Tag Archives: change

Deliverance from sin

The problem often isn’t the one sin as such… it is our relation to sin.

The Bible informs us that there is no big and small sin – there only is sin. Sometimes our focus has been shifted to believe that one sin is greater than another. Likewise a dangerous shift in focus occurs when we start being disgusted only by some sins and not by others.

For many of us Christians (and I include myself) the time has come to pray and open our hearts completely… to be again convicted of the gravity of sin and the mercy of forgiveness. So that iniquity, (no matter whether it is lies or sexual sin) again disgusts us in the way it disgusts God, so that we turn from it and sin no more (for we are ALL sinners)…ALSO, I pray that we start LOVING the sinner with all our heart… and do not judge the person …but hate the sin.

No matter which sin. Sin is sin and it will be punished by death the Bible says. Knowingly remaining in sin or maintaining a sinful lifestyle is open rebellion against God.

However know the good news: JESUS died for the forgiveness of ALL our sins, so that we may stand before God without blemish! When we come to Jesus and repent (make a 180degree turn away from it) and ask for forgiveness, He WILL readily and gladly forgive us.

As for today I would like to speak of one sin amongst many: homosexual relationships.

All I ask is read… and allow God.

I will not tell you what the Word of God says this time… not in respect to sin – for you know it already as you feel it is wrong and you feel convicted. Should you have any questions in regard to that though, please feel free to ask. Let me tell you a bit about my relationship that was that way:

I loved her… I had some months before I got to know her, left my congregation for the sake of another woman… I struggled my but off to leave the congregation but my desire was stronger than my faith. Now 4 months later, I was in love with her. She was not one of those ladies that looked lesbian from afar… she was however what I longed for… she had great humour, seemed self secure, yet was vulnerable and no afraid to show it at times… we talked with open hearts when we did… and we both trembled when we first kissed, knowing this was more. To make a long story short… she was all I up to then had ever dreamed of. I loved her… and I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.

At some stage in my relationship, I started to pray. It had been a long while since I had prayed… and I hadn’t opened my Bible in ages it felt. But I started to pray because –strange as it might sound – I wanted to ask her to marry me.  God is gracious and He used that situation to reach out for me yet again:  I had a dream… and in that dream I found a treasure chest… like in the movies… with a great lock in front of it… and in my hand I held the key. On the key it said: “Jeremiah 2:19”. I put the key into the lock and wanted to turn it. In that instant I awoke. The dream still is vivid in me today as I recalled it then. But when I awoke, I did not know what the scripture contained…nor did I care to look it up till late that day in the afternoon (this was in November 2006). When I did, I actually flung the Bible into the corner of my room… such shock did I get. I later checked and found out, I had never before in my life read Jeremiah – which added to the uproar and unravelling I felt inside.

I prayed over the scripture for about a week… but didn’t get any answers. My life seemed perfect – so did my relationship. However even though I had long forgotten about the scripture, my life in general seemed to change. I cannot describe it really… but I remember my friends at university got worried – they thought I was depressed. I knew I wasn’t. I had been depressed before in my life… and this was something completely different – I was dying… from inside out… and it was spiritual. But how could they understand? I didn’t even want to know about it myself. It was December that year that I started to read my Bible again… away from all distractions and to talk to God earnestly. And it was in early January that I ended up in my old church… and came to a point in life where I knew: “I don’t WANT to live without her, but I CANNOT live without God. And to have both is impossible.” And these were truths that were echoed in my spirit and soul so loud I could not deny them any longer.

So after 3 days and nights without sleep…struggling with God about the decision that was upcoming… I called my friends in the middle of the night. Friends from university… telling them what was up and that I couldn’t help but follow God’s call and terminate my relationship to my girlfriend. They had seen me the weeks preceding and admitted that though they couldn’t understand my decision, they supported me fully.

I was ready to fight. And I did. Later that morning after relentless fighting alone with God and my soul, I asked the pastor to assist me in the final step of my choice. His wife, he and I went into a quiet room… they asked me to repeat after them a prayer of salvation. However they included the sentence: “I renounce the spirit of homosexuality.” It took three attempts until I was PHYSICALLY able to say those words into the spiritual realm… but when I did, the spirit left and I was set free.

I will not lie to you… it was only the beginning of the battle. I still had to go home, call my girl friend, split up with her, clean my house spiritually (i.e. I tossed everything that did not honour God into big plastic bags and into the trash it went!) and continue a battle against my body. I split up…and I have never heard or established contact with her again. I threw away music, videos, photos, clothing, jewellery, and friendships that were connected with that life style. I wouldn’t have been able to make the transition otherwise. I mourned my relationship for quite a while as I had loved. And I knew there would be no easy way. But I had come to the conclusion that I loved God more… and that no matter if my feelings would ever change from being homosexual, I would live a sanctified lifestyle and live it to honour God and in complete obedience to God.

I entered a process of filling my spirit and nourishing my spirit again with the Word of God, reading the Bible… going to church, praying regularly with prayer partners who knew the whole story and meeting once a week with an evangelist that worked through deliverance with me. It took 10 months… but then things had changed. I had decided to renounce the lifestyle, no matter if God would change how I feel about women. But HE delivered me completely. I have never since seen in a woman what I have seen in women so many years of my life. I do not feel that kind of love any longer for women… and never have since. Instead I feel that kind of love for men.

What once was, is part of who I had been… it serves as a testimony today, to reach others with the love of God… but does not determine who I am in Christ, for I am a new creation and was fully restored.”

That is my story. Perhaps it will encourage you to share what at this stage you are afraid to share … I have come to know my weak spots spiritually. There are days when I cannot watch movies others take as ‘normal’ … there are books I cannot read at times. I have learned to respond to the Holy Spirit immediately, because if I do not… I trip and fall into sin. So I try to be sensitive to the Spirit at all times… respond as vigorously and immediately as I can fathom and stay as far away from sin as possible. Today I do no longer struggle to maintain friendships even with people who feel they are homosexual. God has given me a powerful testimony and has blessed me with the ability to share it without condemnation.

You have to choose. No one can take that from you. And the choice isn’t an easy one – but the struggle and fight is worth it and you do not stand alone… an army of angels will be right there by your side…and Jesus with them.

I have tried to show what I believe is a problem with many Christians… the fact that we judge too quickly and that we are no longer disgusted by sin itself. We have started to choose which sin may disgust us – but God doesn’t make that distinction… and God loves the sinner and made a way for every one through Jesus Christ.

Likewise I have opened my past, for you to gather a glimpse to see and be a witness that I speak out of love… not condemnation.

I cannot and I will not choose for you. I will pray for you. I will not bible-bash you to decide the one or other way. I have said what I was led to say… and will not pressure you with it. You know my heart and my story now. It might not be yours… for all I know yours might be completely of a different nature… but I pray you will be able to transfer of it what you need to hear.

I am your friend…and I will stay your friend. And I refuse to judge.

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from one desert to another

“What is it with you and deserts, Lord?” We tend not to appreciate the desert times with God that much. Many sermons have circled around them and we so totally miss the point!

Living in Swakopmund and being basically in the Namib Desert here, I felt called to go visit a missionary in the Kalahari Desert in Noenieput, S.A.

But let me start at the beginning:

When I moved from Munich, Germany to Swakopmund, Namibia end of 2010 it was a move from a big European city to a small coastal city that lies between the Atlantic Ocean and the Namib Desert. A city that finds comfort and familiarity more essential than rapid service and anonymity. Where roads are made out of salt (which creates a total mess IF it ever rains), the Light House is still the highest building and there are still places where you can come and pay tomorrow – provided you know the owner (which is in fact still very likely). A place where it still possible to know all about every other person you get to know and at the same are deceived by thinking you know them at all.

It was here that I perceived Gods calling to go and spend a week in Noenieput to meet a missionary there. Which I did. I thought I was going there to be blessed by God. I went with this sense of excitement believing God was going to reveal something very important to ME there and that I would be SO blessed through that. He did…but He did so very much different from what I thought. However I went with an arm long list of questions I had for God.

It was a trip full of blessings. A trip full of a silence that is able to still the inside storms. A journey from one desert to the next. But little did I know why I was being sent. But I was about to find out. Arriving there I had two choices…get unravelled about the fact that there was no common electricity, no cell phone reception and only bore hole water, OR I could embrace this fact to get a break from the speed in our lives that sometimes mutes our souls just once to many.

So I calmed…and the presence of horses made it ever so much more easily, as horses do not communicate primarily verbal but with body language. And they allow you to just “BE”.

I spent a week in the beauty of vast open spaces in a desert…coming from another desert and being left with finding: “God does in fact love deserts!”. I met an amazing man of God and his wife (Barrie Burger and his wife Annette) and we talked before the sun came up and after it had long left the horizon to give way to a starry sky. We talked and shared the silence looking into the fire. We prayed together and shared testimonies. We shared the air we breathed and at times that was all that was needed to answer both our questions. For sitting in silence with another person without feeling the urge to talk is something wonderful. And during that week I met more people… I met people of which I now – weeks later – call some friends. And I cannot help but discover that I have changed.

And I too cannot help, but find that I was responding to God’s need for me to be there as a messenger much rather than being only on the receiving end.  Being sent there to accompany another on her way from the cross closer to Jesus heart. To walk with her a while and lead her to a place where she finds that Jesus wants to serve her too. Talking with yet another and being the partner in conversation that was able to exalt Gods glory and His healing power – where he had believed…but now was allowed to witness and see.

In the end… I left with tears streaming down my cheeks. Knowing… I had spent a week in the centre of Gods will…serving others and yet being served… by my glorious Lord and Saviour!

“What is it with you and deserts, Lord?” I have come to love the desert…and I will embrace every one of the deserts I get to be in, knowing… they calm my storm and bring me closer to my Lord and God!

Christianity Live

Here the first of many newsletters from missionaries and Christians around the world.

I hope you will find joy in this enhancement of the Kingdom of God and that these newsletters and reports from the mission fields around the globe will inspire you to grow toward your full potential in God!

Praise be to GOD.

To read the newsletter, please click: Cup of Hope

God Bless!

10 Steps, a Recipe or Christianity?

We are human. We love a recipe… for every aspect of life; to cook, to lose weight, to get fit, to escape burn-out, to define ourselves, to success,…

Then we look at the Old Testament Pharisees and we condemn them of giving the Israelites a recipe on how to live life that is pleasing to God. We call it dead religion.

Then comes Jesus. Radical, NON religious as it gets, revolutionist, DIFFERENT from every recipe or 10 step plan mankind knows up to then… and changes it all! He is disgusted by ‘dead religion’, by all the rules set out to please our need for a recipe to fix and do it all and get it all right.

Today, here we stand… and again most of us are stuck with a recipe on how to be a Christian and a 10 step plan on living sanctified lives. We often are no different from these Pharisees… our rules just SEEM different. They sound something like this:

–          go to church on a regular basis

–          don’t smoke, drink, etc

–          don’t watch movies like…

–          do good works for God

–          pray a prayer of salvation and let the pastor affirm you are saved now

–          cleanse your house of anything that might deny God

–          …

And I imagine Jesus standing by and shouting out to get heard through the haze of tradition and religion, weeping because what we follow is a 10 step plan or some modern recipe that is NO different from the Pharisees tradition… but we miss the point. We are to follow HIM.

All we are to do…is get to know Jesus/God more. Know Him more today than yesterday, tomorrow more than today.

How do we do that, if not by our newly created religion? Easy…and difficult at the same time:

Instead of following instructions by people who claim to be Christians (and authors at times, of Christian books)… read the Bible, pray…read it again, pray… and again! Every time you fail to understand what it means, get down on your knees and pray. Don’t give up… continue to pray. Your knees are sore?… then get on your feet and pray… talk to GOD… scream out for Jesus… ask for wisdom (for God promises to give it to us if we ask for it). If you feel you cannot go on, on your own…get a brother or sister in Christ… now both of you… get down on your knees… pray!

Draw near to God! Draw closer to Jesus! Let the Holy Spirit confirm your salvation to you… let Him confirm God’s will to you by allowing you to understand the Bible! Let GOD speak to you!

And many of the things that you would have done out of purely following recipes before, now will follow out of conviction and a relationship to God!

You will not KNOW GOD more by following the religious recipe of Christians! You will miss the point if that is all you do. Even if you do it with an upright heart and devoted soul.

Unless JESUS and a relationship to HIM is the centre of your being… the rest is dead works…and will lead to death… not to the life you so dearly desire.

Change your life today! DRAW NEAR TO GOD!

Change your Life

Bored? Frustrated? Lonely? Fed Up? Unsatisfied? Longing for a change?

Longing for a new life? A purpose filled life? A life with God?

No money or energy or time for a life coach and you don’t believe in them anyways?

Ok, here we go:

A lot of things will not change how you feel immediately, but will give you encouragement to change. However every change comes with a cost.

So the first question you need to pose yourself is: “What am I willing to let it cost me?”

I would advise you to write down your answer on a blank sheet of paper. On the back side of that paper write down, what irritated, frustrates, annoys or angers or disappoints you most in your own life at the moment. Basically what you want to change.

Now erase all those that you cannot influence directly because they are not yours to change, but somebody else’s. Then let us get going!

Every person loves a life with a certain amount of change or adventure and a certain amount of security or things they are used to. So the next question that needs to be answered is: “What do you love doing?” Then try answering these questions: “What causes you to feel joy and love?” “What motivates you most?” “What causes you to want to bring upon immediately when you see it?”

Knowing those answers will lead you in the right direction, so write them down if you can. Looking at all that, you have to start looking for ways to change circumstances or direction. Write any ideas down. No matter how silly they might sound.

However it doesn’t matter how much you try if you do not know what you are living for. Some of you might be Christian…others not. No matter which of the two you are… unless you find the purpose of your life, you will never be satisfied and at complete peace.

Finding God is a process that comes with a cost too. Growing in a relationship with Him contains not only fun times…but also perseverance and even hardships at times – but it pays off!

If it is a habit you need to make or break you might want to read my blog post on the matter.

If it is your relationship with God you want to improve…start praying.

As soon as you decide that the vicious cycle, the monotonous rhythm of your daily routine is costing you energy you do not have, you can break it.

Pray… until your jeans wear through at the knees, you go hoarse, you feel uplifted, something changes, you have an answer, you know Gods heart…and He knows yours completely…pray until you cannot think of anything you would rather want to do!

The strength to change, lies within your will to change… you might not have the strength…but God does.

Trust God. Read your Bible. Call on Jesus. PRAY. PRAY and WORSHIP in all circumstances -and experience break through. 

40 days: wisdom on making and breaking habits

Jesus fasted 40 days… praying and being tested by the devil… in the desert, before He started His ministry.

40 hours after being buried His grave was opened and after His resurrection He spent 40 days amongst His people.

Moses spent 40 years in the Desert to be prepared by God to lead the Israelites from captivity to the Promised Land.

Then Moses spent 40 days on the mount Horeb to get the Ten Commandments from God.

It rained 40 days and nights during Noah’s flood.

To just name a few.

So what is it with this opportunity given?

I do not think it is the amount of days we spent… but the intimacy we have with God that determines many things. However 40 days does something for you.

This will be interesting to you, even if you are NOT Christian, so go on reading.

Existing of Body, Soul and Spirit, I believe fasting and praying… but primarily spending quality time with God changes your life.

Teaching physical education at a school and having fasted a couple of times for the named length of time I have noticed the following.

No matter in which area (body, soul or spirit) of life, you can break and make a habit within that time span.

Here some examples

FOOD:

Say you have the habit of eating junk food and only little physical activity, thus picking up weight. You want to loose that habit. So here you go: Make it a 40 day thing.

It will take you (that is to my own experience) round about 2-3 weeks (14-20 days) until your body doesn’t crave for such food every other minute. Your moods will be a challenge to all of the people around you, but to you just as well.

Given the fact that you want to break the habit, you might wanna try a health balanced diet. All self cooked food, sweets only a little bit and only for dessert. Also you wanna take a lengthy walk a day… be it in the park or on the beach or where ever you live.

These first few weeks are no fun. They feel like torture at times but they are worth it. After these 2-3 weeks, your body will have gotten used to not having the stuff it likes all the time. It will also have gotten used to the taste of healthy food – perhaps not liking it that much yet, but getting used to it.

However it will probably take the rest of the 40 days, till your body will actually ask for the extra activity and the healthy nutrition instead of the junk food and will not like the taste of the old stuff any longer.

Once you have gotten this far… it is your choice. Decide to extend the time period for another 40 days…and another …and another until it becomes a habit, or go back to where you were. But remember…you have a choice.

The same as above goes for physical activity, sleep (which requires sleep hygiene) and many more.

TV or INTERNET:

Same goes here. Try fasting from it for 40 days. You will hate the first two of three weeks.

You might say…I need the internet for work. But to be honest…most people only need it to retrieve emails, and that can be done via Outlook and similar programs and can be limited to 3 times a day.

But once you are over the worst stretch, you will actually discover, you have time to do other things you really cherish.

More important than with food still, is that these media have addictive tendencies… meaning you fall back into the habit easily. So keep away from temptations. Decide to find stuff and DO stuff you really like and that get you away from them (like taking a walk).

You’ll be astonished as to how much time you suddenly find for relationships, for reading, for forgotten hobbies and long walks that make you remember the essential stuff in life.

After about 40 days you’ll find that TV/Internet doesn’t give you what it once did. Now you have a choice. Remember the old habit is easy on coming back. But you have a choice.

After almost 5 months without TV in my life, I must say I don’t regret my decision.

The same way goes for any media addiction by the way.

SIN vs. FAITH:

Many Christians nowadays complain that they fall into sin so often and cannot help it.

We might all know how difficult some sinful habits are to break and temptations are to avoid.

(Sexual immorality, substance abuse, taking offense, bitterness, cursing/foul language usage, comparing and jealousy, just to name a few.).

The fact that is often overlooked here is this: What you fill your heart/mind/soul with, it will run over with.

We all live in a secular world. The society we grow up in is hedonistic and most of us will probably come from a democracy.

BUT as Christians we live in a kingdom with GOD as the king of kings. He tells us to NOT be conformed to the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2). We look at sensual advertisements; look at media that manages to break all of Gods commandments within 10min of watching television at times, listen to music that tells us how to see things and what is cool, even though it is contrary to the Word of God.

So no wonder, sin has influence on our lives more than we would like it to have.

Try refraining from reading anything but your Bible for the 40 days fast. Decide NOT to watch TV or listen to secular music but instead get up and spend 30 minutes alone with God before you do ANYTHING else in the morning. Decide to proclaim a blessing instead of a curse every time you really get upset about something and decide NOT to share your up setting moments with best friends, colleagues or family before you at least spent 30min sharing with God on it.

You’ll see… your spiritual life will be rebooted and you will stand in amazement of what GOD does within 40 days at the latest.

So to sum it up…

I don’t think there is any magic behind this number… but there certainly is wisdom behind it.

I have tried most of the above named fasting myself…it works.

From some I have refrained after a while again due to laziness and other reasons. That doesn’t say they do not work though. It just shows me, I need to go for a check up every once and again and let GOD influence my life anew.

 

I pray GOD will bless you and help you break any ungodly habit and draw you near!