Do you not perceive it?

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‘…Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?’ (Isa 43:19). It might not be the perfect artwork yet. It might only be the beginning of something beautiful. It might even look a little messy. But today you can trust this: He who started the good work in you will bring it to completion. He will not put the pencil down until the masterpiece is finished!

Words and drawing by Heather Djunga

When you consider your walk with Him, do you remember moments in the past when His faithfulness amazed you and how He produced some beautiful pencil strokes which left you in awe. In those moments, your hope was high and the vision was clear and you felt you could take on the world.

The Lord has reminded me this past week that I need to trust the process and trust that He finished everything He starts. If He is behind what has been spoken, it will be done.

He has reminded me of how when He gave the promise, He already knew the challenges that would come and also how nothing – no power of hell – can stop or stand in the way of what He has spoken.
In fact, He wove the shadows in your story into the final outcome – which is the fulfillment of His promise.

Do you see how a drawing has both shadow and light? Maybe those working the shadow into your story believe they are powerful. Maybe you even think they have the power to sway God’s promise to you but they are as much passing through the hands of the Sovereign Lord as those who are the light in your life.
Remember in the book of Job, satan had to ask God’s permission before he could sift God’s faithful servant.

“So in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone. Let them go! For if their purpose or endeavor is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God.” (Acts 5:38-39)

Everything – the light and darkness – is brought together by the Creator to bring forth the depth and clarity and beauty of the unique picture He is creating through you.

So if you are tired or disillusioned or maybe you don’t get what He’s doing, or maybe you don’t know how the next pencil stroke will come – remember… He is faithful and He won’t put down the pencil!

Homework today: Stand back and look at what He’s already done. Do you see how He is more committed to the outcome of your story than you are. Trust He will do what He has said. Start declaring what has been promised over your life and standing on His Word (both scriptural promises and His revealed will to you) over your circumstances… believing.

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil 1:6)

“Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deut 8:2-3

To read the story behind the Living out Loud blog, visit https://living-out-loud.blog/2017/12/30/the-birth-of-a-new-blog/

©Copyright Heather Djunga 2018.

Let there be sight!

Sight


I first noticed that my son couldn’t see clearly when he pointed to a ‘spider’ on the wall, and I looked up to see a picture frame hook – no spider.
Relieved as I was that there was no spider, I was somewhat concerned that he had believed it to be one.

People tried to convince me I was being Paranoid Mommy (us moms all step into her shoes at some time or another) but I knew my son wasn’t seeing clearly.
When I had him tested, one of his eyes was weaker than the other and they gave him reading glasses. I was uncomfortable at the thought of my little boy having to put on glasses for classwork but then came the moment they first put the specs on.
His entire face lit up and I saw him smile such a big smile, even his eyes were smiling with him.
He wanted to wear these glasses straight away and wasn’t concerned that they felt different on his face or about any inconvenience of having to carry a glasses case with him to school.
He could see! The world had become something new to him.
The teacher told me that she could see an immediate improvement in his work. “He used to draw just the eyes in his pictures. Now he also draws the eyebrows and eyelashes,” she told me.

Thing is, he had spent the first few years of his life oblivious to any weakness in his sight. It hadn’t even bothered him. But now, he could see the world through new eyes and he couldn’t go back to seeing it as he saw it before.
How good is your sight?

Are you seeing your situation clearly?

With the Holy Spirit, you are given special specs through which to understand scripture. Suddenly, you see the ‘eyebrows’ and ‘eyelashes’ in the Word which were hidden before. Because He has given you a set of new eyes.

Nicodemus was told about these Holy Spirit specs by Jesus in John 3. He arrived to speak with Jesus in a clandestine, ‘after hours’ meeting, asking Him questions about who He was. Jesus’ answers weren’t understood by Nicodemus who raised some silly arguments, like how someone already born could re-enter the womb. The educated pharisee was a great intellectual who knew scripture off-by-heart but he just wasn’t seeing.

“So that, “They may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!'” (Mark 4:12)

Jesus spoke to Nicodemus about how unless you had the Holy Spirit you would never be able to ‘see’ what the Kingdom of Heaven was up to – the Spirit of God was like the wind, He said, and you had to be born again to see His movement and be a part of His kingdom.

Believers often forget to consult with the Lord on how He sees a situation but when He gives sight into what He is doing, by His Spirit, he gives hope and the believer is reassured God is still in control. Jesus said He only did what He ‘saw’ the Father doing.
Through giving ‘sight’, the Holy Spirit opens a way for the believer to step into His plans and purposes. When He shows you what He wants to do in a situation, and you stand in agreement and step into His action, things start to move differently.

I know it’s winter but put on your shades today. Jesus wants you to partner with Him in the greatest adventure of life out loud. You might find that this situation you have rebuked as being from the enemy is actually the very situation Jesus is using for His glory. It might be the very thing He has prepared you for – as Mordecai said to Esther: “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as … It may very well be that you have achieved royal status for such a time as this!”

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (John 1 vs 1-4)

“And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light! (Genesis 1 vs 2)

To read the story behind the Living out Loud blog, visit https://living-out-loud.blog/2017/12/30/the-birth-of-a-new-blog/

©Copyright Heather Djunga 2018.

One Word

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According to the back of a Chappies paper, it takes eighty muscles for the mouth to say just one word. Eighty muscles for just one word? How many things does the Lord have to co-ordinate to get just one Word to you? And if He can speak just One Word, and co-ordinate events, and people and circumstances to deliver this to you, how much more can you trust Him for?

This morning, I felt the Lord say to me, ‘Heather, do you really believe I answer prayer?’

Like the persistent widow, we can bring the same things before Him over and over, maybe even feeling a little like a parrot. There needs to be a point where our faith is activated by His goodness and faithfulness and we trust that He has heard. This is not to say that we must not remain persistent in prayer, but we should be people who are expectant because our God is good.

An expectant person acts differently to other people. An expectant person has an attitude of gratitude. An expectant person sees the hand of God in circumstances which others call ‘impossible’. An expectant person goes to the throne of Grace knowing that Jesus is the answer and trusting that since an issue has been raised with the King of Kings and left at His feet, it is in good hands.

He just needs to speak One Word. He is powerful.
And here’s the Good News. He is also good.

Good and powerful. So then why not come before His throne and bring your requests to Him with prayer and petition and supplication? Why not delight in the fact that He has made a way for you to sit in fellowship with Him, this powerful and good God every day. Why would He want to spend time with me and even hear me? I don’t know. But that is the majesty and the mystery of Him.

Today, be expectant when you have come to His throne of Grace – for He is a God who cares for you and a God who will answer you – maybe not in the way you think… He might act out of that box you have put Him in… but scripture says with goodness ‘over and above’ what you could conceive or imagine.

The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” – Matthew 8:8

To read the story behind the Living out Loud blog, visit https://living-out-loud.blog/2017/12/30/the-birth-of-a-new-blog/

©Copyright Heather Djunga 2018

When His answer sneaks up on you

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Has the Holy Spirit ever tip-toed up on you and completely surprised you with unexpected goodness?

By Heather Djunga

So many times I have written lists and strategies and weighed possible outcomes concerning how to deal with life stressors and circumstances. I have hypothesied how Jesus will answer me when I have prayed. I have formulated theories of how and through whom He can move.
Then Jesus has responded to my prayers in a way I had not anticipated – effortlessly He has breezed into my impossible situations, like the fourth man in the fire with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and just changed everything.

Saul of Tarsus was on his way to Damascus. He was travelling to persecute Christians. But His plans were changed by Jesus. Jesus intercepted his mission.
After Jesus’ surprise and sneaky ambush, Saul was instantly changed, and walked away from his encounter with the Lord as Paul, giving glory to Jesus.

“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27).

My friend who told me about a message she had heard about ‘sneaky Jesus’.
Everyone’s sleeping in Bethleham. A relatively ordinary night – without considering the bright star overhead. Some might have even been snoring. They had work the next day. Mothers had to wake up in the morning to look after their little ones.
Sleep was a normal part of their existence.

Into this ordinariness of everyday life entered the Son of God as a baby – not in a cradle in a house, but in the smelly straw, alongside some donkeys and animals. Sneaky Jesus.

I thank God for Jesus being an ‘out of the box’ thinker who can display His glory in an infinite number of ways because when my lists and theories and hypotheses no longer suffice, I know He will answer and I can be expectant… because He is sneaky and can use anyone or anything or anyhow He chooses to reveal His glory and to answer my heart’s cries.

He does hear you. Wherever you are today. And He is able to do the impossible. However it seems.

Don’t put Him in a box. He is God. Let Him wash your feet today. Let Him comfort you that it will all be ok. See the size of Him and the glory of Him.

Our sneaky, and beautiful and all powerful Jesus.

To read the story behind the Living out Loud blog, visit https://living-out-loud.blog/2017/12/30/the-birth-of-a-new-blog/

©Copyright Heather Djunga 2018.

The call to an adventure

MAIN_mihtiander_iStock_59761448_LARGE-2-1024x576He is calling you to an adventure with Him. Will you respond and in responding, choose to know life in an even great dimension? Life out loud.

By Heather Djunga

I sometimes wonder if Mary knew the adventure that awaited her the day the angel Gabriel first appeared to her. Maybe a letter to Mary from the Father would have read something like this:

Dear Mary,

I have called you to an adventure.

I have placed a seed inside of you. He is our secret now but He will grow.

You will hear My sweet voice through Him. What could compare to that privilege?

You will feel His hand in yours. You will know He is with you. You will feel His hugs and as the years pass, they will seem bigger and stronger as you grow with Him in stature and intimacy.

You will see the light of life in His eyes, and know the comfort of His gaze and presence.

He will take you along paths which you never saw before. You will meet people you never dreamed of meeting. He will blow your mind away with His love and creativity and at times, audacity.

You will know a joy you could never have imagined. You will wonder how anyone could ever live without Him.

But it won’t be easy.

Many won’t understand you because of Him.

When the Holy seed grows and your belly starts to swell, they will start to ask questions.
They won’t believe your answers.

They might call you delusional for your faith.

When they see you persecuted and ostracised, and when you undergo challenges for the sake of what I have grown in and birthed through you, they might think this confirms their suspicions that what you say isn’t true.

Even when you point to the very verses in My book which point to Him and this same miracle, they won’t see – until I help them understand by My Holy Spirit.

At times, you will find your knees dirty from the dust, as you kneel to cry out for my help because persecution such as you have never experienced before will arise.

At times, your heart will break because you will love Him so much and not understand why He is so rejected and scorned when He is so beautiful.

There will be times when you will want to defend Him because their words will sting your own heart, because your heart has merged with His.

Other times, you will find yourself disillusioned when opposition arises from the people you most trust.

Still, I have called you ‘most blessed’. Your eternal reward has been placed inside of you – Jesus – and He will change you, and you will never be able to go back to who you were before.

Mary, I have called you on adventure. Will you go?

Today…

These words applied to Mary long ago, but they could just as easily apply to you. You can easily change the name at the beginning of the letter to your name… Dear (Your name here)… and the words would still read true because we also carry Him in us and He is also birthing His Kingdom through us.

A mother doesn’t become a mother because she wills to be a mother. No, a seed is placed inside of her and this seed then grows to define who she is.
You don’t become a child of God because of your own effort. Rather, He has placed Himself inside of you and His Spirit in you makes you who you are.

He has called you on an adventure. Will you go for Him?

To read the story behind the Living out Loud blog, visit https://living-out-loud.blog/2017/12/30/the-birth-of-a-new-blog/

©Copyright Heather Djunga 2018.

The God who answers by fire

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In 1 Kings 18, Elijah was confronted by 400 servants of Baal on Mount Carmel. He had to stand strong in the face of opposition. From where did His confidence come?
From the Word of God. The Word of Scripture and from every Word which proceeded from His Spirit.

By Heather Djunga

In the showdown between Elijah and the prophets of Baal, two altars were built on the mountain, one to the Baal, the other to the one true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Elijah challenged the Baal worshippers: “… You call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.”

They cried out to Baal but nothing happened.

Then Elijah stepped up.

Was he shaking in his shoes, I dont know. But I always imagine some of the prophets of Baal must have been intimmidating guys… the kind of savages Elijah’s mom warned him not to be friends with at school.

Then Elijah did the ridiculous, he took from Israel’s scarce water supply (there had been a drought) and poured it over the altar he had established for the Lord, until water flowed like a mote around it.

Maybe some of his audience covered their eyes.

Surely not the water!

Do you think Elijah was thinking, “Well, I hope this works” as bucket upon bucket of water was poured on the altar.

I dont think so.

The Lord was not a good luck charm to Elijah. Having walked in personal relationship with the Lord, Elijah knew He was a faithful, true God whose Word could be taken seriously and by the time Elijah threw water on the altar, he must’ve consulted the Lord… waited on him for a Word… a stone if you will, to pull down this Goliath before him.

This directive – or strategy – given by the Lord gave him the confidence to command water to be thrown on the altar, knowing the God who gave the word would do what He said.

From 1 Kings 18: “At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”
Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!”

Growing up in the faith means eating the food of His Word, the Word of scripture and every Word that proceeds from His mouth – knowing He holds all of heaven and earth in his hands.

Just as the water-drenched altar was an impossible thing to light, the Lord is going to be using your ‘impossible situation’ to bring glory to His name.
He is going to be releasing divine guidance to guide you through the perils and to give strategy against the spiritual Pharaohs and Goliaths in your life.

Act upon His word.

Step up like Elijah in obedience.

Believe He is the God who brings Fire from Heaven.

He has established you as His son or daughter. What is against you has set the stage for His glory.

But everything begins with His Word – it is Sovereign and He wants you to stand on this today and believe. As His Word says, man does not live on bread alone, but on every Word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.

To read the story behind the Living out Loud blog, visit https://living-out-loud.blog/2017/12/30/the-birth-of-a-new-blog/

©Copyright Heather Djunga 2018.

When upside-down is the right way around

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The aim of the game Jenga, is to remove brick by brick from a tower made of layers of bricks, without causing the whole tower to fall.
But now what would happen if your strategy was to pull down the tower? You might allow the bricks to be piled on top of a strategically-placed brick and then in a moment, move that said brick, causing the whole structure to collapse.
One move, and everything changes.

By Heather Djunga

It’s the same with a snowglobe. When you want to make snow – you turn the snowglobe upside down, let the snow settle… then, turn everything around.
In a moment, the streets of the little city inside are transformed by a blanket of white snow.

In both examples, one move, one Word, is all it takes to turn things around, to pull things down.

It would seem everything is on top of that brick. It would seem everything is upside down for that snowglobe.

But it’s all a matter of perspective.

The enemy has you surrounded? Feel’s like everything’s on top of you? Not according to the Lord.
He has placed you strategically like that Jenga brick. He has sneaked you into the enemy’s camp and His Spirit in you is able to move in just the right way at just the right moment to detonate you in an explosion of His glory, to break ground for His kingdom through you, to reveal His Majesty to the witnesses He has gathered.

Scripture makes it clear that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts,not our thoughts.

Maybe some stuff has been placed over you, around you – some stuff has been turned around because He has set the stage for His glory.

One twist of the hand, and snow falls and everything changes.

To read the story behind the Living out Loud blog, visit https://living-out-loud.blog/2017/12/30/the-birth-of-a-new-blog/

©Copyright Heather Djunga 2018.