Thanksgiving Shouldn’t End On Thanksgiving!

2020 has been a very unique year. 

So much has happened and is it just me, or has this year gone incredibly quick? I remember crossing over into 2020, and now we are about to go into 2021!

But with that being said, I just thought I’d remind you that despite all that has happened this year, God is still on His Throne. Of course, life can get rough and it can be hard to ‘be still’. It’s in our nature as humans to get a bit worried at times. But the reality is, God already had everything mapped out. Our lives and everything happening right now is just a replay to Him! 

God is with us, even when we don’t ‘feel’ Him. Having breath and a beating heart equals purpose. There is a purpose as to where you are right now. There is a reason for your being! 

You may end up ‘leaving’ this pandemic with a business/(s) – Great! 

You may end up with a new house/new car – Amazing! 

You may have endeavored into other projects or started a ministry – Fantastic! 

You may have connected to your Kingdom spouse – Wonderful!

But don’t be discouraged if any of these things haven’t happened to you yet. Listen, coming out from this pandemic alive, healthy and well is a whole blessing in itself. No matter where you are, what you have or what you don’t have right now – just take some time to say “Thank You God!” 

Your heart is still beating… You have life… We are almost in 2021 and guess what? You will be just fine under the mighty shadow of His wings!

“Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings”

Psalms 17:8, ESV.

And for this Christmas, let’s focus on God’s goodness and the gift of life. Whether you have enough money this year to buy a sack of gifts or not, please do not stress out about this. I read a quote recently which said, “Sometimes your presence is the present.” 

Giving God thanks continues even after Thanksgiving! Let’s give Him thanks daily for the gift of life and our Saviour, Jesus Christ – Remember this word for Christmas!

Peace & Love,

Rufaro.C

Run To The Father!

Sis, this is the reality. 

Until we reach eternal Glory to be with our Heavenly Father forever and ever, we will face struggles here on this earth. As long as you are a living spirit inside a flesh body on this Planet Earth, you will face issues, fall short and sin. Even if you are ‘paper Bible saved’. The flesh is full of sin and there will always be a war between our flesh and the Spirit. This life won’t always be peaches and cream, as Jesus perfectly stated;

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you].”

John 16:33, AMPC.

Within the book of Galatians, Apostle Paul makes a clear reference towards the battle between the flesh and the Spirit:

“For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other]…”

Galatians 5:17, AMPC.

This is why we should follow what Jesus taught; actively denying ourselves and killing our flesh daily (Luke 9:23). But, I understand that this is not easy!! Just to be transparent, I had a moment recently where the enemy attacked my mind again… I fell into a low place within my mind. I was reminded about my current situation and began wondering to myself:

  • “God, why am I still in this season?”
  • “Why haven’t things happened for me yet?”
  • “Is this how my life will remain?”
  • “It’s been years and I am still waiting to enter my promise land, but other people seem to receive their blessings much quicker…

As I was crying, I had an imagination of being ‘at the back’ and I thought to myself, “Jesus, so many people are out here in the world crying for you to help them… and I must be at the back of the que, so i’ll just wait.”

So I started questioning my identity, and feeling ‘less than’ compared to other people. So much comparison began to creep into my mind and heart. And I could sense bitterness creeping into my heart and this was a ‘fleshly’ moment for me. The Bible talks about staying away from these characteristics of the flesh, and how bitterness can defile us. The Bible also tell us to take captive of every thought and imagination which does not line up with the Word of God, as we are told in 2 Corinthians 10:5 (I have now began to actively meditate upon this scripture in order to fight the attacks which the enemy tries to throw towards my mind!). 

Quick Advice: I had to learn to be careful about what I speak when I am upset or in a ‘low season’. Word curses are real and you don’t want to speak negative words over your life – Proverbs 18:21!

Then I realised, “Rufaro, it’s the enemy trying to take a grip and a hold over your mind again… DECLARE THE WORD OF GOD.”  So, I decided to listen to a worship song and speak the Scriptures over my life. It wasn’t easy because even after reading the Scriptures, I was still crying and upset. But I was reminded that the Word of God which I spoke over my life, (the Supernatural Word of God which is sharper than any two edged sword – Hebrews 4:12!), was not in vain. 

But even though I fell into this ‘mind trap’ from the enemy, I later had to remind myself about the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ! Unfortunately, many Christians do not know the Gospel or they cannot articulate it. But because I knew the Gospel, I knew that I could run to my Abba Father with the issues and the pain within my soul. 

I’m sure you have heard of the quote which says:

“Religion says, ‘I messed up. My Dad is going to kill me’. The Gospel says, ‘I messed up. I need to call my Dad”

So I want to encourage you sis. Run to Abba Father! When He becomes personal to you and when you understand what Jesus has already done for you, you can approach His throne boldly and pour your heart out to him (Hebrews 4:16). So whether you have fallen into a sin which has kept you in a repetitive cycle, whether you have been struggling with your character/attitude, making the mistake of believing in the lies of the enemy, feeling ‘dirty and unworthy’ or you think that you are beyond repair… I want you to remember the Gospel!!! 

Here is a short synopsis for you, in regards to the Gospel:

  • We all came into this world as sinners. We were born into sin because of the sin of Adam and Eve – this is know as ‘Original Sin’.
  • Because of the concept of Original Sin, we became separated from God. God is a Holy God and no sin can stand in His midst.
  • But God was so loving to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty of our sins on the Cross. Jesus was, is and will always be the Perfect Atonement for our sins.
  • Nothing we can do can erase our sins. We need to repent of our sins and turn to Jesus. We are saved by faith through the selfless sacrifice which Jesus made for us. So, we are saved by Grace and not by our works.
  • As we receive and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and personal Saviour, we become Sanctified, Righteous and Justified before Abba Father.
  • By being connected to Jesus and our Heavenly Father, we have access to the gift of eternal life!

In my particular situation, I had to remind myself that no matter how I am feeling, I can freely run to Abba because Jesus made this possible for me, through His sacrifice!

So what does this mean? Every time you find yourself in a low season or whenever you fall into sin, run to Jesus. He already paid the debt for our sins and mistakes. I once read a quote which said, “The devil wrote a check for my life, but it bounced”. GIRL!!! The check bounced because Jesus dealt with our debts over 2000 years ago!! Tap into this and believe it. However, when it comes to understanding Grace, it doesn’t mean we should abuse it by consciously living in sin with the excuse of “Jesus will forgive me anyway, so I can just live this way.” But we should always make the effort of praying for the Holy Spirit to fill us/re-fill us, lead us and help us to walk in the Spirit. Once we pursue the leading of the Spirit of God who dwells within us, the issues of life and the fight between our flesh and the Spirit become easier. How so? Because Jesus told us that the Holy Spirit is our helper!

“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever.”

John 14:16, AMPC.

I recommend listening to ‘Promises’ by Maverick City Music. No matter how hard things may get, remind yourself –  “My hope and firm foundation… He’ll never let me down!”

Love & Peace,

Rufaro.C

Xx

Press In!

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls].”

– Matthew 11:28, AMPC. 

I used to always hear people say, “Even when life is hard, just worship God”. But I never knew how to do it! As ‘crazy’ as it sounds, I could study my Bible and spend time in prayer but I was struggling with my ‘worship life’, especially when it came to worshipping in difficult seasons. I understand that there are many forms of worship such as serving God, living a consecrated life for The Lord etc, but in the context of this blog, I am specifically talking about worshipping God through song and melody, in Spirit and in truth, no matter your situation (John 4:24). 

I was born into a Christian household, and God began working on me and my personal relationship with Him since I was between the ages of 12-13. I am 21 right now but as God started processing me at a young age, He began teaching me how to read/study His word, and I started growing in the realm of intercession. Now, I am not here to talk about my testimony, but one of the things that has been a heavy hindrance to my walk has been the battle within my mind – Oh my goodness! The enemy knows that he cannot get to me through certain ways, but I later identified that the enemy is very strategic on how he attacks me. He attacks my mind. 

*Note: This is a very key lesson for every believer – learn to identify how the enemy attacks you, so that you can begin learning how to fight (spiritually) in the right way and in the most effective way!

So once my mind has been attacked, I shut down! As in, I begin to feel spiritually deflated and of course, this brings along so many other issues such as the spirit of heaviness, anxiety etc. These ‘mind attacks’ had been going on for a long time in my life, especially having gone through hurtful experiences in my life. 

And every time I went to church, someone would always say “Just worship God even when it hurts”. You know when you hear something so much and it begins to sound cliche?! Well, I didn’t have the full revelation as to what it meant to worship God in the midst of pain, hurt and trials. Normally when I would encounter something hurtful, I would cry… cry again… and cry some more! But I never got into a place of ‘switching off’ from my current reality, to then fix my heart and eyes on Jesus through melody and song. Even if I tried to worship, I just couldn’t – you know when you are so upset/hurt and you feel that lump on your throat! And this may be the case for some of you – when you are in a low season, you may struggle to even utter a song of adoration and honour unto the Lord because the pain is in the way!

Anyways – fast forward! Three weeks ago, I was battling something emotionally and as I was in the car with my Mum, I wanted to break down and just give up on everything. But then, there was a pull within me to worship… I said, “God, I am going through so much right now and I know that the only thing that can heal me now is worship”. Later that evening, I set some time aside to spend with the Father. I went into my room, I put some worship music on and I just began to worship. Yes, it was hard to remove my mind and heart from my current situation, but something in the Spirit shifted when I decided to yield onto Jesus!

And from the moment I made the decision to make worship my everyday desire, I have accelerated to another place in the Spirit! I later had that ‘Aha’ moment of, “So this is the freedom people spoke about when they mentioned how worship heals!”. My motto and mindset became, “I JUST WANT YOU JESUS!”. And as I started becoming intentional about my worship life, I have been having encounters with Jesus and joy has literally been manifesting in my life – the meaning of my name is joy/happiness too! 

I know Corona has messed up our plans this year and many of us were longing to go to our favourite annual conventions, and get ready to fall out in the Spirit! But God is faithful because you can experience the same Kabod Glory which shows up at corporate gatherings, in your own bedroom, prayer closet, kitchen – you name it! 

Make the decision to want Jesus & intentionally press in! When Jesus shows up, He will wipe away every tear of hurt and every issue becomes miniscule before Him. Worship heals!

If you desire to go forth and deeper in God, you can:

  • Pray, ‘Father, help me to worship You in Spirit and in truth without any distractions or mind wandering. Give me a heavy desire for You and Your presence… I want to encounter You. I want a tight-knit relationship with you, the same way Jesus and Enoch were so close to You… elevate me to another realm in You Abba!’.
  • Become intentional about sacrificing time for Him. Whatever part of your devotion life this applies to, make the decision to set time aside to commune and spend time with Abba Father.
  • Always be attentive to when God is pulling you into His presence! Please, never miss that nudge/feeling in your Spirit. God may be wanting to get your attention or show you something in His presence.
  • Whatever melody/song is ringing in your Spirit, begin to sing it or play the song. Pay attention to the lyrics because there is a reason as to why that song is in your Spirit! Some of the songs which have been ministering to me so much in this season are ‘Precious Moments’ from the Revival Culture Worship Lab Album, and ‘Just Jesus’ from The Sound Of Bootcamp Vol.3 Album! 
  • During worship, keep your focus on Jesus. Imagine Him standing in front of you, or imagine being in front of His throne and at His feet! 

I remember hearing a preacher say, “Seek God so much here on Earth so that when you get to heaven, it won’t be a surprise when you see Him”. Now, I don’t know about you but I will most definitely be in awe when I stand in front of Elohim – knowing me, I’ll probably fall out too! But this statement challenged me… And I challenge you today; seek God SO much, in-spite of what season you are in. Press in! Even when you don’t ‘feel’ Him, continue to press in – He will show up (Jeremiah 29:13). He WILL show up – Jesus loves you!

– Rufaro.C