He remembers!

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“But God remembered Noah…” (Gen 8:1)”He has helped his servant Israel, remembering… (Luke 1:54)”

By Heather Djunga

Another day. More water… as far as the eye could see. It’s not that they were drowning or anything. They were perfectly safe as they drifted on… on a cruise if you will.

The Lord had been good to Noah and his family. He had protected them from what could have destroyed them. He had provided for them. He had designed a watertight boat and they had a roof over their head and food on their plates. Hardly room for complaining.
But the steady rocking of the ark could get to a person every now and then. One day’s sea sometimes looked like another’s day’s sea. They longed to put their feet on solid ground. To touch fresh ground. A sapling or a flower. A leaf.
Noah quite liked the scenic views from the ark’s deck. He might’ve taken out some paper. Tried his hand at water painting. But you could only paint so waterscapes – however lovely the waves against the azure sky appeared.

But the Lord knew and understood Noah and his family’s situation. He cared for them and had already planned the hour of His intervention, “But God remembered Noah and all the animals and livestock that were with him in the ark. And He sent a wind over the earth, and the waters began to subside. The springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained.…” (Genesis 8:1,2).
The Lord wasn’t about to forget His promise to Noah. He wasn’t about to forget His people. And He intervened – His intervention culminating with the very first rainbow painted across the sky in glorious technicolour. A covenant of His goodness.
What an intervention!

Thousands of years later, Mary is at home on what she perceives to be another ordinary evening. There’s no electricity at this time and so Mary’s modest candle fixed to a candle holder on the wall of her family’s home has nothing to do with load shedding. But the room she is now in – and her life – are about to be lit up quite a bit with the arrival of an unexpected visitor. The Angel Gabriel arrives, bringing with him a surge of electric light – and some Good News.

God has remembered His covenant with His people and He is about to act. The angel explains to Mary that He’s about to manifest His love for His people, through a Saviour. His name will be Jesus. This means ‘God saves’.

Up until the official announcement of Jesus, God’s chosen people were in a sense in their own ‘ark’, adrift with expectation, but on this evening in Nazareth, hope came in the form of a Saviour with a name which meant ‘promised intervention’ (God saves) – Jesus.
The Covenant-keeping God had outdone Himself by choosing to come for His people through His Son – deliberately humbling Himself to walk among them and give His all, because He had a Covenant with them.

Dare we believe that actually God is more committed to His Covenant with us than we are? Dare we believe that in the final account, all the brushstrokes we can’t understand will merge into a beautiful arc across the sky?
Mary didn’t expect her candlelit room to light up that evening. Noah could never have imagined a rainbow. He had seen colours but never in this combination – so magnificent against the sky.
God surpassed all expectations. We can take heart as the Rainbow Nation He has purchased every tribe and language and people and nation with His blood (Rev 5). Maybe this nation seems adrift – water and more water as far as the eye can see but keep on praying to the God who remembers! To the God whose very name means promised intervention – God Saves… Jesus.
“To me this is like the days of Noah,
when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth.
So now I have sworn not to be angry with you,
never to rebuke you again.
Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” (Isaiah 54:9,10)
Consider Mary’s words on hearing the news of God’s absolute intervention: “He has helped his servant Israel, remembering…”
Her full expression of praise in scripture reads:
“And Mary said:
My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”

56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.” (Luke 1:47-56)

When victory comes in an unexpected way

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Sometimes victory and the fulfillment of the Lord’s promises comes as it did for David, in an unexpected way, and the sword with which God broadcasts His victory in your life is the same sword the enemy has tried to use against you. As you enter into the Promised Land, believe the Lord has the power to pull down every giant you face, just as He did for the Israelites when they entered Canaan.

By Heather Djunga

Goliath actually laughed when he saw ‘the Lord’s servant’ approach him. Who was this awkward man who arrived dressed in modest clothes and stinky from long hours spent in the blazing heat, looking after sheep?

He might’ve wondered at this moment whether he had wasted his time picking out his biggest sword to fight the scrawny mite. Surely this wasn’t Israel’s mightiest warrior? He had requested a ‘mighty warrior’ to stand against him. Goliath fancied himself a great conqueror – he liked a challenge.
He even – dare he think it – felt slightly insulted by Israel’s choice of ‘hero’. This little runt was saying something about cutting off his head and feeding it to the birds.
Goliath studied the bloke. He couldn’t see anything in his hand which could do any cutting.
He did what any giant might do under such circumstances. He laughed.
His fellow philistines would surely agree with him. The situation was funny – comical at best. What’s more, when Israel’s tiny hero had put on the armour which could save his life against Goliath’s intended onslaught, he had taken it off straight away. Something about it being the wrong fit.
Before Goliath had a chance to laugh again, David, warrior of Israel, started running towards him.
Now that was unexpected.
Usually they ran away.
He was shouting about Goliath insulting his God, the God of Heaven’s armies. If Goliath could capture how he felt at that moment – it was between a laugh and a sigh.
He hadn’t expected the stone. It came from nowhere but it hit his forehead dead in the centre. Then, the darkness.

David trembled as he picked up the sword from Goliath’s colossal form. As the sun caught its metal surface, sending out rays of golden light, cheers broke out from the camp of Israelites.
Even David’s brothers, still busy with the sarmies their little brother had just delivered to them (David was their appointed Mr Delivery, not the ‘victorious warrior’ surely?), stood with open mouths. David could make good sandwiches and kill giants?
David lifted Goliath’s sword – the giant’s chosen weapon against Israel – and cut off his head.
The same God who had saved him from the lion and the bear, had delivered him and the sheep of Israel from this giant.

Are you just a little small in stature and influence for your liking or the liking of others? Do you or they think you are only good for serving sandwiches? Are you focussed on your own ability or on Him?
David wasn’t the expected victor – but then, what made David different to many others, was that he wasn’t trying to be a victor. He understood the situation had been set up for his God to look good and he trusted his God was already the Victor. He wasn’t about to trust in armour and even sword size.
He had seen the lion fall.
He had seen the bear fall.
Who then was this giant?

The Israelites as a people faced some giants as they entered into the Promised Land and as you enter your Promised Land, don’t be surprised if there are giants and you must contend. How many times in scripture, did Israel take the plunder from the enemy after defeating them in battle?
Scripture says just two of the original Israelites who set out from Egypt actually entered the promise – Joshua and Caleb. They had different spirits to the rest. The rest of their camp focussed on the giants. Joshua and Caleb focussed on their God.

Do you know that Jesus can play a sneaky game of chess with the enemy and that Goliath was in checkmate, though he didn’t yet know it… a small, insignificant stone turned the tables and Goliath’s own weapon became his downfall. It was a sneaky move. Even the philistines watching would have agreed. Once again, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel had outdone Himself.
It reminds me a bit of the story of Esther where the evil Haman builds gallows from which to hang Mordecai but ends up being hanged by his own gallows. Imagine Haman’s pride building as he built those gallows, thinking himself great and powerful. A move here – a move there – by the Spirit of God and some heavenly ‘coincidences’ stand as a witness for Mordecai’s good heart and upright standing with the Lord and Haman’s very large and deathly gallows lead to his own destruction.

As David did, ask the Lord for His perspective on your situation. How does He see what you are going through? Is there something He wants you to understand or learn, or perhaps something He wants others to witness? Has He set the stage for His name to be glorified, so that unbelievers and witnesses might be saved? David’s eyes were opened to see that the philistine was insulting his God and that the Lord wanted to use this as an opportunity to glorify His name in the presence of Israel’s army and the army of the philistines.

He also understood that he could trust that what the Lord had placed in his hand – a stone, a sling – was sufficient. That El Shaddai, the all-sufficient God, was able to deliver and provide enough for this challenge too – as he had for the times when David had faced a lion and a bear.

Maybe the Lord’s Spirit had whispered to David, “I’m going to cut off his head
today” and David had looked in his hand to see just a stone. Perhaps he had felt a little confused. He might’ve momentarily questioned the Lord: “Lord, surely a stone can’t cut a head off?” Could he trust God with His instructions to him? He recalled victories of the past. That mean lion. That growly bear. God had dealt with them. Yes, he could trust Him.
He chose to reject doubt and press on, believing God would do what He had said and trusting the Lord’s instructions.

God wanted to use the same weapon the enemy had set up against him, to cut off his own head.
He also wanted to use the secret weapon He had trained David with in the ‘secret place’ – the sling and stone – to make this a possibility. God wastes nothing.
You see, David was a child of an eternal Covenant, which had withstood generations – ‘The God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel’ – and he went forth in the assurance of this Covenant.
When the philistine cursed him, he believed the God who said, ‘I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you’.
So we have the confidence that the enemy of our souls has no legal right to take our promise and be in our Promised Land, because we belong to Him and He will never forget us nor His covenant with us.
It is not about our size, or other’s perceptions of us, or our ability, or our might or power. It is about Him. No weapon formed against us will prosper, we belong to Jesus Christ. We have a Covenant-keeping God.

“If anyone attacks you, it is not from Me; whoever assails you will fall before you. Behold, I have created the craftsman who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its task; and I have created the destroyer to wreak havoc. No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the Lord’s servants, and their vindication is from Me,” declares the Lord…” (Isaiah 54:15-17).

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 way out is ‘up’

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Are you in an impossible situation today? The Israelites were hemmed in on all sides. The Egyptians were hot on their heels. The red sea stood as a wall before them. There wasn’t a way out. Or was there?

By Heather Djunga

Does their predicament sound familiar? Maybe resources have run out. Or circumstances are tough. Or an addiction is catching up on you. Or you need urgent healing.

It is as it was with the Israelites. The way out is up!

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2)

When there is no way forwards or backwards or sideways, look ‘up’. Looking ‘up’ means going down… on your knees, before Him, in truth…

This might mean repentance.

It might mean crying out.

It means getting real with God.

He says with prayer and petition to come before Him.

Then – when He brings an answer, to humble yourself to receive it. Sometimes we want it figured out and Jesus answers in a way we don’t necessarily like. Maybe you are expecting an answer as sleek and streamlined as a Boeing 747 and He has sent a hot air balloon. Check your heart and recheck your circumstances. Has the Lord been moving in your life in answer to your prayers already and you have dismissed what He is doing because it doesn’t fit within your box?

Maybe He has asked you to take a step of faith.
For the Israelites, with no way out, going ‘up’ meant an action of faith.

From Exodus 14:vs 15-18: “And the LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. 16 But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. 17 And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them. So I will gain honour over Pharaoh and over all his army, his chariots, and his horsemen. 18 Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gained honour for Myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”
Vs 21-23: “Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. 22 So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 23 And the Egyptians pursued and went after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.”

As we spend time in His presence, in praise, in prayer, in fellowship with other believers and in His Word, we become more sensitive to His Holy Spirit and guidance. He is with you in the fire and as the Way, you can approach His throne of grace with confidence in your hour of need, because by His Spirit, He will lift you ‘up’ out of the fire.

“Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” (Isaiah 40:26)

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.

‘Pharaoh, let My people go!’

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Does God see you? Does He hear your cause? Does He care? The answer is a resounding yes. He is a Covenant-keeping God.

By Heather Djunga

The magicians of Egypt were considered powerful by the Egyptians. They could pull off some fancy sorcery. In fact, when Moses and Aaron stood before them, and God began to work signs and wonders, it would seem the sorcerers even sniggered at God’s miraculous interventions. They used their magic to ‘replicate’ these miracles.

But God knows how to humble a proud person. He let them have their go at it. It was as a game of chess if you will – Moses and Aaron stepped up in response to God’s commands and the Lord moved His hand… Pharaoh’s magicians stepped forward, the demons they were enslaved to manifested false miracles…

The God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel let the Egyptians pride build and swell. He let their egos inflate. He demonstrated His faithfulness to His people through the demonstrations of His glory as evidenced in the ten plagues He sent. One by one He made a spectacle of the different idols of Egypt.

Having no revelation of what this was building to, and quite happy to use the opportunity to display their perceived power, the Egyptian sorcerers stepped up to the challenge, in obedience to Pharaoh.

Then the Lord did something unexpected… He deflated the pride of Egypt in a single move and put the enemy in checkmate. Ok so Pharaoh, you have some fine moves, do you? Well, let’s see what you do about the blood from the lamb…

“Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household … Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs… I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn–both men and animals–and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord… The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt (from Exodus 12)”

And so the Lord, Israel’s high priest and advocate, crowned His case for Israel with the blood of the lamb, hinting in the pages of His Story a greater story which was unfolding – which would culminate with the arrival of the Lamb of God whose Blood is unconquerable, and impenetrable.

Maybe some stuff has been holding your destiny. Maybe Pharaoh, in whatever shape or form, has been trying to snuff out God’s fire in you – but today I tell you, the Blood of Jesus still speaks in your defence and God has put the enemy of your soul in checkmate by His own Blood.

All the powers of hell cannot scale the wall of Jesus’ blood which has secured you into Covenant with the King of Kings and this Covenant will never be forgotten or forsaken by Him.

There’s things He is doing on your behalf, moving on your behalf because He is a Covenant-keeping God.

I am sure the Egyptians had many covenants with the gods they served but these could not stand against the Covenant the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel had with His people.

“To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again. 10Though the mountains may be removed and the hills may be shaken, My loving devotion will not depart from you, and My covenant of peace will not be broken,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.” (Isa 54:9-10)

The Blood of the Lamb roared so loudly on behalf of the people of God that Pharaoh agreed to let them go.
Jesus is the Lamb of God. He’s also the Lion of Judah.

“Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed to open the scroll and its seven seals. Then I saw a Lamb who appeared to have been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders.” (Rev 5:5-6)

Let’s trust Him for some roaring in this nation. Every tribe and language and people and nation has been purchased by His blood and He is not about to hand over His covenant people to the control of any spiritual Pharaoh.

“And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.” (Rev 5:9)

If He has allowed it, it is to strengthen and prepare you for greater things to come – His ultimate purpose being to transform you into Christ-likeness. If He seems ‘late’ in bringing the anticipated breakthrough, maybe it is as with the ten plagues – He wants to show you His faithfulness, build your faith and trust in Him, and dethrone some idols in your life.

““See, it is I who created the blacksmith
who fans the coals into flame
and forges a weapon fit for its work.
And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc;
17 no weapon forged against you will prevail,
and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
and this is their vindication from me,”
declares the Lord.” (Isa 54:16-17)

He is building to a grand checkmate moment. Let the enemy’s pride swell. You know how the story ends. God knows how to humble the proud.
This Lion has written victory into the pages of His Story and when He roars, every knee will bow.

“The lion has roared– who will not fear? The Sovereign Lord has spoken– who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:8).

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.

Discernment in an age of ‘spiritual awakening’

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Did you ever hear about the man who traded the King of Glory for a piece of Heaven’s pavement? No? Then read on…

By Heather Djunga

The devil will use whoever is willing to be used as his pawn. Sometimes, he uses us without us realising it, which is why Jesus tells us to discern, to test, every spirit. To Peter, it seemed a perfectly reasonable thing to say to the Lord that surely He wouldn’t be crucified and handed over to death! Jesus responded with the well-known hammering words: “Get behind me satan!”
On the surface, Jesus’ words seemed out of line, since this was his mate Peter speaking to him and even defending him. But Jesus could discern who was trying to manipulate Him away from God’s will behind his disciple’s words: “Get behind me satan!” He was speaking to the spirit behind Peter’s words, not his friend.
“Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Matthew 16:23).

To Saul, persecuting the spirit-filled and spirit-led Christians seemed perfectly good and just. They were after all standing against what he considered the truth. They were proclaiming this Jesus, speaking in tongues, acting strange. Who were they to blaspheme? He would protect his people at all costs. He was blinded to what he was doing until the light stepped into his darkness and spoke:

“As Saul drew near to Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him,“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” “Who are You, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting…” (Acts 9 vs 3-5)

I’ve heard it said when you speak of Jesus to evangelise, not to assume people are not spiritual in some form or another already. We tend to believe that because people are not serving Christ, they are without a spiritual disposition. However, studies show that the majority of people are in fact ‘spiritually aware’. This changes things a little. It means we need to present the undoctored truth of Jesus’ gospel message: Jesus Christ, born of a virgin, crucified and risen again, conquering sin and the grave – the one and only way to Heaven and the unique Son of God.
Our focus can at times be too much on signs and wonders and not enough on giving the truth – even when it offends.

We need to be aware that ‘signs and wonders’ and manipulating the spiritual realm do not in fact indicate power from the Lord Jesus and that Jesus warned us about a time when false prophets and healers would deceive the masses.
The devil can come as an angel of light. He is not referred to in scripture as the anti-god. He is the anti-Christ. He will present a form of godliness. He will speak of the universe and god. He will even back his false religions up with positive affirmations and warm sentiments, and good deeds. But put Jesus in there and mention the blood and the Cross and you will see him squirm.

His agenda is to pull people away from Jesus and to misrepresent Jesus. He wants to sideline Jesus. Many people in other belief systems and in the occult don’t have a problem with Jesus. They justify his existence as some wise and good example of who they can aspire to be. They haven’t made Him Lord and Saviour and have rejected who He truly is, rejecting His sacrifice and milking scripture for its inherent spiritual might, while rejecting Him. It says in the Word of God even the demons believe in Jesus but they aren’t going to Heaven.

Scripture is clear: They overcame the dragon by the blood of the Lamb… (Rev 12)

It is said of the Holy Spirit that He is given to bring the believer into intimacy with Christ and to grow the believer to Christ-likeness, so as to fulfil the Great Commission Christ has given to His Bride, which is for all to be brought to a knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. When I discern, I want to ask, how is this glorifying Jesus? How is this uplifting and giving encouragement and direction to His Bride.
What is the Spirit saying to the church?

The devil will come with lots of variations of ‘god’ but he cannot exalt Jesus. He cannot testify to the power of the blood of Jesus. He will refute and undermine the Holy Spirit and the divinity of God’s Word – ‘Did God really say?’
His main interest is to draw people away from Jesus. He is the anti-Christ.

There’s lots going on in life and spirituality is a choice as is everything else. The Lord especially respects your choice. He placed two trees in the garden. Perfect love gives a choice.
As with everything, be wise and discerning as to whose hands you put your eternity in.
See if I cant bring it into the light and it cannot stand in the light, and it claims to be enlightenment and yet it makes me bow my knee to practices which are degrading and dishonouring to myself and to others – it is not from the Lord. God’s Spirit wont contradict His Word. If it moves me to try and manipulate the spiritual realm to build my own kingdom – at the expense of others – is this enlightenment? By very definition, enlightenment means it can stand in the light.
Truth doesn’t control others. It sets them free.

I need to constantly discern and check my bearings. Am I eating from the Tree of life or from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Because the ramifications of my choice will echo into eternity.

Jesus is the Tree of Life and I was created for relationship with Him, not dead religion..
See Peter understood this when He saw his Lord across the water. It was Jesus’ beauty and goodness and His love which compelled Peter from the boat. Peter wanted to be closer to Jesus. He wanted more of Him.
His obedience to Jesus wasn’t some religious act. He wanted to know him.
Later in the New Testament we read Saul, the previously deceived persecutor of Christians, cry out (renamed by now as Paul), “…That I may know Him!”

He’s that great and He’s that good. Don’t let the devil sell you some cheapened lie of who Jesus is.

There’s the story of the man who arrives at Heaven’s gates and the angel says to him, “Can I please have your bag before you enter?”

The man clutches onto it. “I cant possibly,” he begins.

The angel is curious now… “Why not? You must put it down before you enter.”

The man opens the bag, and pulls out a piece of gold. It is beautiful. Probably one of the biggest pieces of gold you would ever see on planet earth. He could buy beach houses with it, sports cars, personal fitness trainers…

The angel scratches his head: “Is this why you refuse to come in? For this piece of pavement?”

The man looks to see Heaven beyond the gate. The streets are made of gold.

Don’t believe the enemy’s lies and forsake Jesus for a piece of Heaven’s pavement.

Everyone, whether they want to admit it or not, is bowing their knee – to something or someone. Bow to the one who sets you free and who truly loves you because He is the one who says, “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends…” (John 15:15)

“Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by its gates. 15But outside are the dogs, the sorcerers (those who practice magic arts), the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” (Rev 22:15).

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matt 7:21-23)

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.

“It’s complicated…”

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When I was small my big sister learned a word at school from her teacher. She came home from school one day and recited it for me: “Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovol…”
It went on.
I listened with ‘wide ears’ (like ‘wide eyes’ but involving the ears) as she spoke.
She paused half way, ready to recite it for me again… “It’s complicated!” she said to me.

Faith.

It should be simple right?

Person A jumps out of a burning building expecting person B to catch them.

Still, through the years we have added layers to something which was supposed to be so simple that even kids can understand it – and we can get in our own way of receiving what Jesus has died to give us for free.

Jesus said to be like children. Children can understand that Jesus wants to just love them and have them love Him. They approach His throne with a pure heart.

Lately, the Lord has been peeling off these onion layers of ‘its complicated!’ from my faith to unveil the beautiful tender soft heart of faith I once had.

I was recently part of a team visiting a retirement village in the area and sat down to speak to one of the ladies in the special care department. Many of them were Alzheimer or dementia patients and sat colouring in pictures or building puzzles.
The woman I approached was busy colouring in a picture of a flower. She smiled and told me pink was her best colour when I asked her, and I immediately liked her (if she liked pink she was already a legend).
I asked her name. “Sicily,” she said in a soft voice.
It was difficult to talk to her but I found a common point of reference. Her picture. “God makes some great things doesn’t he?” I said, telling her it was a beautiful flower.
She was very old and found it hard to hold a conversation but she nodded.
“He gives us a good deal. Did you know He makes the things in Heaven too.”
She nodded again and studied the picture. “But you know what, as beautiful as this flower is, the flowers in Heaven are going to be even more beautiful. Can you imagine a flower more beautiful than this one?”
She smiled, and her eyes seemed to brighten.
“Imagine looking at one of those beautiful flowers and you look up to see Jesus Himself. You know, the real Jesus. Because in Heaven we will see Him face to face.”
She said a word which I couldn’t hear.
I had to lean closer to her to hear it.
She said it again, while it was a whisper, it was crystal clear: “Gosh!”.
Her whole countenance had changed imagining Jesus there before her. Her eyes glowed.

They eventually put the colouring-in pencils away and Sicily was wheeled back to her room in a wheelchair. The smile was still in her eyes.

Faith like a child.

Too many people are standing in front of a pyramid of self-glorifying spirituality and self effort thinking they must climb to the top to be ‘enlightened’. What a climb!

Then I think of Sicily and her exclamation of ‘Gosh!’ when for a moment, Jesus filled her thoughts and I think I left the retirement village more fired up and encouraged than anyone who had received prayer.

It’s simple.

The Lily of the Valley. The Rose of Sharon. More beautiful than the most beautiful flower in Heaven.

Trusting Him for healing and intervention today? Have you reached the end of yourself and need hope or answers? Maybe you need to renounce any wrong agreements you have made with beliefs contrary to His Word or any pagan beliefs and return like a child to Jesus, and simple faith in the complete work of the cross.

*pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

noun: an invented long word said to mean a lung disease caused by inhaling very fine ash and sand dust.

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.

Today…

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Healing is not a reward.

It is because of His stripes we are healed.

The work on the cross is complete. Jesus isn’t going to become more powerful or more able or more willing to heal and restore than He is right now.
Maybe you are waiting for tomorrow to reach out, when you are ‘prepared’ and feel stronger.

But it’s not about you. It’s about Him and what He has done. How about today?

By Heather Djunga

“As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” (Hebrews 3:15)

Two men were crucified with Jesus. Both were sentenced criminals. One recognising who Jesus was, realised that even though he had completely messed up, the Lord was close enough to hear his request for mercy. As he expressed his faith to Jesus, and acknowledged Him as the Son of God, Jesus told him: ‘TODAY, you will be with me in paradise.”

A man lay writhing in pain and heavily drugged in the ICU of a local hospital.A convicted criminal, he was handcuffed to the bed and supervised closely by a correctional services officer. He had tried to poison himself in prison, realising his behaviour had resulted in consequences which he didn’t feel strong enough to face – time in prison. But Jesus reached out to him through an evangelist team who had come to give the good news of Christ and this man, realising the hope of the cross, gave his situation and life over to Jesus.

After asking the Lord Jesus to forgive him and come into his life, his eyes shone with hope and he expressed how different he felt, like someone new. He had embraced ‘today’, realising the importance of the moment.

I was privileged to be a part of this salvation team and witnessed this miraculous salvation.
I don’t know how this man’s story will pan out. Jesus knows what was started there in ICU. He also knows the plans he has for this man and in Heaven, it says the angels are rejoicing because a man dared to reach through his shame and pain to the Author of Life.

Don’t schedule Him into next week’s diary pages. Don’t put off responding to the promptings of His Holy Spirit. Don’t delay coming into His throne room in your hour of need because ‘tomorrow’ you think you will be more presentable, less sinful, better equipped, better prepared to put your request before Him.
He welcomes you as you are.

Grace was made available for you at the cross, when Jesus gave His all. The dividing veil between the Holy of Holies, that place where God Himself sits on the throne, and you, was torn with Jesus’ sacrifice so that you can go in with all confidence in His name, and in His name and by His righteousness, with boldness, approach Him.

What’s the catch?

You mean life in abundance is free?

That sounds like one of those SMSes you receive late at night telling you the good news that you have won the jackpot for something you didn’t know you had entered.

Actually it is too good to be true. Someone had to suffer for it to be free for you.
Someone else did the legal documents for you, did the paperwork, signed the deal. Jesus paid for you with something more valuable than money. His blood.

So decide today is your day.

You can ask Him, seek Him today.

You can see your life changed today.

If you are a believer, you can approach Him as you are today.

You can believe for things to change now.

You can respond to the promptings of His Spirit today.

You can step out in faith today.

Approach His throne of grace with confidence.

He pulled out all the stops yesterday… the gospel is loaded with records of His glory and miracles.… According to the book of Revelation, He has in mind to do take centre stage with great signs and wonders tomorrow.
But this same Word we study says He is the same Jesus today. This very day.

I know in my own walk with Him, He has spoken that I must be expectant today. This day. Not only believing He is coming to restore and comfort and deliver and heal and provide tomorrow, but that He has already come.

Just reach out.

Will you choose to believe that He is the same as He was then TODAY? As the man in ICU did, see the miracle moments of today by faith and reach out.

From Luke 23: “Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[c] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”
36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
38 There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[d]”
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

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.