Punching Shadows

I know what it feels like to be overshadowed by my weakness. For many years I threw punches at that shadow until I was completely exhausted and utterly defeated.

I couldn’t understand WHY I couldn’t win this fight when the Word says that I am more than a conqueror! It wasn’t for lack of TRYING.

Reinhard Bonnke once said that he tried to outrun his shadow for many years. No matter how far or fast he ran, he couldn’t escape it. Then one day, he turned towards the sun (Son) and he was no longer aware of his shadow.

Are you tired from trying to outrun your shadow?

That’s exactly where the enemy of our souls wants us. Focused on our shadows. Exhausted from throwing punches at something we cannot change oursleves.

It’s time to stop running, stop fighting and turn to the Son.

BUT… How do we turn?
What does that process look like?

Let me share with you my story of shadow-punching and the simple steps I have learned to shift myself out of the pit of despair and into the light of God’s transforming love.

Motivation didn’t do it for me.

Inspiration didn’t do it for me.

I needed supernatural and practical help. I have learned how to be EPIC at failing and I would like to share my self-coaching tool with you in an interactive workshop that I will be hosting on zoom on the 25th of June at 10am (UK).

This includes:
The Workshop
Training Manual
Self-Coacing Tool
Live Q&A
Prophetic Ministry

And you will learn how to:

  • break out of the cycle of perpetual failure
  • eliminate the voice of shame and condemnation
  • turn your setbacks into stepping stones that will launch you into your purpose and destiny

That weakness that is overshadowing you is about to become your greatest trainer and coach. Your greatest weakness is the launch pad for your glorious purpose.

You can be EPIC at failing.

Book your seat here.

It’s time to exchange your ashes for a beautiful crown of victory. That is God’s will for you. It has been His plan from the very start, even before you were born.

…and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
Isaiah 61:3 NIV

Heart Print:

Today, I see the Father wrap His arm around us saying:

“My Chosen one. It’s time to rise from the ashes you have grown used to. Rise. Do not think that the struggle was in vain. It has served a purpose. It has trained you for YOUR purpose. Rise. Who told you that the shadow has any substance? Keep your eyes on me and remember that my Light is not just shining upon you, but shining from WITHIN you. Rise. No darkness can put out my Light. Rise.” ❤

I tried smoking to stop eating, this is what happened…

You have heard it said that desperate times call for desperate measures. Well, I was desperate. Eighteen years old and about to start a new chapter of my life, I walked onto the campus of the Rand Afrikaans University with new hope. These were going to be the best years of my life. There was a kind of freedom in the air. I was no longer constrained by the school bell or my ever tightening-uniform.

My new schedule meant that I had plenty of time to study or socialise in the cafeteria and I spent many hours waiting for my next class or for my friends to finish their lessons. It was 1995 and we did not have the gift of smart phone technology or social media, but I did have another addiction that would nudge me on the shoulder when waiting became uncomfortable. I would eat.

With six years of yo-yo dieting already under my belt, I knew that I was heading down a slippery slope that would take me where I really did not want to go. Already not happy with the way I looked and watching all the young, beautiful girls walk around on campus, seeing the attention that many of them reveived, made me look for an alternative drug of choice. Cheeseburgers were not going to help, but I could fill the void with a ciggie or two, I reckoned. By then I had tried every diet, pill, injection, patch, therapy, even surgery and nothing worked, so what did I have to lose?

Being the pastor’s eldest and most responsible daughter, I made sure to hide my new habit as best I could, but it wasn’t long until my little sister found a wonderful opportunity to dim the light that was casting the shadow she was living under. She knew something was off and followed me to a park near our house. She watched as I sat on the swing and lit up my new found hope of skinniness. Through the exhaled smoke I saw her little feet run as fast as a squirrel up a tree, towards our house. I knew my time was up. I had been found out and I was about to feel the consequences of my poor decision.

By the time I made it home, my father was ready. He had some time to prepare (I might have been dragging my feet a little on the way home). As I was summoned into my bedroom, I prayed for the rapture to come. I couldn’t tell what the worst part was – having to reach towards a cigarette because I couldn’t stop eating or disappointing my dad? Head hanging low, I walked into my room and sat on the bed. My dad sat down next to me. I waited for the verdict. After what felt like an eternity, he finally said:

“Meliza, this is not who you are.”

What? No disappointment? No ridicule, punishment or shame? I started to cry unconsolably, but somehow my heart felt a little lighter. My father was less bothered about a bad habit, than about me trying to hide my struggle from him. He understood that I was struggling and he wanted to help.

Those seven words did something miraculous to me: it lifted me out of the shame of my mistake. It was a seed planted in my heart that would grow into a revelation of my true identity as a daughter of God. I am often reminded of that very moment, when I feel shame knocking at the door of my heart. When I have messed up and settled for something that was not meant to be my portion (my inheritance), I now have the ability to recognise it and say: “This is not for me. This is not who I am.”

Our Heavenly Father loves to do the same for us when we miss the mark. It is in our moments of greatest weakness that he wants us to come to Him. He is not that bothered about our bad habits. He is more troubled by the fact that we’re hiding from Him. He doesn’t want us to struggle on our own, but turn to Him for the help we need. He wants to heal our hearts and see us live in wholeness and freedom.

Jesus did this very thing for Peter as He met him on the shore of Galilee, after Peter betrayed Him. I cannot imagine the shame Peter must have felt as he sat in his fishing boat – back at square one. This was the place where the old Simon Peter was first recruited. Followed by three years of walking with Jesus, dreaming about the glorious future as the Messiah would rescue His people from oppression. Now the dream was over. Jesus was dead. And Peter, the Rock, the one who pledged to die for his Messiah, couldn’t even stand up to be counted when the going got tough.

Yet, there on the shore stood the resurrected Messiah, the friend of Peter, Jesus – building a fire and waiting for Peter. Not with punishment, ridicule or shame. Waiting to restore Peter. To establish him in his true identity and get him back on track so that he could live out his divinely ordained purpose. (*John 21)

Over breakfast with Jesus, on the beach, Peter is lifted out of the pit of despair. Affirmed as a friend. The unstable one of the group is called to be a firm foundation and commissioned to do the work he had always been created for.

Beautiful friend, what is that weakness that keeps messing with your identity? That thing that keeps trying to disqualify you from the good plans and glorious purpose that God has for your life? Can I encourage you to come out of hiding? You do not belong in the pit of despair. This is not for you. This is not who you are.

You are the beloved child of the Most High, deeply loved and treasured. You have the same power in you that raised Jesus from the dead. You have dreams planted in your heart for a purpose. You are destined to overcome. Freedom is your birth right.

It’s time to lift your head.

There is no punishment, ridicule or shame for you.

Only restoration and freedom. A great commission awaits.

You’re invited for breakfast with Jesus.

Come BOLDLY!

So now we draw near freely and boldly to where grace is enthroned, to receive mercy’s kiss and discover the grace we urgently need to strengthen us in our time of weakness.
Hebrews 4:16 TPT

Beautiful friend, you do not need to allow your failure to disqualify you or direct the course of your life. You can turn those moments of epic failure into encounters with a God who loves you and created you for a purpose. He dreamed you into existence and designed you with intention. Your destiny is secure when you walk with Him.

If you are interested in learning how to turn your greatest weakness into your glorious purpose, I love to invite you to join me on the 25th of June 2021 for a live, interactive workshop where I will teach you how to practically walk out this truth. (Sign up here.)

It’s time to run boldly into His arms.

It’s time to walk in your true identity and purpose.

Heart Print:

Today, I see Jesus sitting on the other side of the fire as we’re having breakfast on the beach:

“My Chosen One. A million failures cannot rewrite the dreams I have for you. Keep coming back to the fire, come and receive what you need when things are difficult. When you feel like your strength is gone, let me be the source of your life. My heart is strong enough to sustain you. Rest in me and let me love you. Don’t try so hard, but let me love through you. I am your true identity and purpose. Your glorious inheritance. And you, Beloved, are mine.” ❤

Baarack’s Story

A few months ago, as I scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed, I was introduced to Baarack the Australian sheep that was rescued and relieved of about 35kg of wool. Aparently, that is enough wool to knit 61.3 jumpers! I’m not sure what you would do with a third of a jumper, but even so, you have admit: that is A LOT of wool.

According to the Irish Times, Baarack was found wandering alone and his rescuers said that he was once an owned merino sheep; the kind that needs to be shorn at least once a year as they do not shed their wool.

As I watched Baarack’s story play through on my newsfeed, I started to feel the tears well up. Seeing his happy little face when he was freed from that heavy load he was carrying made envy his new found freedom a little. I was carrying a load of my own at the time, although it wasn’t an overgrown load of wool tangled up with twigs and dirt, it felt eaqually heavy and messy. And yes, the additional weight on my body that I have been carrying around for years has been a struggle for sure, but it was the emotional and mental weight that was really starting to weigh me down.

Baarack’s message reached my heart with a divinely inspired truth – I had been wandering alone too long, producing and growing (which is all good) but without taking the time to stop and allow the Shepherd to relieve me of the weight of what I was carrying. You see, we all carry stuff. We know that some of it isn’t good, like the twigs, muds and tangled wool. However, sheep are known for what they produce; their wool. As children of God, we are called to be productive too, but sometimes we need to be freed from the burden of our calling.

There are times when I am so focused on what needs to be done that I lose sight of the bigger picture. I forget that I need to be cared for, before I can care. And that I have not been called to carry the weight of the world, because Jesus, our Good Shepherd, already has. When we allow the Good Shepherd to take good care of us, we are able to be productive in a healthy way; in a beautiful way.

That is why the Good Shepherd extends this invitation to all of his wandering sheep:

“Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.”
Matthew 11:28-30 TPT

Are you prone to wandering? Are you feeling weighed down by all the burdens you are carrying? Is your need to be productive robbing you from the joy of what you’re producing?

Perhaps it’s time to see the Shepherd. He will remove the mud and twigs that got stuck in that messy growth. He will untangle the knots and help you to take all of your acitivity and productivity and make it into something that will bring something both practical and beautiful to those who need it. And you will feel light and free in the process.

Baarack before and after his transformation
(Photo credit: Edgar’s Mission)

I want to live in the joy that Baarack displayed as he said goodbye to all that heaviness. And I know I am not the only wandering, heavy sheep out there. Let’s not continue to wander around on our own but agree to make time with the Good Shepherd a priority.

Make this your declaration today:

I have a Good Shepherd who is kind and gentle and who do not put heavy burdens on me. I choose to surrender the burden of productivity to Him. He helps me to walk lightly and freely within the boundaries of the purpose that He created me for.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father

You are so good! Help us to embrace the joy of the purpose you have created us for. Show us how to partner with you in everything we do. Thank you for shouldering the weight of our responsiblitities. Give us a deep revelation of who you are as our Source. Remind us to run boldly to you when life feels heavy, tangled and messy.

Take our heaviness. Our burdens. All of the stress and anxiety that we have been carrying. And help us to find rest in your amazing love for us.

In Jesus Name
Amen

Heart Print:

Today I hear the Good Shepherd say:

“My Lovely One, why so restless? Have you forgotten that I have already taken care of every need you have today? I certainly have. I have also taken care of every need you will have tomorrow and in the days to come. Can you stay a little longer? Here, in the oasis that I have created for you? Let me refresh and revive you. For I AM your Life; the Source of your livelihood. My plan for you is to live light and free. To enjoy your life. The abundant life I made available for you. Because, my dear, I love you so.” ❤

Native-born

Have you ever stood in a familiar place feeling completely lost?

During our Summer holiday in 2016 we visited my native home country, South Africa. It was the first time I returned to see friends and family after 9 years. Raising a young family and financial constraints made it difficult to go back “home” at the time. Thankfully, I had many visitors from there and with the help of technology, the world doesn’t seem so big anymore.

The day before we were to board the flight back to the UK, I sat in a coffee shop with my husband and struggled to fight back the tears as we talked about the epic holiday we just experienced in the land where we both were born and raised. The generosity of friends and family ensured that we could give our children an incredible taste of the beauty and adventure that South Africa offers. However, this was not the reason why I struggled to stop the tears from falling into my toasted chicken mayo sandwhich. I was sad for a different reason.

Every day I am reminded that even though I reside in the UK and hold a British passport, I am not a native-born Brit. Little reminders that are hidden in language, in humour, in parenting, at work, in social gatherings and even in the food we eat. Being back in South Africa however, made me realise that what used to be familiar, was no longer familiar at all. People changed, places changed, things moved and shifted as the time passed. I no longer felt as if I belonged there, either. There I sat in that coffee shop, in a place I had known all my life, feeling completely lost.

It’s been a few years since my coffee-shop-meltdown, but I have found myself in that space of feeling a little lost in a familiar setting. Not feeling at home in my home. Not feeling comfortable in my own skin. Perhaps it is because of being stuck in a familiar place, in unfamiliar circumstances. Locked down in what is familiar, but surrounded in uncertainty. It is easy to feel a little lost these days.

A few nights ago as I was seeking the Lord about the way forward with a new creative venture I am embarking on, I found this verse in the Amplified (classic edition):

For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord: walk as children of Light (lead the lives of those native-born to the Light).
Ephesians 5:8

The word, native-born, really stood out to me as I read that passage. And it got me thinking… wondering, if perhaps I have forgotten that there is more light in me than darkness. In fact, there cannot be darkness wherever there is light. Perhaps the darkness that I am feeling will disappear as soon as I hit the switch.

Can we ever feel like we belong when we live in a world where we are not native-born? We are Kingdom-born children of Light. Stepping into that true idenity might feel a little uncomfortable and unfamiliar. Letting go of the darkness, of what used to be familiar can take time. You might even experience a coffee-shop-meltdown from time to time. But dear friend, can I encourange you to keep moving forward? Keep embracing the right identity; the Light-identity. Whatever is trying to keep you in the dark will soon lose its grip as you surrender to the Light.

After all, that is who you TRULY are.

Make this your declaration today:

I am a child of the Light and I walk through this life as one that is native-born to the Light.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,

Thank you that you are the Father of Light and within you there is no darkness, no shaddows, no deception. Let your Light fill us completely until every place where darkness is trying to hide will be exposed. Holy Spirit, remind us of who we are: that we are children of the Light. We do not have anything to fear, because we carry the Light of the world within us.

Let your Light shine brighter and brighter upon us and within us today and every day to come.

In Jesus Name.

Amen.

Heart Print:

Today, I hear the Father say:

“Arise, my Bright One! Shine with the Light of my Spirit that is alive in you. There is no darkness that can overwhelm you when you embrace the Light within you. Allow Truth to settle on you until you feel my comfort surround you. Let Truth rise from within you until you feel my power surge through every fibre of your being. I AM alive in you. My Spirit and Truth lives in YOU. Togehter, we are an unstoppable creative force. Partner with me and drive out the darkness around you. You were made to shine, right where you are. Child of Light, shine in my Love for you. In all things. Always.” ❤

Winged Creatures

It’s been a busy start to the year. We have just had new carpets fitted and in the process, there has been a lot of moving, unpacking and sorting. My husband and I thought it might be a golden opportunity to sort through some of our clutter. As I dug through drawers, I came across one of my journals (circa 2012) and as I paged through the memories, I found this one that is well worth a share:

It’s Monday evening and Clinton is working. The house is peaceful and quiet. The little ones are fast asleep after a very busy day of playing in the park, building sandcastles, feeding ducks and covering themselves in muddy puddle water. They are out! It’s been a long time since it has been this quiet.

As I walked into our bedroom, on my way to get ready for an early night, my eye caught something dark and ominous on our lovely, cream bedcovers. My first reaction was not one of delight as I approached the dark grey, winged creature. A moth! A great, big, ugly moth!

Now, I don’t know how you feel about insects, but I am by no means a fan. In fact, I will do anything I possibly can, NOT to have to come into contact with one. Especially one that can take flight.

I knew that tonight would be a different night. The only thing that stood between me and my comfortable bed, was that big, ugly moth sitting right between the pillows. Unfortunatly, my kninght in shining armour was out doing a night shift at the Royal Preston, so there was only going to be one hero in this story and that was going to be me… or the moth.

Courageously I walked over to the bed and in a quick swoop, I picked up the nasty little thing. Using all my mental energy to NOT focus on the creepy, fluttering movements in my hand, I jumped towards the window, flung it open and shut within a record breaking quarter of a second. There it was… on the other side of the window. I could feel it glaring at me as it came to terms with the fact that it was not in my comfortable, warm bed anymore. It was outside. In the cold. Where it belongs!

I looked down at my hand and saw the mucky smudges my little enemy left behind on my hand. After I did my little dance of cringe-fit, I walked into the on-suite to wash my hands. This is when I heard the gentle tap of the Father on my shoulder. It was a teachable moment. This is what I heard Him say:

  • When a thought comes fluttering into your head, identify it. Is it a moth (full of darkness and filth)? Or is it a butterlfy (full of life, pure and good)? 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
  • Deal with the thought immediately. Just like the action you took tonight, grab hold of that moth immediately and throw it out! It does not belong in your head. Deal with it as soon as you see it.
    We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
    2 Corintians 10:5 NIV
  • Just like the moth, bad thoughts may leave residue, so make sure to wash your hands with the Word.
    Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word (Ephesians 5:24-25), when we are stuck in negative thought-patterns , it may well be time to sit down with the word and allow the Holy Spirit to wash away that mothy-thinking-residue.

Reading these words in my journal reminded me of a truth that I desperately need at the minute. With all the negative news we are hearing each day, it has been difficult to keep my focus on what is true, pure, lovely and good. I realise that I have been leaving the window wide open for the moths to come in and make themselves comfortable. But it is time for them to go.

If it’s not a butterfly, it has to leave the building!

Make this your declaration:

I have the power and authority to take down every thought that is not lining up with God’s Word. Every day, I choose to fill my mind with thoughts of love, faith, peace and joy.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for reminding us that we do not have to think whatever pops into our minds. You have given us the authority and the power to choose our thoughts. We choose to have thoughts that are pure, good, full of life and peace. Thank you Holy Spirit for making us sensitive to your Truth. Encourage us daily and remind us to think and speak thoughts of life.

Amen

Heart Print:

Today, I hear the Father say: “Brilliant Child! You are so wonderful. So precious in my sight. My plans for you will never change, they are always full of hope, peace and prosperity. They are to bless you and give you the desires of your heart. As you delight yourself in me, you open your heart to receive every promise that I have spoken over your life. Open your heart to my faithfulness. Open your heart to my relentless love for you. It will make your dreams come true. The dreams that I have given to you, even before you were born.” ❤

2021

Many years ago, I learned that it was futile to set resolutions for the new year. I would always start my new year with a new diet and exercise plan, but two weeks into the new year you would find me sitting on the couch crying into my chocolate cake! Resolutions have never worked for me. Kudos to you if you can stick to yours.

One of the greatest revelations I have discovered is that I have access to a power greater than my self-effort. I learned that I don’t have to lean on my own ability to produce the abundant life of grace and peace that I long to experience. Everything I could ever desire in this life can be attained by one simple Word from God.

God’s Word creates the impossible.

For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.
Luke 1:37 AMPC

God’s Word always produces the desired outcome.

So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:11 AMPC

God’s Word can not be stopped.

Then said the Lord to me, You have seen well, for I am alert and active, watching over My word to perform it.
Jeremiah 1:12 AMPC

So I changed my strategy. Every year I swap my resolution for a Word from God. I take my journal and I sit in the presence of the Lord, expecting that He will give me a specific Word straight from His heart for the new year. I put that Word where I can see it. I read it. I think about it. I let it get into my heart until I am able to believe it.

Dear friend, what is your Word for 2021? Can I encourage you to quiet your heart and allow the Lord to give you fresh vision and hope. He has great plans for you. You were created for a purpose. One that is uniquely yours to fulfill. God hasn’t changed His mind about you, since the day He wove you together in your mother’s womb. He has placed you in this world for such a time as this. He wants to show you who you truly are and partner with you in the plans He designed for you, even before you were born.

Ask for your Word, He will gladly give it to you.

Make this your declaration:

God has great plans for me in 2021. I trust in His unfailing, powerful, creative Word. I believe that He will watch over His Word to perform it in my life.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you for giving us your Word. Thank you that you always make good on your promises. You watch over every Word to perform it. We know that we can put my trust in Your Word, for it never fails. It always accomplishes the goal it was intended for. Thank you that Your plans our lives are good. We are expecting wonderful things this year. We love you, Father. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Heart Print:

Today, I hear the Father say: “Awesome Child, it’s time to rise and shine. My glory light is shining on you and from within you. There is no darkness that can overcome you, for my Word is alive and active in you. Allow every promise I have made to you, to germinate and take root in the soil of your heart. It will produce a harvest for you that you will not be able to contain. A harvest so huge, it will feed every hungry heart you meet. For I have come for the hungry and thirsty. I have come that you may have life. Abundantly.” ❤

Check Your Word Processor

It was rather late last night when I sent out an email about the upcoming weekend intensive, Spirit, Soul & Body. In my eagerness to get to bed, I didn’t notice that the word “strengthened” was autocorrected… to stress! Let’s stress each other in truth and love? No! We don’t need any more stress after this year, do we?

First I was embarrassed 😳

Then I thought about this amazing analogy:
Your heart is a Word Processor too. The Word of God says that…
* Overwhelming victory is yours (Romans 8:37)
* No plague will come near you (Psalm 91:10)
* The joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 10:8)
* All your needs are met (Philippians 4:19)
* Nothing is impossible for the God you serve (Luke 1:37)

When you read those statements, how do you feel? Are you processing them with complete faith, joy and hope? Do you still BELIEVE that God is true to His Word? That He will make good on His promises? Or have you allowed the circumstances of 2020 override the way you are processing truth?

What we believe in our hearts will determine what we experience in this life. It’s time to check your Word Processor:

So above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are. Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life.
Proverbs 4:23 TPT

This is why we need to recalibrate our hearts! Don’t go into 2021 with “stress” when “strength” is your portion.

Recalibration is necessary on a regular basis, not just once a year. That’s why we are offering unlimited, lifetime access to the materials of the Spirit, Soul & Body Weekend Intensive.

No Stress.

Only Strength.

Make this your declaration today:

My heart is steadfast in the truth of who I am and Who I belong to. I will not allow circumstances to influence what I believe about God or about myself.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for being the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Strengthen me with your joy. Let your truth override every lie that circumstances have written on my heart. I believe I am who YOU say I am. I put my trust in your faithfulness and unfailing love. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Heart Print:

Today, I hear the Father say: “Dear One. Be strong and of good courage. Haven’t I promised to work all things together for your good? You are never out of my line of sight or beyond my grasp, for you are my most treasured possession. Nothing can seperate you from my presence. Nothing can seperate you from my heart. Rest in my unfailing love and know: I am with you always.” ❤

Here is a video where I share the Word the Lord gave me for 2021.

May you be strengthened and encouraged.
If you need to connect and walk together, I would love to hear from you.

Have a wonderful day and be blessed!
Meliza ❤

The Right Shoes

On Saturday morning I discovered that when you walk through muddy trails, you really do need to wear the right shoes.

Messy paths require proper footwear

It was such a beautiful day and I was in much need of an escape from the mental overload I was experiencing. Overcome by every bullet point on a to do list that just seem to grow ever longer and longer, I put on my trainers and set off on a little nature trail near our house. It was a spectacularly beautiful day. The sun was shining brightly through tree branches that had already shed most of their autumnal glory. It was cold, but crisp and bright. Perfect for a walk… until I reached a certain point where there was just no dry place to put my feet.

My trainers, socks and tracky-bottoms were covered in mud by the time I returned home. I should have worn my wellington boots. I should have known better, considering all the years of hearing Peppa Pig’s advice to my kids: “If you want to jump in muddy puddles, you must wear your boots!”

Whilst trudging through the mud on my way back home, I was reminded of the passage in Ephesians 6, reminding us to put on our spiritual armour. I am well practiced in the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness and the sword of the Spirit, but I often skim over the shoes; writing it off as simple readiness to share your faith with those who need to hear the message of the gospel.

However, there was something that compelled me to have a deeper look. As I took another glimpse at this verse, I realised that the one who needed to hear the gospel of peace the most that day, was me!

I looked at many different translations of Ephesians 6:15, but this is the one that stood out to me:

For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.
Ephesians 6:15 NLT

Put on peace.

We are told to put on peace. Peace that will protect our feet. Imagine running around a battlefield without any shoes!

Peace needs to be the position in which we stand, walk and run in life. I had become so busy with doing stuff (even doing stuff for God) and somehow, I had lost my peace. I was wearing the shoes of “overwhelm” not the shoes of peace. I was wearing the wrong shoes and it didn’t help when the path got a little muddy.

Peace that comes from the Good News.

This year, I think we can agree, has not been a year of particularly good news (in the natural). Perhaps your peace-walk has been challenged too. Perhaps like me, you are looking down at your feet and realising that you are wearing the wrong shoes for the journey. Maybe it’s time to go back to the Good News. The good news is that you are in perfect standing with God. That He is completely at peace with you. That HIS Peace is YOUR portion; your inheritance. That HIS Peace is not circumstantial, but lasting.

The original meaning of the word ‘peace’ (Strong-Lite: G1515) includes “security, safety, prosperity, felicity (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous)”. We can walk in peace, regardless of our circumstances, when we know where we stand with God. He is our security, safety, prosperity, peace and harmony. We need to now just know this, but stand in it. Walk in it. Why?

…so that you will be fully prepared.

Nothing could have prepared us for the events of 2020 and with everything this year has thrown at us, it is even more difficult to prepare for the coming year. Yet, in all the uncertainty we can have confidence that no matter how muddy the path before us, we are clothed and equipped to walk through it. In peace.

When we walk in God, our Peace we are prepared for anything.

Make this your declaraion:

I am in right standing with God who is my security, safety, prosperity, peace and harmony. I walk in perfect peace, no matter what the day brings.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,
We thank You that our peace is securely found in you. You keep us in the very center of your heart, where no evil can befall us and no plague can come near us. You are the Life that gives us life. You are that Light that destroys the darkness. You are our Peace. Holy Spirit remind us, that we are secure and safe in the heart of the Father.
In Jesus Name,
Amen.

Heart Print:

Today, I hear the Father say: “Brave One. Let joy rise within you, even in the midst of trouble. For you are never on the losing side. You are in me, therefore you are victorious. Always. You are in me, therefore you are secure. Always. I surround you with my Peace. Wherever you put your feet, there I am also. Where you go, Peace goes. To step out of Peace is to step out of me: it is impossible. So open your eyes and see, there is no trouble that can touch you. I AM your Peace.” ❤

Take A Seat

Netflix has nothing on the Old Testament! It is full of mystery, tragedy, romance, action and adventure. Whatever your genre, you will find it in the pages from Genesis to Malachi. I didn’t always love it so much. I was convinced that it made for hard, laborious reading, until a fear years ago when I convinced myself that I “ought to” read the Bible from cover to cover at least once in my life.

Now, I am hooked.

Recently, I have been hanging out with king David as he winds down from over 40 years of either hiding away or running towards his enemies. He made some enormous mistakes, but let’s not kid ourselves, he was one of (if not) the best kings that ever ruled over Judah and Israel.

Then I got to a boring bit. From 1 Chronicles 22 to 28 it drones on, while we get to read David’s handover notes as he prepares to leave his office as king. Pages full of instruction ranging from military divisions to gatekeepers, musicians, priests and building instructions for the temple. My eyes started feeling heavy as I tried to focus and take it all in. Then I read something that felt like the ice-bucket-challenge from way back:

“All this,” said David, “the Lord made me understand in writing, by His hand upon me, all the works of these plans.” And David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God—my God—will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord. Here are the divisions of the priests and the Levites for all the service of the house of God; and every willing craftsman will be with you for all manner of workmanship, for every kind of service; also the leaders and all the people will be completely at your command.”
1 Chronicles 28:19-21 NKJV

What I saw in that passage, was the picture of an incredible, awesome father. One who had done everything in his power to prepare the way for his son to step into his purpose and destiny.

Solomon did not have have to do any of the hard work. Not only was the materials available (stored up from many battles fought by king David and his men), but even the human resources were prepared and committed to do what was needed to get the job done.

David’s dream had always been to build a dwelling place for God, but he was a man of war (1 Chronicles 22:8). God did not want His temple to be built by hands that shed blood. He was looking for someone who could govern with peace. God loved Solomon (who never fought a battle in his entire life) and chose him to be the one to build His temple. Solomon simply took his seat as king, and from that position he fulfilled the plans of God.

This passage found a landing place in my heart, because I don’t know about you, but I have been feeling tired of fighting battles. What if we have been engaged in the wrong activity? What if we are not supposed to be fighters, but are called to be builders? We have, after all, like Solomon, inherited a kingdom of Peace. What if, our job is not to go to war, but to build a temple: a dwelling place for our God.

Think about it… Jesus has already won every battle for us through His death and resurrection. He said it Himself: “It is finished.” He won the battle for our righteousness, our health, our provision, our deliverance, our peace. Our Father has done all the work, now we get to take our seat as ones who govern and rule in peace.

I feel like the season of fighting for our inheritance is over. It’s time to take a seat.

“For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.”
Ephesians 2:6 NLT

Make this your declaration:
I am seated with Christ in heavenly places. I am called to rule and reign in this life, by the righteousness and grace that was given to me by my Father.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us an abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness. You have raised us from the dead and seated us in heavenly realms, in Jesus. Help us to live from our heavenly seats. Give us the wisdom to take hold of every resource you have prepared for us, so that we can build a dwelling place for you. May we be a resting place for you. I ask in Jesus Name, Amen.

Heartprint:
Today, I hear the Father say: “Child of Peace. The one I love dearly. The one I have chosen to govern with peace. Step off the battlefield, for I have already won the war. It is time to take your seat. You did not inherit a struggle. I did not offer you chaos. Your inheritance is peace, victory and order. Put away your battle plans and see, I have given you a blueprint. Build a dwelling place. For where I AM, you will never have to fight for anything. Ever.” ❤

Face To Face

Have you experienced the frustration of trying to untangle a ball of string that seems to become more tangled the harder you try? That would be the perfect metaphor for my life. I would read about peace, joy and freedom in the Word of God, but the harder I tried to achieve those things, the more tangled I became in my struggle. I was truly stuck.

My heart was crying out for freedom, but no amount of striving could get me to that point. All the things I tried to get free seemed to be working for everyone else, but me. The truth, however, is that I was never able to untangle myself in the first place. I needed help. And there was only one Person who could help me.

It was as I saw the face of my Heavenly Father that the walls of my stronghold started to crumble. When I saw the face of King Frederick in the movie, Tangled, I also saw the face of my Father. A Father who celebrated his daughter, even though she was stuck in a stronghold. A Father who was grieved about the condition of my tangled heart.

Becoming untangled is not an instant fix. That moment in the movie theatre was only the starting point of a process of looking into the Face of the Father and discovering the depth of love and freedom I have in Him. Looking into His face is how we become untangled.

Use your eyes.

In Ephesians 1:15-23 Paul prays that the church will receiving the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation in the intimate knowledge of God. That the eyes of their heart will be enlightened. This is how they will know who they are and what they have inherited as saints in Christ.

Our eyes need to be filled with light. Matthew 6:22 says that if our eye is full of light our whole body will be filled with light. Psalm 119:105 says that the Word of God is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.

In John 1 we read that Jesus, Himself is the Word made flesh and the Light of the world. If we want to see with our spiritual eyes we need to spend some time in the Light. We need to lock our eyes onto His.

Use your ears.

John 8:47 says that if we are from God, we can hear His voice. In John 10, Jesus says that his sheep can hear His voice and they do not follow the voice of the stranger. Hearing the voice of the Father, what He says about us, and how He feels about us is such a valuable gift and privilege. Not only does He give us direction for our lives, but His words transform us.

God spoke all of creation into existence. When He speaks, every atom has to obey. When we hear His Word spoken over us, it transforms us. How would you not want to hear the voice of your Father every day?

Use your mouth.

Your greatest weapon is under your nose. With the mouth you confess unto salvation (Romans 10:10). That does not just apply to becoming ‘saved’ or ‘born again’. As one who is created in the image of the Creator, when you speak you release the power to bring salvation into the world around you.

When you align your words with the Father’s Word (particularly His words about YOU), you are releasing *salvation (*you might want to look up the definition in English and Hebrew to see what is included in that potent word) into the world around you.

Luke 1:37 says that no Word from God will ever be without power or impossible of fulfilment. Isaiah 55:11 says that God’s Word will never return void, it always accomplish the very thing that it was sent for.

So let’s spend some time with our Father. Face to face. With eyes full of light and ears that hear His voice. Let us declare and release His Words of Salvation into our own lives and the world around us.

Light for your path:

Lovers of God have been given eyes to see
with spiritual discernment
and ears to hear from God.
Proverbs 20:12 TPT

Make this your declaration:

“I love you Father! Thank you for the gift of spiritual discernment. Thank you for eyes to see you and for ears that hear your voice.”

Heart Print:

Today I hear the Father say: “Glorious One. I love spending time with you. Allow the light of my love to fill your heart. My love will activate and energise your faith. My love is a powerful force that is alive and working in you. Allow it to grow stronger and stronger each day. It is that love that will transform you and the world you live in. You are my Beloved. Be Loved.” ❤

Activate your faith

“My faith just doesn’t seem to be working.”

Have you ever thought that? Have you ever wondered where you are missing it as you watch people slay their giants left, right and centre, but your giant is still breathing down your neck? And it’s not like you’re not trying. You are praying and declaring and standing and believing, but it just doesn’t seem to work.

About ten years ago, I found myself in that place. Tired of constantly fighting, but unable to get my giant to move just one inch to the side. If I did manage to get him to move a little, it was only temporary. He would soon be back in position tormenting me.

I would read Psalm 103, where David lists all the benefits of being on God’s side. I would read it and think, alright, I am forgiven, but where is my healing? Where is my deliverance? Where is my provision? Why am I not feeling like my youth is being renewed?

Is there something wrong with ME?

On the verge of giving up on the good fight of faith (that honestly, wasn’t feeling that good) I went to the cinema one rainy afternoon in 2010 and as I watched the movie Tangled, everything started to click into place. I started realising that I had been occupied with the wrong story. There was a bigger reality at play. A spiritual battle, that I was ill equipped for and even though I had done all the right things, my actions were rendered powerless, because my faith wasn’t activated.

Galatians 5:6 in the Amplified Classic Edition says that our faith is activated, energized and it works through love. I have discovered that this is more than me just doing things out of a motivation of love, but actually requires me to be filled with the love of God, Himself.

My faith wasn’t working, because I didn’t have a revelation of the One who was backing up my faith-actions. Things changed dramatically for me when I saw the face of my Father in the animated face of King Frederic. I saw love. I saw compassion. I saw grief. I saw a God whose heart was moved. A God who wasn’t indifferent or distant. A God who loved me deeply. It activated my faith.

David wasn’t intimidated by the giant in front of him, because he knew whose shadow he was standing under. He had an intimate friendship with the creator of the universe, and so can we. Sometimes we need to put down our sling and stone and go and sit in the shadow of the Almighty. That is where we are safe and secure. No giant will dare to be seen under that shadow.

When we are filled with love, we are filled with power. That is why we have to make sure that we are standing under the proper shadow. When we are constantly dwelling on the giant, we are standing under the wrong shadow. When we are dwelling on the faithfulness of God, on His promises, on the testimonies of His awesome power, but most of all, on His love for us, we are empowered to believe from the heart and not just the mind. When we hear His voice as He speaks over us, as He delights and sings over us, we can rise up and say: “What could ever separate me from the love of God?!”

All things become possible, because the power in us will be released and our giant will fall. It is after all, through His power in us, that He does exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we can hope for, dream or imagine.
(Ephesians 3:20)

So, beautiful friend, put down your sling and stone. Go and sit under the shadow of the Almighty and let Him show you how much He loves you. For He really, really does love you, with a love that is not like any love you have ever experienced on this earth.

Make this your declaration:

God loves me. His love is activating and energising my faith. He is doing far above what I can dream or imagine, according to His power that is at work in me.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your faithfulness and your heart towards us. You do not delight in our sufferings but are grieved by our heartaches. You also want to see our giants fall.

Help us to draw near to you and hear the words that you are speaking over our hearts. Activate our faith with your love. May we become people who are deeply rooted and securely grounded in your love, so that nothing can shake us. May we become bodies that are flooded with your love. Full of faith and power that moves mountains.

In Jesus Name

Amen

Heart Print:

Today, I hear the Father saying: “Valiant One. My Faithful One. Do not be intimidated by the giant in front of you. I am so much greater and I am with you. In my presence you are untouchable. Stay. Abide. Listen, as I speak my words of grace, love and power over you. Fear has to go. Doubt will flee. Darkness cannot overpower the light. Remain in me, in my Word and in my presence. You are always welcome and dearly loved.” ❤

** For more heart prints, you are welcome ro download a copy of my e-book for free: http://www.melizafarndell.com

No Trouble

Are you trying your very best to lay low and avoid trouble? Have you put that dream God gave you on the backburner, waiting for every little detail to line up perfectly before you dare to step out in faith? What if it’s time to shake off fear and run full throttle into your destiny! Trouble, ot not.

On Saturday, I walked into the lounge with a bite to eat. My husband and I had been decluttering our kitchen and sat down for a break, watching a bit of telly while we had our refreshments. We watched the Three Musketeers (2011 version, directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, screenplay by Alex Litvak and Andrew Davies, based in the novel written by Alexandre Dumas).

The young D’artagnan (played by Logan Lerman) was heading towards Paris to join the Musketeers. His father (played by Dexter Fletcher) had prepared him for this moment, training and equipping him to become part of this elite group of guardians of the Kingdom of France. As D’artagnan saddled up his horse, his mum (played by Jenny Perry) nervously telling him to stay at the back of the battle lines, he says: “Don’t worry Mum and Dad, I’ll try and keep out of trouble.”

His father’s response was unexpected. “No D’artagnan! Don’t stay away from trouble, get INTO trouble! Live. Love. Enjoy your life to the full!” I am paraphrasing, but it wasn’t the kind of advice you would expect from your average parent. This dad’s words pulled on my heart a little. I knew that God was speaking to me through this scene.

Am I trying to avoid trouble? Keeping the peace for a quiet life? But what if hiding from trouble means that I miss out on the life that I am destined for? As a child of Almighty God, is it even realistic to fear trouble at all? Let’s think about it…

God, you’re such a safe and powerful place to find refuge!
You’re a proven help in time of trouble—
more than enough and always available whenever I need you
.
Psalm 46:1 The Passion Translation.

God is a safe place.

In God, we have the freedom to explore. The freedom to make mistakes without the fear of being judged or reprimanded. Repentance is a simple change of mind and direction without any shame or humiliation. That is the way our Father loves us. We do not have to be perfect or get it all one hundred percent right, all of the time.

God is a powerful place.

We are never alone. Our powerful God is with us always. He never leaves us or forsake us. Where He is, there is victory, peace, freedom and life. There is hope that doesn’t disappoint. When we walk in the power of His presence, what can come against us? No trouble can touch us or leave a permanent mark. We’re not expected to function within our own capacity. We get to steward His power and truth! Isn’t that awesome?

He is a proven help.

We’re not expected to have blind faith in a God who might or might not come through for us. He has proven His faithfulness countless times over. There are many eyewitness accounts in the Word that we can take to the bank. We also need to remind ourselves of the times when He came through for us in the impossible chapters of our own stories.

He is more than enough.

Could we ever exhaust the resources and power that we have access to as children of the Most High God? Never! There is no limit to His power that is at work in us. It will always exceed our wildest expectations and most daring dreams. So why not dream a little bigger?

He is always available.

Right now. Right here. You don’t need a special appointment. You can run into His throne room with fearless confidence and cheerful courage, knowing that God wants to partner with your hopes and desires. He wants to see you walk in every blessing that He made available to you through the precious blood of His Son. What is keeping you?

D’artagnan bumped into trouble. He picked a fight with the most evil of enemies, but it also led him towards his fellow Musketeers. It lead him to heart-pounding adventure, to passion, to love and into his destiny.

What I loved most was seeing how the Musketeers were favoured by the King. Even when they got into trouble, they walked out blessed, dressed and empowered. They knew their place as the King’s elite guardians. Do you know your place in your Father’s Kingdom?

Make this your declaration:

God is my safe place. He is my powerful place. He is more than enough for me and He is always there for me when I need Him. My problems are no trouble to Him.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father,

You are our King of Glory. The Most High God. We praise You, for you are righteous and you bring justice into every area of our lives.

You are our safe and powerful place. You are more than enough in everything we undertake. We will not fear any trouble, for you are always with us. Equipping us and empowering us with everything we need to be victorious.

Pour out your grace and favour over us as we come before your throne today. Give us bold, brave dreams so we can bring your Kingdom to Earth.

Let your will be done!

In Jesus Name

Amen.

Heart Print:

Today, I hear the Father say: “Glorious Child. Your faith makes my heart smile. The bigger you dream, the greater the joy swells in my heart. For nothing is impossible for me and I delight in your expectation of my goodness. Your assurance of my faithfulness blesses my heart. Of my love for you, there is no end. For you are my treasure. My beautiful one. The one that I adore.” ❤

**For a free copy of my e-book, Heart Prints go to http://www.melizafarndell.com/ebook