All posts by Carlo Merrick

Saved by the power of God. Huband, father and preacher. Living to reveal the heart of God to the world.

Three Identities

There are three identities we choose from everyday, we could call them three different perspectives as well. These are places we choose to live from, act and react from. This is a simplified explanation of them.

No 1. Identity of Value.

This is the place God created for us through His Son on the cross. Here He showed us our value according to Him, we are worth His Son. So in this identity we know who we are according to our Father, we are completely loved, we are affirmed, we are fulfilled and live from His divine power where He has granted us all things that pertain to life and godliness. Here He is our Source and reason for living, He completes us from the inside out. Lastly here we are secure, we have no need to change others or manipulate them to meet our need or feel obligated to meet theirs, and we have the choice like the Samaritan to walk the extra mile or not.

No 2. Identity of Need.

In this identity we have come to know what we need, we need love. Our source is love and affirmation. These we usually get from other people, in what they perceive us to be, how they describe us, what we could do for them and not forgetting what they could in return do for us. This is where most people find themselves. Here we know terms like “bend over backwards” for people or “always be strong” for others. This is a very sincere place of wanting to be good.

No 3. Identity of Greed.

In this identity we make sure we take from others, they need to do things for us because we deserve it and they need to listen to us. Things need to happen the way we want it to happen, otherwise we will give others a hard time. We reject love here, we rather want something that makes things easier than love since love just feels like work, work is hard, we don’t like that. This identity tends to abuse the identity of need & lives off of it like a parasite.

When Identities Meet.

These identities we choose from everyday, not necessarily all three of them, some of us go back and forth between the first two while other people choose the last one or stay in the middle.

If we look at these three we can make it easy to explain the Christian life and even practice discernment in a simple way. When looking at these identities, we know they will flow to our relationships. So how does it affect them?

Let’s say you are in the identity No 1, you have a friend with identity No 2 and also one with No 3. You are fulfilled and complete since you are no1 and have no need to cater to the demands of other identities. Will you stay friends with No 3?

Then you also see what No 3 does to No 2 everyday, demands, manipulates and has no sincere regard for No 2. No 2 on the other hand tries to love, gets heartbroken and abused by No 3. No 2 believes if they loved, cared more, did more for No 3 that it will change their identity to No 2 as well. No 3 uses this to demands that No 2 walks the extra mile and more. No 2 feels this is what they need to do to be a better person, they see and feel their own void and therefore recognizes the void No 3 has. No 2 feels guilty for not making No 3’s life better. What will your advice be to No 2?

Lastly, when you are No 1 you see Gods value for No 2 and No 3. You will be able to discern whether there is a willingness in No 2 or No 3 to see their value or not.

Trick about this is, when we are No 1 and try force others like No 3 to see their value, we actually become No 2 and lose our fulfillment since we pour our own value into a hole that we cannot fill. We are to be filled with God, only He satisfies. So how do we influence others to switch identity? Live fulfilled! Shine His light! They will see and come…and they will then be willing to start cultivating a No 1 identity.

What identity do you choose today? Jesus said we should love our neighbour, how will we do it by any other identity, than the one He gave us. How else will we ever live fulfilled, unless we let God complete us.

Written by Carlo Merrick

Photo by Tom Parsons on Unsplash

Realm of potential

Our rebirth reality from a different world is not completely off planet in origin, but different in realm. Realm is accessed through heart intent. So discerning between good & evil or spirit & flesh is hardly as religious & external as we have made it.

It is either an internal desire to satisfy self or a desire to make room for the One who is The All Consuming Fire, then also purposefully being present with Him in one’s intent & awareness. Here we become representations of His love, purity & glory, we become those who react to His intentions & desires, instead of responding to the world that is fallen because it is only concerned about “self”.

It is in regarding God & His destiny for us that we really find who we are, but it works from the inside out. This is the opposite of what a large part of Christianity teaches, they teach an “outside in” gospel & therefore it always feels like a losing battle since the world is lost to begin with!

But the truth is, in Jesus you & I have already won! We take this victory to the world so hope an arise & they can believe through the Word in us.
So it is paramount to our growth & understanding of why we are here while we make room inside of us for the reality of Christ’s victory & fulfillment.

1 John 5:4
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

Faith is fueled by knowing realities that aren’t visible(Heb11:1). So we feed off of inner thoughts, intentions & purposefully realign our reality according to His will/word. (This is why Jesus says” if you have thought it in your heart, you have committed the very act” – Mat 5)

This was not said to create greater judgement on people, but rather a reality to live according to, to really live free & access Gods promises to us, because we are not slaves to the world, we are not what we have done, we are who He says we are when we believe. Free sons of the kingdom! Our judgement becomes greater on the things that keep us back from growing in our destiny! We cut those things off! (Mat 5)

I want to encourage you to tap into your potential in Christ, because it will only remain potential, unless we intentionally grab it & start wielding it, doing this will result in stepping out in the physical & expecting results from the realm you are born from!

You are not of this world! Your world has come here, the kingdom is at hand!

The earth is ours

The are Christians calling death & curses over our country & over our land because they look & people’s sin around us.

But the whole dynamic is off, it is as if we are in the old covenant with God on the outside, where we are separate from Him, calling Him down to bring rain.

So then they tell people to repent before God can move & if that doesn’t work, they start breaking curses. Real bummer if then still no rain comes!

But God has given us this earth. Even from Adam God gave him dominion over all the things of the earth. But now in the new covenant God gave Jesus all authority in heaven & earth. Now Jesus lives inside of us when we are born again, meaning that authority is available for the believer.

So then we don’t ask God to please bring rain. Because when we don’t see results we get confused about sin & curses that Jesus paid for on the cross already as if that never happened. He is waiting for us!

Now we can speak to clouds & the things on the earth as we speak to our dog. There is no arrogance in tell our dog what to do, why would it be wrong to tell the clouds what to do? We know where the authority we have comes from!

But what about the sin in the world we ask? Are we called to preach the gospel? Aren’t we the light of the world? Didn’t we receive the ministry of reconciliation? Or are we just waiting for God to judge people that we are not willing to reach with the truth in love?

Let us as new creations in Christ speak life over the earth so people can see the goodness of God(it does lead us to repentance?). If the results vary then we know we have space to grow in authority.

Rom 8: 19 says that creation waits expectantly for the sons of God to be revealed…

Even the earth is waiting for you…

Come on guys…no one likes to wait. 😁

The God who doesn’t change

So many times I have seen God being presented as an unchanging God, like a Robot or static force that is always the same & never changing in the full sense of the word.

But is this true? Does nothing about God ever change? How is it that people are not judged today like they were in the Old Testament through natural or supernatural means? Most Christians might say : But Jesus came & paid the price for us! So did that make God change? Because we still live in a world that sins everyday & acts horrible in so many ways. We say the wrath of God was satisfied in Jesus on the cross, yet His promise of wrath still came on Israel in 70AD when the temple was destroyed(point just being, wrath still happened) about 40 years after the cross of Christ.

For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. Malachi 3:6 ESV

This is the famous verse, yet it ends with therefore you, O children of Jacob are not consumed! So He is saying He is merciful and that does not change! Whoo! That is good news right there!

You will see right through the Bible that God likes to be merciful. People forget that in Gods’ mercy, what He has always desired with man is relationship even though man messed up. Right from the beginning, after Adam & Eve sinned, the All Knowing God goes to look for them to talk to them about it. Cain & Able, God warns Cain before he kills Able that sin wants him…but he could overcome it. But yet Cain chose sin. This shows that God believes in us & our potential as the only creatures that are created in His image & likeness.

There was the two cases where God changed His mind because of humans. One of the cases was with Abraham asking God not to destroy the city of Sodom while Lot was living there. So asked God not to destroy it for the sake of the righteous & God didn’t. Only when Lot left the City it was made waste.

Second case was with Moses :

But Moses implored the Lord his God and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?

And the Lord relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people
Exodus 32:11,14

He has always been fascinated with us & when we discover Him, we become absolutely fascinated with Him! It’s like we were meant for each other. The stories like Noah when so many people died are harder to understand to some of us. But the moment we see Him protecting us against evil people who did not want to turn to love & cause death for the rest of the planet, it makes more sense.

I like using this example :

What will love(as a physical person) do if a criminal runs straight at you to kill you? He would stop him and if need be kill the criminal to protect the innocent.

Now where am I going with this? I am telling you that you do have a good God & also have a good Father. When you start believing in Him(following Him) then He sees you as innocent. This is His desire by His mercy to have you innocent & come into your original potential He created you for.

Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
Romans 5:9 (ESV)

So if He always wants to be merciful & wants relationship. But why at times was it so seemingly harsh? Covenant! Covenants have always been about God & man, because He seeks relationship with us. The covenants were harsh, time & again God would look at what the punishments results were , then He would stop the process because it would sadden Him.

For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
James 2:13 ESV

But here we are today, in a New Covenant. So when did the Old Covenant officially stop? The Cross? Nope I dare say.

70AD when the temple & the Old Covenant System was destroyed & brought to an end. Jesus did start the NC through the cross though.

For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.  For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void.  For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
Romans 4 :13-15

It may be argued that from Adam there were no law either. Problem is that there were fallen men & cursed men, Love Himself will jump in the gap to save the innocent, warn the guilty & ultimately stop them if needed. Whereas now we have Jesus that became a curse for us & was the propitiation for the whole worlds’ sin!

He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2 : 2

Now everyone can have the grace while they live, only those who receive the grace will experience their inheritance whether they are alive or have died. God no longer has need to pour out His wrath since the covenant declares us under grace. So what’s the answer today? New Covenant! For out of it flowed His love & grace.

So this is what stays the same about God : He wants relationship & He will remain merciful! Have you ever wondered why there were all the other covenants? Noah,Abraham,Moses,David & then Christ. I mean the NC is the greatest because it came out of Gods’ heart & He just gave so we can receive. It is a covenant based on grace.

I believe God & us had the other covenants so He could do it with us even though our requests & wants were detrimental to our relationship at times, He remained merciful & was bearing with us even though sometimes to bring His part by covenant to punish us saddened Him.

I feel this is important because God can’t be filtered through one lens of grace or even love. But He can through relationship, out of that comes His love & grace because His heart will always beat with mercy toward those made in His image.

Written By Carlo Merrick
Carlo Merrick

HOTF T-shirts

Ok so after getting a few requests on some of the HOTF T-shirts, here is the first one.  It is R200 a shirt. Make a deposit into our account(bank details on bottom right corner of this page) with your name as reference & send me your postal/living address via our contact page & the size T-shirt you would like. If you are outside of South Africa, please add a extra R100 for postage. Blessings! (Another New HOTF T-SHirt Coming soon!)

Godfidence T-SHirt. R200

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Heart of the Father T-SHirt. R200

Abusive relationship with a good Father?

God is good! All the time! All the time, God is good!

Tell me you heard that at some stage in a church? There is such an importance in the fact that God, our Father in heaven, is good! As we know the Bible states that He is the giver of good gifts!

In John 10 Jesus says :

Joh 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Joh 10:11 I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

There are so many verses that let’s us know God is good. But so often I hear these questions :

1 : Why would a good Father let this happen in the world?

2 : Why doesn’t God want to give me this or that since He is good?

We try to reconcile the idea of His goodness through our circumstances while we find ourselves and others’ lives in questionable circumstances.  we base our ideology on a Father that made promises & then we demand to see that He fulfills it! Soon ,in having these questions, without us stating it, we feel like we are in an abusive relationship with a “Good Father”; making promises that He never keeps & we have to suffer  while we wait.

If you are asking these questions today, I would like to ask some questions too if I may.

Is a Father truly good to their child if they do everything for him or her? Wouldn’t that child be completely dependent on that Fathers actions? Of course they would. This might even sound ok, since we should be dependent on God!? But should we be dependent on Gods actions now?

To that I say ..NO.

The fact that He laid down His life for you showed you His actions &  He overcame the world for you! That’s a good God! But now today we don’t always or even sometimes see that victory in the world. How is this possible?

Joh 1:10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through Him, and the world did not know Him.
Joh 1:11 He came to His own, and His own received Him not.
Joh 1:12 But as many as received Him, He gave to them authority to become the children of God, to those who believe on His name,
Joh 1:13 who were born, not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but were born of God.

This is the Word of God, Jesus Christ. He came not to give us cars & houses or trouble free lives even, but He came to give us Himself. Now we have this great opportunity to receive Him! But it is left to us to do this since there were some who did not receive Him.

So if you have been given the authority as a child of God, what will you do with your life? Will you not do everything to not just let bad things happen in the world? Here comes the main two questions :

What kind of person do you need to be to walk in the promises of God?

What kind of person do you need to be to help bring answers to the problems you see around you?

If you step into the identity God gave you as someone that is born of God, He will give you the things needed for the journey through the world. Mat 6 : 33

Never let the world tell you your identity.

Joh 1:13 who were born, not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but were born of God

So does He let stuff happen? No, not since He now lives in you & gave you the power walk as His child.

Does He not come through on His promises? He does to all His children, because it’s all about who they are to Him & it is not just a external relationship as He now lives through us from the inside out.

Too many of us still try to live a life as if we belong to ourselves, while Christ paid such a great price in order for us to live His life & leave our old life behind. So we try ask God to tend to our old life & make sure everything works well while He hung on that cross to kill our old life with Him! it’s time to leave it ll behind & follow Him & trust that He is a good Father & you are a good son/daughter through Christ!

2Co 5:14 For the love of Christ constrains us, judging this, that if one died for all, then all died;
2Co 5:15 and He died for all, that the living ones may live no more to themselves, but to Him who died for them and having been raised.
2Co 5:16 So as we now know no one according to flesh, but even if we have known Christ according to flesh, yet now we no longer know Him so.
2Co 5:17 So that if any one is in Christ, that one is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Carlo Merrick
Carlo Merrick

Possessing the Kingdom

Rom 14:17  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

One of the biggest lies I have ever believed as a Christian is materialistic evidence of righteousness. Growing up we were relentlessly harangued on a counterfeit prosperity gospel. A fundamentally unsubstantial doctrine of materialistic gain as a sign of spirituality infiltrated the church, and I fear I was the recipient of the brunt of it. I felt an inordinate amount of pressure on me to “manifest” my well doing by having a comparable amount of wealth.  This ideology has its roots in a mentality of lack.

Matthew 6:33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

We have made Matthew 6:33, in practice, a means to an end. Seeking the Kingdom has become synonymous with gain and has caused us to feel entitled to the things we need. Our faith journey, our prayer life, and our thought patterns too often revolve around the things we need from God, as opposed to having the fullness of God. With the value the church has placed on having materialistic things, our prayer lives has become increasingly overwhelmed with demands. Growing up poor, as a young person I constantly struggled with the reality of God’s kingdom because I apparently lacked the basic evidence of said Kingdom, namely money.  The perpetual cycle of not having, and praying to get to give, to get had me in a whirlwind of frustration of never having enough, yet having to always give to get more. The lack mentality will have us ever wondering if we are sowing enough, ever fixated on when our breakthrough is going to make its debut- in glitter and gold.

I do believe in tithing, sowing, generosity and giving. Yes, God will supply our needs. Yes, He is aware of and concerned with our needs.  But there is a position we come to relationally, where we find our needs met in Him. I have come to realize that God wants to give us all of Him. I firmly believe He is enthusiastically encouraging our hunger and thirst after Him. He stirs our hunger, so we can have our fill of Him. He does not take away so we can seek Him more so that we can in turn have more things.  We will have our needs supplied through riches in glory, by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19  But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

There is no bypassing Him, our righteousness, peace and joy is found in Him. When we find security in His peace and joy, our supplies will follow. We do not possess more of the kingdom when we possess more things, the things come as a result of possessing kingdom, and they aren’t synonymous with the kingdom. God wants to have a relationship with you. Matthew 6 says “and” all these things will be added unto you, not “so that” all these things will be added unto you. There is a state we enter into when we are in the kingdom of God where we experience righteousness, peace, and joy regardless of our physical circumstances. Often times in my pursuit of breakthrough and provision, in my limited view of His heart, God was the barrier between me and the things I needed. The point of my life was to see how much I could acquire, as an attestation of my righteousness. Because I was fixated on material gain, God became a threat to my wealth. What if I pray and don’t receive? What if I spend time studying the word and stay poor for all to see? What if I fast and pray and don’t make rent? With thoughts like that there was no right standing with Him, no peace, and no joy. Because when we do to get, we are no longer in a covenant, but operate as a slave under the law. Seeking His kingdom comes naturally to a believer. It is meant to be easy to receive from the Father. God does not operate as a vending machine; put in the right amount, press the right buttons, and you get what you want.

Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

This is one of the most practical Scriptures you will find in aiding your prayer life. When we realize God is a person and wants to have fellowship with us, our prayer life starts sounding a little more intentionally sincere. In reference to Philippians 4, your prayer life should include the words “please” and “thank you.” When we talk to God it moves Him when we are sincere in our need of Him, acknowledging Him as our provider. Philippians encourages us to demand less, but ask more. One of our good friends calls this having spiritual manners.

Abundance will look different to different people.  The issue will never be how much stuff you got, but indeed how much Kingdom you portray. This life should only ever be about containing and manifesting the fullness of God. I want to be so bold and say that we could potentially come to a place where what we possess and don’t posses no longer has any bearing on how righteous we are perceived. When we are concerned with elevating people’s hearts to the full knowledge of Christ, instead of their financial status, we have embraced Kingdom principles.

Written by
Franciska Merrick