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The Heart of Kingdom Authority by John Paul Jackson

THE HEART OF KINGDOM AUTHORITY

Written by John Paul Jackson | Posted on Fri, Jun 24, 2011
The Heart of Kingdom Authority

Jesus Christ came to Earth fully human, fully man, to redeem humanity and reveal something that most of us don’t notice right away: He revealed the authority we are capable of walking in. Basically, His life says to us, “Watch what I do, because everything I do, you can do. I get everything from the Father, and you can do everything I do if you have the relationship with Him that I have. And by the way, I have come to ensure that such a relationship with Him is possible for you.”

I have been a Christian for about 55 years, and as many of you have probably experienced, day-in, day-out Christian life can feel somewhat stagnant — unless we have something to make it interesting. If you are bored in your Christian walk, something is missing!

Perhaps it is the understanding that it takes more than power to make a Christian life reallyinteresting. It also takes authority.

WHY AUTHORITY?

The major difference between power and authority is that anybody can have power — it is a gift, but authority comes only from intimate, abiding relationship with God and that takes effort. Authority is bestowed upon us through relationship, and therefore it is only as deep as that relationship.

Because it is rooted and wrapped in God’s presence, authority is greater than power. That is why Jesus gave the disciples authority over all the power of the enemy. Power does not necessitate relationship because it is an irrevocable gift. It can be residual or momentary; we may exercise it often, or it could happen only once in our lives. The devil clearly has power and uses it for his own purposes. He does not, however, have authority. He lost that when he fell from Heaven, which is why the disciples said, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”

Power is recognized once it happens, but authority is recognized before it happens. The demons recognized that Jesus had authority before He ever did anything. In other words, they knew Him by His relationship with God, and therein lies the secret. We can have a power encounter and never change, but transformation comes with authority, because it involves time spent in the presence and heartbeat of our Father.

RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

Relationship is the heart of Kingdom authority. The Bible says to seek first the Kingdom and God’s righteousness, and everything else will be added to us. If we want to walk in spiritual authority, we need to put relationship with our Father first. We need to take on the nature of Christ by spending time with Him: time in His Word, time in prayer, time relating to Him. Then through time and experience with Him, we adopt a heart of obedience, which is the heart of a servant, and we adopt a heart of submission, which is the heart of a friend.

The Kingdom of God is based on authority. It conquers through power, but it rules through authority.

HUNGER FOR GOD

Many people question why much of the Western Church is powerless. I would say we’re more “authority-less” than powerless. Generally speaking, the Church has forgotten about being transformed into His likeness. Five or 10 years after a revival, we sit back and wonder why we’re not different. Some of us aren’t even as close to God as we were before the revival, let alone after the revival. Again, power doesn’t change us. But authority always will because it involves God’s heart.

In the coming months, I think the Church as a whole is going to be reintroduced to the Father, and a hunger for authority is going to ensue. With that hunger for authority, we will see more spiritual encounters than we have in 20 or 30 years. Signs and wonders occur in the place where God’s power and hunger for authority combine.

If we want to have the kind of authority that disrupts the enemy, we have to have deep relationship with our Father. That relationship is the key to everything. It is the answer to this question of authority and power, and it is the answer to what many Christians fear: an inconsequential, mundane existence.

As we seek Him and His righteousness, we will naturally begin to exercise more of His Kingdom, and we will find what has been missing in our lives. We will find more of His heart.

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Your Spiritual Gifts are Shifting by Doug Addison

Your Spiritual Gifts are Shifting by Doug Addison
By Doug Addison

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Lately I keep hearing the words “watch your gifts shift.” The spiritual atmosphere is changing and God is calling us to try new things. God is shifting the effectiveness of our spiritual gifts. It is time to try using your spiritual gifts in new, creative ways to help people.  Let me give you an example of how I discovered that my prophetic words could have a bigger impact.

Small, Encouraging Words go a Long Way

Back in 2006, while living in Moravian Falls, North Carolina, I began to write in my computer journal the detailed ways God speaks to me. This daily habit has developed my ability to hear God much more clearly. By tracking all the subtle impressions, dreams, visions, and angelic encounters I experienced, I have become acutely aware of the spiritual climate on a daily basis. At first I thought that these short two or three-line prophetic words were not really big enough to share in my prophetic writings as they did not appear to be all that powerful.

I had a new discovery in June as I began posting them on my Twitter page every day. I have gotten more positive responses from these small little 140 character words than I do on my prophetic articles. My gift shifted. God wants to use small words of encouragement to bring huge change in people’s lives. He also wants us to discover new ways to use the gifts he has given us.

Gifts Shift: God is Moving Among the Tattooed and Pierced

Here’s another example of using your spiritual gifts in new, creative ways. Two of my main spiritual gifts are giving prophetic words and dream interpretation. I have developed these gifts over the years by using them over and over with people everywhere. I noticed that people get genuinely touched by God when I use a similar understanding of symbolism found in dreams on their tattoos. I combine this with prophetic insight from the Holy Spirit. I have been seeing an amazing new openness when I prophesy over people’s tattoos and piercings. This may seem strange to some, but God really wants to touch the millions of people with tattoos. You can see me in action doing prophetic tattoo interpretation in Darren Wilson’s (Finger of God and Furious Love) latest film, Father of Lights.

New Generation Commits to God in Isaiah 44:3-5

“For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams. Some will say, ‘I belong to the Lord’; others will call themselves by the name of Jacob; still others will write on their hand, ‘The Lord’s,’ and will take the name Israel.” Isaiah 44:3-5

This reference is a prophetic word describing a movement of God that is happening right now. God is pouring His Spirit out on our children to bring them to a new commitment level for Him. They are so on fire for God that some will actually tattoo the Lord’s name on themselves, which shows a radical level of commitment to God. We are trying to get our children to live for God and they are looking for a cause that they are willing to die for. They are symbolically declaring their passion for God. This is starting right now as we are seeing many “sacred tattoos” containing Bible verses and sayings.

Even if you do not understand the generation of people getting tattoos and piercings, it is best to not judge what you don’t understand.

If you would like to learn to parlay your prophetic gifting for people with tattoos and piercings, I have recently put my tricks of the trade in an easy to grasp format.  I just released an online training course on how to do prophetic tattoo and piercing interpretations.  Your training is so important to me that I’m giving away Session One: Understanding People with Tattoos for free. Check it out at http://propheticevangelism.com and watch the introduction video that shows me doing this in public.

Watch Your Gifting Shift

We are in a time of an amazing paradigm shift as the God of the impossible is making things possible. It will require stepping out and trying new things. It is a wonderful time to be alive not only to experience God but also to partner with Him in new and fun ways.  Along those lines, I pray that you will see how your gift shifts. Step out and try something new!

Doug Addison

www.dougaddison.com


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Do Pastors and Leaders have a role to play in the lives of Single Christians? Part 2 by Jacqueline Erasmus

Do Pastors and Leaders have a role to play in the lives of Single Christians? Part 2 by Jacqueline Erasmus

If you talk to a lot of Christian singles today, you will find that a lot of singles feel “out of place” in their local church communities. The Singles who report that they “feel out of place” are usually also those who are quite active in their churches and are usually those who are really passionate about their faith.  These singles serve in various capacities in the church but for some reason some single people don’t  feel like valued members of their church communities. Some singles report that they “don’t quite fit in” at church. I think the time has come that we, as the Body of Christ, need to ask why Christian singles feel the way they do and why it is vital that Pastors and Leaders need to become aware of how they can best minister to  single Christians so that they can flourish.  Once again….for those Pastors and Leaders who are aware of the struggles of single people and who seek to provide a biblical perspective on singleness, I commend you and I say “well done”. I am however aware that a lot of Pastors and Church  Leaders are not aware of the often silent struggles of single people in their congregations. There are many reasons why singles do not feel  comfortable to share their struggles with Church Leaders  but this is another topic for another day.

The role and responsibilities of Pastors:

Pastors have a responsibility towards their flock and the Word of God is very clear about what the Lord wants from his Shepherds. Look at what Peter, the Apostle said to Pastors:

1 Peter 5:1-3

Amplified Bible (AMP)
5 I warn and counsel the elders among you (the pastors and spiritual guides of the church) as a fellow elder and as an eyewitness [called to testify] of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a sharer in the glory (the honour and splendour) that is to be revealed (disclosed, unfolded):
2 Tend (nurture, guard, guide, and fold) the flock of God that is [your responsibility], not by coercion or constraint, but willingly; not dishonorably motivated by the advantages and profits [belonging to the office], but eagerly and cheerfully;
3 Not domineering [as arrogant, dictatorial, and overbearing persons] over those in your charge, but being examples (patterns and models of Christian living) to the flock (the congregation).


Being a Pastor is not an easy job for sure! I am however glad that God gives grace and power to those whom He has called to the prominent place of guiding and feeding His flock. Pastors usually select and appoint people to assist them to tend, guide and feed the flock.  (Please see Acts 6:2-4 ) God knows that Pastors need assistance)

Also note that the same words that Peter uses to encourage Leaders and Pastors are very similar to the  words used by Jesus  when He addressed  the Apostle  Peter in relation to his call and commission:

John 21: 15 – 17:
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
It is my sincere hope and prayer that Pastors across the world become more  aware of the struggles that single people face. I believe that a greater awareness of the present struggles of single people will enable Pastors to help release single Christians into their callings. There are presently too many Christian Singles who are trapped because they have chosen to believe the lies of the enemy and sadly these anointed single Christians are living far below their God-given potential.
It is my hope and prayer that the insight and knowledge that I will share over the next couple of weeks  will enable Pastors to reach out to the unmarried people in their congregation. I pray that these insights will enable Pastors to guide, feed and nurture the single people in their flock.

Today I want to explore one of the reasons why singles feel “out of place” in their church communities. I think this is a worthwhile subject to discuss and explore. As I have mentioned in my previous blog article (Why Christian Singles Struggle?) ….the Body of Christ consists of married people and single people and it is vital that Pastors pastor, teach and guide  both married people and single people in an effective manner.

The failure to provide a biblical perspective on singleness:

I am for marriage and I believe in marriage. I however don’t think that Pastors often   preach and teach on singleness from the pulpit. Those Pastors who do are definitely in the minority. It is important to note that throughout the Bible it is evident that the Lord called and anointed single and married people to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If we look at modern-day church congregations, we notice that there is a strong focus on marriages and family life. When do we ever hear a message about the struggles and pitfalls that single people face from the pulpit? When do we ever hear a biblical perspective on singleness? If Pastors preach about marriage and provide a biblical perspective on marriage, then Pastors should also endeavour to provide a biblical perspective on singleness. Pastors teach and guide on various subjects such as : finances, spiritual gifts, the fruit of the spirit, sex, marriage, addictions, sexual promiscuity  etc. If Pastors teach on various kinds of subjects then they should not shy away from the subject of singleness.

I once shared some of my insights as it relates to single people’s struggles in the Body of Christ with a Christian Leader. The Leader completely agreed with me but when it came to actually addressing the singles people, the Leader did not want to act because this Leader thought that a message addressing single people in the church would cause single people to be uncomfortable? I was quite perplexed by this view, because I did not understand how providing a biblical perspective on singleness could cause discomfort to single people. In fact, I think a biblical perspective on singleness will set single people free!

I am not completely unsympathetic towards this particular leader’s perspective. It was clear to me that this particular leader did not feel comfortable because the Leader did not feel equipped to teach on this particular subject. This leader has been married for many years and clearly could not relate to single people. I can understand this Leader’s apparent lack of substantial knowledge as it relates to the subject of singleness  but I have to be very bold today and say this:

Pastors and Church  Leaders need to be careful not to pastor and lead from their own comfort zones. If Pastors and Leaders only lead and pastor those groups in their church with whom they can relate and with whom they feel comfortable with, they are in fact neglecting the rest of their flock. I am not proposing that single people require special attention but single people need guidance and teaching specifically as it relates to living as a single Christian in today’s world. Married people need to hear messages that specifically addresses marriage and what a Godly marriage ought to reflect. In a likewise manner, single Christians need to be guided and taught what singleness looks like from God’s perspective.

I want to propose that we need to seek and dig deep in the Word of God to construct a biblical perspective on various subjects and we need to make it our aim to teach and preach on all subjects which concerns  people’s lives.

I believe that as Pastors and Leaders endeavour to teach a biblical perspective on singleness and as they seek to understand the struggles and pitfalls of modern-day single Christians, they will see an incredible transformation within their congregations. This transformation will not only  affect communities but nations!

An encouragement to Single Christians:

If you find yourself in a situation where you are struggling with being single (i.e. unmarried), please seek out sound biblical teaching on this subject. If you feel confident enough, ask your Pastor to help you seek out a biblical perspective on singleness.

You may be single for a season, but whilst you are single, please know that God wants to use you and He wants you to know that you can be single and anointed. Do not allow the enemy to make you feel that you are “odd” because you are single. I want to go so far to say this to you my single brother and sister….. Do not allow the perspectives of very sincere Christians to  make you feel “odd”. You are important to God and God wants to use you in a mighty way in His Kingdom!
One only has to look at the life of the Apostle Paul to know that God calls and uses single people in His Kingdom. The Apostle Paul is one example of a single and anointed man who was used by God  in a POWERFUL way. Today we continue to read the letters of Paul and we get inspiration from the life and teachings  of the Apostle Paul.

So why do single Christians feel that in order to used by God they have to be married? In order to address this question, we will have to have a closer look at modern-day church culture.

I will address this very subject in my next blog article.


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The Power of Knowing your Seasons by Jacqueline Erasmus

The Power of Knowing your Seasons by Jacqueline Erasmus

I encourage people to become intimate with the Father and to press in to hear the voice of God for themselves. I love the prophetic and I just love it when God speaks to me through another person. The Apostle  Paul encourages prophesy in the Church. Paul encourages people to prophesy. This is what Paul says about prophesy:

1 Corinthians 14: 1-4:

Eagerly pursue and seek to acquire [this] love [make it your aim, your great quest]; and earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual endowments (gifts), especially that you may prophesy ([a]interpret the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching).

For one who speaks in an [unknown] tongue speaks not to men but to God, for no one understandsor catches his meaning, because in the [Holy] Spirit he utters secret truths and hidden things [not obvious to the understanding].

But [on the other hand], the one who prophesies [who [b]interprets the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching] speaks to men for their upbuilding and constructive spiritual progress and encouragement and consolation.

He who speaks in a [strange] tongue edifies and improves himself, but he who prophesies [[c]interpreting the divine will and purpose and teaching with inspiration] edifies and improves the church and promotes growth [in Christian wisdom, piety, holiness, and happiness].

It is clear from the above portion of scripture that prophesy edifies the church and promotes growth amongst the people of God. I also believe it is very good for us to learn to hear God for ourselves. God wants to speak directly to you and His means and ways of communicating with us varies. God speaks to us in dreams, visions, images and thoughts. God also speaks to us through His Word.  I  cannot list all the ways God speaks to us but He does speak to us. The question is …are you willing to tune in and listen to what God may want to say to you in this season? Do not always wait for someone else to prophesy over you but press in to discern and hear God’s voice for yourself.  We cannot always rely on prophetic ministry to know what God is saying to us. As I have said already. I love the prophetic and I encourage that we prophesy but it is good for us to know that God also wants to speak to us directly. You can hear God’s voice so be encouraged by the words of Jesus:

John 10:27

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”

I have come to learn that as I endeavour to make it my priority to listen to God, He does speak to me. I have also discovered that when we seek God He really does tell us what to do right now. Every season in God is different. God will often reveal things to us that will happen in the future but He also speak to us about our present. I believe it is good to know what waits for us in our future but I also have come to  understand that it is important to know what God wants to share with us right now.

God wants to give us special instructions for our current season. Knowing what God wants us to do right know is extremely powerful and will eliminate a lot of hindrances from your life. We often get so high on the revelation and the instructions that God shared with us in our previous season that we naturally assume that God still wants us to do the same things in our existing season. We become ineffective when we are confused about what we need to do right now and knowing what to do in our existing season is really important IF WE WANT TO BE EFFECTIVE. Let me use an analogy to highlight my point.

In winter we wear coats, woollen hats, boots and gloves to shield us from the cold. If you live in the northern hemisphere you will know that our winters are not mild. As we go into spring we exchange our clothing for lighter clothes and we even put our woollen hats away and wear spring jackets instead of long and puffy winter jackets. The clothes that kept us warm in winter will hinder us in the spring because winter clothes are warmer than spring clothes. If you walk around in a long and puffy winter jacket in spring you will surely overheat. So, in other words….that which were effective in the winter is no longer effective in the spring.

This analogy helps us to understand our seasons in God as well. I think a lot of our frustrations in life has to do with the fact that we do not know what God wants us to do in our existing season and subsequently we often get angry with God because things are not working out for us!? We often get involved with things,projects, activities  and even people who God does not want us to get involved with. We try to fast-forward our lives to embrace the prophetic words over our lives which gives us goose bumps and fills our souls with excitement. It is good to remind ourselves of the things God has already told us about our future and our call. It is important to remind ourselves of these prophesies and to activate our faith as it relates to these prophetic words. We also need to understand that certain prophesies will only come into being in future seasons and that certain prophetic words are not for now but for future seasons. So instead of living in frustration because you do not see the manifestation of some words over your life right now, ask God what He wants you to do right now. Perhaps God has told you that one day you are going to own multiple businesses and that He is going to raise you up in the marketplace to be a voice amongst business people. Now that is a profound destiny word! Now it may be that at this present moment in time you do not own a business even though you are constantly dreaming about owning just one business. Lets say you are also experiencing current frustrations with the boss you work for. In order to keep this destiny word over your life alive you need to pray and decree the promises of God over your life. You also need to ask the Lord what to do RIGHT NOW in your current season in order to stay focused. We often make the mistake to dream about the future and our prophetic words which speaks to our destiny in God, yet we fail to understand that God wants to do things in our existing season.

To know what God wants you to do right now in your existing season will set you up in preparation for your future seasons in God. We become purposeful and powerful when we obey God in our existing season.  Life becomes much more exciting when we are alive to the purposes of God RIGHT NOW. Life also becomes less frustrating because we avoid the pitfalls of doing things that God does not  want us to do.

I want to encourage you to ask the Lord what He wants you to to do right now .

And most importantly ….enjoy your existing season!

Ecclesiastes 3:1

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens”


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Are relationships a source of blessing or a source of stressing by Jacqueline Erasmus

Are relationships a source of blessing or a source of stressing? by Jacqueline Erasmus

A lot of people talk to me about the issues that they experience in their relationships with other people. Relationship is at the heart of human existence. We want relationships. We need relationships and without real and authentic relationships we feel empty, depressed and isolated. If you listen carefully to people you will quickly establish that  80% of people’s problems are relational issues. People have problems because they have problems with the people in their lives.

But before we seek to blame other people for our problems, perhaps it is also time that we seek to have a closer look at ourselves and the way we behave and act in our relationships.

I have not met one person yet who has not experienced hurt and significant disappointment in their relationships. I want to take some time today to list and briefly discuss some of the obstacles which affect our  relationships and friendships. All of us have to gain insight into how we behave and conduct ourselves in relationships. A failure to look and listen to ourselves  in the way we relate to other people, will sadly continue to leave us feeling dissatisfied with our current relationships or even  our lack of  real and authentic relationships. It is a sad fact that even Christians who regard themselves as “spiritually mature” , often have very poor skills and unhealthy foundations as it relates to having and building healthy and safe  relationships. We can pat ourselves on the shoulder because we have a relationship with Jesus, but how healthy is your  relationships with other people? I believe the reason why even Christians struggle with their relationships is connected with the fact that most people had poor role models when they they were growing up. Most people learn about how to act and behave towards other people from their own parents and their families. You may think that you come from quite a functional and “together” family but I have learned that none of us come from functional and “together” families. All of us have picked hurts up from our own families and parents. All of us have ( to a greater or lesser extent) learned unhealthy people skills and communication skills from our natural families. Ask yourself whether your way of handling conflict is really healthy? Take it a step further and ask a good friend whether he or she thinks that you have good conflict resolving skills?

The combination of hurt and wounds and a lack of Godly role models in our lives  often result in us having poor people skills and poor communication skills. Poor people skills and poor communication skills make relationships hard and difficult and so often results in more devastation and hurt. So many people become so disillusioned that they eventually withdraw from relationships or some settle for superficial relationships.

Some Christians mask  their poor communication and people  skills very well and yet they wonder why other people are not “open” to them or the message that they carry. Perhaps it is time that you and I examine how we relate to other people?

I believe God not only wants to heal the wounds of our past.  God  also wants to teach us how to  have healthy relationships. In order to change, we first have to admit that  we have to change. Most people have to re-learn things that they did not learn in their childhood. I have personally not met one person so far in my life who was born with excellent people skills and excellent comminication skills. The good news is, is that God will help you to change. If you are willing to change, He is more than able to help and heal you and to teach you His ways. Some people feel that they do not have to improve their people skills and their communications skills. This type of attitude will not get you far in life or in relationships.

I want to list a few things today that we need to become aware of in our relationships with other people. It is my hope that these insights will greatly help you to experience more satisfying relationships.

1) Are you a listener or are you a talker?

A lot of the time we wonder why people don’t want to open up to us in a real and authentic way. One of the  reasons why people probably don’t want to open up to you is because you do all the talking! Have you learned the art and the importance of active listening? If you want to have good friends you will have to learn to listen more and talk less. My natural inclination is to want to talk all the time so the Lord directed me into a profession that taught me how to listen more and talk less. God knows what we need and often He will enter you into a training programme if He feels this is necessary or needed! I remain a natural talker and I often have to stop myself to listen more and talk less.

So, take a good and honest look at yourself and ask yourself if you do all the talking in your relationships?  We need to try to balance talking and listening in our lives if we want to have good relationships and good friendships. Young children need a lot of attention all the time and they usually talk about themselves all the time. As we grow older, we go through our developmental stages and we learn to become aware of other people’s needs around us. If you want God to use you , you will have to learn to listen to other people. Nobody wants to be around people who always talk about themselves and who loves the sound of their own voice. We need to grow up and mature and God will help us with this process. Let the following verse encourage you in your journey of becoming an active listener.

1 Corinthians 13:11

“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”

2) Do you react or do you respond?

A lack of good listening skills will almost always cause us to react to other people in anger. We often react with anger and disgust when we perceive others to  disagree with us or when we perceive other people to show a lack of understanding for our point of view. Before you react to someone, train yourself to listen first before you respond to the person. James, the brother of Jesus was a person who taught others to back their beliefs up with their actions and their behaviour. If you read the book of James you will soon learn that James was not merely interested in the confessions and words of Christians. James basically taught that your actions and your words are both important. Let the following verses be an encouragement to you in your journey to respond to others rather than to react in anger all the time.

James 1:19-20

Amplified Bible (AMP)

19 Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry.

20 For man’s anger does not promote the righteousness God [wishes and requires].

If you continue to feel angry in your relationships and if  you are unable to get to the root of your problem, perhaps it is time that you seek counsel and guidance from your Pastor or a Christian Counsellor.

3) Agree to disagree

I find it quite astounding that we somehow think that people will always agree with us! I think a lot of us will receive instantaneous release and healing if we understand that our closest friends and our  spouses will not always agree with our views. I think it is quite natural to want people to understand our point of view.Please don’t take it personally when people don’t always agree with you  and please don’t allow your differences in opinions to ruin your relationship with a person. I do not want to take this point too far. I do believe that husbands and wives need to agree on fundamental things because it will affect their finances or their marriage if they are not on the same page on the things that are really important. I do however think that people need to respect the fact that just because a friend does not agree with your view on a particular situation, does not mean that your friend does not care about you.  A lot of people feel instantly rejected when  people don’t agree with them. We have to come to a point within our hearts where we can  respect other people’s opinions even if we don’t agree with another person’s opinion.

If you feel easily rejected, perhaps it is time to seek help. There are lots of books and teachings available on how to find healing from rejection. A root of rejection in one’s life can be the cause of a lot of ongoing distress in relationships.

May we all mature in our relationships with each other and may we all try to change our own dysfunctional ways of relating to one another. Let us not merely talk about the freedom of Christ but let our freedom penetrate our relationships and our actions and behaviour  towards one another.

1 John 3:18

Little children, we must stop expressing love merely by our words and manner of speech; we must love also in action and in truth.


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Why do Single Christians struggle? Part 1 by Jacqueline Erasmus

Why do Single Christians struggle? Part 1 by Jacqueline Erasmus

Matthew 6:33 (Weymouth New Testament):
“But make His Kingdom and righteousness your chief aim, and then these things shall all be given you in addition”

A lot has been written  on the subject of being an unmarried Christian. There  are many Christian authors and ministers of the Gospel  who have written books  on the subject of singleness  . I have found some of these books very insightful and some of  these books less insightful or shall I say less helpful. The reason for my years of  confusion had largely to do with the fact that many of the Christian authors in question  contradict each other in terms of the guidance and advice that they provide in their books  to  single Christians.  The one author advocates that one should not date and the other author tells us we should date. The one minister / author  tells us to trust God and another one  tells us to be proactive in terms of finding a husband or wife. I felt so compelled to act  after reading one author’s  advise  that I signed up to a Christian Dating Website.  I took my newly discovered advice very seriously. Well, what can I say….It was an interesting experience…huh.

I have gained a lot from reading these books on singleness  but it did leave me once upon a time with more questions than answers.(I did gain very wonderful insights from a lot of the books that I’ve read)  I was however  confused by all the different perspectives given in all of these books  but most of all I was finally  fed up! I was basically sick and tired of feeling like I “should be married”! I was not even sure any more why I was so desperate to be married. I was not experiencing a “single crises” ….I was experiencing a volcanic eruption of emotions which erupted over a length of four months! I am very grateful to God that He helped me in the end! He however did more than helping me. God helped me to understand the many  reasons for my confusion and He also helped me to understand the lack of guidance and teaching that single Christians receive in their local churches on the subject of singleness. The only time it seems that single Christians get addressed in their local churches is when they are encouraged to live a holy life by abstaining from pre-marital sex and all other sexual perversions. The other occasions when single Christians get ministered to is when people pray for them for God to provide them with a suitable husband or wife. These are all good things and I think it is vital that single Christians are encouraged to live holy lives and for singles  to receive prayer for  marriage. Marriage is a wonderful gift from God and it is worth spending time in prayer if you desire to be married.

I want to however touch on a few things today and unfortunately I do not have the space to touch on everything that relates to the topic of being a single Christian. Perhaps I will touch on the this subject again in  the next couple of weeks.

There is this lie that the devil uses against single  Christians today and the lie is that in order to be content and happy one has to be married. Marriage will somehow end your loneliness and if you listen carefully to some single people you will hear that they honestly believe that marriage is going to provide them with a deep sense of significance, security and self-worth. This is of course not true and anything that is not the truth is a lie. As Christians we need to eradicate the lies in  our lives especially those lies which directly contradicts the message of Jesus Christ. Marriage will not provide you with a deep sense of significance, security and self-worth. Our deep longings for significance, security and self-worth can only be found through an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and having authentic and life-giving relationships with fellow believers. I am not  excluding our relationships here with non-Christians but I am addressing single Christians today so I want to keep this discussion in the context of the Kingdom of God. A lot of married people continue to struggle with feelings of insignificance, inferiority and insecurity even though they thought that marriage will finally answer their deep longings for significance, security and self-worth. So,  the satisfaction of the  deep longings and thirsts  of our soul and spirit is clearly  not marriage.

I also believe that one of the other reasons why Christian singles struggle in the Body of Christ today is because single Christians hardly ever hear sermons or a biblical perspective on the topic of singleness in their local churches. There are of course Pastors  who are addressing Christian single people and who are seeking to minister to those single people in their congregations who are perhaps insecure about being single. These type of congregations where Pastors and leadership seek to address single people  are however in the minority. For some reason local churches do not deem it necessary to address single Christians and this lack of biblical teaching and guidance sadly perpetuates the confusion of single Christians in the Body of Christ. I was very saddened by a comment from a very dynamic single Christian a few months ago. I was conducting an interview with him and I casually asked him whether he feels that single Christians receive  proper guidance and teaching  in his church as it relates to living life as a single Christian. I was a bit surprised that he was surprised by my question because he looked slightly stunned. His reply was however very insightful and thought-provoking. This man looked and me and said: “No, I don’t think my church addresses single people at all. It is somehow expected that we just need to get on with it.” I think what I found interesting is the fact that this man has come to the conclusion that perhaps it is not necessary for his  local church to teach on the topic of singleness.

I find this reflective comment from this man very insightful and yet very sad. The church invests a lot of time addressing married people  and so they should. I love marriage and as I have mentioned already….marriage is a wonderful gift from God. I have married friends and I have single friends and they are both very dear to me. I however do not envy my married friends because I have come to realise that God has a plan for my life whether I am single or married. I have every intention to live for the Glory of God and to advance the Kingdom of God whether I am single or married. Now before you think I am called to celibacy for the rest of my life and that it must be easy for me to write on this very topic, let me give you some reassurance :  I am  not called to live as a single person for the rest of my life and I think very few people are. I have asked God on many occasions to take away my sexual feelings and the fact that He has not answered my prayer  , indicates to me that I do not have that special call or grace upon my life to be single whilst I live this side of eternity. Like many single Christians today, I have to ask God to help me with my sexual feelings.( Perhaps I can discuss the topic of singleness and sexuality in another blog article.)

I  however  believe that whilst you are single , it is important to make a quality decision to live a full and fulfilling life in God and to invest your time to get to know yourself and to invest your time in building authentic and real relationships with other people. I think single people need to learn to trust God for a husband or wife WHILST they focus on God and His Kingdom. Many single Christians today sit in a Waiting Room and cry out to God for a husband or wife and that is all they do. Do not do that. I encourage you to live your life whilst trusting God for your future wife or husband. The Lord hears the prayers of his children and he understands our desire for marriage. Remember there is a difference between faith and fear. There is a difference between confident trust in God and unbelief. Do you believe that you will get married? Do you really believe that God is faithful? Then stop complaining about being single. Live for God and have faith in Him.

Am I unsympathetic towards your desire to be married? No, I am not.  Am I too harsh in terms of my encouragement to you to stop your murmering and complaining? I do not seek to be harsh my fellow Christian single brother and sister. I however want to shake you up and wake you up from your state of dissatisfaction and complaining! Do you want to look back at your life and conclude that you have spent most of your life complaining and murmuring secretly because you were single for an X amount of time. You only have one opportunity to represent Christ here on the earth. Represent God well and focus on Him. Live with no regrets. Seek to be faithful to God and seek to be faithful to the call of God on your life.

I encourage you to continue to pray to God for your future spouse. I want to encourage you today that while you are praying about your future husband or wife, please live a full and dynamic life. Stop thinking that there is something wrong with you because you are single!

An encouragement to Pastors and Leaders:

I honestly believe that Pastors in local churches across the globe need to awaken to the fact that they have married and single people in their congregations. I think it is time that Pastors move outside of their comfort zones and start to awaken to the fact that they have anointed single people in their congregations who are trapped  because they have come to believe the lies of the enemy. Some Christian singles are so ensnared that they are not living out their full potential in Christ. Some are so confused that they have turned to the world to seek answers to their problems. It is time that Pastors and Leaders in local churches across the globe step up and starts to guide and feed  the single people in their congregations  the Truth. The devil attacks married people and marriages. The devil also attacks single people. If we preach and teach on marriage and seek to help and assist married people, we need to do the same with single people in our local church congregations.

The Body of Christ consists after all  of married people and single people.


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Deep Cleaning by Elaine Tvolacci

Deep Cleaning by Elaine Tavolacci
By Elaine Tavolacci

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The Lord showed me a beautiful house which was well manicured on the outside having elaborate landscaping of flowers and exotic plants. As you walk in the front door, the living room was elegantly decorated. The dining room was well polished with adornments of glistening crystal. The kitchen was also immaculate. Down the hall the bathroom was well sanitized and the bedrooms were tidy and stylish. Then there were rooms upstairs which had the doors closed and locked. These rooms were not accessible because the owner would not allow anyone to enter them or even see these rooms because they were filled with clutter of things that they were hoarding and hiding.

The Lord gave me this word for many Christians. On the outside you may appear to have it all together as this beautiful house but there are things that you have stored up on the inside that are hurting you. For some of you it is deep wounds from the past. There are things you don’t want others to know about, and the memories from these things are still haunting you. For others it is hidden sin that you feel you are not able to overcome. The Lord wants to set you free from these things that you are hoarding up inside your heart. Jesus wants to bring total restoration to you and set you free from everything that is affecting you emotionally.

I Will Bring Balance

The Lord says; allow Me to enter into every area of your life to bring freedom and restoration. I will release you of those burdens that you have been carrying for years and bring wholeness to every area. Allow Me to bring order where there has been disorder. Allow Me to bring comfort where there has been discomfort. My love will fill those void places where there has been so much hurt and rejection. I will heal your wounded soul and mend your heart that has been broken. I will abolish the fatigue and exhaustion that has been weighing you down and bring balance into every situation.

Nothing from your past will disqualify you from My plans as you release it all to Me. I will restore the years that were lost and the years of turmoil. Forget the past with all its mistakes and trust Me to bring you into a fresh start. Avoid going back to your old ways; resist the temptations of the enemy so that you will not become entrapped once again.  Forgive those who hurt you and release those who mistreated and used you. I will give you beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for mourning as you release everything to Me. Trust Me to remove any obstacle that is holding you back from achieving all that you were called to do. As you allow Me to purge you of these things that are weighing you down, you will experience a new freedom and joy in Me. Trust Me to restore you in every area and resurrect those dreams that have been dead says the Lord.

Psalms 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

Philippians 2:13 For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

Elaine Tavolacci