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.

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.

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

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

Walking with Jesus is a journey

We often refer to our spiritual walk with Yeshua, but recently I have been pondering the use of the word ‘walk’. Is it not rather a journey?

When one goes for a walk it is normally a short activity that can be done on a whim. It is not something that we plan months in advance. We may walk our dog, walk around the block or walk on the beach. These are short trips, trips that generally are dictated by the weather and your mood.

A journey on the other hand is something that we plan to undertake. It involves some form of preparation to ensure that we arrive at the planned destination on time and with what is required. A journey may involve walking, but in modern society journeys generally involve different modes of transport depending on the destination and purpose. So I started to ponder and question if I was walking with Yeshua or on a journey with Yeshua.

When Moses was instructed by YHWH to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, his journey started. In Exodus 4:24 we read that on the ‘journey’ to Egypt, Moses and his family stopped for the night. Moses was confronted by YHWH as his son had not been circumcised and for Moses to continue and succeed on his journey, he needed to ensure that he was completely obedient and submissive to the instruction and directions from the Most High. Commentary explains the circumcision had not occurred as his wife was not from Israel, and Moses had not been part of Israel for many years. For Moses to continue on the journey and reach the destination he had to remove any obstacle in obedience to YHWH.

As we journey with the Most High we are to ensure that we walk in obedience to Him, that we are following His instructions and directions. This is part of remaining in relationship with Him, being convicted of sin and seeking His purpose and way as we journey. This will ensure that we will be able to complete the journey and run the race and receive our reward. Moses was instructed by YHWH how the Israelites were to prepare for their journey into the desert. In Exodus 12 we read a recount of the instructions, but let us pay careful attention to verse 11, “Wear your travelling clothes as you eat this meal, as though prepared for a long journey. Wear your sandals and carry your walking sticks in your hands. Eat the food quickly, for this is the Lord’s Passover.” In this chapter they were given instructions for the Passover, a prophesy of what Yeshua would do for us.

Verse 11, makes it very clear that going on a journey is more than a walk in the desert. It involved preparing clothing, footwear and nutrition, planning requirements and the route. If you don’t take a route you will go around in circles and never get anywhere. The journey is mapped out, it is planned and has a destination. Your life has been mapped out and planned – Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for your”, says the Lord, “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” What we need to ask ourselves is are we appropriately clothed for our journey? Do we sit at the table of the Lord and partake in Breaking of Bread? Do we clothe ourselves in the Armour of God? Do we hold the two-edged sword in our hands? Are we asking Him to guide us and show us the way? Or are we stumbling around without a plan?

Sometimes a journey may involve stopping over, residing in places for periods and the journey itself may vary in time. When Moses left Egypt with the Israelites the intent was to make their way to the Promised Land. However the Israelites complained about YHWH and were disobedient, as punishment a whole generation died in the wilderness and the journey took an extra 40 years (Numbers 14: 26-44). I have to ask myself how many times have I added extra travelling time to my journey because of my disobedience and lack of trust? Moses sets the ultimate example in Exodus 34:13-23. In this text we read a conversation between Moses and YHWH Most High. Moses asks for clear directions so that he can follow YHWH’s will exactly, Moses does not want to assume or guess – he wants to hear and succeed. Moses states that he does not want to make a single step without YHWH. Moses was seeking the direction, instruction and divine will of YHWH on the journey. This is what we should be doing, not merely going on our merry way, doing what we think. Instead we should be seeking His will and walking in obedience and relationship with Him. You and I were not accidentally dropped into the world, we were created in the image of the Most High for a purpose. We have a plan to fulfil and unless you are clothed, fed and following the map you are not fulfilling that purpose. We need to plan our journey, stop and ask YHWH Most High, “What is it that  You have planned for me to do? Please show me Your intentions so I will understand You more fully and do exactly what You want me to do.” (Exodus 34:13).

Sometimes we hear clearly from the Father, other times we may choose to walk in our way because it may seem easier, or because it makes more sense. The Israelites were disobedient and added to their journey, a 40 year detour through a small desert. I have come to realise that often what seems ridiculous or impossible is the divine will of YHWH. Often our human weaknesses hamper our ability to comprehend how the impossible can be possible. In these times we need to keep our eyes and faith focused on Him and be guided so His will can be fulfilled, and our testimony bring glory to the Father.

Where are you right now? Have you taken a wrong turn? Are you wandering around lost with no idea how to get back on track? The good news is that our Father never slumbers nor sleeps, that He is omnipresent and omnipotent, Almighty in unconditional love for you. Yeshua told the parable of the lost son. A young man that seemed to have it all planned, in human wisdom squandered his inheritance and ended up in a heap of despair. The boy realised the folly of his ways, he recognised his mistakes and returned home, to the father to ask for forgiveness. He humbly returned, expecting nothing. He was lost and broken, this is what the father saw him and welcomed him home, reinstating him into the household. Our Father is like this, He is lovingly-committed to His children and He is waiting for us to realise we need Him, to return to Him and repent of our disobedience so that He can restore and redirect us onto the path He has planned. We come to Him by acknowledging His Son, Yeshua. Yeshua is the way, the truth and the life, nobody comes to the Father but through  Him.

Yeshua is the Lamb of God, His blood saves and sets you apart. Yeshua walked the Earth, He knows what causes us to stray and get lost on our journey. Yeshua has already paid the price for your redemption, He is looking at you from your destination, not from where you are. Walk toward Him, one step at a time like a child walks toward their father’s open arms. Yeshua sees the obstacles and has His hands ready to catch you if you should stumble, He is ready to carry you over the difficult patches.

Father, I pray that Your Set-Apart Spirit of Truth would reveal Your plan, will and purpose for our journey. I pray that we would not move one single step without You, that each step will bring us closer to You and that we would bring You honour and exalt Your name as we journey homewards.

Amen

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