The restoration

Psalm 107

There are four types of people redeemed within this Psalm and I took great comfort in the knowledge that no matter where I might be in my journey YHWH’s loving-commitment to me is great. Our Father is waiting to restore and save us.

The persons referred to in the Psalm come from all walks of life and it is evident that the strife they find themselves in is of their own doing. There choices have led to adversary, distress, hopelessness and homelessness (being out of relationship with Him). Regardless of their situation they come to a point where they recognise that they need help, that they can’t do things their own way. This is when they reach out to YHWH.

The first group of people referred to in this Psalm have lost their way, they are without a home (church, fellowship). They are hungry and thirsty and cognisant that they need YHWH. There are so many people like this today, people who have perhaps wandered from the Truth, those who may have been hurt by people in Church and walked away. These people are often very close to us and might even be living in the same home. Often those who may have taken offence and wandered around from church to church, they are lost and without a home. Then there are believers who sit next to us in services who have disengaged, fallen asleep and fallen out of relationship with YHWH. These people often know the answer, but have lost the Way. However, when they realise that they need help and cry out to their Father He responds out of loving-commitment. YHWH delivers them, guides them, shows them where to live, He satisfies and fills their needs (verse 9).

Then there are people who are bound and held captive by sin. These are often those who have drifted away, or do not recognise that they need YHWH. They may tried alternative beliefs, be indifferent to the Word and follow false prophets, thereby rejecting the Word and YHWH. YET, the Father does not give up on them, He humbles them and causes them to cry out to Him (verse 13). Then He brings them into the light and breaks their bondage and captivity setting them free in Yeshua. This shows the intense love of the Father and encourages me to never give up praying for those who are in bondage. We serve an amazingly good YHWH and His grace and mercy is immeasurable.

The third group of people are those whose sin has lead them into affliction, they may be addicted to something and this has drawn them away from seeking the Truth, and contradicts the Truth. In verse 18 the Psalmist described these people as being near death – both spiritual and physical. It is important to not think of near death experiences within the spiritual realm as being something very dark or extreme. I have shared my testimony before in one of the blogs, but am going to reiterate it here as it is relevant. I was a healthy, fit and ambitious teacher at a Christian school. I was on top of the world, BUT I was dying spiritually. I was so focussed on my career, body and life in general that I was addicted to me. I attended church, home groups and taught Bible at school, but these things were not done in relationship, they were to keep up appearances so to say. I was not involved in dark and extreme things but I was not focused on the Light. I had not rebelled against the Word, I had become addicted to myself – in short. However, the loving-commitment of our Father is unending and when you cry out to Him and admit that you need His love His Word – the Truth restores. Yeshua Messiah is the healer and He brings wholeness and freedom from addictions no matter what they may be. Yeshua delivers us from destructive habits that can be categorised as addictions. AMEN!

The fourth group are sailors (verse 23). These sailors work and experience the power and might of YHWH, yet these experiences do not prevent their being from melting with evil. I related this to those who may become oblivious and familiar with His Word. For example, Breaking Bread brings us into the very presence of the Father, yet I have been in churches where this has become a ritual, habit or just something they practice. There is so much power in breaking Bread and remembering Yeshua and His love. In finding a church home how they held communion become a criteria for us. There appears to be a lack of fear for YHWH. People having private conversations during worship is another example, we gather together as His bride to worship Him, to exalt His Name – not to have a discussion. I feel that there is a complacency that has crept into the church. Perhaps some Christians take things for granted, they are staggering around and off balance spiritually because of familiarity, a lack of fear and even a lack of respect for His Church. In verse 27 the warning is that these attitudes swallow up wisdom and I would add that familiarity might also have the same result. Yet, once again when these people recognise their waywardness and repent YHWH rescues them. He leads these people to safety and calms the storm around them. I believe the storm is not a visible storm but rather a spiritual storm as they ‘drift’ away but still seem to be ‘onboard’.

There is a pattern within the Psalm that reveals that our Father desires a relationship with each of us. No matter how far away you are, no matter how lost you are, or how addicted you are HE LOVES you and is waiting for you to recognise that you are loved. In verse 1,8,15,21,31 we are told to give thanks for His loving-commitment and wonders. There is no condemnation, YHWH does not condemn, He convicts and restores. This Psalm encourages me to check where I am, to reflect on my relationship with Him and to never stop praying for those around me. I know all to well that addiction to self is as dangerous, if not more, than other addictions. There is a song by For King and Country, and the chorus has the words, “if the world is listening then I will say You are my obsession”. Let’s become addicted to Yeshua, let’s ask Him to teach us to fear again, to NEVER stop praying and crying out for those around us who may be bound, lost, addicted and familiar. May this encourage you to cry out to Him, to know that you are so so loved by the King. Than you were created to fulfil a purpose, to be in relationship with your loving Father. Amen.

A sticky situation

This morning I wanted to mix an oil and went to open the bottle of Myrrh that I had ordered. The lid was stuck tight and I could not get it open. I tried various types of pliers that I sourced from my hubby’s toolbox. I tried prying it open with a knife, tried these grippy opening clothes that always help. Each attempt left me feeling frustrated. The essential oil is too precious to discard and was an essential part of the oil I was mixing. BUT no matter how hard I tried I could not get the bottle top off. Out of desperation I boiled the kettle and used heat to try and loosen the plastic cap. I was not expecting this to work at all. Too my surprise it did work and I was able to unscrew the lid. It was then that I discovered why the lid was so difficult to open. There appeared to be a residue of Myrrh that had become sticky and formed a gluey substance that sealed the lid shut.

The irony is that this ingredient was for an oil called Brokenness which relates to tearing your heart, being open and broken before YHWH, so to receive healing, restoration, and cleansing. The sticky residue was hidden from sight and it was only after multiple attempts, using multiple methods that I was able to see the problem. The cap was stuck and was stopping my access to this precious oil, an integral ingredient to a bigger oil. This spoke to my spirit and I began to wonder if I had hidden stickiness that was stopping me from accessing blessings, oil, and anointing. I wondered if there was a residue in my life that I was ignoring that might keep me from being a fragrance.

Once the bottle was opened I was able to smell the Myrrh, the scent is heavenly. It took a while for me to clean off the residue, and I had to pry off the drippy part as it was blocked. While cleaning the bottle I had to take great care not to spill this precious oil. I replaced the cap and was able to use the oil as intended. Needless to say my devotion was one of brokenness. The blood of the Lamb cleans away all sticky residue, He provides you with a new life that enables you to be open and pour forth His oil and fragrance. May this encourage you today to ask the Spirit of Truth to reveal any sticky residues that may be inhibiting YHWH from using you to be a fragrance to others, or from pouring out His love to those around you.

Let my sacrifice by sweet

Reading: Malachi 1:6-14               

The Israelites were instructed regarding the sacrifices they were to present before YHWH in atonement for their sins. They sought forgiveness to restore their relationship with Him. Leviticus records the number of sacrifices and the purpose of these, along with the rules for offering these sacrifices. Even more amazing is that by the age of twelve, Jewish boys could recite the first five books of the Bible/Torah on demand. This speaks of a commitment from parents to teach their children the Torah.

However, as His chosen ones we no longer required to know when, what and how to sacrifice to restore a relationship, or atone for our sin. Yeshua came as the ultimate sacrifice! No longer do we need to build altars, sacrifice an animal to receive forgiveness and restoration. Yeshua came so that we are free from these laws! YHWH made restoration and forgiveness more accessible, and provided an open approach through Yeshua Messiah: “I (Yeshua) am the way, the truth and the light. No one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)

BUT, when we approach YHWH we still need to check our attitude. In Malachi we read that the Lord was dissatisfied with the attitude with which the Israelites brought their sacrifice. The people brought their offering to the priest and the priest would sacrifice on their behalf. What was happening was that the Israelites were not bringing their best to the priest. The priest was accepting this, and in doing so was comprising his position. Do we as priests of YHWH compromise? The attitude of “Not 100%, but it will do” or “could be better, but it will do.” I find myself shaking my head in judgement at the nation. How could they think that second best would suffice? What were they thinking? The Set-Apart Spirit of Truth tapped me on the shoulder and asked, “Oh, and do you ALWAYS give the perfect offering of worship, devotion and time?”

We read that YHWH was angered by the LACK of respect, and fear, that the Israelites had for His Majesty. He was angered by the casual attitude of worship, the rituals that had become habits, and ruts, ingrained in daily worship. YHWH seeks an undivided heart, not half-heartedness. These people brought a substandard offering but expected supersized blessings. They kept the best for themselves, signalling that they put their own importance and will before that of YHWH. Do I bring half-hearted worship and expect things to fall into my lap? Is daily devotions a chore, done out of duty? Do we close the Bible and shut our minds to His Word as we face the busyness of the day? Yet we expect Father God to answer prayers, and often become despondent when He does not answer immediately. Yet, perhaps He does answer but we don’t like the answer, or neglect to stop to listen?

When Yeshua was in the garden, He was on His knees sweating blood and He asked His Father, “If this cup can but pass me by, yet Your will not Mine.” Soon after this an angel appeared and strengthened Him. Ever had an answer like that before? I asked for healing, but was told that I needed to walk through the valley for spiritual healing. This valley was chemotherapy and radiation sessions, but during the treatment period I was strengthened as He carried me daily in grace. In today’s society we praise a child for saying ‘thank you’, ‘excuse me’, ‘please’.. general manners. I think that manners matter to YHWH too. It is all about respecting the Creator. Do we really respect the King of Kings? I think many people have lost their fear because life is easy. We get away with things because everyone is too politically correct to point sin out. We are presenting substandard sacrifices to the King.

We arrive at church, ready to go home. We hope the sermon is short because the garden needs attention, shopping needs to be completed, the house needs cleaning or the ironing is piling up. We sing “How Great is our God.” while we are wondering about earthly issues – our lips move but our heart is divided. What is your heart offering? Do you sit and criticize the worship, the pastor and the message? Do we enter the building and leave the same way? Paul tells us that this is like a man who looks at his reflection in a mirror and forgets what he looks like. When you look in a mirror and notice something is not right we naturally fix it, be it hair a whisker or parsley in teeth.

How is your devotional time? Is it a quick, rushed ten minutes ending with a list that is prayed, followed by a quick verse? Or do you put aside quality time that is enough time to come into His presence and sit at His feet. Time enough for the Father to talk to you and for you to hear Him. Time where you push through prayer and allow the Spirit to reveal God’s Word to you. Is your time with Him an habitual ritual? Do you do devotions to stay in His good books? We are told to love Him with all our heart, mind and soul – undivided. Jesus tells us to come to Him and He will give us rest. Mary sat at the feet of the Saviour, she received from Him. Martha could have done that too, but she was too aware that if she did not present her human best effort it would not go down well, pride. Jesus told her that Mary had taken the right choice. Mary recognised that spending time with Jesus was more important than what others would say about the presentation of a meal.

Who is your time with God about? 90% you and 10% worshipping His name? I know that we are supposed to give our tenth, but that is earning not spiritual time. Quality matters to YHWH, not quantity. He desires your full and undivided attention. I know we all have jobs (God-given), homes (blessings from the Father) and families (more blessings) and these things need attention, but we need to prioritize. We read, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and ALL things shall be added unto you.” This speaks of not only physical things, but most importantly of the spiritual tools to bring glory to the King.

Verse 17, “You have wearied the Lord with your words.” Bring an honourable act of worship to God. Adjust your heart before you approach the Almighty God. Sing His praises with true meaning, thinking of Him and putting aside yourself. Take up your cross before you approach the throne. Don’t let your time with Him be crippled with the burdens that you are dragging around. Don’t be deafened by your inability to shut out the noise of the world and hear His voice – take time to listen. If you are singing and dancing to Him, do so with a contrite heart. Don’t sing songs that have no meaning or don’t make sense – be selective in what you sing to the King. In Revelations we read of simple songs that are sung to YHWH, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty’. Put aside your TV remote, laptop, iPad, iPhone (they all start with I???). Pick up His Word, become quiet and soak in His love for you. Receive His rest and peace that is freely available – sit at His feet. Open your eyes, look outside and see His glory in nature. Whatever you do, do it unto God and not man. Don’t try and serve God with human rituals and habits, He is far above us and nothing we do can bring Him the glory and honour He is due.

Give YHWH the best of you, give Him quality time and song. Sacrifice your will to honour Him. He desires the worship worthy of a King. He is to be awed and esteemed above all. He is and was and is to come. We fear Him, not because we are scared, but because we love Him. We need to fear YHWH, with a fear that is based in respect, fear that is healthy and brings a desire to serve, worship and want to be called, ‘My loved servant, whom I am well-pleased with.’

Nobody can change your attitude, you need to do that. Don’t blame the worship team, the air conditioning, the sound team or pastor – they are NOT your sacrifice or worship. Your heart, soul, and mind, are your vessels of worship and sacrifice. What will you bring before your King? What will you lay on the altar of praise? But by the blood of the Son can we approach the King of Kings. Chosen ones, the bride of Yeshua.

Oh Lord, may my worship and prayer be pleasant to You. May my deeds and motives be pure in Your sight and bless You. You are omnipotent and awesome and I want to fear You, I desire You to be proud of me and say of me that I am your servant and that You are well-pleased with me. Amen

You reap what you sow.

In Mark 4:26-29 Jesus tells the disciples that the Kingdom grows by faith. A farmer sows seeds into the ground and then goes off to tend to other things. This farmer has faith that the seeds will germinate and grow to be what they should be. When he comes to check on the field he finds a crop has started to grow. What he planted sprouted, and developed, into mature plants. The farmer was not surprised because he expected growth. He did not find a different crop to what he had planted. A farmer grows what he plants and when it is ready for harvest he brings it into his store.

What do you sow? How do you sow? Where do you sow? The answers to these questions will define what you harvest. There is a parable of the farmer that sows seed and it falls onto different ground, that same seed is sown with the same potential to grow into the same plant that will bear fruit. The difference is where the roots were grounded, what soil the seed landed on. We so often focus on the seed in this parable, but you have to ask yourself, what is the soil of my heart like? Can a seed grow in the faith found in your heart? Or will the lack of faith hinder it from finding a place to root? Is your heart hard and stubborn, or broken and soften? Seeds take root quickly in soft, humble soil that is positioned in the Son.

Your thoughts are seeds. If you speak negative thoughts, and entertain negative ideas, you are likely to yield a negative crop. Speaking words of truth and hope yield a positive crop that can feed many. This is not mind over matter, new age talk, this is the truth. We have a mind that is very powerful and what your mind believes fuels your actions, thoughts, and your beliefs. If you have faith, then you act faithfully. We speak failure before we even fail, we put ourselves down before we even try to get up. What do you feed your mind? What are you allowing your mind to think about, ponder on, or believe? Do you listen to the lies of satan or allow ungodly advise to make your decisions? John 14:23 should be ringing in your ears right now! Your mind feeds your heart and actions, this means you need to GUARD your mind and the best way to do that is to meditate on the Word of the Lord, to GUARD His Word, to put on the armour of God, to believe in John 14:23 and claim it as truth so that you will live it.

Ezekiel 3:1-6 is a powerful piece of scripture. God commands Ezekiel to EAT the scroll that God gives him (His Word) so that it is within Ezekiel. We need to eat the Word of God, the Bread of Life. When you eat something it is chewed over, then digested and becomes part of the blood, it feeds the body and nourishes the mind. When we take the Word and eat it, it becomes part of our being, part of whom we are and brings about an intimacy with YHWH. We will come to understand the plan and purpose that God has for our lives. (Mark 4:25). When we were young our parents and teacher would always tell us not to play with our food – don’t muck around with the Word of God. When you feed your body wholesome food, we are healthy. When you eat lots of unwholesome food you are uncomfortable, sluggish and not in the best shape. The same applies to feeding your mind with things that are good, wholesome and true.

Ephesians 3: 17, “And I pray that Jesus Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in Him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvellous love.”

Galatians 6:9 “So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t be discouraged and give up for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.”

Which lens do you use?

Photographer unknown

I have recently completed a doctoral thesis, and part of the process is selecting a theoretical framework that underpins the research. This may sound daunting, it was at first, but you choose an existing theory and use this theory as a lens through which you view your research, data analysis and test your findings theoretically. It is like choosing a pair of sunglasses, or reading glasses, to observe things with more clarity. I used Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Theory of Human Development, a mouthful indeed! It took a while for me to get my head around the theory, but once I understood it and assimilated it I become passionate about it, and could apply it to daily occurrences – I know, a Bronfenbrenner nerd! I began thinking what theory I used when I looked at others?

Our minds are amazing organs! As a primary teacher I would refer to the brain as a filing cabinet. This filing system is a collection of experiences, and perspectives, that are gained over a lifespan. These experiences are shaped culture, traditions, family background, schooling and people in your life. When you experience something new your mind goes to the cabinet and locates an existing experience, which often guides your perspective on the event or experience.

This brought me to the realisation that I need to dig deeper into the Word and ask YHWH to give me wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, so that I may use this to guide my observations. Very often my knee jerk reaction is misplaced defence, guided by prior experiences, and motivated by defensive reactions. If, however I look at a situation through a Biblical lens then the reaction will be different. Strange how we can feel guilty about something, like not phoning someone when you had intended to do so, you got caught up and were unable to make the call. You send a text message instead and receive a rather blunt answer…what is your knee jerk reaction? I allow my mind to become flooded with guilty thoughts and think the person is angry at me…how silly. If I was to view this through a different lens then I may consider that the person is also busy, did not have time to send me a soft and fuzzy text – after all did time not bulldoze my day? The knee jerk reaction should be to whisper, a small love prayer for this person, and arrange to catch up. This is a simple example, but how often do we let our filing cabinet of passed experiences decide our reaction? Let us rather allow the Comforter and Councillor that Yeshua promised in John 16:7-11 guide our reaction.

There is a beautiful song, “Open the eyes of my heart”. If YHWH opens the eyes of our heart, then we will have dove eyes (Song of Song 1:15). Doves are gentle birds and the dove that descended upon Yeshua when He was baptised by John was representative of the Set-Apart Spirit of Truth. So, we need to pray that we will have dove eyes, eyes that are focused by the Spirit of Truth, that we look through the lens of love, and Him, who died for us that we are guided by the Word of Truth, our theoretical framework for life, and not our human schema.

I pray that today you will see the beauty of His creation, see how He loves you and I pray that the Set-Apart Spirit of Truth will guide your vision and reactions. Amen

What fragrance do you leave?

Let me be a sweet fragrance to those around me, let my fragrance bring honour to Yeshua.

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I awoke this morning with the word fragrance on my mind. In the Bible, fragrance is mentioned reference to oils and anointing. In Exodus 30, YHWH instructs the priests to mix a sacred oil for consecrating the altar. In Revelations 5:8 we read, “And when He took the scroll, the four living creatures, and the twenty-four elders, fell down before the Lamb. Each holding a harp, and golden bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the set-apart ones.” If our prayers are incense this implies that our prayers are sweet smelling.

This made me ponder if my prayers were sweet smelling, how could they be? Are my prayers lists of complaints, and requests, to fix things that are not working to my benefit? Do I groan, and moan, about my life… OR are my prayers petitions with thanksgiving? Do I worship Him Who sits on the throne and does my heart (that is what YHWH looks at) emit a fragrance that edifies Yeshua my bridegroom?

We read in Esther that in preparation for her marriage to the king Esther spent twelve months preparing herself. She bathed in myrrh for six months, and then spent another six months using fragrant spices and oils. This was not synthetic perfume, but essential oils that would have seeped into her pores, leaving a scent when she entered, and exited, a room. People would know she had been there because her fragrance would linger. I started to wonder, what fragrance I left behind, if any? When I enter a room do I cause people to choke because I give off a toxic fragrance, full of criticism, negativity? Or do I walk into a room as the bride of Yeshua, with a fragrance that is unmistakably that of a bride preparing for the return of her Bridegroom? A spiritual fragrance that is reminiscent of love, patience, honouring my Yeshua.

I came across a website, that gave a good background into the use of perfume and fragrance in Biblical times. It reminded me that essential oils were expensive, and used to mask odours, during gatherings. (http://www.kubik.org/health/perfumes.htm). The article discussed the development of fragrances and how synthetic additions to perfume brings down the cost, and allows fragrances to hold their aroma longer.

Some of us use perfume, or aftershave, to make ourselves smell good. We cover our natural smell with synthetic fragrance. How do synthetic, man-made doctrines, and followings, cover the Truth? Do they strip the true essential oils and fragrances off our worship, faith and prayer? In addition, how many times do I leave a synthetic fragrance when I leave a room? A fragrance that I want others to see? This thought extends to my spiritual life, am I doing worship because it is what I should be doing, or is it out of a deep desire to be in His presence?? Do I know what the Truth is, or am I unable to sense the Truth because I have become accustomed to synthetic faith? These are questions I asked myself, and reflecting on them was a good exercise. The Set Apart Spirit convicted me of a few untruths, and synthetic beliefs that I am dealing with.

I have a very dear friend and she has shared her knowledge of essential oils with me, she is an example of a fragrant bride of Christ. She fills the room with a fragrance of acceptance, she never judges people, but rather actions love. When she leaves a room she leaves a sense of peace, fellowship, and love for her Bridegroom. She encourages, and upholds, those around her in prayer. Her fragrance is not from essential oils, it is a spiritual fragrance. Being in her company is always so special because she oozes a love for Yeshua that is tangible. This might be a bit warm and fuzzy for the boys, and maybe this would be that person that encourages you by being loyal, honest, and supportive. Someone that you can be yourself with, without fearing condemnation, competition, or put down.

We are all called to be the body of Yeshua, the bride. We are all called to trim our lamps, gather oil, and prepare for the return of Yeshua. If we are in this state of preparation then surely we get oil on our hands, the fragrance of what we are busy with lingers on us and permeates our houses. I recall my mum baking bread and making soup on a cold day. The whole house smelt so warm and inviting, when I gave Mum a kiss I could smell that aroma of baked bread in her hair…that is what I am getting at. If we are sitting in His presence, soaking in His word, breaking bread, filled with the Set-Apart Spirit of Truth, and fearfully and prayerfully using oils that set us apart – then surely we should have a Heavenly, Christ-like fragrance. A fragrance of a bride preparing for her Bridegroom’s return.

YHWH, I thank You that You look upon my heart. I pray that as Your bride prepares herself for the return of Yeshua that we will be His fragrance to the world. That this fragrance will draw the lost to You, will bring esteem and honour to Your name. I ask that my prayers esteem Your name and be a sweet smelling fragrance to You. Amen

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Amen.

St. Francis of Assisi – 13th century

Posture

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Of late I have been reading a book written by a South African lady, Suret Morkel called “The anointing of the Royal Priest and Bride.” There is a section on having a posture of prayer, and worship, that is instrumental in deepening our love for Him. However, Suret states that this requires approaching Him from brokenness of self. This made me sit up straight, no pun intended. It caused me to examine what my spiritual posture looked like. I referred to a dictionary and discovered that the word posture originates from the Latin, ‘positura’ meaning  positioned and ‘posit’ meaning placed. The word refers to the way one holds their body when standing or sitting, or it may be used to indicate an approach or attitude.

As a young girl I recall my parents prompting me to sit up straight (have just straightened my back again) and to walk tall. I did a year or two of ballet to help me improve my posture. However, I have to constantly remind myself not to slouch, to pull in my core, and push back my shoulders. How many of you reading this have just done that? I recall the ballet dancers at school as being so graceful, and tall, always moving with so much poise. During lessons, our encouraging, yet strict teacher, would remind us to check our posture. I recall some girls desired to be a dancer, and their posture and poise became a way of being, driven by their inner desires and discipline. This made me ponder my walk, my worship, my prayer life, my faith, and how I positioned and placed myself within the world.

Mirrors are essential to ballet dancers, they line the walls of dance studios. This is not so that the dancers can continually adjust their hair or admire their tiny waists, but are a means of reflecting on posture, poise and position. The Word is our spiritual mirror and we need to sit, stand or lie in the Word daily, asking the Set-Apart Spirit of Truth to prod us so that we pull in our core, straighten up our posture, and position ourselves in the presence of our King. James 1: 21 tells us to “put away all filthiness and overflow of evil, and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your life.” This is straightening yourself up, pulling in that core, and standing tall in and on the Word.

James 1:21-22 is the wall of mirrors, it tells us that we are to become doers of the Word, not merely be readers or hearers. We need to action the Word, examine our posture and position and do something to correct it if it is not in line with the Word. The warning is that if we read/hear the Word and remain inactive we are deceiving ourselves by thinking that we have a good posture. In verse 26 James writes that if we think we are religious but don’t control our tongue we are deceiving ourselves and our religion is worthless.

James 1: 23-25 goes on, and I quote (italics added):  “Because if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror (reflection, reflecting), for he looks at himself and goes away, and immediately forgets what he was like. (Neglecting to change posture, poise or position). But he that looked into the perfect Torah, that of freedom, and continues in it, not becoming a hearer that forgets but a doer of work, this one shall be blessed in his doing of the Torah.”

This scripture encapsulates the essence of being full of GRACE and moving in GRACE. We need to make sure that what we read/hear is assimilated into our daily walk. Just like the dancers make posture part of their daily movement, we need to ensure that we make worship and prayer our daily posture. No matter what the circumstances, no matter if in times of rejoicing, or difficulty our posture should reflect that we know YHWH. We should dance in faith that He has all things in His hand, He is Majesty and Creator, He is Father and lovingly-committed to His chosen ones. The world is watching the bride of Christ, what do they see? A bride that has lost her joy? A slouching, hunched over bride that drags her feet through the good and challenging times? OR a bride that has a graceful posture in all circumstances because we stand on the firm foundation of His love, His blood, and our core is the Set-Apart Spirit of Truth. We walk tall in love, we dance and worship the King for we know that He is unchanging, true, faithful and that above all we are His. The sky is always blue and the sun always shines.

Habakkuk 3:18-19: “Yet I exult in YHWH, I rejoice in the Elohim of my deliverance. YHWH the Master is my strength. And He makes my feet like those of a deer, and makes me walk on my high places. To the chief singer with my stringed instruments.” What a beautiful image, feet like a deer to enable us to nimbly move on the rocks, to jump and leap up the mountain side. In Afrikaans the words are so beautiful, “Hy maak my voete soos die van ‘n reebok.”

YHWH, it is my prayer that your Set-Apart Spirit of Truth would fill me and prod me to walk tall in worship and prayer no matter what. That as Your child I would be found in a posture of worship and prayer, positioned at Your feet. Not merely a reader/hearer of Your Word, but a doer. Make my feet nimble and gracious like those of a mountain deer so that I will jump and leap for joy in the meadows, and up the challenging, rocky bits of life. See my heart, know my love for You as I pray and worship You alone.  Amen