Tomb to Womb – step 3

Over the last few days I have been unpacking a Word that the Lord had given to me on the 13th of March. At the time, I was excited about the wonderful words the Lord had given not only to me, but many people in the body of Christ, about 2020 being a year of seeing vision fulfilled.

A week later, my family was asked to self-isolate and a few days later our whole country was in lock-down. This is not what I expected for this season. However, God has been speaking to me about this unprecedented season we are finding ourselves in.

It may feel like a time of uncertainty and darkness. With it, can come a lot of worry and anxiety about the future. Fear of the unknown. But right now, we have an opportunity to take what feels like being trapped in a tomb, and turn it into a womb: a place where we can conceive and birth the impossible.

So far, we have looked at two simple and practical ways that we can create a womb for Salvation to be birthed through us. We are using Mary’s response to the Word from angel Gabriel (Luke 1) as an example and our five steps are found in Proverbs 4:20-27. Today, we are going to look at step three…

Guard your heart

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.”
Proverbs 4:23 NLT

Your heart is your power-source. It is where faith is generated, that is why it is so important to guard it against any influence that will go after the Word-seeds you have planted in it.

Only a few days after Mary received the Word, she went to stay with her cousin Elizabeth who lived out of town. Elizabeth was carrying a supernatural child too; John, who was born to prepare the way for Jesus. She stayed there for three months. A period of time when conception is at it’s most vulnerable.

Not only was Elizabeth a visible representation of God doing the impossible, but she declared words of life and faith over Mary as they both prepared to usher in a new era.

Receiving a promise for the impossible, will require us to be really careful with that seed. We have to guard it and protect it from fear, doubt and unbelief. We have an enemy who comes to kill, steal and destroy. He is after one thing only, and that is the seed of the Word.

In Mark 4, Jesus shares the parable of the sower. He explains that the seed sown is the Word and the soil is the heart. Some of the seed fell on a hard path and the birds immediately came to snatch the seed. It had no time to take root. (Mark 4:15)

The enemy loves a hard heart, that is why he will direct circumstances that are painful and disappointing to get us to harden our hearts. A hard heart, can’t receive the seed of the Word. That it why we have to take care of the condition of our heart.

If we don’t stay in the Word long enough for it to take root, it will also not produce anything for us. (Mark 4:16-17). Often we may hear a Word, believing for a little while. When that Word doesn’t come to pass quick enough or in the way we anticipated, we can get offended, displeased or resentful. We want it to happen now, but we need faith and patience, just like planting natural seeds. We don’t immediately see the fruit of our labour.

Allowing thoughts of worry and fear to mix with our thoughts of faith and belief, will also destroy the seed of the Word in us. (Mark 4:18). We have to carefully and consistently take those thorns and weeds captive, and pull them up by the root, if we want to protect the seed.

We are not guarding our heart against people, we are guarding it against an enemy who wants to steal our seed. However, we do have to be careful who we surround ourselves with, especially in the first semester of our promise-pregnancy. Don’t allow people to speak anything else but life, hope and faith into what you are believing for. Surround yourself with Elizabeths; those who are carrying the impossible too. Those who dared to believe the Word they were given.

Activation:

What is the Word you are believing for in this season? Are you paying attention to it? Are you staying in it?

Take a few moments to think about any areas of unbelief or fear that you might have about this promise coming to pass. Write them down. Lift them up to the Lord in prayer and surrender it to Him. Make a declaration that you are pulling those weeds up by the root and they will not touch your seed. Tear those thoughts up and throw them in the bin, where they belong.

Prayer:

Dear friend, I pray that you will have the wisdom to guard your heart against disappointment, discourage, worry, anxiety, fear and doubt. May you find people around you that will speak life and faith to the Word you are carrying in your heart. May you have the patience and endurance to keep standing in faith; in hopeful expectation that due time is coming.

Amen!

HeartPrint:

Today, I hear the Father say: “My Wise One. Protect the Word that I have planted in you. Do not allow the cares of the world to destroy the Life that is growing in your heart. Take care to uproot thoughts of worry and fear. Shut the door to resentment, offence and unforgiveness. They will rob you of every promise that is your rightful inheritance. Stand strong in the mighty power of my Word. Do not let go. You will see your miracle.” ❤

Tomb to Womb – step 2

Following on from the last two devotional blogs, we are looking at the next step to turn the tomb into a womb. What seems to be a time of darkness and uncertainty may perhaps make you feel like you are shut in or closed off. You may even be questioning the dream and vision that God has given you for 2020.

Take a deep breath. That is simply not true. Right now, we have an opportunity to take what feels like a tomb, and turn it into a womb; we can create an environment where we can conceive and give birth to the impossible. God wants to do the impossible through you; to establish His plans through you. You are needed in the Kingdom, for such a time as this.

So how do we do this? How do you turn your tomb into a womb?

The Lord has been talking to me about the encounter that Mary had with the angel, Gabriel in the first chapter of Luke. Her response to the call of God on her life, is a beautiful example of how we can receive and nurture the promises of God when things may seem a little uncertain or even overwhelming.

Proverbs 4:20-27 also gives us five simple and practical steps that we can apply, as we follow Mary’s example. We too, can create an atmosphere that will birth the miraculous. Yesterday, we looked at the first step (Proverbs 4:20), which is to pay attention to what we hear. If we want to turn the tomb into a womb, we have to live with our ear towards Heaven. The next step is to…

Stay in the Word

“Don’t lose sight of my words. Let them penetrate deep within your heart, for they bring life and radiant health to anyone who discovers their meaning.”
Proverbs 20:21-22 NLT

It was at a time when we were contending with friends for breakthrough that I discovered something significant as I cried out in frustration to God. “Lord, you said that nothing is impossible for you. Why aren’t we seeing any breakthrough?” I didn’t hear anything from the Lord, so I thought I would go find scripture and verse and remind Him.

So, I Googled it. Ha! I found it in Luke 1:37. I read every translation and then I saw the Amplified Classic version and I had to sit down.

“For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.”

The power of the miracle is in the incorruptible seed of the Word! It is the Word that brings about the impossible, as it takes deep root in our hearts.

We had been praying and contending and declaring and doing everything we could possibly think of to do (all good things, great things in fact!) but we hadn’t seen any breakthrough, because we were all over the place. We just needed one Word.

However, we needed to stay in that Word until it took root. Until it conceived the impossible in our hearts and minds. Until our imagination started to line up with it and our words came into agreement with what we saw in our spirit as we dwelled in the Word.

Mary only had one Word from the angel, but she made sure to guard that Word with her life. It was the Word given to her that conceived Salvation within her. Jesus became the Word made flesh. My friend, you only need one Word, but you need to stay in that Word, until you can see it. First in your imagination, and then in reality.

Proverbs 4:22 says it is the Word that produces life and radiant health, to anyone who discovers their meaning. How often do we go from one Word to the next, without really sitting with it for long enough to take root in our hearts? We run from one prophecy to the next, without staying in the first one, until we can see it become flesh in us. (I’m speaking from personal experience).

There was a time when I was clinging for dear life to one scripture, as I tried to overcome an issue with anger and depression. When my kids were still very young, I went through a time when I woke up feeling incredibly angry when I woke up every morning. I couldn’t bare to get up and face the day.

As I dragged myself out of bed and got ready for the day, I would sit on the edge of the bathtub in the morning, waiting for it to fill and I would say out loud: “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” I felt no joy. I felt no strength. But I said it anyway. I put my trust in the Word to do the work.

Months passed, but one day I woke up and I wasn’t angry anymore. I haven’t woken up angry since! If we anchor our hope in the Word, it will produce in us what we can’t do for ourselves. The Word contains our breakthrough when we stay in it long enough to take root.

Activation:

Did you receive a Word from the Lord when you did yesterday’s activation? Or do you have a Word that you have been holding onto?

Take that Word and make it visible. Write it out somewhere, where you can see it and say it out loud whenever you do.

Take some time to sit with that Word. Think about that Word, like a mother expecting the birth of her baby. She would imagine what that little body will look like and feel like as she holds it in her arms. Imagine what your life is going to look like when Salvation comes. When your breakthrough is finally here. Because it is coming. In due time!

Prayer:

Dear friend, I pray that you will have eyes to see what the Lord is doing in your heart right now. May you have a supernatural vision of the Word He has sown in your heart. I pray that you will have the courage to cling to it and to stay with it until you can see that promise with the eyes of your heart.

Amen!

HeartPrint:

Today, I hear the Father whisper: “Creative One. Dream with me. Allow your imagination to run wild with possibility. For nothing is impossible with me. Embrace the power of the Word that I have planted in you. Allow it to grow deep roots within you. I have given you my Word and I will watch over it, to perform it. Rest and dream. See me do the impossible.” ❤

Tomb to Womb – step 1

Yesterday, I wrote about a Word that God gave me on the 13th of March titled, ‘Make Womb’. With everything that has been going on in the world right now, I haven’t really thought about that Word for a couple of weeks, until the Lord dropped it in my spirit again yesterday, in the early hours of the morning.

As I went back to that Word, I sensed that the Spirit was saying that even though we are in a season that feels like we’re enclosed, shut off, unable to move forward (almost like being in a tomb), we are in fact in a place where God wants to conceive and birth the impossible through us. We have an opportunity to turn the ‘tomb’ into a ‘womb’.

This period of time may feel like a dark, uncertain place for you. I have certainly questioned why God would give me a Word about new beginnings and then we seem to be living the end of a bad apocalyptic movie! This is not the end, my friend. This is the beginning.

Just like the disciples thought that their only hope of a new beginning was over when they saw Jesus dying on the cross and his body put in a tomb, there was a new beginning around the corner. One that was much bigger and better than what they could have imagined.

How do we turn a tomb into a womb?

Over the next five days, I will share with you what the Lord has shown me through the conception of Jesus and Mary’s response to the Word she received from the angel Gabriel (Luke 1). The Lord has also given me 5 very simple and practical steps that we can apply, that will create and environment for the impossible to be conceived and birthed; even in this time of uncertainty.

These 5 steps are found in Proverbs 4:20-27 and today, I would love to share with you the first step:

Step One – Pay attention to what you hear

“My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words.”
Proverbs 4:20

In order to turn your tomb into a womb, you have to live with your ear towards Heaven. There is so much information that we are currently bombarded with and it is easy to get caught up in the worry and fear when it is constantly on display on every screen in the house.

Facts and figures can be sobering, but it is important to remember that there is something greater than fact: Truth. I don’t believe that God wants us to be ignorant of the facts either, but I sense that while we are going through this pandemic, He is inviting us into a conversation.

What I loved about the conversation between Mary and the angel Gabriel, was that she was brave enough to ask questions. Even though she asked “How will this be?” she wan’t asking form a place of unbelief, but with a heart who wanted to engage with the plans of Heaven.

Mary knew that in the natural it would be impossible, but she chose to respond to the Word that was given to her. “Let it be unto me, according to your Word,” she said, as she partnered with Heaven to bring Salvation to the earth.

Every born-again child of God has the ability to hear His voice. Few invest in developing this gift. Although angelic encounters still happen, we don’t need to live from one supernatural encounter to the next. We have a responsibility to develop our spiritual ears to hear; and we need to pay attention when we hear.

This was a major obstacle for me. I lived on second-hand information. Believing that other people were more qualified and able to hear God than me. Through the ministry of a great friend and mentor, I learned how to hear God for myself and it has made ALL the difference.

It starts with believing.

The ability to hear God’s voice starts with believing that you can. In John 10:27 Jesus says that His sheep can hear His voice. When I started to develop my spiritual hearing, I declared this over myself every morning: “Thank you Jesus, I am your sheep. I can hear your voice.” I speak this over my children every morning: “Thank you Jesus, they are your sheep, they hear your voice and the voice of a stranger they will not follow!”

Faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:17). So as we speak and declare the Word, as we start to hear it, faith comes. We start to believe it. As we start to believe it, we start to hear more clearly.

It grows with practice.

The voices I can recognise the easiest, are the ones that belong to the people I live with. I can hear my husband and children’s voices over any crowd of people because I have spent a lot of time with them. I know them. This is the same with learning to hear God’s voice. We have to spend time getting to know Him.

We can learn about Him in the Word. There are so many great teachings about God’s character and nature, but when He speaks to us directly we develop an intimate relationship that is both uniquely special and incredibly powerful. For many years I was satisfied with knowing about Him, but knowing Him has opened up the realm of possibility in my life, like nothing else. Because I know Him, I can trust Him.

It requires a response.

What I love about Mary’s encounter is her response. She received a Word and she responded with a resounding “Yes!” – are you responding to what you hear from the Lord?

How often do you hear a good teaching, or read something amazing in the Word, or see something in a movie that makes your heart leap, or hear a song that stirs something in you, and then just go about your day. Hand up! I have done it. But, I have also learned that the more I honour those (seemingly insignificant) encounters, by noting them down, by responding in prayer or worship, the more I seem to hear.

Yesterday, I had a chat with my wonderful friend, Katie. She told me that she woke up with a random song in her heart that morning. I encouraged her to sit with her journal, and ask the Lord what He wanted to show her. She sent me a message later to say that she had filled four pages in her journal with what God gave her!

God will honour any effort we make to draw close to Him. He will speak as we make ourselves available to hear.

Activiation:

Take a few moments today to quiet your heart to hear God’s voice.

(If you have never done this before, please be patient with yourself and remember you can hear from Him. He is your Shepherd and you have been born with the ability to hear. It takes time to develop your hearing, but God will reward you for taking that step.)

You may want to ask the Lord for a specific Word for this season, or you might want to go back to a Word that He has given you before.

You might have a question for Him; write it down and wait for His response.

Respond to what He tells you by writing it down.

Share it with someone that you trust. Someone who has an intimate relationship with God.

Develop a daily habit of sitting down with the Lord. Start with five minutes. God will honour your five minutes. He always rewards those who diligently seek Him.

Prayer:

Dear friend, I pray that you will have a really awesome encounter with the heart of the Father today. That you will discover new dimensions of His incredible love for you. May you hear His voice more clearly than ever before. May you be truly blown away, by the incredible plans He has for you and the dreams He he writes on your heart.

Amen!

HeartPrint:

Today I hear the Father say: “Glorious Child. My heart delights in your willingness to draw near. As you accept my invitation to an intimate friendship, all of Heaven readies itself to partner with the dream I have written on your heart. You were created to conceive and give birth to the impossible. Keep your ear next to my heart and it will be an effortless journey. It is going to be great! It is going to be fun!” ❤

The Opposite

“It’s all a little bit surreal.” We have all heard this or said this, since we found ourselves indefinitely quarantined. Life as we know it, is very, very different. However, it’s not just life as we used to know it, it is also life as we expected.

Last night our smelly bull mastiff woke me up at 1am to open the door to the living room for her (she has recently developed a preference for sleeping on one of our chairs). As I stumbled from my bedroom in a daze, I heard the Spirit whisper: “Make Womb.” Well, this knocked me right out of my slumber.

On the 13th of March, I wrote about this as I shared what God was showing me about how we create an environment to grow the impossible. Just like Mary received a Word from the angel and conceived the Saviour, the Word became flesh as she nurtured and protected it.

The days leading up to it, I really felt God speaking to me about this being a season of breakthrough and new beginnings, but a week after I wrote “Make Womb,” we found ourselves in isolation, because my daughter was coughing in school. A few days after that, the whole country was in lock down.

This did not feel like breakthrough. This felt like the end, rather than the beginning, but I just carried on with what God has assigned me with; writing my book, keeping up my blog, working on the vision He gave me at the start of the year.

As I got ready for the day, the Lord reminded me of so many prophetic words that seemed to move in the opposite direction; Joseph was told he would be a ruler and ended up in prison. David was chosen as king, but spent years running from a mad one, in the opposite direction of the kingdom he was supposed to rule.

This morning, as I ushered my dog into the living room, I realised that all these amazing words that the Lord has put on my heart are all true. This surreal experience that we’re going through right now, is not the end. It’s the beginning. This is the breakthrough. The Lord said to me this morning, if you think this is surreal, wait until you see what I have prepared to come!

God is moving upon the Earth right now in ways we don’t understand yet. I believe we are going to see something truly surreal in the days to come, but not in the negative way that we might imagine while we walk through this pandemic. Something truly spectacular and amazing is about to unfold, so we have to make room. Or, “Make Womb.”

How do we make a womb to birth the impossible?

The Lord showed me five practical things that we can do to make a womb that will conceive and birth the impossible. It is found in Proverbs 4:20-27 NLT:

Pay attention and listen:

20 My child, pay attention to what I say.
    Listen carefully to my words.

Keep the Word before you:

21 Don’t lose sight of them.
    Let them penetrate deep into your heart,
22 for they bring life to those who find them,
    and healing to their whole body.

Guard your heart from unbelief, fear and worry:

23 Guard your heart above all else,
    for it determines the course of your life.

Watch what you’re saying and speak life on purpose:

24 Avoid all perverse talk;
    stay away from corrupt speech.

Hold on to the vision that God gave you:

25 Look straight ahead,
    and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
26 Mark out a straight path for your feet;
    stay on the safe path.
27 Don’t get sidetracked;
    keep your feet from following evil.

These five things are so simple, and will make such an incredible difference as we make room to conceive and give birth to what God wants to do in the earth.

Please don’t come into agreement with worry and fear, when it feels that things are moving in the opposite direction than what God has spoken over your life.

Jesus told His friends that He was the Messiah sent to save them from oppression; then He was crucified. Things must have felt pretty surreal for them. Seeing Him put in the tomb must have convinced them that everything they believed for was over. But… three days later they learned that what they thought was the end, was only the beginning. The beginning of something much better than they could ever hope for, dream or imagine.

So take heart, dear friend. You may feel like you’re in a tomb, but this is your time for a new beginning.

The best is yet to come!

HeartPrint:

Today, I hear the Father say: “Faithful Child. Do not abandon the dream that I wrote on your heart. Don’t be distracted by the circumstances around you, but embrace them. Push against them as you strengthen your faith in me. With me, it is impossible to fail. Keep running your race, I am right beside you. Empowering you. Cheering for you. All the way!” ❤

Simple Truth

“Tell the repo man,
And the stars above,
That you’re the one I love,
You are the one I love,
The one I love”
David Gray

Songwriters: Craig Mcclune / David GrayThe One I Love lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., BMG Rights Management

These were the words I woke up to this morning. David Gray is one of my favourite artists, but I haven’t listened to his music in ages. I know that when an unexpected tune drops in my spirit, I need to pay attention. I looked up the lyrics of the song and not being sure what a ‘repo man’ was, I did a little digging on Google.

Google says, a repo man is “a person employed to repossess goods for which a purchaser has defaulted on payment.” Aah, it’s short for repossess! I started listening to the song as I got ready for the day and I could feel the presence of God in my room. As I listened, I had a vision of dancing with Jesus on the deck of that bay hotel that David Gray was singing about.

There are times when I take life way too seriously. I think this probably stems from my upbringing as a first-born child of a pastor. My sense of responsibility and obligation seems to be over developed. Since responding to the call to write and publish my book, I have been working really hard and throwing myself completely into this project. Sometimes I lose sight of the joy of just dancing with Jesus.

With all the hours that I have poured into my book, I have also been feeling a sense of guilt that I am not doing enough of my other Christian duties. I am not praying enough, or reading the Bible enough, or fasting (at all) or serving others enough. But what is enough? Can we ever do enough? Even Jesus said, that there will always be something more to do, but being with Him is the most important (John 12:8).

In John 12 we read how Mary anointed the feet of Jesus with her most expensive perfume. Judas called her out for wasting expensive perfume that could have fed many poor, hungry people, but Jesus put him right. Yes, we need to be doing our duties as good Christians, but not at the cost of being with our Beloved. Our duty and service should flow from being with Him.

Like Judas sniped at Mary, the repo man had been knocking on my door, demanding that I was behind in my religious payments; but my Beloved reminded me to tell that repo man: I am the one He loves. The payment has been made, I owe him nothing. I have permission to take my precious time and delight in presence of the One I love.

Dear friend, can I remind you, the repo man, and the even stars above that you are the One He loves. He does not require you to work your fingers to the bone in order to prove that you are good enough. It is from sitting at His feet, anointing Him with our praise and affection, that we become who He has created us to be.

I needed this reminder today (again). I needed to dance with Jesus.

Make some time to sit at His feet. Let Him tell you how much He loves you. It has removed all the guilt and condemnation from my heart this morning and I am going about my day, doing all my hard work, with a joyful song in my heart. With this simple truth:

I am the One He loves.

“Suddenly, he transported me into his house of wine—
he looked upon me with his unrelenting love divine.”
Song of Solomon 2:4 TPT

HeartPrint:

Today, I hear my beautiful Beloved say: “Lovely One. You have permission to enjoy me, just like I enjoy your company. You have permission to worship me in your unique, creative way. There is no standard to reach, I am your standard. Let your works flow from a heart that is connected with mine. Take my hand and we’ll dance upon the high places of challenge and responsibility. You have permission to be you.” ❤

Your Unique Value

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks over here; and I’m not entirely blaming the corona virus. I am in the process writing and publishing my first book and since joining a mentoring programme in November, it has been one steep learning curve. One that hasn’t lost momentum, even in face of this pandemic.

Last week we started the Marketing module and it has has rocked my boat a little bit. Coming to terms with the amount of work that goes into writing, publishing and marketing a book has been sobering to say the least. I thought I would just type out my story, stick it in a cover and let amazon worry about the rest. But I am discovering that there is so much more to it.

One of the exercises we were given to do, was to consider our unique value proposition. Almost like writing a menu of what we are bringing to the table. I printed my worksheet for this exercise and set it next to my laptop as I continued working on my e-book today. Not particularly feeling enthusiastic about jumping into an exercise that would require me to dig deep into past and present states, but knowing that it is an important exercise to do in order to connect with the right audience.

Then, something happened as I wrote a devotional piece in my e-book today. The words “unique value” were highlighted to me as the Holy Spirit reminded me of an incident that happened when I was in my teens, during a missions trip.

One of the older boys walked up to me and asked if he could have a word with me in private. He said that he wanted to apologise to me. He said that I was so shy and quiet, He didn’t know how God could possibly use someone like me.

I was so well versed in the language of the Liar, that I didn’t receive the part where he explained that God corrected him. I didn’t hear his apology or that God told him that my quiet spirit is beautiful and useful to Him. Before I knew it, I started to believe that I had nothing to offer. That I wasn’t useful or valuable in God’s Kingdom.

One of the destructive forces that drove me into desperate situations, was my need to be useful. My heart longed to know that it added value to someone’s life and because of that need, I ended up in rather compromising situations. Think: being chased by drug dealers, whilst driving the opposite way down a one-way street in the city centre of Johannesburg; risking my life for a friend who was struggling with a drug addiction. Yes, folks, the pastor’s daughter. Ha!

I know this may be a bit of a dramatic example and I don’t want to miss the subtle ways that this lie can play out, because it isn’t always as dramatic as that. It could be saying yes to good requests for help, when you know you already have too much on your plate. It could mean turning down God’s call, because you’re so busy doing things for others in order to feed your heart’s craving for purpose and meaning.

The last few years have challenged me beyond my boundaries of comfort and human understanding. I have had to let go of a well established, growing ministry position in a church I loved. I have had to step back from another opportunity to serve in a new church and risk being misunderstood. Behind these challenges, I was dealing with a heart wanting to cling to the things that gave it meaning, purpose and value: good works.

In the process of letting go of the good works, I learned a very valuable lesson. One that I have to revise every so often and it it this: my unique value is not based on what I bring to the table, but Who I am seated next to. My unique value does not come from what I do, or even from the message I carry. It comes from who the Father says I am.

Dear friend, do you know that your unique value is not based on what you do but who you are? Do you know just how valuable you are to your Father, simply because you exist?

Why don’t you ask Him to show you your unique value?

2 Corinthians 5:17 says that we are a new creation. Do you know what that word “new” implies? The Strong-Lite concordance (G2537) ascribes two different meanings to that little word: firstly, it implies something that is fresh, unused or unworn and secondly, it is something that is unheard of, uncommon, unprecedented. Something that has never been seen before!

My friend, you truly are unique and special. You are one of a kind. There is no one like you in this entire universe! Your unique value is not found in the works you do, but in who the Father says you are.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

HeartPrint:

Today, I hear the Father say: “Faithful Child. Do you know how much I value you? I delight in you simply because you are mine!Every step you take in obedience, bring me great joy and delight. As you exchange your plans for mine, I will open the doors of your destiny. There are great wonders waiting for you. Trust me, and see my plans for you unfold. Plans to prosper you. To give you a beautiful future. An unshakeable hope.” ❤

Good Enough

Growing up in church, as a first-born daughter of a pastor, I felt that pressure to be the perfect example of purity and holiness. Tormented by constant shame and condemnation, I was the first to repent at every church service; from the age of six! I giggle when I wonder about how this might have looked to the members of the congregation, when they saw the pastor’s child first in line for prayer at the altar every Sunday. Maybe they thought I got pocket money for breaking the ice. Ha!

Condemnation had been the most familiar companion for most of my life. Striving for accolades and attention will make you good at many things, but the one thing I really excelled at was feeling bad about myself. If medals were handed out for that, I would have needed a separate trophy room in the house.

The strange thing is that I grew up in a household where grace abounded. My father has a heart for lost sheep and he exudes the love and grace of God. There was no pressure on me to perform and I received a healthy amount of attention and affirmation. However, the enemy’s first assault on my heart left a wound so deep, that it made me believe that I would never be acceptable to God. I would never be good enough.

(You can read a little bit more about my story here.)

As a result I tried very had to please God, but no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t seem to hit the mark. The harder I tried, the worse I seemed to become. As a result I became more entangled in the mess I tried to fix; hopelessness started to settle in.

Looking back, I wonder why I tried so hard to make myself acceptable to Him, when Jesus already took care of it (2 Corinthians 5:21). The truth was that I was good enough because of what Jesus did for me. I didn’t need to work at being accepted.

“Therefore there is now no condemnation [no guilty verdict, no punishment] for those who are in Christ Jesus [who believe in Him as personal Lord and Savior].”
Romans 8:1 AMP

When we are constantly working to be good enough we tire ourselves out. We drain every ounce of energy we have in an effort to reach a standard that is humanly impossible to attain. This is a great strategy of an enemy who wants to keep your heart tangled up in lies.

The one who controls the heart, controls the (wo)man. Therefore, there is work to be done, but it is not the kind of work that I had been doing all my life. It is not working to be good enough, it is working to stay untangled. It requires an ability to identify the lies fired at your heart and remove it.

For me, this meant that I had to pay attention to the thoughts of condemnation that entered my mind and take them captive. I had to replace each of those thoughts with this truth: “The Father loves me. He is fully pleased with me. There is no condemnation towards me!” Using my faith, I had to release those words by speaking them out loud and I had to continue doing this, until I started to believe it.

 My dear friend, the Father did not intend for us to live tangled up by the lies of the enemy. Your heart is precious, not only because Jesus died for you but because it is the very place from where all the issues of your life flow. Your heart is your power-source. It can generate life or death. That is why you have to be fiercely protective over it. Don’t yield it to the enemy any longer. Don’t share your power with him. Fight to get your heart back. It is possible, and it doesn’t require an extravagant miracle. You only need to make a simple shift.

When thoughts of condemnation come, be prepared to release your faith:

“The Father loves me.”
(1 John 3:1)

“He is fully pleased with me.”
(Ephesians 1:5)

“There is no condemnation towards me.”
(Romans 8:1)

“I am good enough.”
(2 Corinthians 5:21)

There are still moments when I catch myself trying to be good enough. Especially when I start looking around me and see mums doing a better job at raising their children; or authors that are more skilled and speakers that are more eloquent. It’s easy to start to entertain thoughts of inadequacy when we are so busy trying to be good enough, that we are not paying attention to our thought life. So I have to intentionally and continually remind myself of this truth: I am good enough.

My friend, I pray that you will have a moment to pay attention to your heart. Are there any lies trying to entangle it? Thoughts of comparison? Thoughts of condemnation? May you have the courage to take those thoughts captive and remove each lie from your heart. Allow the Father to speak these words of truth over you:

“Beloved, you are good enough.”

HeartPrint:

Today, I hear the Father’s gentle voice: “My Redeemed. I see no fault in you. Your heart is good. To me, you are not just good enough, you are perfect. Nothing will change my heart towards you. You are constantly on my mind. The thoughts I have about you are thoughts of Peace and Love. Rest in my Love. Embrace my grace and draw near. I am here. Always.” ❤

Humble

Since joining the Unlocking your book mentorship programme in November, I have been learning so much. For one, I have started this daily, devotional blog. This would be my first step to becoming a published author.

Then I learned to create some social media accounts to get my message out there, in the big, wide world. I started posting two to three times daily. Posting little snippets from my blog, or a few thoughts that God has put on my heart for the day. Now I am even doing live posts, something that I wouldn’t even considered a few months ago.

The learning curve has been a steep one, but I have followed the little steps shown to me by the incredible mentors of this programme. There have been some obstacles to overcome, but the greatest challenge for me, was pushing that publish button for the first time. It felt like my heart was about to jump out of my throat.

For years I have carried this message of the love of the Father in my heart. I have always believed that the encounter that I had with Him was significant. It changed everything in my life for the better, and that’s why I feel compelled to share it with the world. But, if I’m honest, there are days when I question why God would choose me to deliver the message.

One of the keys that the Holy Spirit gave me when I started my journey into a lifestyle of freedom was humility. At first glance, you may never have guessed that I had a really big battle with pride. Neither did I! I thought I was the most humble person on the planet, because I thought so little of myself.

I remember a discussion with my High School Maths teacher after class one day. She tried her very best to convince me that I was better than I thought I was. I stubbornly refused to believe her and when she finally gave up trying to convince me and sending me home, she said: “You know Meliza, not accepting that you are unique and special and worth investing in, is just another form of pride!”

I left her classroom with my head hanging down in shame. This was the opposite response she was hoping for, but my heart would just not allow me to believe that there was anything in me worthy of love and attention. Surely thinking that I am unique and special would be prideful. Wasn’t I being humble by considering myself worthless?

I have come a long way from that day in that classroom and it has required me to make an intentional shift in how I think about myself. One of the things questions the Holy Spirit asked me was this: Are you willing to let go of what you think you know and who you think you are, to embrace what the Father says about you?

There are many different takes on the concept of humility. I do not recommend that we have to go around boasting about ourselves with puffed up egos, but we also don’t have to crawl around life like insignificant, little worms. Humility is not making yourself less significant, it is embracing the significance what you were created to function in; understanding who you are and what you have been called to do on this earth. All this is for one reason only: to glorify God.

Wearing shame and self-loathing like a badge is prideful. You are saying that you know better than God, and you are making an idol of your struggle. Living in shame, condemnation and oppression does not bring Him any glory, so we need to let it go. Recently, I have noticed that there are still hesitations; little doubts that are hiding in my heart.

It is time to get rid of any form of pride that will give access to the enemy. My heart is precious and powerful. It is the greatest treasure and the greatest weapon I have to guard, because whatever spills out of it will effect everything around me.

Are you willing to let go of what you think you know about yourself?

It’s time to embrace who you are and step into everything that God has dreamed about, even before you were born.

Today, I pray for us all to have the courage to be humble enough to believe the truth; to believe every Word the Father declares over us. As we do this, I know that His glory will be seen in us. Love that will draw all men unto Him.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time…”
1 Peter 5:6 NKJV

HeartPrint:

Today, I hear the Father say: “Beautiful Child. I have poured so much care and attention into your unique design. In holiness, purity and wisdom I fashioned you and predestined you to be mine. Every part of you were created and assembled to fulfill purpose and destiny. You are a spectacular work. One that I am so proud of. So fond of. A favourite. One that I love.” ❤

Eyes on the King

A few days ago, I sensed the Lord leading me to look at the story of Samson. As I was getting ready for the day, I had a picture in my spirit of Samson captured and put in prison; pushing that mill to grind the grain. Eyes gouged out by his enemy, the Hero appointed by God to subdue Israel’s rivals, now reduced to slave labor for those Philistines.

The story is found in Judges 16 and in verse 22 it says that his hair started growing back as he was stuck in prison, grinding the grain. As I pictured him chained in that dark dungeon, unable to see the physical world around him, I imagine that he must have started thinking about his original call. I wondered if he considered where he first abandoned the vision of God for His life?

From birth he was set apart to be used by the Lord, now here he finds himself struck with blindness. Wasn’t it his wandering eyes that caught the sights of Delilah that made him forget about his real purpose, in the first place?

What was interesting to me, as I paged through the book of Judges this afternoon, is a common phrase that seems to appear in many of the chapters; in those days Israel did not have a king, everyone did what was right in their own eyes.

My heart felt arrested by this phrase. Since being in lock-down, not really understanding the impact that this pandemic will have on the world has felt like a season of uncertainty. A season that certainly has an element of blindness or darkness. A season of not knowing what is going to happen next. I really sensed that God was leading me to this question: Are you going to abandon the vision? Will you be faithful with the call that I have set you apart for?

During this time that Samson lived, Israel had entered the Promise Land that God had given them, but they were having a little trouble occupying the land. There was no king to lead them. But we have a King. When we keep our eyes on Him, we will occupy the land He has purchased for us with His own life. This is an impossible task if we are only focused on doing what is right in our own eyes.

Today, I am challenged to re-engage with the call of God on my life. I will not abandon the vision that the Lord has given me, because I am following after Him. I will go after it with all of my heart, knowing that I am walking in the path that He has prepared for me. With my eyes fixed on Him, I will occupy the Land that He died to give me.

Judges 16:30 says that Samson killed more people when he was blind than he did in his entire life. Now that may seem a little gloomy, and though I am not prophesying gloom and doom ahead, there is something that really struck me about this verse, and it is this: when we die to our own sights, and surrender it to our King, we will accomplish more in a short space of time, than in a life time of going our own way.

I believe that there are amazing things waiting for us post corona-virus-isolation. This time of blindness, or seeming darkness, is a gift; a holy moment to come away from our business and look for the eyes of the King. It’s time to go back to the original call. What have you asked me to do, Lord and how have I missed it? How have I added to or diverted from the plans you have written on my heart?

It’s time to fix our eyes on the King. Jesus modeled this way of life for us:

“So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.  For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel.”
John 5:19-20 ESV

Can I encourage you to not get sidetracked by current events? Ask the Lord where you need to invest your time and attention. Honor the call He placed on your life and follow Him as He leads you forward in perfect peace.

Greater things are yet to come!

HeartPrint:

Today I hear the Father say: “My Brave One. Glorious days await as you align your plans with the dream in my heart for you. Pay no attention to days of uncertainty, but find me in the secret place. Ask me, and I will show you great and mighty things that are yet to come. What do you have to fear, when I am your protector and the fiercest defender of your life? Don’t abandon the vision I have written on your heart. Now is the time to walk in your true purpose. Believe, Beloved.” ❤

Spirit and Truth

“Chaos is the perfect atmosphere for creation.” – Lisa Renee Zakoski

There was nothing but chaos and deep, deep darkness.

The Spirit was hovering over the waters.

And God said: “Let there be light.”

Two powerful forces, proceeding from the very heart of God, creating the physical world that you now see: Spirit and Truth.

The Father, Son and Spirit present at the very beginning of creation. The Creator spoke the Word (Jesus) as the Spirit hovered over the darkness. Light appeared. Darkness was confined to its boundaries.

Heaven and Earth. Hills and valleys. Fish in the water, birds in the sky. Every living creature in existence. All created with intricate design and in specific order. Everything in perfect balance. Interacting in unforced rhythm and harmony. Perfect peace.

The Father beckoned the Son and the Spirit: “Let’s make man in our image.” Created to have dominion over every living thing, mankind emerged from the dust of the Earth. Formed in Truth. Filled with the Spirit-breath of the Creator himself. Destined to reign and occupy the land, in communion with the Creator.

Enter sin. “Did God really say?” The Word himself, now in question. Doubt was introduced. Mankind was not created for this. They were created to trust. Doubt and Fear entered their land, and took their crowns. Shame and Condemnation taunted them. They tried to cover up their mistake. But the Father was there, all the time. His Spirit-breath was in them.

He wanted to restore his beautiful children. He had a plan:

He sent his Word.

The Word would enter their world. A covenant offering that would redeem them out of the rule of evil and restore the years that were stolen. Jesus wore a crown of thorns, and mankind received their royal crowns back. With him, they died on the cross and were raised up to be seated at the right hand of the Father. Positioned to rule and reign, once again.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
John 1:1-5 NKJV

He sent his Spirit.

Then the Spirit came, to empower them. To hover over every darkness that tries to occupy their land. And as they speak with the authority of the Word, they push back the enemy, and drive him out of their land. There is no legal right that allows Doubt, Fear, Condemnation or Shame to live in the land anymore.

“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
Romans 8:11 NKJV

He is sending you!

Where there is darkness and chaos, the Spirit of God is hovering over it, waiting for the Word to meet it. You have the Spirit of the Living God residing in you. You have the Word of God, dwelling in you richly. You have been given the authority over all the power of the enemy. He has no legal right to your land. It is time to rise up in Spirit and Truth. This is your worship.

When we find ourselves in unfamiliar territory, trust that the Father’s heart is to see you take more ground, not lose the ground you have. He has given you all things you need for life and godliness. You have everything you need to overcome the chaos: Spirit and Truth! As an image-bearer of the Most High, it’s time to push back against the darkness and declare:

“Let there be light!”

“From here on, worshiping the Father will not be a matter of the right place but with the right heart. For God is a Spirit, and he longs to have sincere worshipers who worship and adore him in the realm of the Spirit and in truth.”
Jesus (written in John 4:23-24 TPT)

HeartPrint:

Today, I hear the thundering voice of the Creator say: “Child of Wonder! There is more for you in this unfamiliar season. There is new territory to take. Do not shrink back, but rise up in the authority that I have bestowed upon you in Spirit and Truth. My Spirit is hovering over the darkness, my Word is in you. Now speak! Release my Words of Life, Light and Love. I am counting on you. Beloved.”

2020 Vision

“When there is no clear prophetic vision,
people quickly wander astray.
But when you follow the revelation of the word,
heaven’s bliss fills your soul.”
Proverbs 29:18 TPT

Time to confess, I cast off constraint and I have been a lazy slob today! It was almost lunchtime by the time I got out of my warm, comfortable bed. Shocking, I know!

It’s not like I have been completely unproductive; I have dipped into three different books that I’m reading at the minute. I’ve checked year 6 Maths homework and a couple of emails from school.

Once the sound of hungry bellies started reaching an uncomfortable level, I courageously rose from my comfort zone to feed the helpless humans that I am in isolation with. The bull mastiff was so happy to see me emerge from my bedroom, I almost felt guilty for being so lazy.

With this sense of uncertainty infiltrating the atmosphere, I have noticed a little bit of apathy creep in. What’s the point getting up at our usual time, when we have the whole day to do what needs to be done, right? It’s not like we have to be anywhere. And before you know it, it’s nearly 4pm and you haven’t done any of the many things you still need to do.

Remember at the end of last year when every well known prophetic voice was declaring that 2020 would be the year of visions being fulfilled? Who would have thought that it would look like this? Although this has made me re-evaluate my vision, I haven’t abandoned it; even though I have been tempted to check out.

In the middle of this uncertain period of darkness, God is teaching me to see with new eyes. One of the things the Spirit has challenged me with, is by asking me what my life will look like, when I come out of isolation. Do I throw off constraint and chill out for this period of time, eat what I want, sleep for as long as I want, catch up on Netflix and check out? Tempting, very tempting. Or do I see this moment in history as an opportunity to connect and readjust my vision according to the plans and purposes of God? Do I use every minute as a stepping stone to work towards those plans that God put on my heart?

I sorted out everyone’s food and finally got in the shower to make myself presentable. Praying as I tried to get my head out of Lazyville, the Holy Spirit directed my thoughts back to the vision that I wrote down in my journal. This is the reason why I get up and get ready for the day. This is the reason why I don’t sleep my days away.

When we look at the extreme impact that this virus is making on the world around us it is easy to think that our personal vision is not important right now. But I have felt so strongly to encourage you that your vision for 2020 is still important. It is very important. It’s time to refocus on the personal, prophetic vision that God has given you. Yes, we want the world to be delivered and healed. We want to see revival; a mass exodus out of the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light.

I’m sure that is on God’s agenda too, but He also care about your individual life and His plans for you have not taken a backseat. What if the kind of revival He is after will start with you? In your home and in your family? He did not make a mistake when He gave you that vision for 2020 at the end of last year. His plans for you didn’t change, so don’t check out. Stay the course.

God has given me a message to deliver; a book to write and a family to raise. For one, they will need to learn how to cook a meal for themselves once in a while, so my work here is certainly not done! I don’t have the time to stay in bed until lunch time; I have to get up and show up. Today and every day.

Can I encourage you today, to go back to the word and the vision that God has given you for 2020. If you don’t have one, you now have a wonderful opportunity to ask the Lord, He will give you one. You have permission to dream big with Him. What do you want your life to look like when you come out of isolation?

Do you want to be ten pounds heavier but all caught up on your favourite Netflix series? Or do you want to emerge with vision and purpose, established in the Word and empowered to run your race with Holy Spirit fire? What if you can come out of this with a stronger family unit? What if you can come out of this with an intimate, deep relationship with the Creator of the Universe?

What do you want your life to look like when you come out of isolation?

Dream about it.

Write it down.

It might look dark right now, but the Light will come. Will you be ready when He does? Will you be ready to run?

Greater things are yet to come!

Get ready!

HeartPrint:

Today I hear the Father whisper: “Anointed One. Do not be distracted by circumstances that appear to contradict the plans I have for you. My vision for your life is full of purpose and power. Ask me, and I will show you the great and mighty things that I have planned for you, even before you were born. My plans do not demand power or might, but it WILL require you to connect with my Spirit. Ask me to open the eyes of your heart, for I want to show you the way. Now see.” ❤

One Hundred HeartPrints

“A good father will leave his imprint on his daughter for the rest of her life.” –  Dr James Dobson.

On the 7th of November last year, I saved my seat on the ‘Unlocking your book’ mentorship programme. As part of this course I committed to write the book that has been growing in my heart, since the day I encountered the heart of the Father.

That happened ten years ago. It was a day that changed everything, as I watched the Disney movie, Tangled with my son. Caught off guard by a loving Father, who was committed to calling me out of darkness.

My heart was awakened to His love as I watched the King light a lantern for his lost princess. As that tear rolled across his cheek I realised that my Father didn’t just tolerate me; He celebrated me. He wasn’t distant, judgmental or condemning towards me. He understood the torment that I was going through and He wanted to hold me close. He wanted to untangle my heart.

This was a holy invitation to discover my divine origin. My true identity and my inheritance as a child of God. To learn what He thinks and says about me; and there are a lot of thoughts He has about me. They outnumber the grains of the sand and not one thought is bad! Every thought He has about me are thoughts of love and peace.

Every thought He has shared with me, has left his imprint on my heart. That is why I call them HeartPrints.

The Words He whispers to my heart has transformed me and I wanted to share this with every child of God. Especially the ones who are still stuck in their towers of condemnation, doubt and fear. This is why I signed up for this assignment. This is why I am having my book unlocked this year. It is time for lost children to come home and be untangled.

This is why I started this devotional blog. It was so much more than a daily practice of my writing. It was an opportunity to sit with the Father as He whispers His daily affirmation to me, forever imprinting it on my heart and in this blog. I knew this was not just for me, so I share it with the world.

I believe that it is time for God’s beautiful children to be awakened to who they are. We are not defeated or overcome, no matter what that Gothel is whispering in our ears. We are beautiful, redeemed, pure and holy. Treasured by God, the Father. Purchased by the blood of the Son. Empowered by His Spirit. More than conquerors and mighty in the Lord and in the power of His might.

Today marks the day of a hundred HeartPrints.

One hundred Words of the love and affirmation of the Father for you!

One hundred thoughts He thinks about you.

You are His Beloved, and He is not just pleased with you, He is proud of you. You bring Him the greatest joy and delight. I pray that you will know this and be rooted and grounded in this truth. So deeply grounded in His love that no storm can uproot you. I pray for you Beloved, because you are needed in the Kingdom for such a time as this.

May you rise up in the intimate knowledge of who you truly are and the powerful truth that the Father speaks over you. You are His special treasure. The precious blood of the Lamb was shed for you! You are more valuable than you can possibly understand.

May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.”
2 Thessalonians 3:5 NLT

You are loved!

HeartPrint:

Today, I hear the Father whisper: “Faithful Child. I am so proud of you. It is in little steps of faithful obedience that great battles are won. There is power in steady endurance as you lean on my Spirit to move you forward. Keep in step with me and see where I will lead you. Greater things are yet to come. Keep believing. You will see my faithfulness revealed. I am your exceedingly great reward. Your Father.” ❤