Grow Your Own

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott - 

In preparing for our destiny we need to build our spirit. Over a number of posts on this blog we have looked at:

We are going on now to consider a fourth means of building up our spirit:

  • Meditating on the word of God

My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
Do not let them depart from your sight;
Keep them in the midst of your heart.
For they are life to those who find them
And health to all their body.
Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.
(Prov 4:20-23)

For the word of God is living and active (Heb 4:12).

It is alive, and it has power if we focus and fix our eyes on it. When we allow the power of God’s word to transform us, we can live in the power of that word. As we meditate on it, it is like going from 2D to a 3D experience. It comes alive and jumps off the page. You become part of what is going on.

A picture paints a thousand words

There is a saying, ‘a picture paints a thousand words’. That is why Jesus spoke in parables. The Bible is full of stories and illustrations that enable us not just to hear words that are being said, but to imagine and participate in what is going on. So we can have experiences, visions and pictures. We can gain revelation. We can experience things practically for ourselves. We can see things sometimes in worship, pictures visions, trances, all sorts of experiential things in which we can know God’s presence. You cannot know something, in the biblical sense of the word, with intellectual understanding. The word ‘know’ in the bible means ‘to know intimately, by personal experience’. You cannot know what you have not experienced. God wants us to receive those revelations.

Store or shred

When we receive them, it is really important that we do not just pass over them. We do not just say, ‘I had this picture, I had this dream’, and then forget about them. We write them down, record them, journal them. Then we can go back and review what we have seen, what God has said, and we can revisit those experiences and obtain more revelation and more understanding from them.

In meditation, if you go back over something and keep looking at it, drawing life from it, it shows that you value it. What you value, your brain will store (instead of shredding it).

We do not want to be consumers of the word. You can sit and read this blog, or watch one of my YouTube clips, and allow me to teach you something. But you can also be a producer of the word, by taking what the word says, and applying it to your own life, and bringing forth your own fruit.

I can share my experiences of going to heaven, and having heavenly encounters with the Father, with Jesus, the angels, the men in white linen and so on. That is all very good, but God wants you to have your own experiences. They may not be the same as mine, but they will be yours. God shows no favouritism. If you do what I did, you will get what I got. But you will not get it just by reading these posts or hearing me speak. You have to pursue Him for yourself. You have to put into practice basic techniques and principles: and meditating on the word is one of the most important of them. And meditation is not just something ethereal: you have to read the word of God and apply it to your own life.

Tomatoes

It is like tomatoes.

If you like to eat tomatoes, what most people do is go and buy some from the greengrocer or the supermarket. That is being a consumer. Someone else puts in a whole lot of effort to grow them, package them, transport them and offer them up for you to buy and eat. But you could learn how to grow tomatoes for yourself. You would have to have seed to plant, learn about types of soil and compost, transplant your seedlings, remember to water and care for them, make sure they get the right amount of sun and shelter, support the growing plants, prune them, and so on. Eventually, you get tomatoes. tomato plant

When you eat a tomato you have grown, how much better does it taste than one you have bought from the shops? Even Tesco’s Finest? It tastes wonderful. There is nothing like picking fruit and vegetables straight from the garden and eating them. And besides all that, you have put so much into them that you get a real sense of achievement too. It is a lot more work, but it is a lot more rewarding.

Seek it for yourself

In the same way, when you hear about my relationship with God and my encounters with the Holy Spirit, that can benefit you, and you can be blessed by hearing about them. But maybe hearing about my experiences will create a desire in you for something, so that you go away and seek that relationship and those experiences for yourself. And that, I can promise you, will bless you and benefit you on a whole other level.

Be willing to get hold of the truth of God’s word. Spend time in His presence. Learn how to meditate on the word. Learn how to speak in tongues, inside and outside. Build up your spirit so that you can encounter God for yourself in that way. Then you will have first hand revelation knowledge of God as Father, of Jesus as a friend, of the Holy Spirit as a guide.

If you plant a seed and just leave it, it is true you may get some fruit from it. But it is likely to be a far healthier and more fruitful plant if you tend and water it. God’s desire is that we learn to live from the fruit of our relationship with Him and His word, and when we eat, it transforms and enables us.

It is not instant, or automatic. But if we are willing to put the effort in, God is willing to reveal Himself to us in deeper and more intimate ways.

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I Have Called You Friends

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

There is a period of training we have to go through in order to sit in the seat of rest, the place of government, and to bring kingdom authority into our life. We have first to give up control of our lives, and learn to be servants and stewards. But beyond that, God wants us to come into friendship. In all this process we are gradually getting to know the ways of God (Zech 3:7).

Friends

Friends enjoy a measure of revelation that stewards and servants do not. Being a friend of God comes through relationship, but it also comes about through obedience, as we shall see.

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you (John 15:13-14).

When we surrender He is able to bring us into a place of intimacy and fellowship and revelation where He reveals things to us.

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you (John 15:15).

He wants to entrust us with insider knowledge and revelation. This will give us an advantage in the world around us, and we will have the favour of God upon us. Because of our faithfulness as servants and stewards He will now trust us with those intimate secrets He wants to share with us.

Jesus is Lord. We learn how to be a servant and do the works of God. He then starts to entrust us as stewards with more resources and responsibility. He shares His heart with us as we become friends. We begin to learn the ways of God. We engage with the Holy Spirit and learn to recognise His voice and to learn the things of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is there to lead us to Jesus. He does not promote Himself, but He leads us to Jesus. Jesus becomes higher in our lives.

Lords

Jesus is Lord of lords, and we are the lords of whom He is Lord. He enables us to be lords who govern with authority and power, and we start to administer the principles of the kingdom.

Kings

Jesus is also King of kings, so we understand that when Jesus takes us to a yet higher revelation of authority, we become kings. A king has a greater and wider authority than a lord. Instead of simply administering the laws, kings can make them. That is when we can ‘rule the house’ (Zech 3).

Sons

But Jesus in turn does not want us to remain just in relationship with Him, so He always leads us to the Father. As we get into that relationship with the Father we can operate as sons. Sons operate in a whole different level of authority and power than do lords and kings.

This is a process and a journey of training which all starts with surrender. I can only become a son if I first become a servant. Am I willing?

God is looking for that surrender so that we can judge the courts of heaven and operate in the kind of authority that most of us have never even dreamed of. Because of the storms that are coming in the world, God wants a people who can live from the eye of the storm in authority and power as lords, kings and sons. He desires a people who can administer the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.

Equipping

When kingdom authority comes into our lives, we can command things around us to be subject to the realm of God’s kingdom. We have authority to change things so that they come into line with God’s purposes for our life.

We need to come into alignment with the desire of God, engage in the purposes of God, and set ourselves apart to yield to His Lordship. As we surrender to His government in our lives, we receive His equipping on the inside. This enables us to engage external things so that they change and take on the reflection of the internal authority of God’s kingdom within us. Then we can walk into chaos and transform it, bringing peace and order just as Jesus did.

Step in, step out

We will finish today by stepping in to God’s presence, and having engaged with Him, stepping back out, as we have learnt to do. We need to practise stepping in and out of the presence of God. This is not just for corporate prayers: in our own intimate time with Him, we can learn how to step in and pray like this about particular things in our own lives, and then to step out bringing answers from heaven.

If you want to come to that place of surrender from which this process begins, then I would encourage you to find somewhere you can stand, and will be able to take a step forward. Then as we speak these words out together, we will practise entering the seat of rest.

Father I thank you that You have made a way for me to come into your presence
By faith I step [take a step forward]
into the realm of Your presence

and ask you to forgive me for not fully surrendering
to the absolute government of Your kingdom in my life.
Today Jesus I wilfully and with desire
abdicate the throne of my heart
so that you would come and seat yourself as Lord and King;
as Lord of lords and King of kings over my life

I surrender my seat of rest,
that mountain throne

with its domain and government,
into Your hands.

I give You the keys of my heart.
I give You the keys to every doorway of my spirit, soul and body.

Today by faith I thank You
that You are seated on the throne of my life as Lord.

Train me, Jesus, 
to surrender to Your Lordship
and to come to that place of maturity
to assume responsibility for the seat of government in my life as a lord

Now Lord I step back [take a step back]
into this earthly dimension
bringing You to this realm
to teach me how to administer your kingdom government
to the world around me.

Amen.

As we surrender to His lordship, He will train us to be lords, kings and sons who will fully bring the manifestation of His kingdom as it is in heaven on earth through our lives.

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Resources and Responsibilites

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

The first step in our ‘training for reigning’, as we saw last time, is to give up control of our own life and learn to be an obedient and willing servant.

Stewards

Beyond servanthood, there is training to be a steward. A steward has responsibilities – and access to resources – that a servant does not. Stewardship carries a higher level of authority and responsibility, and Jesus will train us to be stewards of all the resources He has made available to us for our lives and for the works He has prepared for us to do.

In Matthew 25 Jesus taught about responsibility in the kingdom:

Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them (Matt 25:1-3).

All ten were entrusted with a task, but only five of them took their responsibility seriously. Five did not, and Jesus’ response to them was ‘I do not know you’ (Matt 25:12). I do not believe He meant that they were not in relationship with Him, He meant that He did not recognise Himself in them. They were not operating in good stewardship.

Talents

For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability (Matt 25:14-15).

We have been entrusted with Jesus’ possessions while He has gone back into heaven. All of us have calls and destinies in God, which He will give us the resources to fulfil. A talent was an amount of money, and each of us needs a different level of resource to achieve our particular calling.

Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents. In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more. But he who received the one talent went away, and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money (Matt 25:16-18).

Trading is taking something God gives us and putting it to work to achieve a desired result. Here, the two servants who traded with their master’s money acted responsibly, and doubled his money for him. The one who hid it in the ground was an irresponsible steward.

Whatever God has given, He has given for a purpose. We can hide it in many ways: ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I’m not worthy’, I can’t do it because of my past’ and so on. We can come up with any number of excuses why it is too difficult or too risky to go after our destiny in God, but Jesus will not accept any of them. He knows what He has called us to do, and He has given us the means of achieving it. He expects us to use our gifts for His glory.

Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. The one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me. See, I have gained five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master. (Matt 25:19-21).

All of us will have to settle the account of our life, before the judgment seat of God. I have been there, and I know it is not somewhere you want to go if you have messed up, and not used the resources God has given in the way He intended. God wants to train us to be faithful in using what he has given us. If we are faithful with a little, He will entrust us with more. That is a principle of good stewardship in the kingdom, and it applies both in this age and in the age to come.

As for the servant who did not act responsibly with His master’s resources:

But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy servant… you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’ For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. Throw out the worthless servant into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt 25:26-30).

This is not hell, but the outer courts. The weeping and gnashing of teeth will come as people realise how they have failed to fulfil the call of God and squandered His resources. The good news is that we can go before that judgment seat now, repent and pursue our destiny, beginning to act as faithful stewards. Then we do not need to find ourselves in that situation.

Faithful

He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much (Luke 16:10).

God tests us. He gives us opportunities to demonstate whether we are going to be faithful with what he has given us. Those of us who are looking for something from God, whether it is anointing, finances, gifts or anything else, need to be faithful with the little things first. God will not give us a huge international healing ministry if we are not prepared to minister healing to the person next door. God’s training involves giving us opportunities to grow.

Authority comes as a result of learning to be a good steward:

And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities (Luke 19:17).

Trustworthy

And here is Paul, talking about the things that God revealed to him when he went to heaven and had a face to face encounter with Him. He sees himself as a steward, who would wisely use those resources to bring blessing to others:

Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy (1 Cor 4:1-2).

God wants to entrust us with all that He has for us, but He starts us off with a little, so that we can learn to be faithful, and acquire the wisdom to handle greater anointing, greater revelation, greater levels of finance, greater honour.

As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God (1 Peter 4:10).

In our finances, if we can be faithful to trust God with tithes and offerings, He will give us more. When we honour Him by faithfully administering a little, He is able to entrust us with everything. Are we faithfully using our gifts and abilities, whether spiritual or natural, for the purposes for which God has given them? How are we using our covenant relationships, with one another and with Him?

Heart attitude

Everything we have belongs to God, and He wants to train us to be good, faithful stewards. After all, we are only stewards of everything we have. Our money, homes, cars and possessions all belong to Him. When we make Jesus Lord, we make everything we have  available for His use. If it all belongs to him, then He has first claim on it, whatever and whenever He wants. When He asks us to give something away, it will reveal the attitude of our heart (particularly if He asks us to give something precious).

Are we willing to surrender everything to Him? An attitude which says ‘It all belongs to You’ – that is the hallmark of a good and faithful steward.

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Abdicate and Serve

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

When Jesus lived on earth, He had power over nature, power over sickness, power over demons, power over everything. He taught about speaking to the mountain and telling it to move. He operated in the power of the kingdom to bring everything into subjection to God’s will and purpose. He wants us to live the same way.

‘Training for reigning’

Those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ (Rom 5:17)

It is clear from this verse that we will reign. Reigning is what is done by a king, on a throne, over a territory or an area they govern (their kingdom). Notice that those who are to reign need to receive it as a gift. It is not achieved through our own strength, self-effort or self-worth. It is through receiving the gift of righteousness.

You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth (Rev 5:10).

There is a period of training we have to go through for this. Many of us find ourselves in that place of training right now. If we try to remain in control, seated on the throne of our life (which contains the scroll of our destiny), there is no seat of rest or government for us. We have to abdicate the throne of our lives in favour of Jesus. We have to give up the throne, give up control of our lives.

When we make Jesus Lord, He can then train us to be lords. That training involves trials, troubles and tribulation, circumstances which teach us to overcome and to grow, situations in which we manifest His kingdom.

Servant

But the first thing He wants us to do is to learn to be servants.

We sing about ‘lifting Jesus higher’. The first way of lifting Him higher is for us to go lower. When we have abdicated the throne of our lives, when we are on our faces in obedience, He is higher. The servant does the works of God. This is part of our training to occupy the throne and the seat of government.

Jesus is our example of what it means to be a servant. Even though He was a king, he came to serve. Everything in the kingdom of God starts with having a servant heart:

“Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant” (Matt 20:26).

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

“If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honour him” (John 12:26).

When Jesus talks about ‘where I am’ in this verse, He is referring to the relationship He has with the Father: He is in the Father and the Father is in Him. He says that we can be part of that relationship too.

Humility and obedience

When we humble ourselves, when we bow down in obedience to serve Him, the Father will raise us up. It is not for us to raise ourselves up, and try to get on a throne. We certainly do not try to lord it over other people, or seek to control or manipulate situations. We bow down in humility, and we surrender our lives to Him who will equip us to be on a throne. If we sit on a throne, and do not know how to use authority correctly, we will abuse that authority. The correct use of authority will bring blessing to ourselves and to others. And God will honour us.

Jesus was obedient to do the works that the Father directed Him to do. In absolute strength, He surrendered that strength to His Father. He learned to allow God to work through Him.

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner” (John 5:19).

“Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works” (John 14:10).

Obedience is the training to know that we are a habitation of God’s presence; to know that God will work through us as a channel of His glory and power – if we surrender.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father” (John 14:12).

Doing greater works than Jesus may sound pretty impressive, but it is actually just being a servant.

Bond-servant

“For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Cor 4:5).

In the Old Testament, when someone was sold into slavery, they could go free after seven years. Many chose not to go free, and became bond-servants. So a bond-servant is someone who could have gone free, but chose not to; someone who chose to surrender their freedom in order to serve their master. They wore a ring in their ear to show that was their status. This is how Paul describes both himself and Jesus:

…although He existed in the form of God, [He] did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Phil 2:5-8).

Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered (Heb 5:8).

Through the things that Jesus went through in His life (and death), He learned obedience.
We learn to obey through exactly the same process, even through the difficult things that sometimes happen to us. Jesus totally humbled Himself and surrendered His authority and power so that the Father could use Him for His kingdom purposes.

Jesus was a bond-servant, and God is looking for those who are willing to become bond-servants, just like Him. Because they can be trained to be kings, and ultimately revealed as sons.

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Eye Of The Storm

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott 

Be still

It is really good to simply sit in the presence of God, and do nothing. That may sound like it should be really easy, but actually it is not. I remember going through a period of two to three months in which God taught me simply to rest in His presence and do nothing. I could hear His voice, but He kept me in a dark place under that shadow of His wing so that I could not see anything. I am not used to that at all.

If we want to build our spirit, we have to quieten our mind. Then we are not going into His presence already thinking about all kinds of other things, and we can really focus our attention on Jesus. It is our spirit that we want to engage, not our mind. When our spirit begins to engage with God, we will find that it starts to develop and grow, and to discern the presence of God so that we can engage with Him more readily.

In that place, we can worship and adore Him. Worship is not really about singing. It is an attitude of surrender and obedience to God. From there we can go on to listen and receive revelation from Him.

If we practice these things, our spirit will continue to grow stronger. We will find ourselves able to engage more clearly with the spiritual realm around us, engage with the realms of heaven, and see God face to face as we meet with Him.

We looked last time at the seat of rest, one of the most important things we can understand if we are to engage with God’s kingdom in the heavenly realms and then to outwork things here.

Weary and heavy-laden

Come to Me, all you who are weary and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. (Matt 11:28-29)

This is the time to take Jesus’ yoke and be joined to Him. When He sets the field, the path and the direction, then He will carry the weight. We are all called to live in a state of rest regardless of what is going on around us in our lives. What wears us out is trying to do things in our own strength. The storms of life come to everybody: it is how we respond to them that will demonstrate to what extent God’s kingdom is manifested through us.

We are called to live in the eye of the storm. There may be 200mph winds blowing all around us, but in the eye, everything is completely peaceful. Jesus never promised we would have no troubles – the very opposite, in fact. But He gives us His love, joy and peace. With the love, joy and peace of God in us, we can live at rest all the time.

This is not automatic: we have to learn how to do it.

Peace, be still.

Jesus is our example. He was asleep in the boat, crossing the lake, when a great storm rose up. His disciples were in a panic, even though He had already told them they were going to the other side. They woke Him up, and He brought peace. He rebuked the storm and everything became calm (that particular storm was demonic, designed by the enemy to stop Jesus getting to the other side of the lake where He would set a man free from a legion of demons).

I know we can sometimes feel up or feel down according to our circumstances, but true joy and peace comes out of our relationship with God. We need to be able to live in the peace and joy which comes from that relationship and does not depend upon our circumstances. We need to live with an attitude of thanksgiving and praise, rejoicing always. That will keep us in the eye of the storm.

Choices

Bringing a sacrifice of praise is a choice. Sacrifice means it costs us something. We may not feel so good because of what is going on in our lives, but still we choose to praise Him. We choose to acknowledge Him, His mercy, His goodness, His love.

Treating trials and tribulations as joy and an opportunity for growth and transformation: that too is a choice. When something happens, we can choose not to react; we can choose how we respond to it. We can choose to sit in that seat of rest and live in the eye of the storm.

What Jesus did, He has called us to do. So just as Jesus said ‘Peace’, we can say ‘Peace’. When He said ‘Peace’, the storm was stilled. We need to take authority and live from the place where we can change situations around us. We cannot change the situation around us while we are ourselves being swept around at 200mph, caught up in the hurricane. But from the seat of rest we can.

The seat of rest is the Kingdom of God within. It is the manifestation of the fullness of the government of God in us to bring revelation of the kingdom to the world around us. When we live from the seat of rest, the world sees a manifestation of God’s kingdom.

From the place of rest, Jesus wielded the power of the kingdom in order to bring everything into subjection to God’s will and purpose. He wants to train us to live the same way.

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Seat of Rest

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Come to Me, all you who are weary and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls (Matt 11:28-29 AMP).

One of my most significant encounters in the heavenly realms was face-to-face with Jesus as He talked me through this scripture. He sat me down and talked to me about living from a place of rest, a place of peace and wholeness. He gave me a revelation from this passage that I can live in, and that He wants all of us to live in.

Take My yoke

Jesus asks us to take His yoke upon us. We are to be joined to Him. We go where He goes. This means that we do not get to choose which field we go to plough in. Jesus sets the field, the path and the direction.

He wants to carry the weight of our burdens so that we can be at rest. But we also have to learn from Him. By looking at His life we can learn how to live at rest. In His relationship with the Father and how He operated, He modelled how to live in rest. Jesus wants to train us and disciple us in that.

He describes Himself as ‘gentle and humble in heart’. Being gentle is not being wishy-washy and allowing yourself to be treated as a doormat. The meaning of the Greek word used here is that of a wild stallion which has been broken and has a bit in its mouth. God wants us strong and powerful, but wholly submitted to His will and purposes.

It is the same with humility. Being humble is not saying ‘Oh, I am a worm and no man! I am nothing!’. Humility is acknowledging who you are as a child of God and accepting your royal identity, your destiny and calling. Jesus took on the form of a servant, even though He was the Lord of creation. But He knew who He was, and what He was called to be. He lived totally surrendered to the will of His Father: ‘I only do the things I see the Father doing’ (John 5:19). We must accept who we are as children of God, and live out of that knowledge.

Weary, heavy-laden

Most of us would say we want to live in ‘rest, relief, ease, refreshment, recreation and blessed quiet’, prospering in all we do, and not having to struggle and strive. But we will not be at rest if we are feeling weary, heavy-laden or overburdened.

So if I feel tired, I am going to ask Jesus to show me if I am:

  • trying to survive and cope with life myself. Or am I surrendered to Him?
  • trying to provide for myself. Or is God my provider?
  • trying to protect myself. Or do I trust in His protection for me?
  • trying to find significance in achievements.
  • trying to create my own self image.
  • trying to compare myself with others. Or am I content to be unique?
  • trying to be somebody else. It is OK to have role models, but I need to be me.
  • trying to meet others expectations. Maybe even the expectations my parents put on me as a child? It is God’s expectations we need to fulfil: that is our destiny.
  • trying to wear a mask of pretence. Keeping up appearances.
  • trying to maintain control. Or have I surrendered control to God?
  • trying to cover up my inadequacies. He knows all my faults and weaknesses, and loves me anyway. He loves me enough to accept me, but also enough to transform me and make me whole.
  • trying to be good and righteous with dead works. Jesus’ sacrifice provided all we need for salvation and for transformation.
  • trying to please God, others & myself. I cannot please everyone: I must choose to please God.
  • trying to make amends for my past. Or receiving forgiveness as a free gift?

If I feel burdened, am I carrying things I shouldn’t be?

  • burdened by false responsibilities for family, finances, or future?
  • burdened by sin, guilt, shame & condemnation? In Christ there is no condemnation. In Christ we are cleansed and made the righteousness of God.
  • burdened by the weight of expectations?
  • burdened by sorrows and grief? Jesus came to carry our griefs and our sorrows. There is a grieving process, but we do not have to bear it on our own.
  • burdened by disappointments? Hope deferred makes the heart sick (Prov 13:12).
  • burdened by unforgiveness? That is probably the heaviest weight for us to carry. We have been forgiven completely and unreservedly: He wants us to be able to forgive everybody else.
  • burdened by worry, anxiety, fear?
  • burdened by debt?
  • burdened by carrying the responsibility for my own life?

If we will hand all these things over to Jesus, He will take the weight. How do we do that?

Covenant names of God

Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10)

The compound names of God, the covenant names, are really important here.

  • The Lord my righteousness.
  • The Lord my sanctification
  • The Lord my peace
  • The Lord my provider
  • The Lord my healer
  • The Lord my shepherd
  • The Lord my banner of victory
  • The Lord is there

All are names God has revealed because He wants us to live and know Him in these ways.

Cast your care

Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. (1 Peter 5:7 AMP). He has broad shoulders and can carry everything we would like to lay on Him. He longs for us to hand over the burdens of our lives to Him, our future, our present and our past.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matt 6:33). Places to live, clothes to wear, food to eat: everything we need will be added to us when we seek first the kingdom. I cannot put myself first, and still seek the kingdom. If we insist on providing for ourselves, we cannot expect that God will provide for us. It is one or the other. God wants us to surrender.

Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you (James 4:10).
God wants to raise us up and give us a position and a place of authority and rule to fulfil our destiny and call. Will we surrender and humble ourselves before Him?

Let us pray these things through, step into the presence of God and allow Him to change us and transform us. We can step into His presence, because the kingdom of God is as close as the hand in front of our face: we have a choice to turn into it or elsewhere.

So, if you really want to hand over to God all your cares, worries and burdens, everything that is making you tired and weary, here is an opportunity to do it.

I suggest you stand if you are able, and find a place where you can take a step forwards and backwards as by faith we engage our physical bodies with this process.

Father I thank you
that you have made a way
for me to come into your presence

By faith [take a step forward]
I step into the realm of your presence
and ask you to forgive me
for doing things in my own strength.
I repent of providing for and protecting myself;
I repent of finding significance in achievements
and trying to create my own self image;
I repent of comparing myself with others.

I repent of trying to be somebody else
and trying to meet others’ expectations;
I repent of wearing masks of pretence to cover up my inadequacies;
I repent of trying to be good and righteous
using dead works
to try to please God and others;
I repent for trying to make amends for my past.

I repent for trying to maintain control of my life.
Today Jesus I wilfully, with desire,
hand over responsibility for my life over to You.
I cast all my burdens onto you
and hand over responsibility
for my family, finances and future.

I cast all my sin, guilt,
shame and condemnation onto You
I cast all my sorrows, grief,
disappointments, worry, anxiety and fear onto You.
I cast all my debts onto You;
I cast all the weight of expectation onto you;
I surrender control of my life to You.

I choose to be yoked to You Jesus:
Train me in gentleness and humility
to bring me to the place of maturity.

Now, Lord, I step back [take a step back]
into this earthly dimension,
bringing Your rest with me
to live in the eye of the storm.

I choose to live from the seat of rest.

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I Surrender – Hillsong (via YouTube)

Be still and know

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

In seeking to build our spirit, we have seen how important it is to give God first love, first place, first priority in our lives, and also how praying and singing in tongues is a key. The third point, which we are going to consider in this post and the next one, is waiting on the Lord and being still.

Be still

Be still, and know that I am God (Psa 46:10).

What does it mean to be still? Firstly it means we do not move; that we stop whatever it is we are doing. And then we can know that He is God. If we are always ‘doing’, we are not allowing Him to be God in our life.

The NASB translates this phrase as ‘Cease striving’. God wants us to stop fighting (‘striving’ comes from the word ‘strife’), and surrender. We need to stop striving to do things in our own strength and submit to Him. We have to stop doing things in our way if God is to lead us in His way and into the destiny He has prepared for us.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart 
And do not lean on your own understanding
(Prov 3:5)

He makes me lie down in green pastures
He leads me beside quiet waters
He restores my soul
He guides me in paths of righteousness
(Ps 23:2-3)

Physical calm

So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered his rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest (Heb 4:9-11).

This requires diligence: we have to actively pursue God’s rest, His peace. For every one of us, there is a place of rest that He wants us to find and enter into. God rested on the seventh day of creation, and He intends rest for us. We do not get just one day in seven: we get every day, because our rest is in Him. In relationship with Him, we allow Him to work through us and our destiny can be fulfilled.

Focused attention

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Heb 12:1-2).

English: Southern Counties 12-stage road relay...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those witnesses are the men in white linen who are appearing in various places around the world, the saints of old who have gone before us. They are cheering us on. In a 4x400m relay race, the first three runners do not pack up and go home once they have completed their lap: they stand and cheer and encourage the last runner. I believe God is saying that we are on the last leg, and all those people are watching us and cheering us on. I have met some of them, and they want to be involved in our lives and help us.

‘Let us lay aside every encumbrance’: if you are running a marathon, you do not wear a suit of armour, unless you are foolish (or running for charity – people wear all kinds of strange things when they run for charity). No, you get prepared, you wear a running vest and shorts, and proper shoes. Maybe you even cover your body with Vaseline so that you won’t rub. You do not carry anything with you that is not essential. We have to get rid of everything that will hold us back and keep us from running effectively. God wants to set us free from the things that are holding us back so that we can run the race. We do not want a ball and chain around our leg.

‘For the joy set before Him’: The joy set before us is that of achieving our destiny, just as it was for Jesus. Each of us has a destiny prepared for us to fulfil, and there is a race to be run if we are to get there. It might be 100m or it might be 26 miles: every race is different and will require something different of us, but we all have a race that God has prepared and set before us. Are we going to run it? Are we going to allow God to prepare us for it, to train us and to equip us?

And how are we going to run? Fixing our eyes on Jesus. We take our eyes of all that surrounds us, we take our eyes off ourselves, and we fix our attention on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. He authored our faith by dying for us on the cross, to set us free, to release our destiny to us, and He will also enable us to complete the race if we keep our eyes fixed on Him. He did all that for the joy that was set before Him – and the joy that was set before Him was us.

When He embraced the cross; when in the garden He looked into a cup and saw all of our sin  (yet still said ‘not my will but Yours be done’); when He took every sin, every sickness onto Himself, onto His own body on the cross; when He took the punishment that was due to us; He went through all that because He loves us. He did it because He wants us to enter into our destiny and fulfil the joy; He wants His joy to be in us, and He wants our joy to be full and overflowing.

And then, when He had done all that, He sat down at the right hand of God, higher than every authority in heaven and earth, and He wants to raise us up to sit with Him in those realms of authority too.

Let be

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:6-7).

‘Nothing’ and ‘everything’ do not leave much room for argument. We do not need to be anxious about anything at all if we are handing control of our life over to God and trusting Him to meet our need, to provide for us. If we are willing to surrender and stop trying to do it ourselves, He will do everything we need in our lives.

Be receptive

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5)

Abiding in Him speaks of a relationship. We cannot produce fruit of any eternal value unless we are connected to the source through the Vine (Jesus). We may be a branch of that Vine, but the branch does not provide the nutriment and supply of life in itself. If you cut the branch off, it dies. The life is drawn up through the roots and the plant to produce the fruit. Fruit in our lives comes from the flow of being receptive to the life of God flowing through us. If we want to fulfil our destiny, the call of God on our lives, we need to abide in Him.

Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident… (1 Cor 3:12-13).

When fire comes, gold, silver and precious stones survive. Wood, hay and straw do not. If we do anything outside of God and our relationship with Him, it will be burnt up and be worthless in eternity. We trust Him, we live in Him, we allow Him to live in us, and we produce the fruit that is lined up with our destiny.

Spontaneous Flow

Our spirit needs to flow in the life of God. We need the living flow of the life of God in us and flowing out of us to transform the world around us. It is His spirit and His power which will bring about that transformation, but He has chosen to flow through us to achieve it.

He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water’ (John 7:38)

We will look some more at what it means to ‘be still’ in the next post.

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Present A Living Sacrifice (3) – practice

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Because of practice

But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. (Heb 5:14)

If we have received revelation, we must act on it. All that we are learning, we have to put into practice. Things do not just happen automatically for us because we have read about them, or even by doing them just once or twice. It takes practice. But even though we call it practice, of course we are doing it for real.

For example, presenting ourselves as a living sacrifice. We have posted about this on a couple of occasions: now we are going to practice doing it (I do it myself every day). As part of that, we are also going to practice stepping in and stepping out of the presence of God.

I suggest that you stand, if you are able. When we step in, take a step forward; and when we step out, take a step back. It is just a practical cue here in this realm, a step of faith into His presence. It reminds us that the kingdom is always right there in front of us and that we can step into it at any time.

Let’s pray along these lines each day:

Father I thank you that You have made a way
for me to come into Your presence

By faith I step in… [step forward]
to the realm of Your presence
into the holy place in the heavenly tabernacle

I stand before the altar of incense
and present myself as a living sacrifice to You
Jesus, my High Priest.

Today, Jesus, I desire and choose,
as an act of my will,
to abdicate the throne of my heart.

I ask You to crucify and kill my flesh
I choose to deny myself all my rights
and to give You my life, to gain Your life.
I am dead to sin and alive to righteousness

I ask You to remove my head
as I surrender to Your lordship.
I choose not my will but Your will in my life.
I give up my right to free will
and choose to seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness

I ask You to skin me
and remove every covering I have placed around my life.
Remove everything I use to make myself acceptable to You and others.
I renounce all dead works.
Remove all my masks, pretences, defence & coping mechanisms

I ask you split me open down to my bones and marrow.
Cleanse my heart and its motives.
Purify the thoughts and intentions of my heart.
Restore my heart
Give me Your desires.
Renew my mind
Heal my emotions
and strengthen my will.

I ask You to remove my legs
I surrender my walk to You
I choose to only do what I see the Father doing
I choose to walk by faith and not by sight

I step out of heaven… [step back]
back into this realm
I choose to let You do Your works through me
as I become a channel for Your kingdom to manifest
in this world around me.

Consider It All Joy

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

We shared in the last post two diagrams that can help us deal with our behaviours, so that we can change. Here is one more, and listed down the right hand side are the basic steps we take.

Truth in the heart

Forgive and release

Whatever it is that troubles us, we forgive and release it. We do not hold on to anything, or we end up in the torture chamber, being tortured by the enemy. If we do that, we will not only feel much worse, we will also continue to repeat the same patterns of behaviour.

Own it

We cannot change unless we own our behaviour. It does not mean that we take our identity from it, it means we recognise the issue and that we want to change.

Confess it

If it is sin, we confess it as sin. We do not dress it up as ‘my little problem’ or ‘this weakness I sometimes have’. We call it what it is, repent of it and renounce it, and God will change us. If we try to pretend, nothing will change.

Renounce it

“I am not going to act like this any more. I am not going to operate in this way of thinking any more. I renounce that: I am going to operate according to the ways of God.”

Repent of it

We turn away from it. We do not keep looking at it. Looking at the problem only makes it seem bigger: we turn instead and look at Jesus. He is the solution, and He will enable us to change.

Meditate on the truth

We may have believed a whole load of lies because of our past. At Freedom we have often taught about ‘getting the lies out of our truth drawer’. More recently we have come across LieBusters and we wholeheartedly recommend and endorse that ministry.

We need to know the truth. We can read the Word of God, we can use some of the declarations of truth we know about who we are, and meditate on scriptures declaring the truth of our identity in Christ. We need to introduce the truth into our hearts and be led by the Spirit to get that truth firmly established there.

Hammer Familiars

If familiar spirits are present, we have to hammer them. Every time we hear a whisper in our head that is not God, we absolutely hammer it with the truth. We beat it up, take it into the heavens, and destroy it. We do not want to be listening to the enemy whispering in our ear, agreeing with him, and then living out of that agreement. We have to get rid of it: it takes some effort, but we can destroy those things.

Positive Confession

We speak according to our future, not our past. We positively confess the truth of God’s Word. We confess our identity, who we are as a child of God. That is what God desires.

Deliverance, Healing

We may need deliverance, we may need healing: we are not ashamed to ask for help. We do not have to fight this all on our own. Some things we can overcome alone, but we can always ask someone to stand with us. If we are struggling to overcome a particular issue, we make ourselves accountable to someone.

Yes, that is scary, and it means we have to own it, admit it, talk about some of the things we have managed to keep hidden in our lives, but we find someone we can trust, someone who loves us, who is willing to support us, and we make ourselves accountable to them in the process we are going through.

Restoration

God wants to restore all of us. He desires that we become like Jesus, reflecting the image of God, demonstrating His kingdom on earth, but we have to be willing to surrender to Him, and deal with our own heart.

Consider it all joy

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4).

Now, you have a choice to make. Next time you are confronted, or experience feelings of rejection, what are you going to do? Are you going to do the same thing you have always done, or address it and become different by overcoming it? Treat the trial as joy, because joy will bring the strength of God into your life. If instead you oppose what God is doing, you will be fighting against God – and that is never a good idea.

We must embrace what God is doing, change, and grow through it. We will have to examine ourselves, and it may not be all that comfortable, but let’s not sail through life unaware of what is on the inside of us. It is not about navel-gazing, trying to find a problem where none exists; it is that when a problem arises, when a situation happens, when we know we have a problem in a certain area of our thinking, emotions or behaviour, we have the tools to deal with it and we can change.

It takes practice. Lasting change will not happen just by doing it once. We have to be consistent in applying this: Hebrews 5:14 says that it is because of practice that we have trained our senses to discern good and evil.

So are you content to carry on as you are? Or will you pursue transformation?

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Encountering Trials

Mike Parsons
with Jeremy Westcott

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4).

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28)

As we go through life, things happen to us. How we respond to them will determine their eventual outcome. God showed me a way in which we can use those things that happen to us to learn from them and to grow through them. I want to share with you a diagram which God gave me as I went through some things in my own life:

Event reactions

This is how it works. Towards the top left you have an event that occurred, and your reactions to it.

It might be a situation in which you felt insecure, and you reacted defensively. or a situation in which you were confronted, and you reacted angrily or aggressively – or even passively. Sometimes we get criticised by others: how do we respond to that criticism? Sometimes we feel rejected by people. What does that stir up within us? We might be faced with injustice, fear, intimidation.

All these situations produce in us certain reactions or responses. Often they are automatic, and we probably think many of them are completely reasonable. But they are the defence and coping mechanisms we use to deal with the issues of life, and we have built them up over years.

Now we can act lovingly in all those situations, and if we do, things will turn out well for us. But what generally happens is this: our mind starts replaying the event. If ever we find our mind going over something like this, it is a sure sign of an issue we need to deal with. A little process begins. Our imagination can picture that event, so we can remember what someone said. Our emotions are involved, so we start to feel the same emotions. We start to use our mind to try to figure it out. Denial, projection, or other defence mechanisms might kick in. We go around that cycle, repeating it over and over again.

It is a form of meditation, and so those things go into our heart. Those are some of the stones, weeds and seeds that are in our hearts.They are things that have happened to us that we have not dealt with, that we have meditated on, and have allowed to find a place in our hearts and lives. Our heart can become hard because of things that have happened to us over years. Now those events have become memories in our heart, and motives for our behaviour.

Familiar spirits, who know us and know what is in our hearts, will always come in agreement with them. If we feel rejected, we get little words in our heads: ‘no-one likes you; no-one wants to be around you; you are not a very nice person at all, are you?’. We tend to listen to those words because they line up with how we are feeling, and take us just a little further down that road we are already travelling. Familiar spirits will affirm and agree with those ways of thinking, and they will put thoughts into our mind which we find ourselves agreeing with, and maybe even start to confess and speak out. In that way, the course of our lives can be changed, if we operate according to the stones and weeds that are in our hearts, and from the motives that are born out of these things that have happened to us.

It may have been an event that was sin. Then what comes into your mind? ‘You’re no good. God doesn’t love you. Call yourself a Christian? You’re a failure. Cover it up. Pretend. Now, what are you going to do to make yourself feel better?’ And so on, over and over again. When we face similar situations a number of times, we develop behaviour patterns according to what is in our hearts.

But God wants us to see how each event, if we deal with it at the time, can be something we learn from, that benefits us, and helps us to grow. The first thing to do when you find yourself replaying a situation, or even, if you can, in the midst of the situation, is to forgive and release that situation to God.

Forgiving and releasing people is one of the foundational principles of the Word of God. Jesus said that if we do not forgive, we cannot be forgiven (Matt 6:15). In that case we get caught up and live in the torture chamber of the experience that we have faced, and we carry it around with us like a ball and chain, dragging behind us all our unforgiveness, allowing it to weigh us down and make us feel heavy.

So when something happens to us, regardless of whether we were right or wrong, the issue is, did we feel something in our heart? If we did, we need to forgive the person or people who caused that, and release both them and the situation. It might be that we need to forgive ourselves. If I have sinned, I need to receive the forgiveness of God by confessing that sin, so that there is no guilt, no shame, no condemnation. I do not put fig leaves on, cover it up, or try to hide in the bushes: I run to God, I receive His love and His arms of welcome, I receive His righteousness so that I can live in His presence.

It may be that someone has hurt me, rejected me. I have to choose to forgive them. Whether they deserve it or not is irrelevant. I have to choose to forgive them, and not just in my head. I release them from what they have done, and I release them into the hands of God, so that I can bless them. If you cannot truly bless someone who has hurt you, then you have not forgiven and released them fully. If we carry nothing negative in our hearts towards someone, then we can freely bless them.

Forgive and release is an absolutely key principle. But then, I need to deal with what happened. So I seek God’s counsel to evaluate what went on. I evaluate my thinking, my emotions, my behaviour, my attitude; whether I was aggressive, defensive, passive. I ask God to show me, and to show me His will, His heart and His mind. I ask Him for revelation about what happened.

If I understand the court system of heaven, then I can go to the courts, find out who is accusing me and of what, and deal with it by receiving God’s judgment on myself and being declared not guilty. That then gives me power to change. But if you do not yet know how to do that, you can still seek God’s wisdom, and ask Him to show you where the fault lies.

If it is something where you were simply an innocent victim of the situation, and completely blameless (this really does not happen that often, but let us take this as one end of the spectrum), you can pray and intercede for the person who attacked or hurt you, that God will bless them and they will be transformed (because you have already released them to God and forgiven them).

Sometimes we might have to confront the person if they carry on with the same behaviour. The biblical way is to go to them and try to resolve the issue so that there is no breakdown in relationship between you. We do that in love, because we want the other person to be blessed and their life transformed, not for revenge (if we are looking for revenge, we have not forgiven or released properly). Our motive is really important here.

If, however, you were not blameless, if it is your issue, own it. Do not deny it, excuse it, defend it: the only way you will be transformed is by owning your own issues. If you don’t admit you have a problem, how can you deal with it? If it is always someone else’s problem, you will never deal with yours. Projection is one of the most common ways of avoiding dealing with what is in our own hearts. We have to own our part in any situation.

It may be that I have a weakness, a sin area, or a character issue, that God highlights in this particular situation. If so, I repent. I renounce it. I seek the word of God, ask someone else to stand with me, to pray with me, and I start building myself up in the truth that confronts that situation in my life. I can work through this, if I own it and recognise it as a problem that God can help me with.

I might have what appears to be a weakness, but actually God does not want to change that in me. For example, if someone comes to me and says, ‘Mike, you are not very pastoral’, I will agree that they are right. I am not going to get defensive: being pastoral is not my gifting. I am not going to ask God to build up my gift in that area when in fact I know that I am called to be apostolic and to teach. That is why we need one another and we need all the ministry gifts to be operating, in different people. Other people here at Freedom are very pastoral, they have a great heart and a gift in that area.

You need to be honest about what is going on in your heart and your life. If I am not supposed to be strong in a particular area, I need to encourage the people who are. I need to support them, and I can learn from them as well, but I am not going to try to be something I am not called to be.

But if someone comes to me and says, ‘Mike, you’re not very friendly, not very sociable’, that is different: that is an issue I need to address. I need to consider why it might be that people find me unfriendly or hard to approach. I might go and find someone who is good in this area and ask them to disciple me, and to teach me how to improve. They can help me to grow and become strong.

If it is my weakness, and I have an area of sin or character flaw, I need to identify where it has come from.

Has it come from an unmet need? For example, if I need acceptance and try to get that from other people, I am always going to be open to being hurt and damaged. I need to look to God for acceptance.

Is there an unhealed hurt in me? I can ask God to heal me and restore me.

Where did those things come from? Maybe from my nature, my DNA – my family might operate in that way. It could be a curse spoken over me or over my family. There may be generational issues: ‘we are all worriers in our family’. I do not need to be controlled from my generational past: I am a new creation in Christ, and God wants me shaped by my future, my destiny and my spirit, not by my past and the defects in my soul.

Then there is nurture, or upbringing. I might have been told that I am useless all my life and I have believed it.

All this process allows you to see the trials and the troubles and the situations that happen in your life, and to deal with them by letting God show you what is going on, what root this has come from, what soil is nourishing it.

You can do that in anything that happens to you.

But you do not have to wait for something to happen to bring these issues to the surface. You can also do it by looking into your own heart, on purpose. You can choose to investigate you own behaviour, mindsets, coping mechanisms and emotions. Ask yourself, why do I feel like that? You walk into a room and you feel alone, even though it is full of people. Ask yourself why. You feel that no-one likes you: ask yourself why you feel that way. You can look at your behaviour, how you act in certain situations. and ask yourself why.

You can see how that works out on this variation on the diagram:

Event reactions2

We can deal with our behaviours, we can be honest about how we are living, so we can change. If we cover it up, or prefer ‘not to go there’; if we say ‘that is just how I am’, we will stay the same. If we really want to change, we have to deal with the things that are in our hearts.

Am I willing to ask God to search my heart and show me if there is anything that is directing me towards ungodly behaviours and responses? Because if I am, He will.

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