Step-By-Step Guide on How To Intercede For People! | #prayer #intercession #worship #Jesus #biblestudy

Hi readers!

Here’s my step by step guide on how to intercede for people. This post starts out with some background info and then at the bottom I take you through the steps!

Introduction – The Court of Heaven

Intercession involves activity in the Courts of Heaven with God as the judge to set in place some kind of protective order that will not allow the devil a right to interfere, hurt, destroy or touch what belongs to God. (Myles 2019, pp.13-14)

The Court of Heaven is real, we see it in Daniel 7:9-10 [NLT]:

“[9] I watched as thrones were put in place and the Ancient One sat down to judge. His clothing was as white as snow, his hair like purest wool. He sat on a fiery throne with wheels of blazing fire, [10] and a river of fire was pouring out, flowing from his presence. Millions of angels ministered to him; many millions stood to attend him. Then the court began its session, and the books were opened.”

We know from Revelation 4:4 that there are 24 elders who sit on 24 thrones there:

(Revelation 4:4 NLT) “[4] Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads.”

In the Heavenly Court is the throne of God where literal righteouness and justice flows out:

(Psalm 89:14 NLT) “[14] Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne. Unfailing love and truth walk before you as attendants.”

The Heavenly Court operates a similar way to human court in that there is an accuser – in heaven this is Satan – and a defendant – in heaven this is always the humans.

Divine Restraint

Before you can operate in your spiritual authority as an intercessor in the Courts of Heaven you need to make sure that you are adhering to whatever Divine Restraint God has set in your life.

What is Divine Restraint? The key to spiritual authority. It is impossible to have authority or retain it without a Restraining Principle. Look at the Garden of Eden.The bible says in Genesis 2:15-17

(Genesis 2:15 NLT) “[15] The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it.”

Which establishes God as the source of Adam’s authority and the reason for the authority. Adam needed authority in order to manage the Garden of Eden. God however gave him a Restraining Principle:

(Genesis 2:16-17 NLT) “[16] But the LORD God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden– [17] except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.””

It is the same thing as if you have a maid and you say to the maid “don’t let anybody in the house while I’m at the office”. Think about what you have done to your maid. You have given her authority over anybody who wants access to your house and at the same time restrained her activities at the same time.

Adams authority, like the maid in the story above was rooted in his ability to adhere to the Restraining Principle God put him under. The consequences of violating the Restraining Principle were made clear to Adam in Genesis:

(Genesis 2:17 NLT) “[17] except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.””

In other words, true spiritual authority dies when the Restraining Principle is broken. Before we can enter the Courts of Heaven as an intercessor and start to intercede for people you need to ensure that you are adhering to whatever Restraining Principle God has put you under (Myles 2019, pp.28-30).

We all have one even the Lord King Jesus Christ, the most powerful and revered one to ever walk this earth as a human being had a Restraining Principle on His life it’s in John 5:19 which says:

(John 5:19 NLT) “[19] So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.”

The Restraining Principle was that Jesus was only allowed to do what He saw God the Father doing. Unlike Adam, who chose his own will over the will of God and violated his Restraining Principle by eating the forbidden fruit in Genesis, Jesus Christ said in Luke 22:42:

(Luke 22:42 NLT) “[42] “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.””

Adhering to the Restraining Principle of His life and ministry

They say history has a habit of repeating itself – look at how the first Adam wrestled with a serpent in a Garden and the second Adam wrestled with the same serpent in a Garden, over the same issue, thousands of years later…(Myles 2019, pp.36-38)

The Throne of Grace

The same way there are different kinds of courts in human courts there are different courtrooms in the Heavenly Court. One of the most well known of these is the Throne of Grace. This is where we appear when we are overcome with personal sin and weakness but we are advised in Hebrews to approach this court with boldness

(Hebrews 4:16 NLT) “[16] So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”

knowing that we will obtain mercy and find grace in our time of need (Myles 2019, p.43).

The 6 Lifestyle Requirements For An Intercessor

1. Put on the mind of Christ

Zechariah 3:5 shows us an example of activities in God’s courts and the requirements God has for people operating within His heavenly courts. In this story Jeshua, a high priest was in the court of heaven on trial:

(Zechariah 3:5 NLT) “[5] Then I said, “They should also place a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean priestly turban on his head and dressed him in new clothes while the angel of the LORD stood by.”

The putting on the turban is a prophetic picture of putting on the mind of Christ and God sanctifying your mind. God requires your mind to be in a place where it is usable and attractive to God.

2. Be clothed in righteousness

We also see in this verse that God required Jeshua to have clean clothes.

(Zechariah 3:5 NLT) “[5] Then I said, “They should also place a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean priestly turban on his head and dressed him in new clothes while the angel of the LORD stood by.”

This is a metaphor for clean living. Your lifestyle must match the standards of God.

3. Walk in the ways of the Holy Spirit

Zecharia 3:6-7 goes on to say:

(Zechariah 3:6-7 NLT) “[6] Then the angel of the LORD spoke very solemnly to Jeshua and said, [7] “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: If you follow my ways and carefully serve me, then you will be given authority over my Temple and its courtyards. I will let you walk among these others standing here.”

This shows that Jeshua was also required to be led by the Holy Spirit in everything he did. (Myles 2019)

4. Observe the covenant of total obedience

We see in v.7:

(Zechariah 3:7 NLT) [7] “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: If you follow my ways and carefully serve me, then you will be given authority over my Temple and its courtyards. I will let you walk among these others standing here.”

We can interpret this as a direct reference to the importance of obedience in order to operate in the Courts of Heaven.

There is protocol in the Courts of Heaven. We cannot present legal cases before the Courts of Heaven in disobedience, as this puts us under the dominion of Satan. When we live in disobedience we compromise our legal standing and jurisdiction in the Courts of Heaven. Satan then uses our own disobedience, which he would have encouraged us to do, as a legal threshold to resist our petition before God. Basically, you should repent of anything you think you have done and for things you don’t even realise you have done before even attempting to intercede for someone else.

5. Lay down your own life as a living sacrifice

Die to self and make sure you follow God above everything and everyone.

(Revelation 12:11 NLT) “[11] And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.”

and

(Jhn 12:25-26 NLT) [25] Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. [26] Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.

Clearly God must come first.

6. Walk in humility

Humility robs Satan of any legal footing to resist our legal authority and standing before the Courts of Heaven. Also the Bible states that God resists the proud in James 4:6. Pride is the quickest way to get the Holy Spirit to resist you. (Myles 2019, pp.54-61).

Case Study Zechariah 3

Background

(Zec 3:1 NLT) [1] Then the angel showed me Jeshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD. The Accuser, Satan, was there at the angel’s right hand, making accusations against Jeshua.

Jeshua who was a high priest (modern day equivalent would be the Archbishop of Canterbury) was on trial. Jesus (the Angel of the Lord) was his defence attorney, as Jesus is our advocade due to Him dying and raising again. Satan was the prosecution. This is what happens in the heavenly court for real. Satan has actual legal standing for his accusations against us and acuses us day and night before God with irrefutable evidence.

Legal Standing

Even the Supreme Court of the United States of America will not hear a case without standing. If Satan is before the highest court, that is God’s court, he will have already proved standing. In the case of Jeshua, as Jesus and Satan were both in the courtroom they both agreed that there was enough evidence to put Jeshua on trial.

Redeeming Principles From Jesus

The trial starts with Jesus rebuking Satan and lays out 2 redeeming principles as grounds for a verdict favouring Jeshua.

  • Jesus appeals to God the Father to consider His predetermined purposes for Isreal and Jeshua as a high priest when He says:

The Lord chose Jerusalem

  • Jesus used His status as our kinsman redeemer (an ancient tradition where a family member who was more well off was able to redeem something for another family member who was less fortunate). This was an appeal to the mercy of God the Father through Jesus.

Satans Evidence

(Zec 3:3-4 NLT) [3] Jeshua’s clothing was filthy as he stood there before the angel. [4] So the angel said to the others standing there, “Take off his filthy clothes.” And turning to Jeshua he said, “See, I have taken away your sins, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes.”

  1. Satan presented evidence of Jeshua’s dirty clothes, which represented unclean living or self-righteous living, however Jesus said take away the dirty clothes. This is made possible today by the death and resurrection of Jesus. At the Crucifixtion took our sin upon Himself and the punishment for that sin as well. In exchange, we get to identify to God the Father through the sacrifice of Jesus as someone whose debt is already paid and the sin and judgement, Jesus had already taken away.
  2. Things family have done was also evidence presented against Jeshua that was what “iniquity” means but Jesus not only replaces the old clothes (sin/lifestyle) with clean clothes (a good lifestyle) but removes the charge against Jeshua’s bloodline.
  3. A dirty mind and other unhelpful mindsets was another piece of evidence Satan brought against Jeshua in Zecharia 3:5:

    (Zec 3:5 NLT) [5] Then I said, “They should also place a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean priestly turban on his head and dressed him in new clothes while the angel of the LORD stood by.

    However, Jesus removed this, with the instruction of the placing of the clean turban. This is possible through salvation.

  4. Not walking in the ways of God was evidence Zec 3:6-7:

    (Zec 3:6-7 NLT) [6] Then the angel of the LORD spoke very solemnly to Jeshua and said, [7] “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: If you follow my ways and carefully serve me, then you will be given authority over my Temple and its courtyards. I will let you walk among these others standing here.

  5. Jeshua was clearly making up things as he went along and Satan knows that God does not anoint our agenda. Only His perfect will. This verse also shows that not living according to the commandments of God (the Word of God or the Bible) was used as evidence against Jeshua. However, through Salvation and inviting the Holy Spirit into ones life and living in Covenant with God, according to the Word of God, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, this was addressed.

By the end of the trial not only did Jesus got Jeshua through salvation (modern day equivalent of this is the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus), clean living, obedience to the Word of God and a holy mind. Jesus also made Joshua a judge in the courts of heaven Zechariah 3:7. Judges were people like Samuel see the book of Judges.

Please note that Jesus had words with Jeshua about his lifestyle. This is important because without the lifestyle you do not get the standing with God in the Heavenly Courts. Jeshua’s standing, as someone able to operate in the Courts of Heaven was dependent upon his ability to fulfil the requirements of his position (Myles 2019, pp.69-78).

Ok got all that? Now here’s my step by step guide for an intercession session in the Holy of Holies, the Heavenly Courts!

aaand now for the step-by-step guide!

Step-By-Step Guide On How To Intercede For People

  1. Make time and find somewhere quiet and private, you can have another person(s) praying with you as well!
  2. REPENT
  3. Worship
  4. Ask the Holy Spirit to take you into the Holy of Holies
  5. Be still and reverent for a moment
  6. Ask the court to be seated – Daniel 7:10
  7. Boldly but respectfully present your precedent for approaching God, I have written out this part for you: (use I or We as appropriate).

Father God please remember what Jesus did on the cross:

(John 10:10-11 NLT) “[10] The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. [11] “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.”

Jesus came to earth and died and You rose Him again so that I/we could be sanctified and atoned to You Father God, so the veil between us and You was torn and I/we could come to You direct through what Jesus did:

(John 3:16-18 NLT) “[16] “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. [17] God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. [18] “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.”

I believe in Jesus and that through his death and resurrection my sins are forgiven and I am atoned to you Father God as it says in…

(Hebrews 4:14-16 NLT) “[14] So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. [15] This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. [16] So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”

It also says in…

(Ephesians 2:17-18 NLT) “[17] He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. [18] Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.”

Therefore according to the Word of God in (Romans 11:17 NLT), as a Gentile (someone who is not a Jew) I have been

… grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God’s special olive tree.”

(for the women) – This makes my identity in Christ according to (Song of Songs 7:1 NLT)

…A queenly maiden.

(for everyone) This makes my identity in Christ part of a…

(1 Peter 2:9 NLT) …a chosen people…royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession….

Therefore, in the name of Jesus Christ, Father God I come boldly before Your throne, justified by Faith in Jesus Christ and the sacrifice that Jesus made to atone me to Yourself, (women only) a Queenly maiden (everyone) of Your Royal priesthood by Jesus’ sacrifice, a Gentile grafted in to Abraham’s family and therefore heir to the promises given to Abraham and Your very own possession, asking You to hear my case as You said in…

Isaiah 43:26 NLT Let us review the situation together, and you can present your case to prove your innocence”

and furthermore in…

Isaiah 1:18 NLT “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.

I/We can come before you and present our case for you to hear and rule on.”

  1. Beg for mercy for the individual and present the issue concerning the other person which usually revolves around the following:
    1. Need to protect territory
    2. Restrain ungodly and damaging behaviour
    3. Stop enemies of the Gospel
    4. Stop the work of Satan in that persons life
    5. Stop premature death
    6. Stop a devastating act of nature
    7. Stop good people from sinning
    8. Preserve God’s destiny on a persons life
    9. Stop sexual preditation (Myles 2019, pp.124-136)
  2. Don’t stop till the Holy Spirit tells you, wait for the Holy Spirit to give you a feeling that you are done then stop.
  3. Thank God for listening I have written this out for you:Thank you Father God for listening and hearing my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen
  4. Continue to pray about the situation when you feel you should
  5. Live a holy life so you satisfy the requirements to enter into the Courts of Heaven. These requirements includes the following:

Offer sacrifices at the alter the sacrifice must be a “…broken Spirit…”

(Psalm 51:16-17 NLT) “[16] You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. [17] The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.”

A holy atmosphere must come into your house/life/workplace through you that will counteract the evil taking place around you, when you do that God will accept you and His Spirit will inhabit your life. This is only achieved through obedience to God’s Word:

(Ezekiel 43:22-27 NLT) “[22] “On the second day, sacrifice as a sin offering a young male goat that has no physical defects. Then cleanse and make atonement for the altar again, just as you did with the young bull. [23] When you have finished the cleansing ceremony, offer another young bull that has no defects and a perfect ram from the flock. [24] You are to present them to the LORD, and the priests are to sprinkle salt on them and offer them as a burnt offering to the LORD. [25] “Every day for seven days a male goat, a young bull, and a ram from the flock will be sacrificed as a sin offering. None of these animals may have physical defects of any kind. [26] Do this each day for seven days to cleanse and make atonement for the altar, thus setting it apart for holy use. [27] On the eighth day, and on each day afterward, the priests will sacrifice on the altar the burnt offerings and peace offerings of the people. Then I will accept you. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!””

This is also achieved by accepting, proclaiming and teaching the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross:

(John 17:15-20 NLT) “[15] I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. [16] They do not belong to this world any more than I do. [17] Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. [18] Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. [19] And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth. [20] “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message.”

Loving one another:

(1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 NLT) “[12] And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows. [13] May he, as a result, make your hearts strong, blameless, and holy as you stand before God our Father when our Lord Jesus comes again with all his holy people. Amen.”

Respecting those in leadership over you and encourage one another:

(1 Thessalonians 5:12-26 NLT) “[12] Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. [13] Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other. [14] Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. [15] See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people. [16] Always be joyful. [17] Never stop praying. [18] Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. [19] Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. [20] Do not scoff at prophecies, [21] but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. [22] Stay away from every kind of evil. [23] Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. [24] God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful. [25] Dear brothers and sisters, pray for us. [26] Greet all the brothers and sisters with Christian love.”

Obedience to God, doing good to others, proclaiming, teaching and accepting the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and obedience and respect of spiritual leaders (officers of the church, e.g. pastor, deacon etc):

(Hebrews 13:11-17 NLT) “[11] Under the old system, the high priest brought the blood of animals into the Holy Place as a sacrifice for sin, and the bodies of the animals were burned outside the camp. [12] So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood. [13] So let us go out to him, outside the camp, and bear the disgrace he bore. [14] For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. [15] Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. [16] And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God. [17] Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.”

Ooook happy interceding!

xxx

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Bibliography

Myles, F. 2019. Issuing Divine Restraining Orders from the Courts of Heaven. Courts of Heaven Series. Destiny Image Publishers Inc USA

Hello World! #new

Hey,

As promised here is what’s new:

Xxx

P.S. Give me a week or so to transfer the vids from the old YouTube account to the new one.

Whoops forgot to put the new Facebook page here: follow this link to my new Facebook page

Totally Neat #YouTube Video I Found About #Solomon’s #Temple #biblestudy #Christian

Hey!

I’ve been having really nice personal Bible study time lately. I’ve been getting up around 3am-5am and just taking my time with Jesus.

You know Bible study can involve not just reading the Bible but other things to supplement understanding as well.

I’ve read the whole Bible several times now and I am at 1 Kings at the moment. This time around I wanted to fully immerse myself in the text and I tried to find pictures of what the things I was reading about might have looked like.

In my search Jesus led me to this really neat video on YouTube that really explains what King Solomon’s temple would have looked like and gives some other background information that is totally helpful.

Enjoy, P.S. that description of the Temple is in 1 Kings chapter 6 to 7. Happy reading! ✝☺ 📖 ⛪😇

Xxx

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HALT! – What Happened When I Was Hungry, Angry, Lonely & Tired! – #sex #music #Christian #Biblestudy

Dear all,

Have you heard of the acronym “HALT” stands for Hungry Angry Lonely Tired? It has consequences on your mind if you are in a place where you are all those things, leaving you vulnerable to relapse into a negative state and initiate a craving reaction… Being in a HALT state also shows that you are not taking care of yourself like you should. Here’s how it affected me the past two weeks.

What happened

Sometimes we can be called to do things but we allow the calling to become bigger than the One who called us. As I said, I’ve been overwhelmed with doing stuff, which made me Angry. This stuff was stuff which I should be doing and is important and vital to the continuation of the ministry at my church. However, I’ve been trying so hard that I even wasn’t reading my Bible as much as I should which made me spiritually Hungry and I felt Jesus was becoming jealous of the calling in that I was giving it more time that I was giving Him. So I finally finished what I had to do which was important and time sensitive and then I crashed in an emotionally/physically exhausted way (one night I even stayed up till after 8am doing stuff) because I was very Tired, on day I took off. That is when Jesus revealed the following to me whilst I was talking to Him please continue to read the following which happened last week:

I was sitting having a lovely day off and laying down having a conversation with Jesus on my bed and I noticed a few things different about that day. Firstly, the visions that Jesus shows me regularly came back. Jesus shows me visions and lots of other things regularly but since I was so busy I noticed they stopped, which made me a bit Lonely I thought maybe Jesus wasn’t showing me them because I was moving onto something else, no, I just was soo busy that what I was doing was competing for mental space with Jesus and Jesus was just not willing to compete but when I took a day off and Jesus was no longer in competition I noticed they came back.

Secondly, Jesus opened my eyes to the fact that I had been having nosebleeds for 2 weeks straight, culminating in a rather large one on the day I rested. I noticed it but I didn’t put two and two together to see the correlation between how much stress I was taking on and the nosebleeds. I had been internalizing so much stress and it was coming out as nosebleeds, I didn’t notice till I took a day off that I was not allowing Jesus to take my burdens and it was beginning to damage my health. How much stress does a person have to be under to have nosebleeds every day? Answer, a lot and to be so stressed that you don’t even realise it’s making you ill is dangerous. So again, by letting the calling become bigger than Jesus and taking on things all by myself I was damaging my health.

Anyway, revelations aside I felt like had quite a nice conversation with Jesus. I was feeling really quite tired by the end of the conversation as I had done stupid things like stayed up all night till past 8am in the morning working, so pulling proper all nighters and I was knackered by my day off.

So… I decided I would actually get into bed and lay down. I went to sleep, had a very strange dream and then woke up.

When I woke up, being in a HALT state had initiated a craving reaction and for the life of me I could not stop thinking about sex… I had very naughty thoughts (which I will not expand upon) solidly for a good hour or two about having sex in the control room of a music studio… I’m not even kidding, there was absolutely nothing else in my mind and it was as lucid as if I was there… (I’m definitely going to hide this blog post from my mother) I’m a musician. We are more prone to finding things like that sexy… Don’t judge meeeeeeeee!

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I couldn’t believe that I had actually thought such dirtiness just after having quite a nice, jovial conversation with Jesus before my nap.

And then I thought to myself:

“You know what? I’m not as good of a person as I thought I was”

and I shook my head at myself as I admitted my 29 year old humanity…

Normally, I avoid highly sexualised thoughts because firstly it’s a distraction and secondly it’s not good to focus on something that isn’t real. Lastly, there are Biblical reasons that revolve around how we are to conduct our thoughts and the Biblical mandate to not have sex before marriage (see my previous blog post about this)

  • I am not married so I need to rein it in for holiness reasons (and also for my own sanity…)
  • Jesus said that even if you think about doing a sin it’s just as bad as doing the sin. Sins can be committed both in our minds and by our actions. God tells us that we can sin in our minds just by lusting after someone. A person can sin by giving in to an inner emotion or passion and then dwelling on that emotion or passion like it says in Matthew 5:27-28:

(Matthew 5:27-28 NLT) “[27] “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ [28] But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

  • Temptations are not from God but from Satan to drag us down and get us to do the bad things we are tempted to do and we should not meditate on our temptations. Sin does not occur when the emotion, thought, or passion first comes. However, if those thoughts are not resisted, then sin occurs when we give in to the emotion, thought or passion by dwelling on it (Never Thirsty 2019) like it says in James 1:12-15:

(James 1:12-15 NLT) “[12] God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. [13] And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. [14] Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. [15] These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”

  • Additionally, what we think can make us dirty from the inside out as vocalised in Matthew 15:18-20

(Matthew 15:18-20 NLT) “[18] But the words you speak come from the heart–that’s what defiles you. [19] For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. [20] These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.””

  • A person sins by dwelling on something that God has told us to avoid. When we sin on the outside we demonstrate to God, to others, and to ourselves that we have already sinned on the inside. God has asked us to resist the temptation to sin by fleeing from it. We are not supposed to see how close we can come without sinning. Fleeing starts with avoiding thoughts about the sin as it says in Romans 16:19:

(Romans 16:19 NLT) “[19] But everyone knows that you are obedient to the Lord. This makes me very happy. I want you to be wise in doing right and to stay innocent of any wrong.”

We read in 2 Timothy 2:22 to also run away from anything that would stimulates “youthful lusts”.

(2 Timothy 2:22 NLT) “[22] Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.”

So we really shouldn’t be dwelling on nonsense that will stimulate us in a way that is not holy. Instead we should be focussing on living descent holy lives.

So it got me thinking, how did this happen? It happened because I was spiritually and probably physically hungry. I was angry, lonely in a spiritual and physical sense and I was spiritually and physically tired… This then kick-started an instinctive craving mode to try fill the gap normally occupied by Jesus who nourishes me, keeps me calm, gives me company and renews my strength because I was previously too busy to engage with Jesus.

So how do we deal with cravings/bad thoughts that come with being in a HALT state?

Read your Bible Daily – to avoid being spiritually Hungry

I admit it, I was not reading my Bible as much as I should, I can’t believe 2 weeks of not paying at much attention to Jesus as I should as well as skipping a few days of Bible reading and my mind went south, literally… lol. My mind was stressed and did not have it’s daily meal of the Word all the time and the word calms me down. So what did my mind then gravitate towards, something that would naturally calm a person down and give some sort of… umm… release? lol. Sex 🙂 you need to read your Bible every day. I read it morning and night. Read it more than you have to the Bible says we are supposed to meditate on the Word all the time. The Word is also food for our souls. My soul was half starved and hungry, no wonder I was thinking crazy things.

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Change your focus – to avoid being Angry

Stop making your primary focus on things to do with Jesus or your ministry or everything and start making your focus actually Jesus Christ. Stop focussing primarily on your problems and the people making your problems worse as this made me Angry and look for constructive solutions and make sure you always give Christ supremacy in your thoughts.

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Commit our thoughts to prayer – to avoid being Lonely

We commit them to prayer, my problem was that I was not talking to or thinking about Jesus as much as I should because I was so busy doing the things Jesus asked me to do. This made me Lonely. I then crashed (emotionally) it was only then that I noticed the vacuum in my brain where thoughts about and for Jesus would normally have inhabited. The vacuum was filled with sex, thoughts of sex anyway lol… I needed to pray more to inject my humanity with holiness.

(1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT) “[17] Never stop praying.”

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Don’t overwork – to avoid being Tired

(Psalm 127:2 NLT) “[2] It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.”

Does what it says on the tin really.

Conclusion

I was Hungry (spiritually starved), Angry (due to the people around me making my task more difficult), Lonely (from lack of interaction with Jesus) and Tired (from over working, I actually ended up in A&E for fatigue related accident, related to how tired I was from doing what I was doing). Apparently, when you are these things as a man you shouldn’t go on the internet…. Seems as though that works for women to! I didn’t go on the internet btw but my mind just went south lol.

On a separate note, I wrote a blog post about issues men have here: 3 Ways The Devil Tempts Men

  • Hungry – Eat your spiritual food which is reading the Bible
  • Angry – Change your focus to things for and of Jesus
  • Lonely – pray and talk to Jesus
  • Tired – Don’t overwork and give Jesus and your family the time they deserve

If it took two weeks of distraction, overwork, then me crashing, for my mind to be in the gutter goodness knows what other people who don’t read their Bible regularly or talk to Jesus regularly all year must be struggling with.

Here’s some resources:

https://healthypsych.com/h-a-l-t-hungry-angry-lonely-and-tired-a-self-care-tool/

https://bustedhalo.com/features/what-works-10-halt-hungry-angry-lonely-tired

https://bradfordhealth.com/halt-hunger-anger-loneliness-tiredness/

Catherine xxx

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Bibliography

Never Thirsty, ‘When does thinking about a sin become a sin’ Never Thirsty Web site, at: <https://www.neverthirsty.org/bible-qa/qa-archives/question/when-does-thinking-about-a-sin-become-a-sin/&gt; 9 September 2019

What are you doing with your freedom? | #christianity #Jesus #internet #time #blog #endtimes

Hello everybody,

A serious one today. I have been meditating on when Jesus is going to come back and judge the world. Jesus is all around us and always has been but Jesus came once in a way that everyone could see to save us by taking the penalty of our sin, which was death, on Himself, to reconcile us to God.

The Bible also talks about Jesus returning a second time to then judge us. Basically the first trip was a mercy trip, the second trip is Jesus saying “I told you how to behave; corrected your misunderstandings; warned you and took the penalty on myself the first time; now you know better as you have had well over 2000 years to meditate on what I said, multiple independent theologians, theorists and philosophers have pawed over the Bible to help people understand; plus you have the Holy Spirit so you know much better and there is no longer any excuse for your behaviour and anyone still misbehaving is going to get punished”. This second arrival of Jesus in a way that everyone, not just followers of Jesus can see, is commonly called the Second Coming of Jesus. The Bible tells us about this time in multiple places but here is an example from Mark.

Mark 13:4-27,32-37 [NLT]
“Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to be fulfilled?” [5] Jesus replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, [6] for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. [7] And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. [8] Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in many parts of the world, as well as famines. But this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. [9] “When these things begin to happen, watch out! You will be handed over to the local councils and beaten in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. [10] For the Good News must first be preached to all nations. [11] But when you are arrested and stand trial, don’t worry in advance about what to say. Just say what God tells you at that time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit. [12] “A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed. [13] And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. [14] “The day is coming when you will see the sacrilegious object that causes desecration standing where he should not be.” (Reader, pay attention!) “Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. [15] A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. [16] A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat. [17] How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. [18] And pray that your flight will not be in winter. [19] For there will be greater anguish in those days than at any time since God created the world. And it will never be so great again. [20] In fact, unless the Lord shortens that time of calamity, not a single person will survive. But for the sake of his chosen ones he has shortened those days. [21] “Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it. [22] For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. [23] Watch out! I have warned you about this ahead of time! [24] “At that time, after the anguish of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will give no light, [25] the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. [26] Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds with great power and glory. [27] And he will send out his angels to gather his chosen ones from all over the world-from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven…[32] “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows. [33] And since you don’t know when that time will come, be on guard! Stay alert! [34] “The coming of the Son of Man can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. When he left home, he gave each of his slaves instructions about the work they were to do, and he told the gatekeeper to watch for his return. [35] You, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know when the master of the household will return-in the evening, at midnight, before dawn, or at daybreak. [36] Don’t let him find you sleeping when he arrives without warning. [37] I say to you what I say to everyone: Watch for him!”

So all we know is that it is going to happen but we don’t know when. So what will happen when Jesus comes? Well the Bible says:

Matthew 24:37-41 [NLT]
“When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. [38] In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. [39] People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes. [40] “Two men will be working together in the field; one will be taken, the other left. [41] Two women will be grinding flour at the mill; one will be taken, the other left.”

God is just going to suddenly take people to heaven, you know like the end of Avengers: Infinity War? Except people who are taken go to heaven instead of dying like in the film lol. If you’ve seen the film “the end” is going to be like that but happy lol. What will happen to all those people who God doesn’t take to heaven? They get judged for not being ready. What do I mean by not being ready? I mean people who have not given their lives to God and are not dong the right thing, whatever that is in their scenario. Maybe you’re secretly sleeping with you’re girlfriend when you know you should not be? You can’t take your eye of your colleagues wife? Or ladies you’re lusting after your gardener! lol. Stop it, deal with those things that put a distance between you and God. I’m talking to myself as well, I know there are some things I do that I should not. This is what happens to those whose lives are not right with God making them not ready:

Matthew 13:24-30,36-43 [NLT]
Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. [25] But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. [26] When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. [27] “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’ [28] “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed. “‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked. [29] “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. [30] Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.'”…[36] Then, leaving the crowds outside, Jesus went into the house. His disciples said, “Please explain to us the story of the weeds in the field.” [37] Jesus replied, “The Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed. [38] The field is the world, and the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. [39] The enemy who planted the weeds among the wheat is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world, and the harvesters are the angels. [40] “Just as the weeds are sorted out and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the world. [41] The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. [42] And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. [43] Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!

So if you’re not ready, meaning that you have not given your life to Christ and you’re not doing the right things then you will not being gong to heaven you will go to hell. You have to not only have given your life to Christ but you must also be doing the right thing as well.

The Bible gives us another metaphor of how we are to wait for Jesus to return: ( just to clarify we are the servants in the metaphor and Jesus is the master by the way)

Luke 12:35-40,42-48 NLT
“Be dressed for service [bloggers note: this service represents the end of the world] and keep your lamps burning, [36] as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. [37] The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat! [38] He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn. But whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready. [39] “Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would not permit his house to be broken into. [40] You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.”… [42] And the Lord replied, “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. [43] If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. [44] I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. [45] But what if the servant thinks, ‘My master won’t be back for a while,’ and he begins beating the other servants, partying, and getting drunk? [46] The master will return unannounced and unexpected, and he will cut the servant in pieces and banish him with the unfaithful. [47] “And a servant who knows what the master wants, but isn’t prepared and doesn’t carry out those instructions, will be severely punished. [48] But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.

And that last verse is where we return to the issue of the title of this post.

Luke 12:48 NLT
But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.

In the West we are soo privileged, we have soo much, we have so much freedom. In the grand scheme of things we are rich compared to everybody else. We have religious freedom, women don’t have to be covered up if they don’t want to. If we want to go to church we can without fear, our internet isn’t censored like in other parts of the world. We have internet! We invented it! (well a British man did actually). We have access to books, wealth, information, teachers, etc and so on.

In the East, hey don’t have access to all of those things, however, God has made things more even when it comes to Jesus’ second coming. The East with all their disenfranchisement has something precious that the West does not have and that is…time.

When Jesus comes back, as is the case currently, whatever day it is in the West it will be one day later in the East. The East is sometimes a good 8-24hrs (double check this lol) ahead of the West. SEE THIS WORLD CLOCK FOR FURTHER DETAILS The East has one more day than the West to get their lives straight with Jesus. In the West we are so free to look for ourselves, if you haven’t heard of God and you’re part of a European /American country you have lived a very sheltered life indeed.

The reason why I say the East has more time is because if Jesus comes during their morning time it’s our night time, people could have gone to bed angry or had an argument or a rough night, they are sleeping, caught unaware with no time to ask God’s forgiveness. Whereas in the East they would have already had a rough night, woken up had time to think, meditated on their behaviour and maybe thought let me ask Jesus forgiveness. Even if Jesus comes during their nighttime they still would end up having had more daytime than us. More time to meditate.

God will ask you what you did with the prosperity you were given. We might have a couple hours less daytime in the end but the West has been given so much other things and God expects much from us in return, those of us who are more free should be more ready, more aware of God and doing good and not in need of extra time like some other places. Interestingly, the Pacific Islands are actually the most ahead in time and the America’s are the most behind, America has the least time. Mmm the most powerful country has the least time and the least power countries have the most.

My question today to those of us in the West is what are you doing with your freedom? Whilst you still have it… What are you using your internet for? What’s on your laptop? What’s on your smartphone? Hope Jesus comes when we aren’t sleeping. How are you using your prosperity? Are you using it to get to know your creator and do good to make the world a better place or are you using it to make a nuisance of yourself?

After reading this please get out your Bible and pray, if you don’t know Jesus but would like to or you feel like you need to refresh your relationship with Jesus just say:

“Jesus I’m sorry for trying to do things my way, please come into my life, make me a new person and please forgive me of my sins, Holy Spirit please fill me and help me to worship Jesus and do the right thing”

Then please find a church filled with some good Bible believing people and start your journey with God. The Alpha Course is a good place to start for new Christians! :–> https://alpha.org/

Catherine x

I Wrote A Song About #Sex for my #PhD | #phdlife #freelance #musician #soundcloud #music #feminism |

Hello Everyone!

So as we know I’m doing a PhD in Music, in the area of Theomusicology & Feminist Musicology and some other things, with a practical element to it. So one of the things I’m looking at is how women and sex is represented in music as my project is interested in sexual politics (in a metaphorical sense) but in a literal sense sexual politics is also about sex. In response to my findings I’m going to produce some songs on the topic. The practical portfolio will have songs on various topics relating to women and music and theology. It will make sense when you read my thesis. Here’s a paraphrased summary of what I’ve learned, the full academic essay will come later.

I chose the topic of marital sex as a context for my section on women, music and sex. My intended outcomes for this song are to present women/wives as strong, mutual/equal with men/husbands, sensual/emotional beings that enjoy sex and have their own opinions and sex drives and sexual desires that are just as important as the man’s within the context of marital sex. Furthermore, as I am a woman of colour, I am writing from the perspective of a woman of colour and I hope that my piece along with the values therein, will address the negative stereotypes about women of colour that perpetuate within Western contemporary songs about sex. In Western popular songs about sex, women of colour are usually represented in the most abased and course way. Furthermore, songwriters have an irritating habit if sexualizing the ways in which women of colour are often discriminated against, race, gender and class, by presenting them as the hot abused poor baby mamas *rolls eyes*, or one night stands, never anything good etc. Instead I, have written and performed a song, from the perspective of a woman of colour about being in a sexual relationship within the socio-economic status and security of being a wife, the lyrics talk about saying “I do” and rings etc. (you don’t have to be some guys baby mama, why are we always shown as the baby mama and not the wife?) and not a victim in sexual activity but a willing, consensual, active and committed participant. (N.B. I am not and have never been married this is just in the fictional narrative of the song).

As mentioned earlier, this song is about the joys of marital sex, as experienced by two fictional newly-weds. It follows the metaphor, imagery and form of ‘Song of Songs’ which is also called Song of Solomon, my favourite book of the Bible, (talking about gardens, fragrant spices, greenery, little foxes, having sex outside, it’s all in Song of Songs lol). Song of Songs is actually about the love between a dark skinned woman and King Solomon.

Song of Solomon 1:5 [NLT]
I am dark but beautiful, O women of Jerusalem- dark as the tents of Kedar, dark as the curtains of Solomon’s tents.

It also represents a counter-cultural approach to romantic relationships between men and women, as it is in fact the woman who pursues the man. I tried to reflect this in arranging it for a female singer and making the tone of the lyrics, that of someone who is a pursuer and initiator of physical intimacy. I also show the woman as initiator as well as mutual consenting participant, instead of a passive participant or victim. The lead vocal (the woman/bride) vocalises decisions about her own sexual desires and needs. You can find the woman in Song of Songs doing the same thing. The theomusicology comes in the narrative of the lyrics which implies that now they’re married they can have sex when and wherever they want to lol (within reason), which is a Christian theological standpoint (I’m a Christian btw). So it implies restraint and commitment before coitus, not after.

I also decided to make it walking pace because I found that most songs about sex and women, especially sex with or about or by women of colour, have quite a strong beat and lyrically emphasise the fun of sex with chauvinistic, misogynoir lyrics that often contextualise the woman and the act within the erotic, encouraging male brains to switch to autopilot, focussing entirely on the physicality and pleasure of sex, not the love. My piece is a response to these negative things I found. It is slow(ish) to be meditative, slow down the heart rate and give the listener space to clear their minds and think. The listener should not get carried away by eroticism but instead wrapped up in the sweetness, sensuality, thoughtfulness and intentional nature of the act of marital sex. Looking forward to adding this to the the final portfolio! So this is a sonic, feminist, womanist critique of pop music about women and sex, using the lived experience of a woman of colour as an analytical tool for reflection. I am trying to promote the knowledge of women by uncovering the lost narratives of our experience, like a Foucauldian genealogy.

Well done for reading, here’s the track! It’s called “I Hope The Neighbours Don’t See”

You can also listen on SoundCloud. Follow this link to play or play the embedded player below:

I have a playlist on YouTube. Follow this link to play or play in the embedded player below:

The Middle 8/Bridge is inspired by a conversation I had with a middle aged man who told me that when he first got married as a young man, he gave his wife a Hickey on her neck and someone from his church saw it and told him, “now you’re married you can do that where it don’t show” hah! lol

Lots of love

Catherine x

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#wedding #makeup

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10 Things You Probably Didn’t Think About When #Reading #Genesis #Chapter 2 – #Bible #Christianity #Jesus

Hello everybody this is Part 2 of the thing I’m doing on Genesis 1 & 2, If you missed Part 1 it’s worth a read 10 Things You Probably Didn’t Think About When #Reading#Genesis #Chapter 1 – #Bible #Christianity #Jesus #PhD (follow this link to read it here).

Secondly, I’ve been writing some more music not my usual stuff (follow this link to listen) or play in the embedded player below:

Now to the article!

1.) Recapitulation – The beginning of Genesis 2 summarises what happened in Genesis 1 adding how the 7th day is holy because God rested.

Genesis 2:1-3 [NLT] – “[1] So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. [2] On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. [3] And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.”

2.) Genesis 2 has a different account of creation, the order is different and some new pieces of information are added like the springs that aren’t mentioned in Genesis 1, when were they created?

Genesis 2:4-6 [NLT] – “[4] This is the account of the creation of the heavens and the earth. When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, [5] neither wild plants nor grains were growing on the earth. For the LORD God had not yet sent rain to water the earth, and there were no people to cultivate the soil. [6] Instead, springs came up from the ground and watered all the land.”

3.) Genesis 1 & 2 have differing/conflicting accounts of the creation order:
Gen 2 order: Heavens & Earth > Land & Sea (Separation of Dry Ground & Water) > Man > Garden > Vegetation > Animals that primarily live on land > Birds > Woman and no mention of Fish etc
Gen 1 order: Heavens & Earth > Light > Atmosphere > Land & Sea (Separation of Dry Ground & Water) > Vegetation > Stars > Sun & Moon (potentially) > Life in the sea then Birds > Animals that primarily live on land > Man & Woman

Genesis 2:7-9 NLT – “[7] Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person. [8] Then the LORD God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. [9] The LORD God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground–trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

4.) More new information: we learn there were rivers and mineral deposits around the area that the Garden of Eden was, this has led to speculation that the Garden of Eden was in fact in Africa, potentially around Ethiopia. Read my previous blog for more on this (follow this link for more info).

Genesis 2:10-14 [NLT] – “[10] A river flowed from the land of Eden, watering the garden and then dividing into four branches. [11] The first branch, called the Pishon, flowed around the entire land of Havilah, where gold is found. [12] The gold of that land is exceptionally pure; aromatic resin and onyx stone are also found there. [13] The second branch, called the Gihon, flowed around the entire land of Cush. [14] The third branch, called the Tigris, flowed east of the land of Asshur. The fourth branch is called the Euphrates.”

5.) Humans were created to work! The first humans were Gardeners/Farmers. We also learn about a new special Tree that was in the Garden that humans were never supposed to eat from.

Genesis 2:15-17 [NLT] – “[15] The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. [16] But the LORD God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden– [17] except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.””

6.) HERE’S WHERE IT GETS INTERESTING!!!! Humans were created single (in terms of relationship status) but not designed to be totally alone. I’m not saying we should all get married but I am suggesting that according to Genesis 2 Humans are inherently social and it’s not good for us to be all alone. HOWEVER, let it be noted that God created friends & assistance for Adam in the form of animals first before He brought a woman into Adam’s life. How interesting. Friends first, then relationship next. That’s Gods formula.

I can only imagine that this animal interaction pre woman had to do with socialising Adam so that he was in the right state of mind and maturity in order to appreciate the woman that was to come.

There you go men, if you’re lonely, before going off and put a ring on the first thing that flutters it’s skanky little eyelids at you because you were thinking with your willy and not listening to God… get a dog. Then you will understand how to be friends with, appreciate and care for another sentient being other than your self. Also, a woman will be well impressed with how “responsible” you seem lol.

Women, if you want company or a baby so bad, don’t just sleep with the first mutant that is kind to you, shut you legs… and get a dog. You will see how much hard work it is to care for something that does not care about the fact that you want to sleep in, (I have two dogs), then after you have cleaned up it’s poo and wee for the umpteenth time, you will realise how stupid you were to try and run ahead and get pregnant with any old person, who might not be as dedicated to the idea as you are and you’ll wait a bit longer, (I literally had to stop writing this part way to deal with an, “accident”, *rolls eyes*). Eventually when you have waited for the right one who will marry you before he puts a baby in you, you will have some idea of the responsibility ahead 🙂 . N.B. A dog will also love you unconditionally, humans won’t always do that.

Genesis 2:18-20 [NLT] – “[18] Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” [19] So the LORD God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. [20] He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him.”

Another thing to note, Adam interacted with whatever God asked him to before the woman, seeing different things, getting a wider perspective on life. This helped him to get to know himself and to understand his personality, to the point where he fully understood not only what he wanted but what he needed see v 20. That’s how he knew that the animals were just not the right kind of company. I think that’s really important to stress. Adam was a whole person, knowing himself and the world around him before he committed to a woman who God brought to him. How many people have not gone through that process of seeing life and getting to knew themselves and what kind of person is appropriate for them and ended up rushing ahead and getting married to someone they later realised wasn’t quite right for them?

Also we learn from v 15 ADAM HAD A JOB!!! BEFORE GOD GAVE HIM THE WOMAN! I just felt it necessary to make that point. He was cultivating the Garden etc as God told him to so the woman was able to come to a “nest” not a wreck and a “responsible human being” not a boy. No woman wants to marry a boy it’s totally against our survival instinct. In fact, I would go so far as to say that from Genesis 2, we can understand that women are in fact not created to be in a romantic relationship with an immature man child. God brought Eve to Adam when he was mature. Later, Adam’s subsequent immaturity actually led to the fall of man see Genesis 3 and Romans 5:12-21.

7.) God brought the woman to the man when the man was least expecting it! Hehe. He literally fell asleep. Perhaps don’t freak out about wondering who, where and when you are going to meet the “one”?

Genesis 2:21-22 [NLT] – “[21] So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the LORD God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. [22] Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man.”

8.) We don’t know how long Adam was asleep for or what Jesus said to Eve whilst Adam was asleep. This shows us that the “single time” for a man and a woman is important, it’s a time for learning, getting to know Jesus as well as yourself. I wrote about this in a previous blog post here (follow this link to find out more)

9.) The first marriage was monogamous. Adam and Eve, the relationship between the Song of Songs woman and her Lover, the relationship between Christ and the Church they all have one thing in common. THEY ARE MONOGAMOUS AND HETEROSEXUAL. Marriage as God instituted it and subsequently mirrored metaphorically later in the bible has and always was is between ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN. God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. God did not encourage or institute Bigamy, Polygamy, Concubines, prostitution, sexual slavery, homosexuality or inequality between the sexes MAN DID THAT NOT GOD. You read later on in Genesis that this person and the other person had concubines but God didn’t institute that, humans (more than likely men…) did that allllllll by themselves.

Genesis 2:23-24 [NLT] – “[23] “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.'” [24] This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”

In fact, God said that the Israelite Kings were to only have one wife and Paul said that about leaders in the new testament:

Deuteronomy 17:17 NLT – “[17] The king must not take many wives for himself, because they will turn his heart away from the LORD. And he must not accumulate large amounts of wealth in silver and gold for himself.”

1 Timothy 3:2 NLT – “[2] So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife [Bloggers note: other translations say the husband of one wife]. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach.”

1 Corinthians 7:2 NLT – “[2] But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.”

10.) The first humans were NAKED!

Genesis 2:25 [NLT] – “[25] Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.”

Well I hoped you learned something from those 10 things and if you missed the previous 10 things about Genesis 1 (follow this link to read them here!)

Have a great evening Gals & Guys!

Catherine x

#New Ways To #Pray #Christian #Jesus

Hello everybody,

A short one today I’m v. busy. Two days ago I was very tired after doing a lot and praying a lot. So when it came to bedtime prayers I was very tired. (Every morning I pray and read the Bible before getting out of bed and every night I pray and read the Bible before I go to sleep).

So I decided that that night I would try something different as I was exhausted physically and emotionally. I invited Jesus to come and sit on the bed with me and listen to Christian music with me. Music that I wrote actually and just meditated on the lyrics, what they mean, what I can do better, how can I use these, the themes, reflecting on my relationship with Jesus, where we have been and asking Jesus questions.

I found it refreshing just to meditate in Jesus’ presence. The stress just washed off me and I don’t remember when I fell asleep! 

Try it. Put on some Christian music, if you write Christian music and it’s recorded put it on! Invite God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit to come and sit with you, meditate on God, ask Jesus questions and bask in the Holy Spirit.

Much love,

Catherine

What The Bible Says About Taxes! #freelance #musician #tax #money

Hey everybody lets talk about money!

So I was reading 2 Corinthians 8, the part where Paul was talking about giving and how he said give in proportion to what you have: 2 Corinthians 8:10-15 NLT

“[10] Here is my advice: It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago. Last year you were the first who wanted to give, and you were the first to begin doing it. [11] Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have. [12] Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. [13] Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. [14] Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal. [15] As the Scriptures say, “Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough.””

Paul was talking about giving to the Christians in Jerusalem who were poor and being persecuted. He was being so reasonable, by saying in v 13-14 that they have a lot right now and others have very little, so they can afford to give more. However, they shouldn’t give more than they can afford. Makes sense right? So this got me thinking about taxes. I feel like this verse justifies people with more money having to pay more tax and people with less money having to pay less tax, that is what you call a progressive tax system, which is essentially what the government wants you to think that we have.

In actual fact, in the UK, the more you earn the more tax “loopholes” you are able to take advantage of. I think I speak for everyone when I say that the system is quite disgusting.

What does the Bible say about taxes?

In early times there was at one point a minimum age to qualify for tax and also only men paid the tax
(I’m not saying I want to return to only men paying taxes because that would mean that only men are working, even if women were working it wouldn’t be fair to make only men pay tax) Exodus 30:11-16 [NLT]:

“[11] Then the LORD said to Moses, [12] “Whenever you take a census of the people of Israel, each man who is counted must pay a ransom for himself to the LORD. Then no plague will strike the people as you count them. [13] Each person who is counted must give a small piece of silver as a sacred offering to the LORD. (This payment is half a shekel, based on the sanctuary shekel, which equals twenty gerahs.) [14] All who have reached their twentieth birthday must give this sacred offering to the LORD. [15] When this offering is given to the LORD to purify your lives, making you right with him, the rich must not give more than the specified amount, and the poor must not give less. [16] Receive this ransom money from the Israelites, and use it for the care of the Tabernacle. It will bring the Israelites to the LORD’s attention, and it will purify your lives.””

You paid taxes in proportion to your wealth 2 Kings 23:35 [[NLT]

“[35] In order to get the silver and gold demanded as tribute by Pharaoh Neco, Jehoiakim collected a tax from the people of Judah, requiring them to pay in proportion to their wealth.”

Taxes were used to restore and maintain the temple, In modern days we would call this reinvesting public money into public services 2 Chronicles 24:6-14 [NLT]:

“[6] So the king called for Jehoiada the high priest and asked him, “Why haven’t you demanded that the Levites go out and collect the Temple taxes from the towns of Judah and from Jerusalem? Moses, the servant of the LORD, levied this tax on the community of Israel in order to maintain the Tabernacle of the Covenant.” [7] Over the years the followers of wicked Athaliah had broken into the Temple of God, and they had used all the dedicated things from the Temple of the LORD to worship the images of Baal. [8] So now the king ordered a chest to be made and set outside the gate leading to the Temple of the LORD. [9] Then a proclamation was sent throughout Judah and Jerusalem, telling the people to bring to the LORD the tax that Moses, the servant of God, had required of the Israelites in the wilderness. [10] This pleased all the leaders and the people, and they gladly brought their money and filled the chest with it. [11] Whenever the chest became full, the Levites would carry it to the king’s officials. Then the court secretary and an officer of the high priest would come and empty the chest and take it back to the Temple again. This went on day after day, and a large amount of money was collected. [12] The king and Jehoiada gave the money to the construction supervisors, who hired masons and carpenters to restore the Temple of the LORD. They also hired metalworkers, who made articles of iron and bronze for the LORD’s Temple. [13] The men in charge of the renovation worked hard and made steady progress. They restored the Temple of God according to its original design and strengthened it. [14] When all the repairs were finished, they brought the remaining money to the king and Jehoiada. It was used to make various articles for the Temple of the LORD–articles for worship services and for burnt offerings, including ladles and other articles made of gold and silver. And the burnt offerings were sacrificed continually in the Temple of the LORD during the lifetime of Jehoiada the priest.”

The taxes provided for the things needed for public service, public celebrations and “…everything necessary for the work of the Temple of our God” Nehemiah 10:32-33 [NLT]

“[32] “In addition, we promise to obey the command to pay the annual Temple tax of one-eighth of an ounce of silver for the care of the Temple of our God. [33] This will provide for the Bread of the Presence; for the regular grain offerings and burnt offerings; for the offerings on the Sabbaths, the new moon celebrations, and the annual festivals; for the holy offerings; and for the sin offerings to make atonement for Israel. It will provide for everything necessary for the work of the Temple of our God.”

Later, taxes were given according to a standardised measure, to a designated person, who was then obliged to do acts of public service Ezekiel 45:10-17 [NLT]

N.B. the princes were corrupt, they were given land/tribute to stop them stealing from & murdering the people

“[10] Use only honest weights and scales and honest measures, both dry and liquid. [11] The homer will be your standard unit for measuring volume. The ephah and the bath will each measure one-tenth of a homer. [12] The standard unit for weight will be the silver shekel. One shekel will consist of twenty gerahs, and sixty shekels will be equal to one mina. [13] “You must give this tax to the prince: one bushel of wheat or barley for every 60 you harvest, [14] one percent of your olive oil, [15] and one sheep or goat for every 200 in your flocks in Israel. These will be the grain offerings, burnt offerings, and peace offerings that will make atonement for the people who bring them, says the Sovereign LORD. [16] All the people of Israel must join in bringing these offerings to the prince. [17] The prince will be required to provide offerings that are given at the religious festivals, the new moon celebrations, the Sabbath days, and all other similar occasions. He will provide the sin offerings, burnt offerings, grain offerings, liquid offerings, and peace offerings to purify the people of Israel, making them right with the LORD.”

Taxes were sometimes a consequence of rejecting God 1 Samuel 8:5-22 [NLT]:

“[5] “Look,” they told him, “you are now old, and your sons are not like you. Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have.” [6] Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the LORD for guidance. [7] “Do everything they say to you,” the LORD replied, “for it is me they are rejecting, not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer. [8] Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually abandoned me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment. [9] Do as they ask, but solemnly warn them about the way a king will reign over them.” [10] So Samuel passed on the LORD’s warning to the people who were asking him for a king. [11] “This is how a king will reign over you,” Samuel said. “The king will draft your sons and assign them to his chariots and his charioteers, making them run before his chariots. [12] Some will be generals and captains in his army, some will be forced to plow in his fields and harvest his crops, and some will make his weapons and chariot equipment. [13] The king will take your daughters from you and force them to cook and bake and make perfumes for him. [14] He will take away the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his own officials. [15] He will take a tenth of your grain and your grape harvest and distribute it among his officers and attendants. [16] He will take your male and female slaves and demand the finest of your cattle and donkeys for his own use. [17] He will demand a tenth of your flocks, and you will be his slaves. [18] When that day comes, you will beg for relief from this king you are demanding, but then the LORD will not help you.” [19] But the people refused to listen to Samuel’s warning. “Even so, we still want a king,” they said. [20] “We want to be like the nations around us. Our king will judge us and lead us into battle.” [21] So Samuel repeated to the LORD what the people had said, [22] and the LORD replied, “Do as they say, and give them a king.” Then Samuel agreed and sent the people home.”

Officials used taxes to line their own pockets (nothing has changed) Daniel 11:20 [NLT]

“[20] “His successor will send out a tax collector to maintain the royal splendor. But after a very brief reign, he will die, though not from anger or in battle.””

Jesus hanged out with tax collectors! Matthew 9:9-13 [NLT]

“[9] As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him. So Matthew got up and followed him. [10] Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. [11] But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?” [12] When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor–sick people do.” [13] Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.””

We don’t have a “Temple Tax” now as churches are funded by donations and peoples tithes, which is a tenth of your income. Matthew 17:24-27 [NLT]

“[24] On their arrival in Capernaum, the collectors of the Temple tax came to Peter and asked him, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the Temple tax?” [25] “Yes, he does,” Peter replied. Then he went into the house. But before he had a chance to speak, Jesus asked him, “What do you think, Peter? Do kings tax their own people or the people they have conquered?” [26] “They tax the people they have conquered,” Peter replied. “Well, then,” Jesus said, “the citizens are free! [27] However, we don’t want to offend them, so go down to the lake and throw in a line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a large silver coin. Take it and pay the tax for both of us.””

Jesus said we have to pay our taxes Matthew 22:15-22 [NLT]

“[15] Then the Pharisees met together to plot how to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested. [16] They sent some of their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to meet with him. “Teacher,” they said, “we know how honest you are. You teach the way of God truthfully. You are impartial and don’t play favorites. [17] Now tell us what you think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” [18] But Jesus knew their evil motives. “You hypocrites!” he said. “Why are you trying to trap me? [19] Here, show me the coin used for the tax.” When they handed him a Roman coin, [20] he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?” [21] “Caesar’s,” they replied. “Well, then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” [22] His reply amazed them, and they went away.”

Tax collectors were always seen as corrupt in the bible, apparently they routinely overcharged people to line their own pockets… where have I heard that before? Luke 3:12-13 [NLT]

“[12] Even corrupt tax collectors came to be baptized and asked, “Teacher, what should we do?” [13] He replied, “Collect no more taxes than the government requires.””

Hear that? no more taxes than the government requires!! Stop burdening the people with extra or too much taxes to line your own pockets!!!

Luke 7:29 [NLT]

“[29] When they heard this, all the people–even the tax collectors–agreed that God’s way was right, for they had been baptized by John.”

Luke 15:1 [NLT]

“[1] Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach.”

However, some of them repented Luke 19:1-10 [NLT]

“[1] Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. [2] There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. [3] He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. [4] So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way. [5] When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” [6] Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. [7] But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled. [8] Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!” [9] Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. [10] For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.””

Let’s not feel too self righteous Luke 18:9-14 [NLT]

“[9] Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: [10] “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. [11] The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! [12] I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ [13] “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ [14] I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.””

Wow well that was a whistle stop tour of what the bible says about taxes, this is in no way an exhaustive list, there are more verses but the above examples cover the general consensus in the bible. I’m going to leave you with a few wise sayings from Ecclesiastes, the Teacher who is assumed to be King Solomon, says basically just don’t worry about things, enjoy your work, eat, drink and be merry! (N.B. For those freelancers like me, Self Assessment Tax is due January 2018, make sure your books are up to date!) Ecclesiastes 5:7-20 [NLT]

“[7] Talk is cheap, like daydreams and other useless activities. Fear God instead. [8] Don’t be surprised if you see a poor person being oppressed by the powerful and if justice is being miscarried throughout the land. For every official is under orders from higher up, and matters of justice get lost in red tape and bureaucracy. [9] Even the king milks the land for his own profit! [10] Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness! [11] The more you have, the more people come to help you spend it. So what good is wealth–except perhaps to watch it slip through your fingers! [12] People who work hard sleep well, whether they eat little or much. But the rich seldom get a good night’s sleep. [13] There is another serious problem I have seen under the sun. Hoarding riches harms the saver. [14] Money is put into risky investments that turn sour, and everything is lost. In the end, there is nothing left to pass on to one’s children. [15] We all come to the end of our lives as naked and empty-handed as on the day we were born. We can’t take our riches with us. [16] And this, too, is a very serious problem. People leave this world no better off than when they came. All their hard work is for nothing–like working for the wind. [17] Throughout their lives, they live under a cloud–frustrated, discouraged, and angry. [18] Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. [19] And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life–this is indeed a gift from God. [20] God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.”

Love,

Catherine
BA (Hons), MMus, PhD Candidate
CEO Ride The Fader Productions
www.ridethefaderproductions.com

Suffering

Hello everyone,

I watched the film King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword and God used the story as a spring board to speak to me about suffering in general, as well as my own personal suffering. Arthur went through suffering which enabled him to defeat his enemy and save his people. I enjoyed the film. The soundtrack is really interesting! I’ve been through a lot in my 27 years, not as much as others but enough.

I struggle daily with my blood sugar, exhaustion caused by mental anguish due to my health, dyslexia, dyspraxia. Because of them I have to focus so hard when reading that reading a couple pages sends me to sleep and I’m doing a PhD lol.

There’s also the Aspergers which also makes me exhausted, being around people makes me feel exhausted. I pretend like it doesn’t but it does lol. Like many autistic people I struggle to sleep because my mind won’t slow down at night so I have a habit of waking up exhausted.

On the plus side, peoplee with the above issues tend to be very creative and Jesus had made me creative. I play the: Penny Whistle in D, Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet in Bb, Alto Saxophone, Lever Harp, Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar and I sing. I also own but do not play very often the: Soprano Recorder (the common one but that’s just it’s proper name), Ocarina and a Pan Flute! I also enjoy Sketching and Painting and composing music and photography! I’ve got many hobbies.

Now what I feel God is saying is that our characters and formed through suffering, low level suffering like a child wants a PS4 and the mother says wait to high level like you maybe develop a disease or something like that.

Reading Romans 9 it seems as though God actually chooses some people to cause trouble just to show His power and then He does away with them later?

Romans 9:11-23 NLT

[11] But before they were born, before they had done anything good or bad, she received a message from God. (This message shows that God chooses people according to his own purposes; [12] he calls people, but not according to their good or bad works.) She was told, “Your older son will serve your younger son.” [13] In the words of the Scriptures, “I loved Jacob, but I rejected Esau.” [14] Are we saying, then, that God was unfair? Of course not! [15] For God said to Moses, “I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.” [16] So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it. [17] For the Scriptures say that God told Pharaoh, “I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you and to spread my fame throughout the earth.” [18] So you see, God chooses to show mercy to some, and he chooses to harden the hearts of others so they refuse to listen. [19] Well then, you might say, “Why does God blame people for not responding? Haven’t they simply done what he makes them do?” [20] No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?” [21] When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into? [22] In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. [23] He does this to make the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory.

How interesting! For scriptures relating to Pharaoh’s hard heartedness see Ex 9:12, 10:20, 10:27, 11,10, 14:8 read chapter 14 top the end to find out about what happened to Pharaoh. Also, looking at the story of Joseph, God also uses tragedy to help people as Joseph said:

Genesis 50:19-20 NLT

[19] But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? [20] You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.

And through Jesus he did! Read on till Exodus 1:7.

God is given an opportunity to show off through adversity. He also teaches us humility in the face of his sovereignty. How can you have a Tesimony without the TEST? As Paul writes:

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NLT

[7] even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. [8] Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. [9] Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. [10] That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Also, I think our “sinful natures” are tamed through adversity. Anyone recognise the following scenario?

Romans 7:14-24 NLT

[14] So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. [15] I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. [16] But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. [17] So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. [18] And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. [19] I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. [20] But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. [21] I have discovered this principle of life-that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. [22] I love God’s law with all my heart. [23] But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. [24] Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?

But you see there is hope for us with dealing with our humanity as Paul writes further in Romans:

Romans 8:1-14 NLT

[1] So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. [2] And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. [3] The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. [4] He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. [5] Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. [6] So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. [7] For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. [8] That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. [9] But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) [10] And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. [11] The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. [12] Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. [13] For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. [14] For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

Even though we try very hard to do good sometimes we just do the wrong thing. However, the difference between a child of God and someone from the world is that we will repent, recognise we are wrong accept God knows best and try our best to do what He wants us to do. Eventually we will become perfect!

John was exiled on the island of Patmos but then in his exclusion that’s where he received the revelation from Jesus that we today call the book of Revelation:

Revelation 1:9-11 NLT

[9] I, John, am your brother and your partner in suffering and in God’s Kingdom and in the patient endurance to which Jesus calls us. I was exiled to the island of Patmos for preaching the word of God and for my testimony about Jesus. [10] It was the Lord’s Day, and I was worshiping in the Spirit. Suddenly, I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet blast. [11] It said, “Write in a book everything you see, and send it to the seven churches in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”

So isolation is a tool of suffering that God used in order to speak to us and other people as well.

Another thing God broght to my attention is that He uses adversity to separate his people from the world. This is a special kind of suffering the bible teaches that will happen at the end time, this suffering is eternal. Jesus talks about it in the Parable Of The Wheat And Weeds:

Matthew 13:24-30 NLT

[24] Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. [25] But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. [26] When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. [27] “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’ [28] “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed. “‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked. [29] “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. [30] Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.'”

[JESUS THEN EXPLAINS THE PARABLE LATER]

Matthew 13:36-43 NLT

[36] Then, leaving the crowds outside, Jesus went into the house. His disciples said, “Please explain to us the story of the weeds in the field.” [37] Jesus replied, “The Son of Man is the farmer who plants the good seed. [38] The field is the world, and the good seed represents the people of the Kingdom. The weeds are the people who belong to the evil one. [39] The enemy who planted the weeds among the wheat is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world, and the harvesters are the angels. [40] “Just as the weeds are sorted out and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the world. [41] The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will remove from his Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. [42] And the angels will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. [43] Then the righteous will shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand!

I feel like all I can say is to “fight the good fight”:

1 Timothy 6:11-14 NLT

[11] But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. [12] Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have declared so well before many witnesses. [13] And I charge you before God, who gives life to all, and before Christ Jesus, who gave a good testimony before Pontius Pilate, [14] that you obey this command without wavering. Then no one can find fault with you from now until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.

When bad things come your way, the devil thinks he is doing it to break you but God is using bad things to show His power, to save other people, to humble us and help us recognise God’s sovereignty, to help us to recognise and deal with our “sinful natures”, to give us revelation/speak to us and to separate us as His own in end times.
I wrote a song about holding on in times of adversity and performed it at church, it’s called ‘We’re Holding On’ 🙂

https://soundcloud.com/hopelikerivers/were-holding-on-live-at-church

Lots of love Catherine x