Revival From Within

Going to many youth conferences and large church events when I was young influenced the way I thought God moves. I have heard many times about revival and how God will pour out his spirit and tangible presence on multitudes of people to bring thousands to the kingdom… But I subconsciously always believed it would be an event that happened outside of my influence and I would simply join in to what was happening. However, my heavenly Father has completely changed my understanding in this! I have come to realise that revival is not an external event, but rather, an internal process.

It was a beautiful spring day that I was working from home. I had so much work to do, and not enough time to get it all done. There was a little outreach event happening in the city that day and I was invited to go. I hesitated several times and nearly didn’t go. Finally, I decided to go and arrived in the city with my mind on a dozen things.

After some time passed with the usual events happening, I saw a homeless man stop and watch the event about five meters away from where I was standing. I went up to him and started talking. After the speaker finished, I talked more with him and asked to pray with him. As I prayed, the tangible presence of our heavenly Father came so strongly I started to get emotional. I looked at the man I was praying with, and he was already crying, tears flowing down his weather-worn cheeks.

After prayer, I talked to the man about the Father and his love for a while, then asked if he wanted to surrender his life to Jesus. He wanted to, so we prayed through a prayer of repentance and surrender! It was incredible how the Father took care of everything. It was so easy; The man wanted to be saved.

This all happened only days after a discussion with friends about how God works in us, then through us, then around us. I know the Father’s love and his presence, so I wanted to move on to the next part, God working through me! I expressed this desire in the conversation, and only three days later was able to lead a man to Christ!

I realised that God wanted to use me to bring about a revival. It wasn’t an external event that “just happened”. No, it’s a process that goes on inside of me, (healing and transforming me) until I am ready to step out in faith and advance the kingdom of God!

Psalm 51 points to this reality of looking at the heart first, and being revived there first.

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you.

Psalm 51:10, 12-13 NLT

The progression here is firstly being right before God, then from that place teaching his ways to the ungodly and bringing them to salvation. This makes sense because how can we save someone if we ourselves are not saved? Jesus said it this way in Matthew:

So ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.

Matthew 15:14 NLT

If a teacher is teaching something he does not know, how will the person hearing be helped? There is another verse that talks about the heart:

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14

There is certainly a pattern here of working on the heart first, then from that seeing God at work around us. Are you willing to start the process of revival from within you? Will you open your heart to the Father for him to work in it?

God Promotes the Humble

A few years ago, I was learning to trust God with my finances. Things were tight, but I still felt led to tithe and give generously despite my situation. Each dollar made a difference, and it was hard to learn to let go of the money I had. I had to learn that my father in heaven is my provider, not myself. I had to let go of the pride in being my provider and let him take control of my finances. It was much harder to do than I thought, and to be honest I still make mistakes in this area.

However, after some time of financial struggle, I was promoted at work and my hours per week were also doubled, meaning my income quadrupled. I was now making four times as much! It was an amazing lesson for me to learn, trusting in God for everything I need. I had to be humble and let the Holy Spirit guide my finances so that he could then bless me.

There are many verses on humility, but I just wanted to include a few of them so you can see the Bible’s perspective on humility.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

James 4:10 NLT

True humility and fear of the Lord
    lead to riches, honor, and long life.

Proverbs 22:4 NLT

And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say,

“God opposes the proud
    but gives grace to the humble.”

James 4:6 NLT

Humility results in being lifted up, and not just that, but also riches, honor, and long life. How amazing is that?!

I pray that you learn what Godly humility is and are blessed from that place. Have a great week!

The Holy Spirit as a Helper

There was a time this year when I was at the end of myself. I had cried until I had nothing left to cry. I felt hopeless and weak, wishing I could disappear from all my problems. It was late at night and I was in my bed, laying there helplessly. I prayed for strength and fell asleep. In the morning, I woke with a spring in my step! I felt the presence of God inside of me and I had a strength and determination about me! It was like chalk and cheese comparing the morning to the night before.

I realised that day that God deeply cares for me and sees me in my weakness, helping me when I cannot help myself. The Holy Spirit taught me to trust in him, even when everything seems unlikely, even impossible. The Bible explains some of the Holy Spirit’s characteristics in John 14 and Romans 8:

But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.

John 14:26 NLT

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.

Romans 8:26 NLT

The Holy Spirit will often remind us of truths we already know of, but don’t understand in our heart. I have found that when I read something, it doesn’t stick with me until it lands in my heart. Getting something from my head to my heart is hard by myself, but with the “helper”, the Holy Spirit, I am reminded of the truths in God’s word at crucial times when I need it most.

The best part of all is how the Holy Spirit is given to us permanently, and lives inside of us. I often hear him speak like a still small voice of wisdom. He always lifts me up when I am down, and always encourages me when I am weak. In the morning after my night of despair, I felt the presence of God so powerfully! The Holy Spirit truly lives inside of us as 1 Corinthians 6 says:

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself,

1 Corinthians 6:19

I want to encourage you to listen to him when you are feeling low. He truly cares about you and will help in times of trouble. The Bible promises this, and when God says something, he will be sure to fulfill his word.

Have a great week!

Growing In Relationship with God

It was in 2017 that I had a dream I felt was significant, and a direct revelation from God. In the dream, I was driving my car down a road. The road disappeared and turned into rough ground. As I kept driving, I could see a large desert up ahead with a lot of rough terrain. As I got closer to the rocks, cactus and other obstacles, the car I was driving lifted up several hundred feet into the air!

In the air I was able to see very far ahead of me, and I saw many other cars that were still driving on the ground. Some were very expensive exotic cars, and one in particular was a Ford Mustang. It looked brand new and was speeding along at easily over 280 km/hr (174 miles/hr). Because of the speed, it couldn’t slow down when it entered the desert. The vehicle smashed into a large rock and instantly burst into flames. I knew that the driver (and potentially passengers) had died. The dream continued with other events, but I won’t go into detail here.

At the time of the dream, I wasn’t sure exactly what it meant, but I wrote it down and mostly forgot about it. It was only this year that I remembered it and reflected on my relationship with God. I realised that at the time of the dream, my relationship with God was like a car driving on the ground. I was moving forward in what he wanted me to do at a steady and sustainable pace, but I couldn’t see what was happening around me. It was in 2020 when I desperately sought God that I was raised up and shown many things around me. God started talking to me daily about what he was doing in my life, my friend’s lives, and the world at large.

So I realised that the dream had come true. I was in my own world, going at my comfortable pace, when I was lifted up and shown what was happening all around me. A Bible verse that confirms this transformation is Isaiah 40:31.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
   They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31 NLT

It is when we wait upon the Lord (being still in his presence for extended periods of time) that we will rise up. I simply love how this verse is so close to the dream I had!

I also love the following verses from the books of Revelation and Jeremiah because they reveal God’s heart for us.

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.

Revelation 3:20 NLT

Jesus is standing at the door of your heart knocking. It is up to you to let him in. It is in that place of friendship that he will communicate to you as a friend. When you eat a meal with him, (metaphorically), he will share with you. That simply blows me away!

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

Jeremiah shows more of God’s heart by revealing that he already has a plan and purpose for you. He wants to give you a future and a hope, but it’s up to you to let him do that by waiting on him and letting Jesus into your heart.

The remarkable thing I find in all of this is that I was a Christian the whole time in the dream I had. It wasn’t as if I was unsaved while I was driving, and when I accepted Christ I was taken up and my vision expanded. No, I was already saved. However, I wasn’t being intentional enough with my time with God to allow him to take me where I needed to go.

If you are “driving” and not seeing what God is doing, (as shown in Revelation 3:20 when Jesus shares a meal with you), I want to encourage you to spend as much time with God as you possibly can in the coming weeks. If possible, set aside large portions of time, up to four hours at a time, or more, to really go deep into his presence with praise, worship and prayer. If you do this, I promise you your life will start to transform!

Be blessed!

Fighting Dragons

Dear friends, From a young age, as young as I can remember, I have been in the middle of a spiritual battle. Most of my earliest memories are nightmares of evil creatures coming to torment me in my dreams. I have already spoken of some of these horrors in previous posts, so I will not go into detail here. However, I want to revisit this topic because there has been a significant update to this story.

I have slept peacefully for many nights since dealing with those demons of the past; However, over the past months I have had multiple dreams in which Satan came to me to kill me. The first two dreams were especially intense, the first of which he was in the form of a dragon, breathing fire, flying around, and using several different tactics to attack me. In the second dream he was in the form of a man and he used smooth words to trap me. In both of those dreams I was shown that I needed to face him myself instead of relying on other people to win this battle for me. I couldn’t depend or rely on my spiritual leaders to set me free; God would give me the strength to face him myself.

In each instance I prayed into the dreams and sought God desperately because of their intensity. After prayer each time, I felt a powerful peace come over me that couldn’t be penetrated. Some time passed, at least a couple of months, before I had two more dreams in the same night.

In these next two dreams, I could see that God the Father was watching over me. I again faced a dragon that wanted to harm me. However, this time things were different. A brother stood by me and submitted his heart to God. He truly lay himself down in the presence of God. His heart was in complete worship to God. I could see that God the Father was looking at my brother and me standing there, facing the dragon. Then my brother started forcefully praying against the dragon! He started asking God to rebuke it, curse it, and smite it!

Well, it’s safe to say God wasted no time in doing the very things asked of him! He struck that dragon down right where it stood. That wretched thing couldn’t move after only three strikes! I stood there amazed. I was just given the key to win the fight against dragons!

Again, I was facing another dragon. This one was much like the first, intending to harm me. I felt fear start to creep in until I saw God appear again. He turned and looked at me. As soon as the father looked at me, I felt peace come into me. I remembered the previous dragon fight and submitted myself to my Father, right before the dragon in front of me. I truly surrendered everything, holding nothing back. Once I had entered that place of worship (I felt a change in my spirit), I started praying against the dragon. God responded promptly and struck the dragon down. It was utterly defeated!

Once I awoke, I put this prayer into practice immediately. I felt the results immediately in my spirit and I was soaring! I felt so free and so powerful. I knew I had a huge amount of authority, given to me by God.

I remembered the verse in James that says:

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:7

Over the years of facing spiritual battles I have prayed James 4:7 many times, but never with the success I recently had. I believe there is a grace that God gives when he reveals something specifically to us. The verse was no less true before my dreams as it was after, yet it was only when I held the revelation of the verse for myself that it was truly effective.

When I had the revelation of James 4:7 I realised that it is far more powerful than what it seems. The verse doesn’t describe the level of humility required, how far the heart needs to go to submit to God before you are in a position to resist the devil. I also didn’t realise that I needed to pray from that place of submission and ask God to take down the devil. I thought I had to resist him in my own strength.

So as you can see, there is a big difference when you understand something in your heart. When God showed me how James 4:7 works, I no longer came to incorrect conclusions. I got the essence of the revelation, not just the idea of it. It went past my head and into my heart. I pray he will show you too.

I want to encourage you to face your dragons, whatever form they may come in. When you are faithful to keep fighting and praying, our father hears you and will give you the specific strategy to defeat the enemy.

May the God of peace richly bless you.

Operate Through Your Calling

A couple of weeks ago, God put a message on my heart. It spoke to me directly because it’s something I’ve been working through myself. The title says it all: Operate Through Your Calling. However, this isn’t always straightforward! I have often wondered what my calling is. Or, how am I supposed to walk in it in a complex world?

Let’s go.

A few years ago, I felt God put on my heart to share the gospel with others. I wanted to learn to preach and speak to believers to answer the call I felt from God. However, try as I might, I couldn’t get many speaking engagements, even after directly speaking to pastors and offering to share my testimony. Needless to say, I was very disappointed. I felt that I must have misheard God. Did he really want me to preach? Why was nothing working?

Throughout this time of questioning, I led three different bible studies, all of which only lasted some months before numbers dwindled so low it was only leaders attending. Although I hid it, this had a significant impact on the view I had on myself. Was I even capable of ministry? I was not a magnet that attracted; I felt like a magnet facing the wrong way. Everyone left!

I don’t know if you’ve felt that nothing you did (ministry-wise) succeeded, but if you have, I get it! The good news is that God has a way out! He showed it to me when I eventually started praying about this issue. He showed me that there are three things needed to find my calling and walk in it.

The first necessary action to take is to spend time seeking God in private. Take this opportunity to get close and intimate with God. Cultivate your relationship with him. You won’t get anywhere on your own.

The second action is to ask him for your calling. By directly asking God to show you his calling for your life, he will reveal it to you in a personal way. You will know his plans for yourself. You won’t have to rely on a pastor or prophet to show you the way to take.

The third step is to operate out of your calling. This action is the last step to ensure success in what you do. It is crucial to work in your calling and not someone else’s.

Now, to continue my story.
After seeking God and following his lead, I realised that although he has called me to preach, the timing is not right yet. What he has called me to now is a prayer ministry. God showed me that I needed to open my home to other believers and create a space to pray. When I did this, wow! The power of God MOVED!!
Every week, there would be people weeping as God healed their hearts! Many words of knowledge and prophesy were given to encourage one another. And most of all, the presence of God was so strong and tangible every time we met!

One time, I was disappointed because only one friend came to the meeting. But even then, God showed up powerfully, and as I was praying, I saw in a vision a place that looked like heaven! Colours were moving around in the air that were too beautiful to describe. I cannot explain how they moved because they were so bright and full of life, unlike colours in this world. I am not colour-blind, but when I came back and looked around, even the brightest colours on earth looked grey compared to the colours I saw in the vision. The amazing thing about these colours was that they moved and had a life of their own. They were living, moving, and a pure delight to watch!

Heavenly colours aren’t everything, though. It’s incredible to see, but the power of God changing lives is more important. And that’s exactly what’s been happening every single week for me. It seems normal now to have at least one powerful testimony of God showing up when praying, turning another life around.
Praise God! He is working through me finally, and I feel alive when I pray!
I will share more testimonies in the coming weeks because I feel it on God’s heart to share them as an encouragement.
Have a blessed week, and may you operate out of your calling!

Undeserved Grace

I am so thankful for the grace of God! He reminded me today that grace is a gift from him to me, because, little did I realise, I had been subconsciously trying to earn his grace. Yes, it’s a fool’s errand even to attempt to earn God’s grace, yet without realising it, I had drifted to that mindset.

It was when a friend was praying for me that I realised my error. I felt the Father’s love at that moment, and he reminded me that grace is his gift to those who confess their sins and repent. I had already done that, yet I held on to guilt, shame, and the other side effects of sin. The best thing to do is fully embrace God and accept all his gifts, including grace. The Bible has this to say about grace:

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT

The challenge in all of this is to have a balance based in God’s word. You cannot have grace if you do not repent because sin is still living in you and you are not made new. However, on the other side, you also cannot live a perfect life to earn it. I believe the best way is to repent from sin and accept God’s grace. This way there is a turning from sin, yet no striving to attempt to earn grace.

Grace is no reward, and it never will be. It is always a beautiful gift from God, and no one can take that away from him. By trying even a little to earn it, I went astray. I pray that you learn from my mistake and fully embrace this beautiful gift our Father has given!

Have a blessed day! 🙂

Consistency

Consistency is hard. That’s because it requires character, not just feelings or a big moment. It’s easy for me to write about praying daily; it’s another thing to live it. I pray that I live it! It is not something that can be done in a human’s strength but only comes from the power of God himself. I pray for more character. I pray for more prayer.

Consistency changes you over time. You would prefer that every problem be solved immediately if possible. However, that’s not how character is built. Paul had a “thorn in his flesh” that caused him considerable trouble, yet God was quite okay with letting it stay. Do you have a thorn in your flesh? Perhaps it isn’t all bad. It could be more of an opportunity to grow in character rather than a punishment. You may well have done nothing to deserve it. Don’t worry; keep praying. God wants to change you from the inside out and wants those changes to remain. He isn’t interested in quick results, but “fruit that will last.”

Stay consistent and run to win. Run and don’t stop. Stopping is losing, running is winning. Even if you tire, don’t stop; keep moving, no matter how slow. If you get tired of praying for hours, that’s okay, just keep praying a little. Whatever you do, don’t stop altogether. Your Father can still help you if you stop, but that isn’t a close relationship anymore. Do everything you can to stay in a healthy relationship with him.

Trusting in God (like your life depends on it)

It was just a few days into the new year that I received the phone call. Unsuspecting, I picked up my phone and answered. From the other end I heard a weak voice say “aunty (blank) has passed this afternoon”. I didn’t know how to respond. She had a severe cancer so I was expecting the news, yet hoping against it somehow. I was unsure of how to feel.

To give some backstory, I moved to the city of Adelaide, Australia back in early 2018. I felt God lead me to move, but before I had made plans for a place to live, I was at a Christmas family gathering just weeks before I needed to move. Out of no where, an aunt of mine approached me and asked what I was doing early next year. She then explained that she and her husband, (my uncle), were going overseas for a month and needed someone to look after the house. The timing was perfect from me needing to move to Adelaide matching when they were leaving.

Wait, what???

Oh yeah… she wanted to PAY ME to stay there too.

Needless to say I promptly accepted the generous offer. I ended up staying on after this lovely couple returned from their trip. Altogether I was there for around 18 months. We got a lot closer and became good friends.

Now all of that was gone. She was gone.

In the midst of this happening, I felt misunderstood by some friends and experienced a breakup.

My emotions were in utter turmoil. Most days became a blur of strong sad emotions. I didn’t know how to handle so much loss at the same time, so I started praying like my life depended on it.

Through prayer, I was drawn into God’s presence in a way I have NEVER experienced before! In this terrible mess of a season in my life, God was with me. He brought deep comfort to me.

I am reminded of Psalm 23 which says

The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.
    He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
    for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
    protect and comfort me.

You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
    forever. – NLT

Verse 4 stands out to me the most – Even when I walk through the darkest valley … you comfort me.

I know this to be true; when I trusted God and let him be my shepherd, these things followed. It’s all good and well to speak these verses into your life and believe for them, but I really believe that it is when you actively put your trust in God and allow him to lead you that these verses become a part of your life.

I had to trust that God loved me and still had a plan for my life.

I’m going to be honest. It was FRIGGIN’ HARD! (Mind the Christian swear word) Yet God was there the whole time. I had to trust him above my feelings.

To really trust God and let him lead me, I had to put aside every plan I made and give it to him in prayer. I recognized some goals I had in life that probably (definitely) weren’t aligned with God’s.

Sad face.

I had to let go of them. MANNN that was hard. It’s one thing to let go of an idea that just popped into your head, it’s a whole different thing letting go of hopes and dreams that you have poured blood, sweat and tears into.

As I gave each hope, dream, and plan for my future to God, he started showing me his hopes, dreams, and plans for my life. Now that was cool! I found out that God had called me to so many different things I never saw when I was too busy pursuing my own selfish plans! The shock to me was that God’s plans were actually bigger than I dared dream myself!

This part blew my mind. God trusted me more than I trusted myself!

What do I mean? God’s plans for my life are beyond what I consider myself capable of. He puts more faith in me than I put in myself. I do not mean that my human ability is able to do this, but that with God, I can do more than I dared even think possible. It turns out that trusting in God unlocks a whole other world!

I really believe that because I started learning to trust in God, my relationship with him grew more in the last two months than the last two years. I do not say this lightly. One month truly trusting in God saw more growth than a year of being a good Christian guy.

What are your experiences of trusting in God? How did you trust in God? How did God respond to you?

The Deal with Pride

Today I was reading from Jeremiah 50. After reading the chapter, (a prophesy of judgement for the nation of Babylon), I noticed a few things.

Firstly, Babylon had been used by God to bring His judgement to nations that disobeyed Him. Babylon didn’t deserve God’s blessing or attention, yet He chose to use them to fulfill His purpose. By carrying out His work, the nation became very wealthy. (Lots of plunder from sacking many a city)

Secondly, Babylon didn’t acknowledge God and His blessing, but instead put themselves as the reason for success and praised their idols. They were so prideful that they couldn’t see past themselves and their own abilities. They put their full trust in themselves. Further to this, they decided that some man-made idols should be praised and worshipped. (uh-oh… I can take a guess where this is headed)

Thirdly, God didn’t take kindly to their pride. (Surprised? Me neither) God saw their arrogance and commanded a judgement on them that was, (get this), worse than every other judgement the other nations suffered. The worst part? There was no chance for repentance. The judgement on Babylon was to be final, and no one would ever live there again. Never ever is a very long time, so you know God was serious. In fact, God says “desert creatures and hyenas will live there” (v29), meaning God basically made the land haunted. All because some people trusted their own strength rather than the all powerful God of heaven. God doesn’t mess around, and I believe He wanted to make a point about pride and humility for people living after (aka you and me!). Those who call out to God will be saved, while those who trust in themselves will be brought low. James 4:6 says it well:

And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

All throughout the old testament you can read of God bringing judgement on Israel for disobeying Him, yet they always turn and repent. God loves a humble heart, and gives grace when He sees it. Therefore, the lesson for you and I is simply this: Pride is a big no-no. You and I can start practicing more humility. And if you already are? Great! Keep going.