone will ever hear, so at OGGM we are dedicated to spreading this news! We are also dedicated to mobilising others to do the same

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We cannot carry out the mission without you! We are called OUR God given Mission because the mission is too great for us to do alone! Keep up to date with articles, videos, podcasts and other online content that is sure to keep you on your toes.

The Pulse | S1:E9 | How Could A Loving God Send GOOD People To Hell?

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We want to follow in the footsteps of Christ Jesus in communicating the very real truths about Heaven and Hell.
We hope that this provides compassion, conviction and clarity for you and enables boldness to speak these truths or repentance in view of them.

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__
Our God Given Mission (OGGM) is a registered charity in England and Wales. The charity is built on the biblical instruction of going out into all the world and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone that will listen.

Gospel simply means [ GOOD NEWS ]. The good news of Jesus’ coming to the earth to rekindle our relationship with GOD! The gospel is the greatest news anyone will ever hear, so at OGGM we are dedicated to spreading this news! We are also dedicated to mobilizing others to do the same

***

We cannot carry out the mission without you! We are called OUR God given Mission because the mission is too great for us to do alone! Keep up to date with articles, videos, podcasts and other online content that is sure to keep you on your toes.

The Pulse | S1:E8 | How Do I Forgive Someone Who Hasn’t Said Sorry?

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| CONNECT with OGGM |

Website: https://goo.gl/tBQHMy
Youtube: https://goo.gl/vAu6AD
Facebook: https://goo.gl/YAyPys
Twitter: https://goo.gl/YBctgr
Instagram: https://goo.gl/ZbGRZ7

__
Our God Given Mission (OGGM) is a registered charity in England and Wales.The charity is built on the biblical instruction of going out into all the world and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone that will listen.

Gospel simply means [ GOOD NEWS ]. The good news of Jesus’ coming to the earth to rekindle our relationship with GOD! The gospel is the greatest news anyone will ever hear, so at OGGM we are dedicated to spreading this news! We are also dedicated to mobilising others to do the same

***

We cannot carry out the mission without you! We are called OUR God given Mission because the mission is too great for us to do alone! Keep up to date with articles, videos, podcasts and other online content that is sure to keep you on your toes.

The Pulse | S1:E7 | How Do I Stop Comparing Myself On Social Media?

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Subscribe now for more! https://goo.gl/vAu6AD

| CONNECT with OGGM |

Website: https://goo.gl/tBQHMy
Youtube: https://goo.gl/vAu6AD
Facebook: https://goo.gl/YAyPys
Twitter: https://goo.gl/YBctgr
Instagram: https://goo.gl/ZbGRZ7

__
Our God Given Mission (OGGM) is a registered charity in England and Wales.The charity is built on the biblical instruction of going out into all the world and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone that will listen.

Gospel simply means [ GOOD NEWS ]. The good news of Jesus’ coming to the earth to rekindle our relationship with GOD! The gospel is the greatest news anyone will ever hear, so at OGGM we are dedicated to spreading this news! We are also dedicated to mobilising others to do the same

***

We cannot carry out the mission without you! We are called OUR God given Mission because the mission is too great for us to do alone! Keep up to date with articles, videos, podcasts and other online content that is sure to keep you on your toes.