All posts by Franciska Merrick

Ever Increasing Hope

“Our hope depends not on our own ability to figure things out…” Heidi Baker

When I find myself without explanation, I become agitated, by default. I love taking things apart, understanding how they work, their meaning, and their function. I need, desperately, to understand concepts in order to accept them. I need to know their purpose before I deem them worthy of attention. In the natural this is a rather good attribute to have, one that eliminates unnecessary hassle and time spent on ineffective methods and purchases. However, regarding matters of faith, such an approach is often detrimental to the mechanics of belief. In my consistent need to understand, I often find myself at a loss of faith, because faith does not come by what I can see or know. It is evidenced by what I cannot see, and when we hope patiently for it, things start to manifest. Only, when I indulge my need to know and understand, yet I am without explanation, I rapidly find myself doubting God’s nature and promises. I am basically saying, “I can only believe after the manifestation,” and from this sprouts an entire world of distrust. I then find myself on very shaky ground. I cannot let my belief in God be dependent on His ‘good behaviour.’ He is sovereign, and He is good. I do not get to bargain with Him, He is holy. I hope, because hope does not disappoint.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5

My hope so often depends on my own ability to understand. How often are we not plagued by ‘why?’  When things do not work out the way we have hoped we often feel we can only move on and accept the reality if God can give us an acceptable answer – one that will specifically quiet our reasoning.  The need to verify His reasoning stems from distrust. And form disappointment stems despondency. This is why it is so important to hold on to the hope we have. I can, in my own reasoning, draw from a deep well of disappointment, which manifests itself in shame. Shame of unfulfilled potential, shame of unrealised dreams, shame of not living and having what He promised. But the hope that comes from Him does not put me to shame. When we feel that He has failed us, or abandoned His mission in our lives by not doing as was promised, we need to re-evaluate our perceptions of His heart. It might be that He didn’t live up to the parameters I set out for Him to perform in. It might be that He did not deliver on the promises I inferred based on my personal preferences. When we are to give a sure answer for the hope we have, it speaks of my very idea of who He is. Not material gain.

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man who asketh you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear. 1 Peter 3:15

It reminds us to sanctify the Lord in our hearts, and remember our hope with meekness. How do you sanctify the Lord in your heart? By simply not defiling Him in your thoughts. How can you give an answer for having hope when you have lost all hope by reducing the character and integrity of God in your heart due to not getting what you wanted.  Remember who He is, He is holy and just. When we look on Him and remember He is God, it becomes hard to be preoccupied with lack. I am not recommending the denial of lack and problems, I am advocating for a healthy heart that still hopes in the living God. He is not your enemy, withholding good things, waiting for a version of you to emerge worthy enough. If this was the case, Jesus would never have died. He loved us first, and He loves us still.

Yes, we can and should trust Him for supply and provision – He is the God who supplies- but we can no longer allow our perception of His faithfulness to His own Kingdom to be influenced by what we got out of the deal. He is God, and He is good. Following the ideological train of ‘unfulfilled promises negate the validity of every other word spoken’ sets us up for heart sickness. The ‘why, if only, and what if’s’ are allowed, but be weary of dwelling on them. If my need to understand the truth of my circumstances is greater than my hunger for His truth, I become self-absorbed and truth serves only as self-indulgence. Know Him, in all your ways, acknowledge Him, in it all – even the failures.

He wants us well. He wants our hearts thriving. He wants us hopeful. He wants us living out the life He bought. I want to remind you today that His intentions are good, and He is a good Father. Regardless of circumstances, regardless of the questions, have hope today. Hope does not put to shame. Delay in fulfillment is no justification for living in doubt and shame, take hold of your thoughts and put your trust in the living God once more.

HE is

There are some aspects of God that sounds contradictory, opposing almost. He is both strong, and tender. Passionate, yet patient. Active, but gentle. He is God, He is Father, He is brother, He is friend. I think, in my opinion, these are the very attributes that makes Him the champion of the inferior. He understands the fact that we are multidimensional, He created us so. Body, mind, spirit. We were created complex, made up of detailed facets, compounded by layers of being. He made us as He is. He is a multifaceted God. He knows us, and He understands us, and He loves us. We can be both convinced of His faithfulness while yearning to witness it manifested in a certain area. We can both love Him while approaching Him with years-old questions. We can serve Him while simultaneously questioning if He really did call us. He is not a God that is threatened by our questions. In fact, He welcomes them. He is the one who sits at the other end of your doubts with options, because they can coexist. He has such capacity, my friend, you can not scare Him away. Ask those questions. Go on, have your say. I dare you to listen as He answers, bringing opposing counsel to your anxiety, ushering peace to your troubles.

Just as there are seemingly contradictory facets of His being, just so there are complex commands in Scripture. Be wise as serpents, yet gentle as doves, labor for the kingdom, but be at rest, speak little but listen much (both active verbs, doing words, demands action), and statements such as He is both the lion and the lamb, He is a consuming fire, a mighty wind, and living water. He is all things, and in Him is all things. We cannot save anyone, He is judge and redeemer. Let us forget our interpretations of circumstances and people. Just love them. He is multifaceted God, inspirer of multifaceted instruction to very complex humans. We interpret differently at different stages of life. But the one thing we can all agree one, is He is a God of love. So allow your views to be directed by love that is selfless. Interpret His words always through a sense of belonging. You might be an underdog in your circle of friends, the black sheep in your family, the overlooked one in the workplace. But know this today, He is able to overthrow every table of religious gain in your life. He champions you from before eternity, enabling you to live now, securing your forever. Be loved, today. He is exactly who you need for where you are right now. He sees, He knows, He is.

Kingdom First

Read with me, “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:31-34

Fulfillment of the law of love requires self-sacrifice. He having done His part empowers us to live in His love. This is a powerfully accountable lifestyle; to love and give without thought of self. When we become Kingdom minded, we see others. Love becomes easy when we understand the premise of Godly love is that He loved us ‘first.’ Loving others and living up to love requires putting someone else first. This is the truest expression of your love, not professing it, but doing. You have to put Him first. His Kingdom principles need to win when we weigh our options. His love needs to outweigh our wants. He needs to be first in our hearts if we are to succeed at life. Seek first the Kingdom of God – above all else. The things pertaining to the Kingdom of God should take precedent in our pursuits and attempts at doing life. Our life decisions should reflect Kingdom, in other words our life choices should reflect our pursuit of power, peace, joy, miracles and health. Seek powerfulness first, seek love first, seek peace first, and seek miracles first. Set your thoughts on doing life in a way that empowers joy, live your life in pursuit of righteousness in all situations, conduct yourself in a way that testifies of the pursuit of peace. Living as if we belong to His kingdom demand we lay down our own wants for our life, and pursue His intentions for us.

His intentions for you is to look like His Son, to look like love and compassion, powerfully equipped to do good to those around you; enabled to let go, enable to let others win, enable to love and lay down our wants and needs. Kingdom lifestyle of self-denial is not equal to being a wimp, self-denial does not deny you a personality, or needs, or emotions, or purpose, but embracing the concept of putting Him first is what allows you the amazing opportunity of not doing it alone. Putting Him first is the empowerment we need to live a Godly life. Putting Him first does not mean you have to deny your calling, gifting, anointing, purpose and feelings. It means you get to come alongside Him, and do it His way, because all those beautiful things about you essentially find their full expression in glorifying Him, or at least it should. Living for Him is what makes us powerful. Living in Him is what makes us effective. Because in Him we move, in Him we live, and He holds it all together.

Put Him first, because it is not about you doing life by yourself. Put Him first as an acknowledgement that you are in Him and trust Him to be good to you. Place Him first in your thoughts as you make decisions, and see His peace reign in your mind. In the face of every aspect of our lives we have to remember that He knows us well, He made us and He is keenly aware of what we need and want. Come to Him with your needs, come to Him with your thoughts, and let Him be the peace that leads you. Allow His kingdom to manifest through a life surrendered to His way of doing things. No-one knows or understands you better. Trust Him to know and do the necessary work. Let go of the attempts to make it work out. Quit the yelling and striving. Let Him be God, think of Him first, and go to Him first.

Let Love Win

I don’t have much to say, except – let love win. Relationships are failing, people judge, budgets are tight, and projects fail. The mountains seem to steep to climb, the ocean to wide to cross, and the way to narrow to traverse. But keep on keeping on. Not by taking matters into your own hands. Often times we keep on by doing the same things over and over again, most times repeating the very actions that got us in trouble to start with. Today, know that He sees it all, He knows it all. Challenge yourself to see how your love for Him wins over any uncertainty you may have regarding His intentions for you. Let the fact that you love Him deflect the doubts you harbor. Let the fact that you love Him keep you restful, and trusting, still. Allow His never-ending love for you to seep through every crack of uncertainty in your resolve, and love on Him.  Just love Him today. Look at Him, and love Him. As you behold Him, be enveloped in His mercy. As you gather yourself to Him, sit before His feet and just be. He is enough. He has always been enough. Love Him, today. And find yourself once again, in Him. Purposefully, with intent, sit with Him. Tell Him, “I love You.” Remind yourself that He is the lover of your soul. Be mindful of the fact that it has always been Him; He has always been your One true person.  He is your

Refuge

Rock

Hiding Place

Safety

Security

Keeper

Father

Savior

Redeemer

Hide yourself in Him. Take every thought captive, and place it inside of His love for you, and be safe. This means you do not worry about tomorrow, and neither do you  even worry about today. Be busy with what is on His heart. Look Him in the eyes and be known. He knows your face, He knows your name. He formed you. He chose you. He called you. Remember who He is, remember who that makes you. In the waiting is where we put on display what we believe. Pay attention to the thoughts you have and the words you speak while in waiting. Pay attention to the words you speak during the moments He is silent. Do you still believe? Are you still hopeful? Is love winning? During the quiet moments, we sometimes feel the need to fill the silence with rhetoric and babble. Redeem this time; give it back to Him in quiet trust. And let love win over the doubt and torment. Let love win over the second guessing, over the idleness, over the chasms left by unanswered questions. Allow the waiting to whittle your faith, and display your belief systems. If your faith is wanting, allow God to be God again. In the season of waiting, sort out you, and let love win.  

The Secret Place, The Safe Place

When you abide under the shadow of Shaddai
    you are hidden  in the strength of God Most High.
He’s the hope that holds me and the stronghold to shelter me,
    the only God for me, and my great confidence.
He will rescue you from every hidden trap of the enemy

    and he will protect you from false accusation
    and any deadly curse
His massive arms are wrapped around you, protecting you.
    You can run under his covering of majesty and hide.
    His arms of faithfulness are a shield keeping you from harm.
You will never worry about an attack of demonic forces at night
    nor have to fear a spirit of darkness coming against you.
Don’t fear a thing!
    Whether by night or by day, demonic danger will not trouble you
    nor will the powers of evil be launched against you.

Psalm 91

Charles Spurgeon said, “Until we have realized the presence of God, we have done nothing.”

When thinking of the Secret Place I like to think of it as “The Safe Place.” This is where the Father loves on us, and meets us. It is a place of intimate acquaintance, of fellowship and communion. It is a place each one of us has been invited into. It is a hiddeness we can participate in when overwhelmed. It hosts an atmosphere of surrender, a room conducive to true rest. Usually associated with prayer in a closet, the Secret Place is not a physical place, but where He is. Find yourself there.

I have often been overwhelmed by situations and responsibilities, life in general feels rushed. When I feel hurried by deadlines, and circumstances hound me for production I have learned to get my rest in spending quiet time with Him; quiet being the operative word here. Rushing into prayer is where I am habitually quieted. In Luke 11 the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. His response was to acknowledge the Father first, and secondly to exalt Him. When you pray, when seeking the quiet that comes from His heart, acknowledge Him first. Say, “Father;” acknowledging His personhood, His presence, His existence. Then worship Him. How often have I rushed to God, convinced that my urgency will move Him, yet the moment I address Him as Father and begin to set Him higher in my thoughts and heart I become restful.  The second part of the instructions to the disciples, after addressing and acknowledging Him, was to exalt Him. When starting out in prayer, say “Father,” and in your heart and mind intentionally exalt Him above the thing you came to pray about. Make Him bigger; set Him higher in your thoughts. Exalt Him, elevate His name and nature, and see the urgency melt away in the face of the Father’s enduring love for you.

Psalm 91 presents covenantal interaction; “He who dwell in the Secret Place of the Most High, will abide under the shadow of His wings.” In the Old Testament we often read about do to get, obey to receive covenants between God and man, this was an inferior way. We are in the New Covenant with God, but operatively a covenant still hinges on an action or deed. The New Covenant we find ourselves in today hinges on a person, and that person is Jesus. He, who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide. Here no enemy can destroy, no pestilence come near.  The execution of this promise hinges of the presence of Christ realized in our lives. There is a need for habitual dwelling in the presence of God that affords us the victory and protection we seek. It is in His presence that we are hidden. It is in His presence that we are safe. It is in the secret moments of the heart between you and God that you are strengthened. One word I would associate with the Secret Place is “intentionality.” It takes an intentional engagement with the heart of God. It requires you to intend to enter, it is faith to act.

The Secret Place is where you have communion with God. When we approach God with the intention of spending intimate moments with Him, we become well acquainted with His voice. Lingering here with Him helps us get to know Him, to see what He looks like. You have to be vulnerable in the Secret Place, but don’t be scared, He is a safe place. The Secret Place is intimate. When we come out of prayer, we are still able to draw from those tender moments to sustain us, it becomes a place where our hearts dwell, where we habitually know and are known. This is represented by knowing what to do in hard situations, understanding His intentions for yourself and others in the midst of lies, and overcoming fear and failure; this is drawing from a deep well of acquaintance with the One who knows all.

Say “Father,” and focus your attention on the idea of Him as Father. Understand this means you are loved. Also, understand this to mean that He has authority. Direct your thoughts to His goodness. Quiet your mind, and be known by Him. Allow the worry to fade away, see the King of Glory come with Healing to you. Be loved by Him today. In your heart, elevate Him. Set Him above. Exalt Him. Let your thoughts about Him make Him holy.

Set Your affections on him

Read with me, If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:1-3

What does affection mean, and how do you “turn” it towards someone or something? Affection is essentially love, or a deep regard for someone or something. A mother feels affection for her new born, even though there is no intellectual connection made previously, and the baby is somewhat incapable of reciprocation. I think it is the same with God, He loved us first. We now have the amazing privilege of turning our love on Him in return. In order to do this, it is required that we give Him our attention, our full attention. This brings about a focus of our hearts and thoughts that is aimed at who He is and what He is doing. A refocus of heart and mind results in a subsequent realignment. Turning your attention and thoughts toward Him allows us focus and alignment with truth; with a person. In loving Jesus, it is imperative we remember that He is a person.  A person we can and should interact with. Loving on Him becomes easy if we can allow the mysticism to fall away and only remember He is a person, with us and in us. He is here.

Where is your focus? Colossians urges us to set our affections, to earnestly seek, to think of and focus on the things that are above. Are you thinking higher? This does not refer to mystical, airy fairy, futuristic things, but a knowing and thinking of where He is now. Where is He? What has He accomplished? He is here! He has won. Know this, then set your love on the man who has won for you. Set your mind on the fact that He has overcome the things you are struggling with. Do not focus your thoughts on the past, or the need, or the wrongs. But earnestly seek to think on what is higher and better.  Have thoughts that are elevated. Do you remember that He is exalted? Do you remember that He is seated at the right hand of the Father praying for you? Think on this. Earnestly seek to remember Him. Earnestly seek to set your love on the freedom and the grace He has given you. Forget what the flesh has done and wants. With intention, set your mind on Him.

Many people infer Colossians 3 to mean we are not to focus on earthly things, while in actuality they themselves are referring to material things. Colossians 3 is not speaking of things we have, but of things we are and do. Remember, material things cannot make you unholy or unworthy. Things are not evil. Having things do not make you unholy. But, when we allow our affections, our attention,  to be held by material things, and the gain thereof, we are in direct pursuit of fulfilment of desire and lusts. This is where pride enters, which subsequently leads to all other carnalities. Earthly refers to the flesh, the carnal nature. If you love yourself and make an idol out of material things, you are thinking earthly (flesh, man) thoughts. Just as setting your mind on self (earth) takes intentional directional thinking, so setting your affections on Him is a deliberate action.

Take a moment to turn your thoughts on the fact that He died for you. He chose you. He loves you. You are dead to your sins, your past is erased, and you are free and forgiven. He did that, for you. Think on Him. Have eyes only for Him. Be intentional right now with the awareness you have of who He is. Take a deliberate thought to exalt Him, elevate Him in your eyes, and remember who He is. Interact with Jesus today. Look at Him. Love on Him. Show your affection by fellowshipping with the truth. Intimacy is what makes words become deeds.

Surrender

Read with me, My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways.” Proverbs 23:26

So often we are invested in making a mark on the earth. We become consumed with doing things for God, for others, for ourselves. The concepts of moving up and forward take foremost priority in our pursuit of significance. We are so busy doing, that we often neglect to be. How often do you initiate actions due to a promised reward? How often do you do accept additional pressure to perform tasks, based on the premise that there is gold at the end of the rainbow? We have allowed fairy tales to replace the word of God in our lives. He tells us to give Him everything, and to rest. We have adopted this fevered rush to do as much for God as we possibly can, all in an attempt to store up reward for one day. But in our frantic pursuit of gold, we have failed to see the delight there is in Him, right here, right now.

If the idea of doing less sparks fear in your heart, fear of repercussion, of eternal repercussions, I want to ask you again, why are you doing the things you are doing. Let me remind you that God is not sitting in judgment waiting for you to fail at simple tasks in order to withhold what He has already, freely and lovingly, given you. He is not a man that lies, He will not dishonor the price Christ paid by refusing you His love and mercy. He isn’t small minded, He isn’t petty. On the contrary, He rejoices over us, even when we have done nothing – NOTHING- to deserve it.  If grace has saved us, we cannot now maintain His good grace by doing things, we cannot now twist His arm for favor and favors. Stop living only for one day, for a reward in heaven, for what you store up. He is good, and He is here now.

He is inviting you to give your heart. There is beauty in surrender. I want you to notice that delight in Him and His way of doing comes after we have surrendered our hearts to Him. He emphasizes the idea that His ways are good and delightful. He also emphasizes the need to surrender your ways, first. Can you, today, surrender your WHY? Are you capable of laying down your motivations and see His way in your day? If you are driven to the point of exhaustion by doing works, surrender it to Him today. Let Him be the keeper of your heart, and see where He leads you to do and be. The reward?  Him. What do you get out of it? The delight of His presence! Is He still enough? Is He what your heart desires? Are you doing the work so you can one day be with Him, or are you doing the work because you are in Him, today? He has an uncanny way of calling us to rest, and to do less. He has such a delightful way of quieting the insistence of the world that says, “if you do more, you will have more.” This is the lie of a worldly system, the truth of the word says, “do less, be with me, see more.”

Surrender means to give over control of something. I want to challenge you today to hand over your heart – your feelings, intentions, business, life, work, children, faith, perspectives, etc. – to Him, and ask Him to show you what to do, by first doing nothing out of your own ideas. Give Him control of the outcome.  If we no longer have control over the outcome of our eternity, and allow Him to be the God that keeps promises, we get to live for Him in the moment. If our concern for one day is replaced with intentionally living in the moment, we get to delight in everyday life, unburdened by what is not in our control. In your heart, allow the belief that He is a man that keeps His promises and that your future, both here and eternal, is safe with Him. Live your everyday in Him, allow His love to compel you to love those around you, simply because He is good. When HE holds your heart doubt becomes very difficult, and affection is easy. Give it to Him, surrender, and let your eyes see His way of doing and loving, without the need and idea of reward.  

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

Worship

Read with me, “Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset. As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.” Exodus 17:12-13

In Exodus 17 we read the account of the Israelites facing the Amalekites. Moses went up a hill, raised a staff in his hands. During the moments his hands were in the air, the Israelites prevailed against Amalek. Only, Moses’ arms would grow tired resulting in his hands lowering to his sides, again. The result was that Amalek would have the advantage as long as his hands were lowered. Aaron and Hur lowered Moses on a stone to sit, and stood one on each side of Moses, raised his hands in the air. As long as Moses’ hands were raised the Israelites had the advantage. God gave Joshua the victory over Amalek that day as a result of Moses’ raised hands.

What stood out to me in this passage of Scripture is the consequence that came from Moses, Aaron and Hur’s actions. Joshua won, because Moses was lifting his hands. As he raised his hands in the air, he was ascertaining victory for him, his people and their families. As Aaron and Hur lifted Moses’ hands, their own hands were raised, also. This entire passage reminds me that when we raise one, we raise many. It was necessary for Aaron and Hur to lift their own hands, in order to raise Moses’ hands.

Worship works similarly. When we are fighting, when the enemy comes against us, our answer is in worshipping Him. As we lift our hands in worship, we see the enemy fall. When our hearts are raised to Him in worship, we see others overcome the enemy. In raising our hands, we raise His people. Raising our hands inadvertently raises a standard against the enemy. It would not have been possible for Aaron and Hur to lift Moses’ hands without also raising their own hands underneath his.  As you consider this, think today of people you know in need of a breakthrough, in desperate need of victory, raise your hands in worship on their behalf today just as Aaron and Hur did for Moses. Stand in the gap and praise until they see a breakthrough.

Worship Him today, as a physical expression of your faith in His sovereignty, as a tangible way of displaying our faith in His ability to see you through the enemy’s onslaught. Know that He is mighty and able. Know the God that you worship gives you the strength to stand, heart and head raised. Position yourself to worship with reverence before Him.

Look to Jesus

Read with me, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:25-27

“Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

In Matthew we see the words, do not worry, do not become anxious, fret not. The word Anxious as it is used here, translates to “distracted” from the Greek. Our thoughts play such a vital role in our general state of being.  Doubt, worry, anxiety, distractions, they all serve to derail our thoughts, and our faith. Today I want to remind you to not allow yourself to be distracted. Situations can so easily lead our focus away from Christ, stealing our peace. I want to remind you today, that there is no medal for the best worrier. God never meant for us to do mental gymnastics to outsmart the onslaughts of the enemy on our souls. It is in no way His intention for you to suffer turmoil. It is the enemy that steals our peace. And our weapon is sharpened as we fix our focus, not on the problem, but on the Man. We are reminded to keep our eyes fixed and focused on Christ, who is the author and finisher of our FAITH. The answer is right there in front of our eyes (SEE what I did there?). If the lie is in losing focus, then the solution is cemented in keeping it. Faith is initiated when we behold Him, it is also strengthened and sustained in the quiet moments we intently lock eyes with Him and refuse to look away.

Did you know He loves to look you in the eyes? Today, He is inviting you into a tender moment of surrender. Look away from that which would keep you busy, from those things that demand your attention, the clutter of life, and just see Him.  As a husband lifts the veil in a marriage ceremony to share a moment of tender intimacy with his bride, so He has come and torn the veil that separates us from Him. (2 Cor 3:18) As a bride whose veil has been lifted, behold Him unveiled. In purity, give Him all you attention right now. Engage Him, love on Him. This is how we become like Him, by beholding Him. This is how your hopelessness dies. This is where the despondency flees. In His embrace  is where you see Him, and become like Him. Your answer is in beholding.

When we allow ourselves to be constantly distracted, worry becomes a way of life. We look to the left, we look to the right, and wonder where our help will come from. Turn your eyes to the hill, lift your attention higher. Set your focus on the hill, on that hill where He died. Behold Him there, attaining the hope of a free life…for you. Do not look to the left, look away from the chaos. Do not look to the right, take your focus off the lack. Set your eyes on Him, allow faith to be initiated in your heart. Do not allow distractions to initiate worry. Do not be anxious, take no thought of worry.

What are you looking at? What holds your attention? If you feel anxious, you might be reflecting what you look at. If you feel hopeless you might be representing the idea of what you perceive. Just behold Him. He is there in front of you right now. See Him as He is, kind and caring. See Him as He has always been, strong and able. He loves you. His hand is mighty to save. He is willing, ever present, and ready to help. Just behold Him. Turn your eyes on Him.

The Blood Speaks

Read with me, ” To Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.” Hebrews 12:24

The past few weeks I have heard these words persistently in my Spirit…”the blood  speaks a better word.” I am reminded of the fact that we are daily inundated with myriads of voices and thoughts, persistent in their valuations and judgments.

Am I working hard enough?

What if I fail? Am I good enough?

What is my purpose?

Will they get better?

The constant onslaught of doubt can be draining. It is discouraging to not have answers. I want you to think about questions you are asking that leave you despondent.  Today, I want you to hear His voice over those questions. I want you to understand that when He speaks, He creates, and therefore there is abundant hope for your situation. Even in death, the blood of Jesus was speaking over our destinies. He will not leave you destitute. His blood is ever calling out purpose and better things over you. Allow His words to resonate with your thoughts, and refute the lies and despondency by hearing Him. Though introspection serves to guide us to self awareness which could ultimately lend itself to betterment, it is essentially the goodness, the betterness, of His words that bring about the internal awareness needed for change. 

Hebrews previously (11) describes Abel  as a man of faith who had obtained righteousness through an excellent sacrifice. Later in the same passage in Hebrews, it is mentioned that Abraham was considered as a man of faith because he believed the promises that God had made. When God speaks, He speaks well. There is something profound in the way faith comes by hearing. When we listen to what is being promised and declared, we cultivate faith. If you are struggling with despondency, and feel your faith is waning, I want to encourage you to get into the word of God and hear what He is saying. His is always the better way (words). Our faith is dependent on hearing and believing Him.  If you hear Him speak, do not harden your heart, believe Him, and be filled with faith.

Where we were once dependent in dependence on our works, Christ came and offered a life of surrender. When our thoughts scream at us that we are not enough, His blood speaks a better word. When we feel the need to suffer in order to deserve His love, His blood speaks a better word. When we are overcome with shame because of unbelief, we need only hear the better words spoken by His sacrifice. He did not leave the sacrifice incomplete. He went through with it, suffering and enduring. And now, that blood speaks of freedom, redemption, sufficiency and salvation. His blood speaks, it has a voice, calling you higher, urging you to know He has paid it all. You are called according to His sacrifice, His blood speaks of your worth, calling you son. 

Today, hear Him and believe. Find a passage of scripture, focus on it, hear it, know it, and believe it. Let Faith arise as you believe the one who speaks is faithful to fulfill. Believe the report of the Lord, over the report of people, doctors, media and peers.