The Two Men I See.

The first man I see… never stops lusting after the things of this world, trying to gratify himself with things that won’t satisfy. He seeks to fill a spiritual void with material things, but the material stuff never fills the spiritual emptiness, and he is left feeling empty. He has made a God out of money, worshipping it and seeking its rewards. He has a fuse as tiny as a mustard seed, quick to anger and slow to love. He lacks self-control. He is a slave to himself. He is filled with selfish envy, longing for what others have and wanting it for himself. He is never thankful for what he has because what he has is never enough, leading to the never-ending feeling of joyless discontent. He is driven by insecurity that he’s never enough, so he lies to make himself sound better. He seeks revenge for the people who wronged him, as though he had never wronged anyone, a hypocrite. He is a nervous wreck of anxiety worrying over minor things. He finds no rest. This first man I see is truly dead. He can’t sleep til he sins. He is desperately driven to gain the whole world but drastically loses his soul. 

But I also see another man. 

The second man I see… thirsts after the living God. His satisfaction is found in him. There is no void, for in his God is wholeness, peace and fullness of joy. He has no idols or gods. He worships God and God alone, seeking his rewards. He is patient with people when they anger him, slow to anger and abounding in love. He isn’t a slave to himself. He is a servant of God. He doesn’t need to envy. In God, he has enough. He is thankful for all God has given him, from salvation to the food on his plate. He knows where it comes from. He finds contentment and joy in God. He doesn’t need to make himself sound great, he knows he’s not enough, but he’s ok with that because, for him, God is enough. He prays for his enemies and loves those who have sinned against him. He doesn’t need to worry. He trusts his father and finds rest and refuge in him. The second man I see is truly alive. He can’t sleep till he prays. He doesn’t need this world. It’s not his home. He’s gaining heaven. 

These two men I see are both me. My flesh and my spirit. 

It is a mystery to me how such good yet such evil can coexist within me. I will never understand it, but I must do what I can to live in the spirit. 

Galatians 5:17 –  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

Who are the two men/women you see? 

Write them down, learn your areas of weakness and your areas of strength, try to understand your spirit and flesh and place boundaries in place and habits to live fully in the spirit. Starve the flesh until it craves, and when it craves, starve it more. Let it die. – Adam

Dark Valleys.

The thing about dark valleys is that we can’t see where we’re going, and sometimes it’s so dark we don’t know the next step we’re going to take, and it can be very stressful because we can’t lead ourselves. I remember when I was going through a dark valley, I was praying. I’m on my knees saying to God, “Lord, I need your direction, I need your wisdom and guidance because I honestly don’t know myself what the next step is” as I’m saying this, I think to myself, wow, when was the last time I prayed that? Why do we only ask for wisdom and guidance when we don’t know what to do? Why is it that when life is going great, we rely on God less because we think we’ve got it under control? I’ve realised that dark valleys are a good thing; they bring us back to a reliance on God because, without them, we’d pray a lot less! Dark valleys bring us back to the reality of our helpless state, our powerless incapability and our desperate need for God and his guidance. God lets us go through dark valleys so we can allow him to lead us.Psalms 23:4 – “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

When David Wrote this; there were no street lights. Dark valleys were pitch black. Not only this but sheep have lousy eyesight. So in dark valleys, the Shepard would bang his stick on the ground so the sheep could follow by hearing the Shepard. They couldn’t see where they were going, so they relied only on hearing the Shepard! Do you rely on the staff of God? 

In life, we go through dark valleys where we don’t know the next step, but take heart, for it’s these moments where God is bringing us into a deeper relationship with him, relying on his every word. Dark valleys form dependence and dependence forms relationship. 

Are you going through a dark valley? Good, Rejoice! For God is drawing you near. – Adam

Closely Walking.

Recently I’ve found myself saying or doing things that are exactly what my Dad would do. I’ll be having a conversation with someone, and maybe I’ll say something or pull a facial expression, and after I do it, I’m just like, wow, that’s exactly what Dad would say or do. The other day I saw a video of the famous Golf player tiger woods, who was playing Golf with his son. The video went viral because of how identical his son’s swing was to his Father’s, it was almost identical, and fans were left shocked. Kids copying their parents is a common thing. Studies have shown that as kids, we pick up on everything our parents do; how they speak and sound, what they say and their mannerisms, etc. As kids, we copy them without even realising it, and it just comes from being with our parents, walking with them from a young age and subconsciously copying what they do. 

In the global Church, there’s an argument of legalism vs hyper-grace. Legalism focuses more on following the rules and trying to be a “good” Christian, and hyper-grace focuses more on God’s grace and preaches laziness and a “let go and let God’ kind of attitude. I think they’re both wrong and right at the same time. I’ve been legalistic, and all it led me to was feeling un-saveable. Too bad for God’s grace, I would always condemn myself, and it burnt me out. I’ve never really tried the hyper-grace idea, but I think the concept of sinning just because God can forgive you is wrong. Paul condemns it in Romans 6:1-2. So what’s the middle ground here? 

I believe it’s about walking close to God. Sanctification is a long and unsteady process. Legalism won’t speed that process up, and being lazy by following hyper-grace is wrong. We must walk closely with the Father in prayer and study of his word, and like a child to a father, we subconsciously pick up on the words and sayings of God, on the mannerisms, attitude and wisdom. 

Do you want to be sanctified? Walk with the sanctifier! 
Do you want to be moulded like clay? Sit before the potter!

You can’t sanctify yourself, and clay can’t mould itself. That’s why legalism doesn’t work. Also, on the contrary, you can’t expect the potter to mould you when you’re far from him. Growing in God comes from walking with him. 

Matthew 11:28-29 – Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Walk with Jesus, grow in his knowledge and wisdom, pray for his will, pray that you will be sanctified and slowly but surely, watch yourself grow and become more like the Father, just in the same way a child becomes like their parents simply from walking closely with them. – Adam

Unseen Warriors.

Exodus 28:29 – “Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel in the breastpiece of judgment on his heart, when he goes into the Holy Place, to bring them to regular remembrance before the Lord.”

I’m going to be honest. I’m struggling to pray. I used to spend hours on my knees and now struggle to muster up 10 minutes. I feel alone. The other day I didn’t pray. Why? Because if I’m honest, I didn’t have the strength to. 

So it’s 1 am, I’m alone with my thoughts, and I can’t sleep because my head is scrambled, worrying and overthinking all the goliaths I’m fighting alone. God’s peace is absent, and my phone pings as I lie there alone. I reach for it, and it’s a text from a friend I love, but we haven’t spoken in a while because we both are busy. Usually, I would ignore a text until the morning, but something led me to open that message. I open it and read, “I’ve been praying for you, brother. I know my replies are bad, but you’re in my prayers every time, bro.” As I read this amid the night, feeling so alone in this battle, I realized something that would stick with me for the rest of my life. God calls us to pray for others because sometimes those people don’t have the strength to pray for themselves, and it’s in these moments that they rely on someone else to pray for them. 

There is a beautiful story in 2 Kings 6 that I love. It goes like this:

The king of Aram sent a great army with chariots and horses to surround God’s prophet, Elisha. As Elisha’s servant realizes they’re surrounded, he cries out to Elisha, “Oh, sir, what will we do now?” and Elisha replies, “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” then Elisha says a prayer for his servant, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened Elisha’s servant’s eyes. When the servant looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire. He realized they were not alone; in the unseen realm, God had sent an army to support him all along. Sometimes it may seem physically that you’re alone, but you must look at what you can’t see. 

Look at the verse from Exodus I chose. Aaron would go into God’s presence and remind God of the sons of Israel that he bore on his heart. How many people bear you on their hearts in God’s presence? How many of them bring you into God’s remembrance? The answer is you don’t know. Without my knowledge, God put me on a friend’s heart, and he would pray for me day and night. Little did he know at the time I didn’t even have the strength to pray for myself, and God, in his wisdom, was putting me on someone’s heart so that I was being prayed for in my time of weakness. When you pray for people, you don’t know how much they need it, and it’s a two-way street. God is putting you on other people’s hearts who don’t know how much you need it. His wisdom blows my mind. 

All this time, I thought I was alone. But actually, I was like Elisha’s servant, unable to see the unseen warriors lifting me in prayer. My prayer for you is the same as Elisha’s “Oh lord, open their eyes and let them see that they are not alone.” Unseen warriors surround you with prayer, and you don’t even know it.

Pray for those God puts on your heart, as God puts you on others’ hearts. – Adam

Unforsaken, Unforgotten.

The last week I have felt forsaken and forgotten. It has felt like God is no longer watching over me. I’m struggling financially, and in my need of provision, it seems God isn’t providing, and he’s forgotten about me. 

The other day I was walking through a clothes shop with my friends, and they were buying all these nice expensive clothes, and if I’m honest, I was nearly brought to tears. I wasn’t upset, annoyed, or jealous of them for having more money, they deserve it, and I’m happy for them. I was upset because as they were buying all these things, my credit account was sitting at -£100, and I had no idea how I would pay that off by the 15th.

As we’re walking through this store, they’re buying all these clothes. I’m standing here with nothing, my friends are like, “Adam, what are you going to get” and I say the usual “there’s nothing here I like” because I’m too ashamed to say I can’t afford it. Standing in this predicament, I’m like, “God, I sacrifice for you. Why am I left with nothing? God, what about me? What about me, God? Where’s my blessing? Where’s my provision? I never have enough to buy nice things, and that’s fine because it’s a sacrifice, but why do the very people who sacrifice for you end up with less? What about me, God? Have you forgotten me? Please don’t forget your servant., Lord.”

Three days later, my credit account still sits at -£100. My anxiety had compounded more, and it was gaining more compound interest as the payment date drew near. It’s Friday night, and I went for a walk. As I’m waking in a forest on a cold winter night feeling forgotten and forsaken, I put some worship on my earphones and cry out to God, “Lord help me!” And as I was walking, my soul felt struck by lightning, and I heard the words, “watch me provide.” I also see a vision. I see my bank account in this vision. Around it was arrows from all directions pointing to my bank account. I believe God was showing me I would see provision from many angles, and it would all be because of him. I sit down in the woods, and I begin to cry. I wasn’t crying about the money. In fact, it was never about the money. I cried because I realized God’s still got me. He hasn’t forsaken me or forgotten me. He didn’t abandon his servant, and he never will. He heard me in that store when my weary soul cried out: “what about me, God? What about me?” As I got up from the forest floor, I opened my phone and saw that someone had blessed me with £300, and my debt was cleared.

Isaiah 49:14-16 – “But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.” “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.”

Look up to the heavens! Look what the lord has done; look at his abundance, every planet, every star, black hole, and galaxy! He created it all with a word. His wisdom surpasses any man’s; non can come close to him. He sent his son to die for his enemies, the very ones who sinned against him. He sits on his throne in heaven, surrounded by angels, and is worshipped day and night! He looks over all that he has created, he sees the sparrow fall, he didn’t forget or forsake Zion, and won’t forget or forsake you. 

Genesis 8:1 – “But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and livestock with him in the boat. He blew a wind across the earth, and the waters began to go.”

At the right time, God will blow over all your troubles, and they will begin to go. You are unforsaken and unforgotten. God’s still got you – Adam.