The path

A path is typically prebuilt with a beginning and an end. It is built with a purpose, leading to a destination. In Jeremiah 29:11 we read that YHWH has a plan for our lives, we were created in love for a purpose. Do you realise this? Be encouraged as you read this to know that you are loved beyond measure and that Yeshua Messiah is waiting to walk with you on your life journey.

The path near our home is concrete and it runs alongside the dunes. The native Paperbark trees spread a canopy across the path shading pedestrians from the sun, wind, and rain. Within this canopy there is abundant bird life and they share their song with those who pass beneath. I love this pathway and it is my escape. I have also spent many hours walking and praying along this path and have received many messages during these hours. It has to be one of my special places. This path is not exclusively used by me, there are many people on the path at any given time of day. There are joggers, runners that pass you like steam trains, walkers, couples and families that amble along, cyclists, dog walkers and pram pushers. Each individual is dressed for their specific occasion in line with the purpose of using the path. The attire, pace, and level of effort indicating the commitment to the activity. Some focus on pace, others chat away on their phones drowning out the sounds of birds, and the pace of others is determined by companions. Everyone moves along the same path at different paces with different objectives. These persons have different beginnings and destinations, but they all move along the path in the same direction. You have no idea who they are, what they had for breakfast or what is going on in their lives, the only common factor is that we share this path.

At intervals there are gates that are used to access the path and beach. There is a continual joining and departing of people. People on this path walk with purpose and are not distracted by these gates, unless it is the gate that they need to take to get to their destination. This made me consider my walk with Yeshua. When I walk in His will do I walk with purpose, focus, and understanding? Do I really know where I am going? Am I appropriately dressed in garments that show my love for Him? Where is my focus, or am I distracted by gates and the walk of those around me?

When I walk I use a Smartwatch so that I can gauge my heart rate, distance, and speed. This allows me to adjust my pace and reach my fitness goals. However, I wonder how often I monitor my heart, pace, and spiritual fitness when walking in His will. I have set a notification to vibrate when I am not putting in enough effort. My lack of effort during a walk may be because I become distracted, feel a little lazy and don’t really want to exert myself. This vibration is enough to refocus my attention. How often do you really pay attention to the nudge of His Set-Apart Spirit of Truth? The Set-Apart Spirit was sent by the Father to remind us of the teachings of Yeshua; to convict us of sin, righteousness and judgement; and to guide, council, and prepare us for the return of Yeshua. Do you pay attention to the prompting of the Spirit? Do you adjust your focus and pace in keeping with revelations and your walk?

I use to think that I went for my walk on this path, then it dawned on me that I walk with a Companion. I need to adjust my pace and direction so that I keep up with Him. Perhaps this is why I enjoy walking on this path so much. I am walking with Him, sheltered by His canopy of love, grace, and mercy. Surrounded by His amazing creation. For the eyes of YHWH are on the way of man, and He sees all his steps. (Job 34:21) May your walk today be regulated by the Spirit of YHWH, may you feel His canopy above, behind, and before you as you step one step before the other.

Crawl, walk, run

It is with pride that we wait and watch our young crawl. Crawling is the first stage of walking and an essential stage where humans learn to coordinate hands, feet, legs, and arms. Crawling soon gives way to a ‘monkey’ walk, many children will raise themselves off their knees and walk on their hands and feet – bottoms raised in the air. The child is slowly gaining confidence in exploring the world around them, and with great joy they shuffle around. Then with baited breathe parents celebrate the moment when this little human takes a step of independence, letting go of all support and they walk. Soon walking becomes a voluntary process that eventuates in running, skipping, hopping, and dancing.

It can be an easy analogy to our spiritual life in that we are rendered incapable before we meet Yeshua, we are so tied up in our bondage and sin that we can’t move freely. When we start our relationship with YHWH we crawl, Paul refers to the eating stages of infants and relates this to our maturity. Hebrews 5: 13-14: “For everyone partaking of milk is inexperienced in the Word of Righteousness, for he is a babe. (14) But solid food is for the mature whose senses have been trained by practice to discern both good and evil.”  We all need to crawl before we can walk, we need to dig deep into the Word to align our spiritual being with that of the Almighty so we are set-apart from the world. It is during this time that we focus on becoming strong and in being coordinated with His will and direction. From crawling we start to walk, never alone but guided in the strength of the Set-Apart Spirit of Truth, holding the hand of our beloved Yeshua. When we can walk in confidence and certainty, we seek His right-ruling, His Word and Spirit guide our feet and we set our sight on the incorruptible crown.

I want to focus on the parent in the picture. When a baby starts to crawl the parent takes great care in ensuring that things are safe for the little one. Items are lifted up higher as they are not suitable for that youngster yet. There may be areas in the house that the baby can’t get into yet as the skills for navigating this area have not been developed. Once baby starts walking the parent hands are never far from the child, hovering in place to catch and comfort should the child fall. Hands that are there to pick up and restore confidence, encourage, and motivate to continue strengthening legs and balance. YHWH does not slumber nor sleep, He watches us and sees every small detail, He is waiting for us to grab on to Him and to seek His guidance as we walk. He will never let you be somewhere where you can’t manage the walk,  it may feel like you are not ready but you need to learn how to deal with one step so you can climb the stairs ahead. If a child that has learnt to walk decides to wander off and hide, he/she has that choice and freedom through the independence that walking brings. However if a child calls out to a parent for help, they are found quickly. Yeshua told us the parable of the lost sheep and the lost coin to let us know that if we call out He will come and find us where we are.

However, you can’t set off running without direction, YHWH has a plan for your life – a plan that has been set-apart for you by the Almighty, Most High. In Jeremiah 29:11 we read, “For I know the plans I am planning for you,’ declares YHWH, ‘plans of peace and not of evil to give you a future and an expectancy”. Another scripture written by Paul in Ephesians 2: 10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua unto good works, which Elohim prepared beforehand that we should WALK in them.” These verses speak not only of a Father that is there to guide His children, but of a Lovingly-Committed Elohim that prepares the walk/run for His beloved sons and daughters. This walk has obstacles and difficult bits, but when we trust in His strength and not try to do these bits on our own, there is victory and growth. Remember that Paul stated that he needed to be severe with his body, making it his slave. Yeshua stated that He is the WAY, Truth and Life. Messiah Yeshua died so that you and I could walk and run in freedom, without bondage. So that we could run the race of life bringing Him the glory, so to gain the incorruptible crown. The cliché is, ‘no pain, no gain’.

When we see those around us that forget how to walk in grace, forget how to walk with the Lord or have wandered off and hidden themselves and are unsure of how to call out, we need to be the hands that gently and lovingly guide them back. We need to get alongside them and help them regain their balance – without judgmentally knocking them off their feet. Being aware that the Master has a plan for their lives and we need to carry these brothers and sisters to the Feet of Yeshua and place them there. One of my favourite miracles is when the four friends carried their lame friend and lowered him through the roof to the feet of Yeshua. Yeshua looked up and saw their faith, that is inspiring. NEVER underestimate your faith when you bring people to the Feet of Messiah Yeshua. Yeshua healed many lame people, there are spiritually lame people all around us that need healing. You can’t run from the arms of the Saviour – we are running, walking or crawling to get into His arms. Help those around you join in the race.

YHWH, help me to walk in Your way, help me to love the path of righteousness and to remain on the way that you have planned for me. If I stray off the road, pull me back. I pray that You would set brothers and sisters around me that would not ignore my stumbling but gently convict me by shining the Light of Your Son on my path. May you use me to gently and lovingly bring those that are spiritually lame to the Feet of Yeshua where there is healing and peace. Amen

You want me to do what?



Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

Revelation 16:4

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2 Kings 5 narrates the events of Naaman and Elisha. Naaman was a great commander, the right-hand man to the king. However, Naaman is struck with leprosy, and the king sent a letter and gifts to Elisha. Elisha, the prophet was renowned as a miracle worker. Naaman was a man of wealth, he was short of nothing – except faith. Elisha, he had a double anointing from YHWH, and walked in obedience and faith.

Aram was a neighbour to Israel, and the Arameans had raided Israel. When the king of Israel received this letter, he thought that is may be an ambush. He considered the consequences if Naaman was not healed, and if that would lead to more raids. Naaman wanted to be healed, and realised that this disease would be the end of the king’s favour as and his ex-communication from society. He had everything to lose, he was so desperate that he listened to a servant girl. How amazing is our King? He places people in our lives to show us the way! Naaman sets off, with high expectations of meeting this man of God.

Naaman was a man accustomed to fanfare and respect. However, the leprosy is an outer illness, and there is an inner healing needed deep within Naaman. Elisha does not come to meet Naaman, instead, he sends a messenger to meet him. The message is simple, “Go and wash yourself in the Jordan River, and wash seven times.” Naaman was full of pride, very aware of his position and standing, his wealth – in short full of self-importance. This is evident in his reaction to the message.

We are left questioning how much Naaman needs healing, how deeply does he want to be well again? He fussed and became offended by the fact that Elisha did not even appear before him – he was Naaman, the kings right-hand man. He had expected that this man of God would approach him, and wave his hand over Naaman. But instead a message is sent that he is to wash in a murky river? You want me to do what???? It would appear that his pride was greater than his desire to be healed. YHWH is able to heal us with a wave of a hand, but there has to be some effort from your side. Think of the healings that Yeshua preformed, in all of them there was faith needed by the sick person – washing eyes in the pool, picking up a mat, coming out of the tomb. These all required effort and faith. Naaman already believed that God worked through Elisha, and that He could heal. His faith was there, it was just that he didn’t expect that he would have to do something ‘beneath’ his standing to receive the healing.

You see, what Naaman had to do to receive his healing was to get out of his clothes, he had to remove his rank and wealth. Naaman had to expose his leprosy to those around him, he would be making himself vulnerable. Naaman had to lay who he was in the Aramean kingdom on the muddy banks of the Jordan, he had to immerse himself in the water, not just stand on the side and splash. This meant he had to deal with his pride issue, he had to humble himself before YHWH, he had to take up his cross and sacrifice his position and standing before the King of Kings. He had to tear his heart.

There is a truth here about revealing who we really are. Sometimes we hide behind our Sunday best, and masquerades dictated by the world. We often become unwillingly distracted by our ‘dressings’, position and importance. Before you know it we have grown an attitude of pride – if this has offended you, then take a closer look at your heart. I am not pointing fingers, I have to daily strip off pride!

Naaman was not impressed with ‘lowering’ himself, physically and spiritually, into the river. He considered the Jordan River not good enough for him, as there were better rivers at home – he still did not get it. Sorry for the pun, but Naaman’s healing skin-deep. The true healing was in the secret place, his heart. His pride was blocking his physical healing, until he was willing to lay his pride aside he would not receive the healing, and he stood to loose everything if he didn’t humble himself. Naaman had a choice to make, he could strip off or get back on his mule and go back home.

Enter the voice of reason, a brave officer from the ranks. Another person positioned for a time such as this by YHWH, to reason with this stubborn and proud commander. How often do we ignore the voice of reason? Often pride dictates that we have to be able to point out that we are who we because we used our own strength/brainpower/expertise or wisdom. Perhaps washing in a muddy river was too simple for Naaman? The officer’s reasoning made Naaman realise his desire to be healed was greater than getting into the water. He had travelled so far. He must have been so itchy and sore, the dust and travelling would not have made this journey easy for him. To make that journey back home without dipping into the water seemed ridiculous. In verse  14 we read, “So Naaman went down to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times as the man of God had instructed. And his flesh became as healthy as a young child’s, and he was healed.” There is a double healing here!!! His flesh is healed and his inner is healed. AMEN. Naaman submitted, he obeyed YHWH, and he was made whole. He was healed not because of his authority, strength or standing – Naaman was healed by the power of an Awesome God. He realised this and committed to serving God above all.

Naaman was buzzing and so excited that he wanted to pay Elisha. He put a price on his healing of 340 kg of pure silver, 68 kg of pure gold and 10 sets of clothes. Naaman is so grateful, but he needs to learn another lesson from Elisha. Elisha refuses the gifts, he redirects the glory and esteem to YHWH. Elisha shows humility and acknowledges the strength of God, he does not claim any esteem or glory for himself. In the end Naaman returns to Aram with a sod of soil to remind him of the miracle in his life, and of his commitment to YHWH.

I have a personal testimony of healing similar to that of Naaman. I feel though that I must say upfront that as individuals we experience traumatic events in our lives differently. I have prayed for family members who have not received healing, I have had close Christian friends pass away. So the views expressed are personal, they are my journey, and my beliefs may differ from yours regarding healing.

In 2011 I was diagnosed with Grade 4, invasive cancer of the bladder and statistically given five year if the bladder was not removed. The urologist wanted to remove my bladder and create a pseudo bladder using part of my colon. This would mean that I did not have an outer bag, but an inner one that still needed to be emptied with a catheter. After prayer I received a promise that no part of my body would be removed, but that I was going to have to walk through the valley of treatment. However, I was promised that this would be a time of blessing, and the journey would take me into a deeper place with Him. My husband and I met with the urologist and told him that we would not be opting for bladder removal. He strongly advised me to reconsider, but as a step of faith, I held fast to the promise and opted for treatment, chemo and radiation. I maintain that I had spiritual cancer, and that the physical cancer was a stop sign for me to stop and take a good look at my heart. I had become so wrapped up in me and my own world. I was in a middle management position at a prestigious Christian school, was completing a Master of Education, and doing well. I was running and fit, spending hours training my body. I had all the trappings of Sunday best, smiles and bling. Yet, this list did not include spiritual wellbeing, where was God in my life? I needed to be woken up. I needed to go to the river, strip myself of myself, and dip myself in humility and obedience. I needed to tear my heart and not my clothes. I will be forever grateful that YHWH put that stop sign in my life, so glad He took me on a journey through a valley with Him. Many people have asked me a question. “If you say that you are healed, how come you are faced with treatment?” The answer is never simple, but my personal experience is that, like Naaman, sometimes we have to heal the inner to heal the outer. I love the Healer of my soul, all the glory and honour to Him. May you come before the Stream of Living Water and immerse yourself, stripping off all, and humbly and eagerly dip into the everlasting waters. Amen

Tear your heart

Tear your heart, not your clothes.

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Joel 2: 12-13: “Yet even now,” declares YHWH, “turn to me with ALL your heart, and with fasting, and weeping, and with mourning. And TEAR your heart, NOT your clothing, and turn back to YHWH your Elohim.” For He shows favour and is compassionate, patient and of great loving-commitment, and He shall relent concerning the evil.

This powerful word presents two instructions in restoring a relationship with YHWH Most High. The first is to turn to YHWH with ALL your heart. All encompasses everything, nothing is excluded, or hidden – it is everything. This indicates that we need to make sure that come to Him with an undivided heart, an uncluttered and unobstructed attitude (the prefix un- means not to be). To turn to YHWH implies that you are focused on Him, facing Him, and presenting yourself before the Father. This implies that you need to be in a place where you strip off preconceived thoughts, removed from the world, and be in the presence of Holy presence of YHWH. Bringing yourself before Him in fasting and weeping, demonstrating repentance, humbly acknowledging your dependency on His love, mercy and grace.

Verse 13 instructs us to “tear your heart, not your clothing“. To make sense of this instruction it is necessary to consider the Jewish religious custom of ripping clothing as an external demonstration of great sorrow, repentance or shame. However, the sincerity behind this custom was only known to the person shredding their clothes, in other words this custom may have been done out of a religious expectation, rather than sincere repentance. However, YHWH does not look upon the outer of man, but He considers the heart of man. In 1 Samuel 16:7 we read, “But YHWH said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him, for not as man sees, for man looks at the eyes, but YHWH looks at the heart.” And is a great reminder to check the motives for our actions that may not match our heart.

This also reminds us that repentance needs to be a matter of the heart. Ask the Spirit of YHWH to convict you of old hurts, and sin, that hinder a living, loving relationship with YHWH, and others. The neglected issues that you considered dealt with, but are harboured still (forgive but not forget). YHWH calls for true repentance, not words mumbled because they were expected – a tearing our clothing. YHWH wants us to worship Him in spirit and truth, not by following customs and traditions that are physical demonstrations. In verse 13 a third dimension is added – ‘And tear your heart..’ reminding us to come into His presence where we bare all. We need to rid ourselves of the ‘ME’, and preconceived ideas of what we should do to worship. We need to be in a place of complete honesty, complete brokenness, removed from doing what others do, or expect us to do. There is a song ‘Losing my religion’ by Lauren Daigle that I would encourage you to listen to. Lauren sings about stopping the “masquerade”, and really seeking Him. (https://youtu.be/Uw6_g0aTwt4)

Tear your heart before YHWH. Go into a quiet place, be in His presence, draw near to Him with weeping and break open your heart – let every part of your heart be open before Elohim. Hidden sin are chinks in your armour that allows the lies of the enemy to stunt spiritual growth. The voice that whispers, “You’re not good enough, you use to do…”, not only stops your walk, but nurtures disbelief of how He values you. This brings doubt regarding the love and promises that are yours, a child of a lovingly-committed Father. The way to rid your heart of these things is to tear your heart before YHWH.

Once you have a broken heart, then Father is able to heal and restore it. Redemption follows in verse 13, “…and turn back to YHWH your Elohim, for He shows favour and is compassionate, patient and of great loving-commitment, and He shall relent (forgive) concerning the evil.” This verse describes YHWH Most High as a loving, forgiving Father, who desires a spiritual, intimate, raw, and one-on-one relationship with you. He desires to bless you. In Joel 2: 19 we are promised a reward: “And let YHWH answer and say to His people, “See I am sending you the grain and the new wine and the oil, and you shall be satisfied. And no longer do I make you a reproach among the nations.”

Joel 2: 28 “And after this it shall be that I pour out My Spirit on all flesh. And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men dream dreams, your young men see visions.”

Coming to Him, tearing your heart before Him in spirit and truth, unlocks and unblocks a relationship. This restored relationship allows a new anointing in the Spirit, a deeper understanding and relationship of the Father’s love. Maybe you have been feeling spiritually numb, and your prayers seem to be like bouncy balls that hit the ceiling and then the floor. Perhaps you are discouraged and although you have been doing “religious” things, you feel spiritually disconnected to Him. I want to encourage you this morning to go to a private place, and take three steps:
Step 1: Come before Elohim with a raw, open heart.
Step 2: Tear your heart before Him – the real you in spirit and truth. Nobody else is watching or listening, just a loving Father. Do this in obedience and out of love, and a dependency on Him. Don’t make it a reaction to a message or sermon. Strip off all teachings by man, and approach the Father as you – no masquerades.
Step 3: Turn back to YHWH, receive new grain (Understanding of His Word), New wine and oil (anointing of the Holy Spirit, sustenance for the race). Verse 28 refers to the pouring out of His Spirit on flesh. This is generously given, not dropped out or dribbled out but poured out to all who seek Him, who tear their heart.

Be encouraged, be alive in Him. Know that when you are forgiven and cleansed, you are healed. He a plan of good, and not for evil, to give you expectancy and hope. A life aligned with His will brings glory to the Father through the Son.

Navigating your walk

Psalm 119:105

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

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This morning I was sitting in the presence of Abba Father when my phone started to vibrate. I normally ignore any electronic devices when they ping or ring during this time, however this vibrating ring had an urgency to it and I answered to find a frustrated and lost husband on the other end. He was driving to an appointment in a loan car (our car needed a service) and the navigation system was not doing what it was designed to do. He had driven in the right direction, but not taken the turn he needed to and was off course. After jumping onto Google Maps and locating his position by finding street names he was giving me, I was able guide him, even though at times he doubted I knew where he was. After staying on the phone and providing directions he was on his way and able to recognise landmarks and the building that he needed to be at. This incident made me think about navigating my spiritual walk. I started to ponder what I was trusting to guide me on my walk. I wondered how often I missed a turn or even a stop, and end up in what seems the right direction but so far from the intended destination?

I am very good at asking for directions when I think I may be lost, but do I ask for enough guidance in my spiritual life? The feeling of being lost only happens when you are lost, when you have no idea of where you are or should be going. This made me wonder, how many of us may be lost. I am not referring to salvation, rather to walking in the plan that YHWH has for us. Jeremiah 29: 11 is well quoted, if you read the preceding verses there is a warning about not being deceived but seeking Him (verses 12-14). In verse 14 we are told that He shall be found and we shall be brought back. These verses require faith in obediently walking where He places your feet. In listening closely and intently to the voice of the Set-Apart Spirit of Truth as He guides you and reveals to you the plan of the Most High. To sit daily in His presence, not surrounded by devices, man written blogs (like this) and life, but to find that quiet chair in the garden, to put aside the things of the day, and to just sit and listen, worship freely in spirit and in truth. Revive your inner being by gathering the anointing oil so freely available from the Father’s hand. Getting your direction and bearing so that you can walk where He leads you, or to come back into step with Him.

When you are travelling somewhere these days satellite assisted devices guide you. The old street directories and big fold out maps are no longer referred and I think that mankind has lost a skill. It has however saved many arguments in the car about which way round the directory should be held. To be guided you need to know where you are going, you need to have a destination and then you need to follow the directions. Directions are of no use to the traveller if they are not followed, studied and walked. I remember when I was first diagnosed with cancer, a very dear friend told me that I had to walk in healing. To say the least this was not what I wanted to hear, I did not understand it at first but it soon became clear. The plan that YHWH has set for us, is a personal one, we walk together but on different paths but in the same direction for the glory of YHWH. We need to put one foot before the other in faith and step out, just like Peter did. Our future has been written by the Creator of the all things, He is lovingly committed to us and His Son, Yeshua, paid the ultimate price so we may approach the Father. Jeremiah 29:12 says that we will call on Him, come and pray to Him and He shall listen. In verse 13 we are encouraged to seek Him with all our hearts and that He shall be found.

Recently I studied Psalm 119. I have read it before in passing through Psalms. That may sound rather shallow, and the intent is such. It is the longest Psalm in and to read it in one sitting does not enlighten your inner being. Taking it bit by bit and praying, gives it depth and reveals the jewels hidden within the verses. Here are a few that speak of navigating life and walking in step with YHWH and His word:

Verse 1: Aleph Blessed are the perfect in the way, who walk in the Torah of YHWH.

Verse 3: Yes, they shall do no unrighteousness; They shall walk in His ways.

Verse 9: How would a young man cleanse his path? To guard it according to Your word?

Verse 25: My being has been clinging to the dust; Revive me according to Your word.

Verse 32: I run the way of Your commands, for You enlarge my heart.

Verse 35: Make me walk in the path of Your commands, for I have delighted in it.

Verse 59: I have thought upon my ways, and turned my feet to Your witnesses.

Verse 60: I have hurried, and did not delay to guard Your commands.

Verse 67: Before I was afflicted I myself was going astray, but now I have guarded Your word.

Verse 105: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Verse 133: Establish my footsteps by Your word, let no wickedness have rule over me.

I would encourage you to take a little time today to check where you are, to sit before your lovingly-committed Father and check in. Be revived with the outpouring of His Spirit and may He make His face to shine upon His servants and teach them His law (Verse 135).

Amen

Running

Keep running the race that is set before you with endurance.

Hebrews 12:1

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How many times have we heard the word, ‘run’? It has become the catch phrase for movies…”Run Forrest, run!” and Forrest Gump ran straight across America. There are children’s stories where the Gingerbread challenged those wishing to eat him to run as fast as they could. Parents are for ever telling children to walk, not run. We make a run for it when it starts to rain, there is a coffee run and then general running. Sometimes we run around like a lost chicken, we run away, run to, run from, run into, run under, and run over.

In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Paul writes the following.(24)Do you not know that those who run in a race indeed all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way as to obtain it. (25) And everyone who competes controls himself in every way. Now they do it to receive a corruptible crown, but we for an incorruptible crown. (26) Therefore I run accordingly, not with uncertainty. Thus I fight not as one who beats the air. (27) But I treat my body severely and make it my slave, lest having proclaimed to others, I myself might be rejected.

I am not a great athlete, by no means, but I do enjoy running. I recall as a little girl accompanying my Uncle Harvey to races. My Uncle did not wake up one morning and decide to run a race, he would prepare for hours, he would run up a mountain in Cape Town called Ou Kaapse Weg (Old Cape Way). He would be up and out before those in the household had finished dreaming. I can never recall him moaning about having to train, or about pain. Instead, he always commented that his runs were good, and his attitude made me think that running was fun. His attitude rubbed off on me and I enjoy running.

I have learnt that running is not easy on the body and that a pair of good running shoes is an essential, along with comfy clothing that does not restrict your movement. The best bit of gear I bought was a heart rate monitor that alerts me to how hard my heart is working so that I can stay within a certain zone. This is key in not only becoming fit, but in taking care of yourself. We need to be close enough to YHWH to hear His Heart, and to know His Heart. We should have a heart that seeks Him and knows His loving-commitment for us. An accurate measure of your heart requires that you wear a monitor on your chest. The new smart watches are good, but a monitor near your heart gets an accurate reading. Likewise, to be  close YHWH’s heart requires us to be in His presence, really close, to be filled with His very Spirit. I recall as a child curling up on my mother’s lap and putting my head on her chest to hear her heartbeat. This always made me feel so secure, so loved and so close. Take time to listen, feel and be sensitive to His heart beat. Check your own heart rate as you become fitter in running the race in step with the will of the Father.

As Christians we also need to make sure that we are dressed appropriately to run the race. In Ephesians 6 we read about putting on the amour of Elohim so that we can stand against wickedness and have power to run and receive an incorruptible crown. So when you think of running a spiritual race, gird your waist with Truth, put on a breast plate of righteousness, for shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared. Take up the shield of belief so that you have power to quench all the burning arrows of the wicked one, take up the helmet of deliverance and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Words of Elohim. This is the ‘gear’ that is given to us as children of the Most High, we just need to put it on.

Paul tells us to run the race to win, telling us to control ourselves in every way and to run with a certainty. I started to think about the way I run, the things I do and then equated that to my spiritual race. When you set out for a run, you have a goal and destination, and need to prepare for the run. Just like runners have different levels of fitness and different goals, we are all at different stages in life, and varying stages of maturity in our walk with YHWH and need to prepare individually for our race. When you start running it is not easy and becoming fit requires a degree of perseverance and self discipline to push your body and mind to stay the course. It is hard when your legs are like jelly and you just want to turn around or stop. However, the elation of pushing on, even if it means you walk a while and achieving a goal is worth the effort.

Runners will tell you that when racing their diet is just as important as the training. It is about stocking up with healthy foods, drinking lots of water and having snacks with you that will sustain your energy levels and support you on the run. Jesus told us that we can’t live on bread alone, we need to eat from the Living Word, drink from the Streams of Life. We can’t run the race without sustaining our spirit with His Word, without being Spirit filled.

Make my steps fall in line with Your way and will. May my heart beat in Your zone, to Your beat. As I run this race may I fill my  spirit with Your Truth, drink from steams of Living Water and daily be fed by Your Word. May I run the race You have set before me and receive my incorruptible crown. Amen

Walk like a child

The purpose of our walk will determine the pace and speed of steps and the urgency will govern our effort. When we are late we rush and if we have minutes to spare we may amble and stop along the way. People that walk to keep fit vary their pace so to ensure that they keep their heart rate up. We walk without thinking about walking, and I suspect we take a lot for granted. Recently, walking with my two year old granddaughter made me realise how important walking is, and I related this to my spiritual walk too.

Young believers are a bit wobbly until they find foundational truths upon which they grow faith and a relationship with Yeshua. Then reach an age when we mature and walk in wisdom, understanding and knowledge. To reach this stage we may have had to hike up rocky paths, take walks that seemed to never end and learn to strengthen our spiritual being to stay on the right path. However, walking with my granddaughter has made me realise that I have lost the joy of walks with Yeshua along the way.

A two year old has new eyes, and sees things for the first time that awe them as they discover and exciting little things. Walks with her can’t be rushed because then we would miss the flowers, bugs, ants and seedpods. No, we need to linger and investigate while collecting information in wonderment at the creation around us. She stops at a lavender bush and asks, “Nanna Birdie, what is this one?” I take a leaf and rub it between my fingers and the scent of lavender fills the air. She becomes excited and filled with wonderment, she sniffs the leaf and declares, “That is awesome! I want some.” Right there, she wants some of what I have shown her. Do you get excited about things in your walk with Yeshua and ask for some? The sad thing is that for years I have walked passed that bush and not stopped to smell a leaf, not been blessed by the scent contained within the leaf – something I took for granted. How many blessings, gifts and promises do we pass in our reading of the Word, do we pass when we shrug off encouragement?

My precious one hears the sound of a bird, she will stop and look up. A feather in the grass is investigated, a butterfly followed with fascination and awe at the beauty and flight. She flaps her arms and will sing her own song about flying in the sky like a ‘butterby’. Do we hear and actually stop to listen or do we rush on? She has made me realise that taking a walk is an adventure, a discovery. It is a time to observe and listen, a time of wonderment and awe at the creation around her. She will often look up at me, touch my hands and say, “Nanna, fly like butterby with me.” She wants to dance with me, sing with me and I don’t care what the world thinks, I flap my arms and sing with her twirling and laughing while we are on our walk. Our Father is a lovingly-committed Father and He gave His all for us, and He loves us to dance and sing with Him. He desires us to enjoy His creation. I am not suggesting we should stop every time we see a flower, but we need to check our spiritual walk. Is your walk with Elohim rushed, more like a timed march to the sound of a worldly drum? Is it prattle time when we rush off lists of demands? Do we stop to listen or heed His answers? Do we see the beauty of what He has prepared for us or is that lost in the hurry of the day?

We need to stop to discover treasures in the Word, we need to ask YHWH, “Father, what is this one?” We need to walk and become excited when we realise or discover something asking, “Can I have some?” We need to become excited in our innermost being by the realisation that He loves more than words can tell. It is important that we find that undistracted, quiet place to amble with Him, to learn to stop and listen. To ask Him to dance with you, be a butterfly.

YHWH walked in the garden with Adam, this was a time of sharing and relationship building. Adam would have spoken to YHWH about the creation, asked what is this one? Walking with Yeshua implies just that, with – together not alone. When my granddaughter tugs at my hand and tells me she wants to go for a walk she will say, “Come Nanna, let’s go for a walk please. Come Nanna.” Sometimes she will even try and put on my shoes for me. She waits at the door and does not go off on her own, she will take my hand and walk with me. If she does wander ahead she stops and looks back to make sure I am there. When she feels unsafe or threatened she knows that I am there, that I will protect her at all costs – she is mine and I love her unconditionally. She doesn’t scream or panic, she runs up to me with her arms out stretched and tells me she needs a ‘cuggle’. When she is tired she will ask to be carried. This is the third and biggest lesson I have learnt about walking with my Father.

This darling little girl knows that I love her, she does not question my love she does not doubt my love, she just knows it! Oh that I would have the same faith in YHWH!!!!! Why don’t I consider the Father’s love in this way? Yeshua said that we should have the faith of a child and for years I have battled to understand what this may mean. For me the penny has dropped. It is accepting that unconditional love, it is knowing that we are precious to Him, that Yeshua has died for us. It is knowing that we are the chosen bride of Christ and the set-apart people. We need to walk like a child, in awe and wonderment at what has been planned for us, trusting without question that our Father will never leave us, will dance with us and share His knowledge with us when we ask for ‘some’.

I know that as my granddaughter grows up our walks will change and conversations will be different, but that is the process of maturing. I will never be too old to dance with her though, never too old to smell flowers together and never too old to love her. Besides I have a baby grandson that is going to want to discover the lavender bush – how exciting!!

YHWH, I thank you Father for children who remind us that we need to be like them and have childlike faith. Will You dance with me, and make my heart like a child’s again so that I can be full of wonderment at the plans You have for me. I want to be filled with joy as I discover, rediscover and walk in Your ways, knowing that You are always near, always watching and always loving.

Photo by BARBARA RIBEIRO on Pexels.com

Precious Time

Photo by Cliford Mervil on Pexels.com

I recall a rainy camping weekend when all I wanted do was pack up and go home. I remember glancing across at my hubby who was relaxed and enjoying just being. I recognised that I needed to adjust my attitude and shift the focus from self to the man I loved. I put aside my discontentment and dragged out games I had packed for the proverbial “rainy day”. I made a mug of coffee, located some choc chip biscuits and challenged my man to a game. We laughed and chatted, reminiscing on precious moments in life, huddled under an awning with the rain bucketing down around us. Taking time out of a distracted life to live a little and just be together.

This made me ponder if YHWH longed for “rainy” days when I decisively put aside life and just sit in His presence. While He could paralyse us on the spot, He does not want us riveted us to the spot, rather that we desire to spend time with Him, out of love. He desires us to share moments and laughter with Him. However, the pressure of life often bombards and distracts us and we tend to forget how to enjoy undivided and intimate time with our Father. Sitting in His presence does not only mean reading the Word and praying, it is deeper. This time is not bound by regularity and a set place, it extends to enjoying nature, marvelling at His creation and being awed at the magnificence of the vastness and majesty of what He spoke into being.

Taking time to appreciate the forests, wildlife and deserts, drinking in the beauty of creation that brings you closer to YHWH. This does not include considering the microscopic cells that together generate life within the plants, the cycles that keep us alive, food chains and ecosystems that were spoken into being. Nature speaks of  God’s character and majesty. There are things in nature that remind us of His love for us, little love letters that He gives us – sunsets, sunrises, lightning and thunder.

Birds are my love letters. They are so beautiful and so varied, they take to the skies soaring and diving displaying a variety of moves. Then they settle in trees and fill the air with beautiful songs. Every time I hear a Cockatoo I raise my eyes to the skies and thank Him for His love for me. I live on the Sunshine Coast, Australia and there are Brahminy Kites that fly over the beach. I stop and marvel at the majesty of these birds. In conversation with residents who had lived in the area for a number of years, I mentioned seeing the Kites. Their response that they had never noticed the birds shocked me. They told me that they never looked up but that they definitely would be doing so in future. When last did you stop to watch a bird fly overhead? When was the last time you stopped and just listened to the song of a bird? We can become so distracted and busy living that we forget to live and we miss the wonders of creation, we don’t notice the detail, don’t see the colours. This might be because we spend most of our lives inside, indoors. God created the outdoors, man created the indoors. We tend to spend so much time listening to white noise that we forget to attune our ears to Him. Perhaps it is time to switch off the worldly sounds and listen fill to the sound of creation, birdsong and the rustle of leaves. Time to step outdoors and experience His creation.

Unfortunately, most of us believe that a rigid and set devotional time is required to build a relationship with Him. Yet, it was in the garden that YHWH walked with Adam and Eve. I can just imagine the conversations that would have been had as Adam and Eve chatted about the creation as they spent time WALKING in the presence of YHWH. When was the last time you paid really close attention to God’s creation – while in His presence? Walk outside, spend a new time with YHWH, sing a song of praise with the birds. Lift His name high, praise Him for His beautiful creation. Stop and smell the roses.

I understand that we need to work to pay the bills and eat, we have responsibilities and chores that never seem to end, someone somewhere needing our attention. These pressures of life are real and they keep pushing. However, the verse, “Seek first the Kingdom of YHWH and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) reminds us to put Him first, He will provide for our needs. I made a decision to go for a walk and take time to listen and talk to Him, I call it my “Come Away” time. During these walks I find refreshment and peace to face the day. Come Away time might be on the drive to work, if it just you in the car pray, sing at the top of your voice or listen to a podcast. I think that we have been ‘man-washed’ into boxing our time with YHWH, although He is omnipotent, omnipresent. We are called to walk with Him, not be seated for a prayer and verse and then say goodbye until tomorrow. I want to encourage you to find time in your day to walk with Him, just the two of you. Take time to let Him show you something, enjoy His presence and share your crazy moments in life with Him.

Thank you Father that You created the beauty of nature, the strength of a storm, the gentleness of the breeze and the mighty roar of the sea that speaks of your might and power. You remind us of your majesty in the night sky and as ants scurry across the path. Forgive me for trying to box the time spent with You. I ask that Your Spirit would teach me to freely approach you no matter what time or where I am. I wish to walk in Your presence. Amen

Brahminy Kite taken on one of my walks.