Warning: Use of undefined constant DATABASE_SERVER - assumed 'DATABASE_SERVER' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c12/h06/mnt/215407/domains/jodiechristinat.com/html/wp-config.php on line 65

Warning: session_start(): Cannot start session when headers already sent in /nfs/c12/h06/mnt/215407/domains/jodiechristinat.com/html/wp-content/plugins/user-activity-log/user_functions.php on line 1131
Jodie | Jodie Christinat

Archives

Written by Jodie

Less talk, more action!


Warning: Use of undefined constant tr_read_more - assumed 'tr_read_more' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c12/h06/mnt/215407/domains/jodiechristinat.com/html/wp-content/themes/purity/templates/blog/right-sidebar-1.php on line 21

 

1 Corinthians 4v20 in The Message version says:

God’s way is not a matter of mere talk; it’s an empowered life.

I LOVE THIS.

But I feel like so often we don’t live this!  One of the things that saddens me the most, other than those living completely lost without Jesus in their world, is people who claim to be ‘Christians’ or to ‘believe in God’, yet are living a normal, everyday, ordinary life that has no sign of the power and reign of God in it at all!  I know this is much easier to ‘talk’ about than to live, it actually requires a close, intentional daily relationship with Jesus, an awareness of the Word and what He says, an absolute trust and surrender to His Sovereignty and a growing knowledge of who we are IN Christ and that as He is, so we are.  But it is so worth going on the journey of discovery for, there is power and authority and abundant life to tap in to that will blow our minds!

Empower:

give (someone) the authority or power to do something.
make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.

Jesus, through His death and resurrection, and through you becoming adopted as a SON / DAUGHTER and HEIR, has given you the power to do something (many things in fact), He makes you stronger and more confident to control your life (well, actually, surrender it to Him!) and to CLAIM YOUR RIGHTS IN CHRIST! (I looked up ‘control’ and one of the definitions was ‘dominate’ so let’s say that Jesus helps you dominate in life!! Winning! Ha!)

Oh my gosh!!  Seriously!!

No it’s not easy.  No it doesn’t guarantee a Genie like experience where He waves His hand and your three wishes are granted. No it doesn’t mean that everything turns out the way we would want or expect (hence the surrender bit…) No it isn’t always an instant miracle.  I think these (and so many others) are the things we get stuck on.  “But He didn’t answer my prayer, but I’m still not healed, but I’ve prayed for a whole year now, but my dream died, but I claimed His Word and nothing happened…”

We’re all on our own journey of faith, trust, surrender and discovery.  I guess for me, I’ve just made the decision that my heart will be steadfast in my God.  That I will read His Word over my life and speak it out loud and declare what I want to see until heaven takes me home.  That I will believe and trust in the GOODNESS of God no matter what.  That I will endeavour to pray, spend time and be in a place of close relationship with Him, growing in my knowledge of Him and my knowledge of who I am in Him.  That I will refuse to let hurt, bitterness, pain, unmet expectations, unfulfilled dreams, discouragement, disillusionment or anything else take me out of the game.

I still have my moments, sometimes doubt creeps in, sometimes stuff hurts and I want to let it stick, sometimes situations arise and I want to react in a most ungodly manner haha… but that would be letting the enemy win.  That would be giving in to the ordinary, the mundane, the powerless, the life of mere talk.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to just ‘talk’ about Jesus in my life but have no evidence of Him in it, just ‘attend’ church, just read the Bible lifelessly, just mutter a few words of prayer over food or when I need something, live day to day like everybody else who doesn’t know Him, react like everyone else does etc.  I don’t want a life of mere talk.  I want to live life EMPOWERED.  Different.  Extra-ordinary.  Fruitful.  Abundant.  Complete.  Full of faith.  Always believing for more.  A life of constantly breaking through to new places in my relationship with Him and witnessing the depth, width, height and greatness of His love!

So, what does it look like for you?  Maybe praying instead of running straight to Facebook?  Maybe taking the advice of Doctors but choosing to listen to the report of the Lord and the fact that you ARE healed?  Maybe actively bringing your thoughts captive, intentionally thinking about what you are thinking about and comparing it with what the Word says?  Maybe speaking the promises and Word out LOUD over your life daily instead of allowing worry to constantly be running through your mind?  Maybe keeping your mouth shut instead of reacting in anger or annoyance?  Maybe asking Holy Spirit for His thoughts and ways more often rather than just doing whatever?  Maybe spending more time in His presence, His Word, in prayer instead of living in your own strength?  Maybe taking more time through the day to acknowledge His presence and chat to Him instead of just once a day…or week…?  Maybe repenting for bad attitudes, lack of trust, walking away?  Maybe choosing to make His house, Church, a priority in your life again?  Come on… let’s not just say that Jesus is in our lives, let’s live like He is!!

It actually takes discipline and courage and surrender and trust, but so far I have no regrets and no complaints.  He’s done far more for me than I could ever even begin to repay Him for, and I’m sure if you really think about all He HAS done for you (rather than focusing on what He hasn’t done…according to you…) you would find that you are again overwhelmed with thanks for His faithfulness and goodness and love.

I pray today, that your eyes would be opened again or maybe for the first time, to the empowered life that you can live.  Less talk, more action – Holy Spirit action!  Bring it on!

J. x

What a storm!


Warning: Use of undefined constant tr_read_more - assumed 'tr_read_more' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c12/h06/mnt/215407/domains/jodiechristinat.com/html/wp-content/themes/purity/templates/blog/right-sidebar-1.php on line 21

Have you ever been in a really cool storm?  You see the clouds rolling in, it starts to get really dark, people are running to get inside, the lightening starts flashing across the sky, the thunder starts cracking sometimes ever so close, it’s pouring down with rain and yet you are safe inside LOVING the show that’s unfolding!  Yeah it totally sucks if you’re the one stuck in traffic or you were the group enjoying an outdoor picnic…!!

I actually love storms, there’s something so incredible about them, they show me the power of our Creator!  I love it when people get all excited, “what a storm!”, “Did you see that storm rolling in, so amazing!!”  The excitement and energy is very cool!

I was thinking today that maybe we need to get a bit more excited (I know – weirdo!!) about some of the circumstantial storms that we face…also allowing them to remind us of the power of our Creator and the fact that He is Mighty to Save, that His arm is not so short to save me and that He inclines His ear to hear my voice when I call out to Him…just a thought.  Here’s some other thoughts I had about storms today as I read His word…

Mark 4v35 – 41

Jesus said to his disciples,Let us go over to the other side.”  Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat.  There were also other boats with him.

A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.  Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.  The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!”  Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

Let’s go over to the other side.” – sometimes we get very comfortable exactly where we are, but the incredible thing about God is that He loves us too much to leave us where we are.  He wants us to ‘cross over to the other side’, to go to the next level, to go to the next place that He has for us.  Constantly growing us, shaping us, moulding us and causing us to be more like His Son, Jesus.

At times though, to ‘get to the other side’, to go to that next place in our lives, there is a storm to be weathered, a battle to fight and win, a victory to be obtained, things can get pretty uncomfortable as we journey to places God wants to take us.  It was Jesus’ suggestion that they go to the other side – He knew that on the other side of that lake was a demon-possessed man who desperately needed a miracle and so He was prepared to go.  Maybe He even knew that a storm would arise, but His eyes weren’t on the circumstances around Him, He was completely at peace with the Fatherhood and Sovereignty of God in His life and He had an understanding of the authority He carried AND that this wasn’t just about Him and His disciples and their comfortable lives, He had an assignment to fulfil – He was on task!  I wonder who is on the other side of your storm?

They left the crowd behind‘.  The crowd were well-meaning, they loved Jesus and wanted to be with Him, but not everyone will or can go where you are going.  Sometimes even the most well-meaning people in your life will be those encouraging you to ‘turn around and go back, this storm is too much for you’, ‘just do the best you can in the midst of this storm, hopefully it will pass’, ‘just hide under the blankets and pretend it’s not happening’… We need to leave the ‘crowd’ behind, decide who’s voice we are going to listen to and also who we are taking in that boat with us.  When that storm comes you don’t want a crowd, you want friends who will help you wake up Jesus!!

There were also other boats with him.’  If there were other boats with them then they would also have been caught in that storm. The disciples (although challenged about their faith), were smart enough to wake up Jesus!  They could have kept fighting on their own, doing everything in their power to save that boat, but who knows what devastation could have been suffered and how many other boats might have been lost.  Imagine getting to the other side and the shouts to each other of ‘how was that storm, it was crazy!’, ‘yeah you should’ve seen it when Jesus spoke, it was awesome!’ ‘Is that what happened, tell us more, we wondered where that storm disappeared to!’  Our storms are never just about us, there are others who will watch how we handle our storm and our life will be an incredible testimony for them, there are people who we can help while in the middle of the storm, things that we will learn on the journey to encourage others with and there are people who will hear the story of our storm and how we weathered it and saw Jesus do a miracle in it, for years to come.

Sometimes I think we want that “immediate” answer that we read about in this passage, but the thing is, often the miracle is actually one that takes time, it’s about the Holy Spirit being allowed to do a COMPLETE work in us, it’s not just the physical healing that we want – He wants to do a thorough emotional healing, it’s not just the financial provision that we want – He wants to teach us how to be good stewards with the little so we can learn how to cope with the big.  There are so many miracles that happen every day in our lives and yet often we are too distracted to even recognise them.  There are so many things to be thankful for every single day but we are too disillusioned with the fact that He hasn’t done ‘that thing we asked of Him’ that we instead start to wander away and let our hearts get distant, when all He’s asking is that we keep Him close in our boat and daily ‘wake Him up’ to grow in our knowledge of who He is and how GOOD He is!

There’s a Bethel song that says “In the chaos of the storm, I have drifted far, far away.  But I call out your name and you are just a breath, a breath away.” (I Can Feel You, from the album Tides Live)

I don’t know what kind of storm you are facing, or will face, or how far you have drifted, one thing I do know is that this life is completely unpredictable and that we don’t always get to choose the circumstances that come our way, but we can absolutely choose WHO is in our boat, and whether we will fight in our own strength and energy and might, or, whether we will wake up Jesus – through prayer, relationship, daily walking with Him, continuing to speak with authority over the storm until we see the wind die down and the waves stop, allowing His peace to surpass our understanding of the situation and to guard our hearts and our minds – when those thoughts try to creep in to tell us He’s sleeping again, that He doesn’t really care – speak out loud the truth of His word and let His peace be like a mighty guard over your mind.

I know you are tired, I know you are sick of fighting, but today be encouraged that it’s not your battle – it’s His – and He’s already won – give it to Him again today (and tomorrow, and the next day, and for as long as this storm lasts) and let His presence flood your mind, body, emotions and give you strength that only He can bring.  That is my prayer over you today.

Look that storm in the eye and say “yeah, what a storm, bring it on baby cos I’ve got Jesus in my boat!”  You’ve got this, cos He’s got you!

J. xx

 

the birthing of a DREAM


Warning: Use of undefined constant tr_read_more - assumed 'tr_read_more' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c12/h06/mnt/215407/domains/jodiechristinat.com/html/wp-content/themes/purity/templates/blog/right-sidebar-1.php on line 21

Wow…it’s been awhile.  I actually LOVE writing, but I am so very undisciplined with it!  I really love hearing how these thoughts help and encourage and inspire so many – people who I never even thought would read what I have to say! So, for those of you who do read, thank you, my heart is to be an encourager of the Word…which I honestly believe is THE key to life and life to the full!

This entire year the women in our Church – our tribe – the girls that we get to do life with – have been focusing on the thought ‘dream again‘ – a theme from the heart of our fearless leader Ps Chris Pringle.  I really do love this because the truth is, no matter what stage of the dream we are in, ‘dream again’ applies!

If you’ve never dreamt a dream
If your dream is just a little seedling
If your dream is starting to bear some fruit
If the winter season has come and your dream has withered away
If your dream seems to be barren with no sprouts appearing
If your dream has been fulfilled
If your dream has been stolen and left you with a broken heart
If your dream just keeps on growing
If your dream never grew and so you gave up
If your dream is old and withered and past it’s time

D R E A M  and  D R E A M   A G A I N… and again and again and again…

Isaiah 66v9 says ‘Shall I bring to the time of birth and not cause delivery? says the Lord. Shall I who cause delivery close up the womb? says your God.’

My friend is pregnant at the moment – very pregnant in fact waiting for her little bambino to arrive – and it made me think of the process that takes place; the initial excitement and joy of the news ‘we are pregnant’, the photos where the bump is enhanced as much as possible and the relief of actually looking pregnant not just getting a tummy, the countdown as the weeks go by, the preparation for the new little arrival, the feelings of discomfort as the date draws ever so close, the due date is reached and baby seems very content inside, the impatience that starts to creep in as the days clock over, maybe even a little fear starts to creep in, the annoyance of those well-meaning people asking ‘have you had your baby yet?’, then the twinges as something starts to take place but no, false alarm, then the actual start of the real-deal, but then oh the process that takes place, the hours that go by (that I can only assume must feel like decades ha!!), the pain, the ‘what the hell was I thinking, why did I do this’ (or why did YOU do this to me), the final breakthrough push and THEN the dream arrives!  Screaming, messy and immediately requiring every ounce of your attention and focus, and then as the days and weeks unfold the zombie state that takes over, the thoughts of ‘we must have been mad’, ‘do we really want to do this’ and all sorts of other emotions and thoughts as that rollercoaster ride continues to rush wildly by…

I absolutely think that this is what our dreams can look and feel like!!  The initial ‘I have a dream’, the first stages potentially trying to show that something is there, it really is happening right, I wasn’t just imagining this thing?!!  The days and weeks and months and years and even decades that pass as we wait for the fruition of that dream, the things we do in the ‘waiting’ season, the frustration and discomfort as we feel like this dream should really be here by now, the disappointment when it doesn’t arrive ‘on time’, the sadness we feel as we watch others living out their dreams that we so wish were ours or just that ours would hurry the heck up!  The moments where it feels like ‘yes this is happening’ and next minute, no, no it’s just a false alarm, the times well-meaning people confuse your motivation, ask annoying questions, tell you all about how great their life and their dream is.  And even then when the dream starts to unfold, it’s messier and noisier than you realised, those feelings of ‘what was I thinking’, ‘can I actually do this’, ‘why did you even give me this dream’, ‘who was I to think that I could even manage this’ etc can flash through our minds…

And then there’s those annoying women who have the perfect sickness-free, glowing pregnancy, deliver their little one early with a 2 hour labour and have little to no pain… (please Lord, let it be me….!!)  Yep, same deal – those people who have a dream and make it look so darn easy!!

Truth is, we can never really know everyone’s journey, we never really see the intimate details, the sleepless nights, the hard work, effort and energy, the drive and motivation and enthusiasm, the tears, the sweat, the failures and mistakes, social media can be so misleading!  So, regardless of how easy it looks, let’s not judge one another’s journey or even wish for someone else’s…just travel your own and make it the absolute best you can!

I am a dreamer, crazy dreams and so many of them!  Some have been easy and quick, some have taken years, some have required so much work I’ve wondered if God is even in it, many I am still waiting on…sometimes my heart aches when I think of them, many are so big that they scare me, some require so much money and resource that I wonder if it’s even possible, all of them require sacrifice and selflessness.  I have watched others walk paths that I long to walk, I have felt like I’ve been at the starting block for such a long time and experienced those ‘false start’ moments, I’ve been misunderstood and been accused, I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve talked to every man & his dog and then realised I should talk to God, so I’ve prayed, I’ve journaled, I’ve studied His Word and tried to learn from the journey of others, I’ve questioned, I’ve condemned and criticised myself, I’ve wondered if it’s even worth it, I’ve lost faith and then given myself a kick up the butt and believed again, I’ve procrastinated, I’ve tried to make it happen by myself, I’ve made mistakes, I’ve hurt others and regretted the fact that I’m human walking a journey with learning curves that affect others, I’ve grown and I’ve learnt, I’ve dealt with issues in my heart that sometimes seem to keep on popping up, I’ve let dreams go and surrendered them again and again, I’ve encouraged and been genuinely happy for others even in the hardest moments when I’ve wished it was me, I’ve shared my journey and hopefully inspired those who’ve listened… But no matter what; I am so incredibly thankful for this life that He has given me and for every breath I get to breathe and so I daily choose to guard the dreams that the Dream Giver has given me (and also choose to believe that they are from Him), I will keep on keeping on, listen for His voice and be obedient to it, and I will continue to bravely dream again and again, while my heart is beating I’m on this earth for a purpose and I fully intend to live it out big and bold!

This post (as usual) is far longer than I planned…so well done if you’ve gotten this far!  I guess today, my encouragement is this; that no matter where you are at with your dream – hang on to it, hold it tight, don’t let  it go, fight for it with every ounce of faith and grit and determination within you.  If you feel your dream is lost or stolen, I encourage you today – steal it back, look for it and find it because it is there, in the depths of your heart.  If you feel like it is dead don’t you worry because I know that my God is able to breathe the breath of life into all dry, dead, lifeless things (if we let Him…key point!)

Psalm 62v5-8 ‘My soul (my mind, will and emotions), wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.  He only is my rock and my salvation, He is my defense, I shall not be moved.  In God is my salvation and glory, the rock of my strength and my refuge is Him!

How incredible is that!

It isn’t easy!  It takes time – longer than you realised!  It takes hard work and energy and determination!  I know there’s been some pain, I know it has really sucked at times, I know that you feel like it’s all over, I know you’ve felt that He’s abandoned you, I know that some seasons are so incredibly hard to endure.  But oh how I implore you today to let your expectation be placed back on Him, He is so good, He is faithful and He has nothing but love for you.  Even though your dream may feel like it is taking forever to arrive or that perhaps it never made it full term, know today that God has got this, He’s got you, even when nothing makes sense, let His peace comfort you and allow the beautiful dream giver to stir that dream within you and help you to dream again.

J. xx

PS if you are a man – apologies for the pregnancy speel… if you are a woman I would love to invite you to our Every Woman DREAM AGAIN Gathering at the end of October with Sheila Walsh, see here for details. x

Is God really good?


Warning: Use of undefined constant tr_read_more - assumed 'tr_read_more' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c12/h06/mnt/215407/domains/jodiechristinat.com/html/wp-content/themes/purity/templates/blog/right-sidebar-1.php on line 21

So many people, some outwardly, some just in their own heart, seem to struggle with this question – is God really good?

I know that with the current state of our world, with sickness and suffering at what seems like an all-time high and with natural disasters appearing to be on the rise, it is easy to begin to wonder, to start to question…is He really good, does He really care and if He does then why are things as they are?  I’m sure these are not new questions, no doubt they’ve been around in the hearts of humanity for years, but just lately in my sphere it seems to have escalated.

I don’t know your personal circumstances, but I do care, that’s why I am tackling this issue and writing this piece.  I am writing this from a ‘good space’ in my own life, and so I realise that it is easier to look beyond the circumstances when you’re not facing any particularly dire ones yourself, sure I’ve had my own personal challenges in life, we all do, everyone’s journey and everyone’s battles look different.  But my heart for you today is that no matter what you personally are dealing with, or what you or any friend or family member might be facing right now – that through these words of mine and the Holy Spirit moving upon your heart, you would get a fresh revelation of the goodness of God.

I am going to state the truth that I believe and pretty much always have believed, God IS good, and He is not good only if I believe it, He is good regardless of whether or not you or I believe it!  It is against His character to be anything else, He cannot go against His own character, there is only good in Him, in fact He defines what good is!  The questions and wanderings of our minds with thoughts such as ‘is God really good?’ remind me of a similar question asked back in the garden of Eden, ‘did God really say?’

Sometimes I wonder why we neglect the devil and always blame God?  Not that I want to encourage us to all be walking around proclaiming ‘it’s the devil again’, but the Bible does tell us to not be ignorant of the enemy’s schemes.  My Pastor, Phil Pringle, puts it like this: there is an impostor on this earth, masquerading as God, killing innocent people and doing horrific acts all in the name of ‘God’.  But this is most certainly not the God I know, the one true God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ!

Oh yes there is a devil – he is real and as much as God has good plans for you the devil has evil plans for you.  John 10v10 tells us that the devil’s plan is to kill, to steal and to destroy – he kills dreams, he steals vision and health, and he absolutely destroys us by convincing us that all that is happening must be from the hand of God and if God really loves us why doesn’t he rescue us, leaving us disillusioned and doubting and eventually completely out of the game, at times even out of life itself.  Exactly what he wanted.

So why do we continue to believe these lies right back since the first one to Eve?  Because we can’t understand why everything is happening if God really is good.  Why, you might ask, doesn’t God stop the devil from doing these things, come down and rescue those He loves, His children?

He already did.

Jesus came and did the opposite of what the enemy now tries to do.  He came and gave us life and life more abundantly.  Yet like any gift, it must be received, and to make it a useful gift we must use it, not just allow it to sit there and gather dust within the pages of our Bible, or buried beneath the disappointment in our hearts.

Jesus taught us to pray, He said (in Matt 6v10) to pray to our Father in Heaven, ‘Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ – this means that right now His perfect will is NOT being done on earth the way that it is being done in Heaven!  Jesus said ‘All authority has been given to me’  (Matt 28v18), and He has given us all authority to drive out demons and heal the sick (Mark 3v15) and Romans 5v17 says that ‘…how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.’  Ephesians 1v18-23 says ‘I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.  That power is like the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.  And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.  OH MY GOODNESS.  But wait, it gets better…  because 1 John 4v17 says ‘because as He is, so are we in this world‘.

AS HE IS – SO ARE WE.  Again my Pastor asks the question, is Jesus in heaven bothered by demons, spirits of depression or death, suffering sickness or disease?  No, no He isn’t.  Therefore, as Jesus is, so ARE we.  He is alive, He is victorious, He has defeated sin and death and conquered every sickness and disease, He is ruling and reigning and has ultimate authority and AS HE IS, SO ARE WE.  Get your head around that!!!

I realise that it is much easier to believe and speak these things out when I am completely healthy and well, however to be really honest, I think we need to stop blaming and questioning God and start to rise and with the absolute authority that we carry because we are IN HIM and He is IN US, to declare and speak out loud what we actually already possess!  Jesus died for us and it is time we start living with the authority that He paid the price for us to inherit!  Yes it takes some energy and some discipline and some willpower, but soak in the Word and in His presence and in worship and you will find your strength being renewed and the joy of your salvation in Him returning and that tenacity to fight the good fight of faith will rise again!  The life we live and the fight of faith is by His Spirit – IN HIM.

Maybe you’ve tried but there’s no results, keep on speaking it out loud, keep on declaring and commanding that situation to come under the authority of Christ.  You might not feel anything but the last time I checked we are supposed to live by faith, not by what we feel or by what we see.  Did the entire Nation of Israel SEE the walls of Jericho collapse before they marched around it countless times, nope, they were just obedient and took God at His Word.

Jurgen Matthesius says in his book ‘PUSH’ (Pray until something happens – which might I add is a brilliant book that totally challenged the way I pray – you should definitely read it!) that we are living under God’s permissible will, where He allows us to freely choose and make our own decisions, rather than enforcing His perfect will upon us.  Jurgen says, “Does this mean that God is not able to protect me?  He absolutely can, but because He gave man free will and will not violate man’s ability to choose most of the time, we live in God’s “permissible will”.  His perfect will comes to the earth through human beings who surrender themselves to doing His will with total devotion and selflessness.  It’s an act of your will that requires a daily surrender.”  (emphasis added)  So how surrendered to God’s will are we?  Will you keep declaring what you want to see yet still trust God that His timing is perfect?

Later he goes on to say, “The perfect will of God requires faith.  Faith is not a passive, private believing, but a practiced, applied, forceful engagement in prayer and word.  God spoke into the darkness, “Let there be light.”  He didn’t think it, wish it, hope it or dream it – He spoke it into being!”  Oh and then He created us and left us in charge of the earth He created…we ask about the state of the earth…but who did He leave in charge? ….oh yeah.  (Gen 1v26)

My friend, if you or a loved one is sick, if you need breakthrough in some area, in fact even if you are completely healthy and well and ‘living the dream’, can I implore you to IMMERSE yourself in His Word because the TRUTH sets us free and His Word is absolute truth.  As you read the Word I pray you will fall in love with Jesus all over again and rediscover the truth that He is good and He loves you dearly, so much so that He gave His life for you, so that you ARE healed.  I implore you to declare and speak OUT LOUD what you want to see, to take captive every thought and think about what you are thinking about.  Our minds are a battlefield where the enemy often runs rampant and we need to beware that we are not consenting to him planting seeds of doubt, fear, worry, anxiety etc in our minds – these thoughts are a CHOICE.  Take authority over your mind by speaking out loud and declaring the truth of what God’s word says about you.  Romans 10v10 says if we believe in our heart and confess with our mouth then we are saved – that word is translated: salvation, delivered, health.  Even if you can’t see your breakthrough in the physical, believe in your heart and mind and confess out loud that the breakthrough is yours and keep on speaking it out until you see it manifested in your life, whether that is in this life or the next.  This shows our trust in God and His sovereignty and in His character and His goodness.  (If you want some awesome resource for renewing your mind, working on your thoughts and rewiring your brain, check out Dr Carline Leaf – her 21 day Brain Detox and book ‘Switch on Your Brain’ is amazing!)

His peace surpasses understanding (Philippians 4v7).  Surpasses means to go beyond, it means that when we are facing hell on earth or have a loved one dying we can have PEACE, even though we do not understand why any of it is happening.  I have been amazed how I’ve witnessed people living in absolute poverty and disease in third world countries, and yet they are so hungry for Jesus and so content and happy in Him.  Yet we in the Western world can’t seem to cope with a common cold.  I know it’s harsh, and I’m not making light of your circumstances, but I am taking a stand against the lies of the enemy that would try to convince us that God is not good and that He does not care.  This is absolutely not true.  If you are not happy with circumstances or don’t understand why something is as it is, don’t get down and question and blame – get up and get praying with the authority that you carry!

We need to do our bit by soaking in His Word and speaking out loud what we want to see, but we also need to give up our so called ‘right’ to understand, and realise that He is sovereign over all, when we do that we allow Peace to invade our world.  I picture two huge angels, mighty in structure and authority, standing guard over your mind and over your heart, as you pray, give thanks and present your requests to your God who is SO GOOD.  Remember that even though God gives us free choice, He is so amazing and powerful that He can turn anything around and make “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” if you’ll let Him and trust whatever that ‘good’ may look like. (Rom 8v28)  Sometimes we have to go through something to get the breakthrough, and walk the journey to get the testimony, perhaps this struggle is more about what God wants to do in you and through you, walk closely with Him and listen for His voice.  Steven Furtick says that God’s voice was in the whisper because He whispers when He’s close – He is whispering and singing over you – are you close enough to hear Him?

I guess I could go on forever, we could go through the entire Bible and show time after time how God has rescued, covered and restored His people, how right from the beginning of time when Adam and Eve first questioned Him and chose to listen to the lie of the enemy, our Father created a plan so magnificent, to not just restore us to the amazing position that Adam and Eve enjoyed pre sin, but to go even further than that and to send His beautiful Son Jesus to die for us, taking our place and then triumphing over evil to rise and be victoriously ruling and reigning in heavenly places – INTERCEDING for us!!  (Rom 8:34) And our beautiful God allows us to be IN CHRIST and Him IN US, so that as He is, so are we in this world.  We could probably also walk through your life and count multitudes of times that God has shown love to you, blessed you, shown you favour, lavished grace upon you… we so easily forget.  I won’t even get started on the verses that talk about sharing in His sufferings so that His glory may be revealed etc, other than to say that there are others who are watching you, who need you to “suffer well” to do this journey well and full of Word and faith so that He can be glorified and they can follow your example…it is never just about us.

Sure we could come up with more questions and think of loopholes, and it is OK to inquire of God, it is OK to wrestle it out, but don’t let it destroy your faith, let it build a deep conviction within you that can stand the tests and trials, a friend said to me ‘think of the process that gold goes through to be refined – it gets some knocks and some intense heat’!  We need a faith that does not turn to fear the second trials come our way, we need a faith that is deep, rooted in love, and secure in what His Word the ultimate truth says about us, secure in who we are IN HIM, not secure in our job or our position or our circumstances or our health or our financial status or in our friendship circles but secure IN HIM.

So ultimately… even if our healing does not manifest in this lifetime, even if the breakthrough never comes, for us or for them, will we still love Him?  Will we still trust Him?  Will we still believe that He is good simply because He came and died and took our place, is that enough for you?  What a sad place to live in when we do not know, or we forget, the ultimate price that was paid for us and we become so discontent and ungrateful in our current circumstances or pain.

Don’t allow yourself to be taken out of the game.  You are more than a conquerer, He is for you and so nothing can be against you and there is not a thing that can separate you from the love of God that comes through Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:35-39)  Don’t you be the one who separates yourself from His love, stay in the game, stay in the Word, stay in prayer and keep declaring out loud what you want to see, always remembering and giving thanks because:

HE IS GOOD.

J. xx

 

If you have never invited Jesus into your life; asked for forgiveness of your sins and received Him as your Saviour and your Lord, or you’re not sure if you died today whether you’d go to heaven, or perhaps you used to follow Jesus but you’ve strayed away and allowed the enemy to lie to you and rip you off,  can I encourage you to invite Him into your world today.  We have all sinned and all fall short of His glory, yet because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can be saved.  Simply pray this prayer, “Dear Jesus, I ask you to come into my heart, I am sorry for my sin, I ask for your forgiveness and I thank you Jesus that through your death and resurrection I am saved, I am healed, I am free.  I receive you as my Lord and Saviour today. Amen”  If you prayed this prayer for the first time, or perhaps you rededicated your life to Him, can I please encourage you to write to me as I would love to connect you with a great Church – a group of people who are nowhere near perfect, but who love Jesus and meet together regularly to grow in their knowledge of Him.  Send me an email ‘jodie@jodiechristinat.com’ 

The intrigue of running surfers…


Warning: Use of undefined constant tr_read_more - assumed 'tr_read_more' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c12/h06/mnt/215407/domains/jodiechristinat.com/html/wp-content/themes/purity/templates/blog/right-sidebar-1.php on line 21

Let me start by saying that I’m not going to make the bold promise of “blogging more regularly” ever again… I’ve realised my last blog was in April last year…oops!!  Admittedly rather than blogging I ended up writing messages that I had the privilege of preaching in various places, I probably should’ve turned those messages into blogs!

Moving right along into 2015… Happy new year to you!

Something that has always intrigued me is surfers and the way they are always running!  Have you noticed it?  Now that I’ve mentioned it you’ll probably see it all the time…unless you live on a mountain…or in the middle not on the edge…  But over here on the beaches in Australia, surfers are always running!  They run along the road with their board in their arms toward their beloved surf, they run along the beach ready to jump on in, they run into the ocean and jump on their board, they probably run home too!

If you are a surfer, maybe you can enlighten me on why surfers are always running?  I’ve come up with a few theories… In the summer the ground/sand is so hot on your bare feet so you are running to get to the water…? In the winter it’s so flipping cold that you are running to get your blood moving and convince yourself that you are warm enough to jump in that freezing water…? It’s a little warm up before a big paddle out…? You need to be in the water by 7 and it’s currently 6:54…? You’ve heard the waves are good and are convinced you’re going to miss out…? You are just so darn excited to get in the water that you run the whole way there…?!

I don’t know what the real reason is, but there is certainly some extreme enthusiasm and embracing of a love and passion for the surf going on!

I think we can probably all learn a thing or two from these running surfers, the way that they run into all that awaits them in that surf in EVERY season is surely something that we can embrace in our lives.

In our current climate, with all that has been taking place recently all over the world; wars, terror, fires, natural disasters, sieges and more, it would be (and is) far too easy to let our response be fear.  To choose to fix our minds on negativity and worry, to lock ourselves away in our quiet little lives and even try to pretend that none of it is happening.  But it is.  However, I want to encourage you to be more like a surfer this year!  I don’t want you to look at the winter season of your life or the events taking place all over the world and to turn away, stand stationery or hide in fear.  I want to implore you, like those surfers, to run into life and all that every day contains for you, to turn to faith, to believe that love wins and to be that person who loves others extravagantly even when they don’t deserve it.

Surfers are passionate about the surf…to the point where it gets dangerous out there if you take their wave!  Let’s be passionate about our lives, let’s fiercely protect each day from the enemy who tries to steal it (not flesh and blood remember – it’s a spiritual battle!), let’s choose to make the most of every day regardless of what that day looks like, just do your best and if you make a mess of it, remember that the sun sets on all that’s happened today and rises again tomorrow with fresh opportunities because His mercies are new everyday!

We are living in urgent times, there are countless people in your world, your family, your neighbourhood, your community who need to know that there is hope and that someone cares!  We need to grab our ‘board’ – aka whatever is in your hands (can you cook, babysit, shout a coffee, pay for someone’s groceries, carry someone’s bags, give someone a lift, give a hug or a smile, say hello to a stranger, tell someone about the love of Jesus…) and RUN into whatever waves each day brings!

Oh and don’t ‘get me on a technicality’ and be one of those surfers who checks the waves, sees that there’s nothing and stays home that day… Get out there regardless of what each day looks like, give it your best, throw every ounce of enthusiasm that you’ve got into every day and watch as 2015 becomes your best year yet!

You get to choose what your life looks like.  Not what happens to you, but how you respond to what takes place.  So, what are you waiting for?  Plenty of surf out there…time to run!!

Jodes. x

In the midst of…


Warning: Use of undefined constant tr_read_more - assumed 'tr_read_more' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c12/h06/mnt/215407/domains/jodiechristinat.com/html/wp-content/themes/purity/templates/blog/right-sidebar-1.php on line 21

Last week Tim and I attended a Conference, one night we went out for dinner after the meeting, had a great time with old and new friends, then headed back to our car which we had parked on one of the main streets in Sydney. As we neared our car, Tim asked if I had the keys, to which I replied “No”… We soon realised that we had left our car keys on a seat inside the Conference Centre, which was now, at 11:30pm, completely dark, locked up and isolated! Options started racing through my head about what we could do, a) ring someone for help, but being so late we didn’t want to bother anyone b) catch a taxi home, but who’s got a spare hundred lying around – not us! c) sleep on the streets, yeah scrap that! d) catch a bus home…ok best option so far.

Story goes: we checked what zone the car was parked in – Clearway from 6am – brilliant. We then walked for what seemed like forever to get to the correct bus stop, caught the 12:20am bus and arrived home around 1am. The next dilemma…the clearway… Tim, bless him, took the spare key, caught the 1:40am bus back into the City, then drove the car home and crawled into bed at around 4am!!!

I would love to say that during this ordeal we were full of faith and joy but that would be a LIE!! Truth is, this was just another thing to add to the list of trials we’ve faced lately! It’s been one of those “coming at us from all angles” seasons, and surprisingly (or not surprisingly?) it seems that a lot of people have been in a similar space. It seems like many, many people are facing trials and hard times, from sickness to financial strain to relational issues and more. It has made me wonder what God is up to, whether He is building resilience in His Church, strengthening our resolve, perhaps it’s a season of seeing what is truly in us, or a season of persecution on the Church, I don’t know, I definitely don’t have the answers, I don’t think there is one answer as every situation is so different – other than the answer of Jesus Christ!

This morning I was reading through some of the life of Joseph, I just pulled a few thoughts from it and wanted to share them with you today and hopefully encourage you (and myself!) to keep on keeping on!

Genesis 39v10 ‘although she (Potiphar’s wife) spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her’

The accuser, the tempter, the enemy, will come at you day after day, throwing all sorts your way, wearing you down, exhausting your resolve, willing you to give in, to give up, to let him win. Like Joseph though, we need to REFUSE! Refuse to give up no matter how hard it gets, refuse to give in no matter how tempting it might seem, refuse to let the enemy win. And remember, you don’t need to fight this in your own strength, The Lord your God is with you and if He is for you then who can be against you! To be honest, I have never felt like giving in as much as I have lately, but it has actually awakened my Spirit – what is on my life that the fight is this intense? It must be good! I know God has called me, set me apart, has things that He needs me to do for Him and so I REFUSE to give in, I REFUSE to give up, I will fight this fight – remembering that we are fighting the spiritual powers not flesh and blood! Same goes for you, if there is a fight for your life, your call, your health, your finances – there is more at stake than you realise – stay strong and keep fighting the good fight of faith!

Genesis 39v20-23 Joseph was put in jail! Sometimes it can get worse before it gets better, sometimes even though we are doing the right thing and refusing to give in, things can get worse and look like a dungeon of darkness, but God is still on the throne, He is still Sovereign, He is and always will be our Deliverer!

Even in these times, in the darkest of nights and in the pit of despair, God wants to put favour on our lives, to exalt us in our place of humility and trust in Him. In these times, what is truly in you will rise, the leadership on Joseph’s life rose even in the prison and He was put in charge even in the dungeon! In this hour, keep your heart soft, keep your spirit sweet and let the favour of God rest on you, allow the goodness of God and the character within you to rise and shine!

Genesis 40v6-7 Joseph ‘saw that they looked distraught,’ The challenge in this season is to still be others focused, but I believe it is one of the greatest keys to getting through! When we take our eyes off of our own circumstance and we look to Jesus and we look around us at what others are facing, it truly helps! It gives God room to move in our lives as we extend our hand to others. No matter how busy we get or how hard our life is, PEOPLE need to remain a priority in our lives! God loves people and so should we, He always wants to use us to be a blessing in other’s lives, even in our own season of hardship!

What are you seeing in those around you? Do you see the needs of others or are you too focused on your own needs? Joseph ASKED the officers what was wrong, I encourage you today to look around, to see people, to ask how they are, to ask if you can pray for them – even if you can’t do anything else, you can absolutely pray! Don’t allow this trial you are in to cause you to lose your sight and your vision. God wants to use your life no matter what season you are in.

Genesis 41v1 TWO YEARS LATER!! Joseph had been completely forgotten about – by everyone except God! It wasn’t a short journey, I don’t know how long your journey has been, but I implore you to keep holding on to Him, He hasn’t forgotten about you! We then see the following unfold:

Genesis 41v14 Joseph was invited in before Pharaoh, so he shaved and he changed his clothes. He could have gone in exactly as he was, sending a message of suffering, neglect, lack… But instead he got rid of the old, he changed his countenance and his appearance and went in smelling sweet and looking good! I encourage you to continue to look after yourself during your trial; with nutrition, exercise, enough sleep – but not too much, plenty of water etc, but also look after yourself spiritually, stay in the Word, spend time in prayer, keep attending Church and stay in fellowship with other people – we need people in our lives in the good and the bad! If there are people who have hurt you, check your spirit and your ‘appearance’ (inner and outer) when you see them, be quick to forgive through the power of the Holy Spirit. And don’t allow the experiences of life to leave a permanent stain on your life, sure there might be some physical scars from the battle that you can do nothing about, but you can decide what your inner self, your heart and attitude looks like, you can choose to shave off the ugliness and the hurt and bitterness, you can choose to change your emotions. All through the power of Jesus, it is possible!

Genesis 41v16 Joseph said to Pharaoh ‘I am not able to interpret your dream, it is God who will give Pharaoh a favourable answer.’ In all of this, through the darkness, the dungeon, the unfairness, the lonliness, being forgotten about…after it all, Joseph still gave glory to God!

We are often so quick to blame God, or be annoyed with Him or feel neglected by Him, but oh what a challenge to continually and constantly give the glory to Him even when it doesn’t feel like a very “glorious” situation!!

Finally in Genesis 41v38 Pharaoh says about Joseph, “Can we find anyone like this, a man who has the spirit of God in him?”

Joseph didn’t have the spirit of bitterness in him, the spirit of neglect in him, the spirit of hurt in him, the spirit of unfairness in him… He had the spirit of God in him!

What do people say of us in our trials, when we are facing hard times? Can they look at us and say “He/She has the spirit of God in them”? Will we make it through with the spirit of God in us? How can they tell? Because we are vulnerable with those close to us about the hard time, but through it all we still lift our hands in worship, we still come to Church, the majority (cos lets face it, none of us are perfect!) of words that flow from our mouths are sweet and are full of trust in God and praise for His goodness despite what’s going on, we still care for others and open our arms and hearts to people, we forgive instead of holding on to hurt and bitterness, we are full of faith that God is truly Sovereign and over, in and through it all!

I don’t know what you personally are facing today, I potentially couldn’t even begin to understand the depth or pain of it, whoever you are today, know that I send this blog out with prayers of deliverance and healing and provision and breakthrough for YOU.

Remember through it all, God is fighting for you, the battle is the Lord’s, He loves you and He will never leave or forsake you, He is your strong tower, your rock, your shield, your everything. Trust Him today, allow His strength and His joy and His healing to flood through your body and your soul.

Thank you Jesus for all you are doing IN us and THROUGH us, we lift you higher than all that is going on arouund us, we lift our eyes to you, we trust you and we love you, and we are confident that our breakthrough from you is coming soon!

Amen – let it be so! xx

Pages of Faithfulness


Warning: Use of undefined constant tr_read_more - assumed 'tr_read_more' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c12/h06/mnt/215407/domains/jodiechristinat.com/html/wp-content/themes/purity/templates/blog/right-sidebar-1.php on line 21

I have a beautiful friend, actually many beautiful friends, lucky me. One particular beautiful friend, who is on her own incredible faith journey, reminded me today that “you are building a story of God’s faithfulness…page by page” So poetic right?! Yet so amazingly beautiful and true!

I did say I was going to blog more regularly…that was about 4 weeks ago! So, a monthly blog then? I procrastinate far more than I would like to! Regardless, over the last few weeks, I have had to remind myself on a daily, sometimes hourly basis, of that declaration I typed in my last blog – to choose to go to faith – to choose positivity, confidence and courage over negativity, worry and fear! What a challenge it is! How did you go?

I have been reading Ephesians this week, such a great book, and I really love the Message version.

Ephesians 3:16 says ‘I ask Him to strengthen you by His Spirit – not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength – that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite Him in.’

I love this!

I looked up the word ‘strength’ in the Dictionary and a couple of the definitions included: mental power, moral power: firmness or courage.

The thing is, faith does take strength, but worry and anxiety and carrying burdens weighs us down even more and slowly but surely sucks the life and energy out of us. Faith does require strength, but as the Message version puts it, it’s an inner strength – a firm resolve, a courageous decision, a mental switch that we choose to turn on that lights up positivity and confidence in our great God.

Here’s the reasoning of my mind and spirit right now:
Faith requires strength
Nehemiah 8v10 says the joy of The Lord is my strength
James 1v2 says to count it all joy when we face trials of many kinds!
Colossians 4v4 says to rejoice in The Lord
Galatians 5v22 says that joy is a fruit of the Spirit
Psalm 126v5 says those who sow in tears shall reap in joy
Psalm 150v6 says Let everything that has breath praise The Lord
In John 15v4, Jesus says to remain in Him and He will remain in us. That we cannot bear fruit unless we remain in Him.

Sometimes I think we try so hard to keep faith and fight these battles in our own ‘brute strength’ and we end up weary and at the end of ourselves, the good thing is that God is there the whole way and is always ready to take the lead when we finally give it to Him! Imagine though, if we remained in Him, if we stayed close to Him, if we continually were in step with the Holy Spirit. Imagine, that in those moments where we were about to whinge, praise and thanksgiving came out. Imagine, that instead of feeling tired and worn out, we felt joy and peace because those are the fruits that come with living in the Holy Spirit because He IS peace and joy!

Ephesians 4v30 in The Message says His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life.

He wants you to win! In fact, He has already won it for you!

There is no “natural” easy way out, there will always be trials and challenges in this life. Remaining in Him, being in step with Him takes discipline and it takes resolve, but it is SO worth it. And as we do remain in Him, joy is ours, and He gives us that inner strength that we need to keep on resolving to choose to go to faith! I don’t like the trials nor the challenges, however I can see how many of them in my life have helped me grow up, mature in my faith, depend on and trust in God more than ever before, become more like Christ as my character is shaped and again and again I have seen the goodness of God and His faithfulness being written all over my life, line by line, page by page.

I often post these blogs and think about how much more I could have said or how I could have said it better etc, but I hope that you will hear my heart as you read this – which really is a human echo of His heart. It is FOR YOU. And like the beautiful words of Romans 8v31-39 in the Message say:

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

The end of the Story has already been written, we win, it is up to us what fills the pages from here until then. I pray though, that no matter what your pages look like, you will always see the beautiful stamp of the faithfulness and goodness of God all over it.

Much love,

Jodes. xx

Confidence, Positivity and Courage! FAITH!


Warning: Use of undefined constant tr_read_more - assumed 'tr_read_more' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c12/h06/mnt/215407/domains/jodiechristinat.com/html/wp-content/themes/purity/templates/blog/right-sidebar-1.php on line 21

I drew the word ‘faith’ in the sand with my toes, only to see it, moments later, washed away by a wave. It made me think about the fact that so often we start to feel great faith about a situation or circumstance and often it’s not long before a wave of life comes along and washes that faith away, leaving us “blank” and more than a little disillusioned!

I read in Hebrews 14:23 this week the following statement, ‘…and everything that does not come from faith is sin.’

Wow! It stopped me in my tracks quite quickly! It was like an early morning slap in the face. It’s not as though I didn’t know it, but I suppose it was a fresh reminder for 2014 that when I go to worry, doubt, fear, disappointment, offense, bitterness, lack of trust etc which let’s face it is SO easy to do and often the way we tend to head…I am actually having the opposite of faith and that is sin!

My Pastor, Ps Phi Pringle describes faith as being confident, positive and courageous!

Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

I love these thoughts, that having faith is about choosing to be and remaining positive despite the circumstances, despite not being able to see the end result. Having faith is about being courageous in the midst of what looks overwhelming and possibly impossible. Having faith is about being confident that you have a God who is GOOD, who loves you, who has plans to prosper you and give you a good future, and that because of who He is, you can be confident that He will be faithful in your situation and circumstance.

I by no means think that this means that if we have faith then life will be rosy and wonderful, in fact living a life where we don’t require faith is not really living at all. We can seemingly do everything “right” and still be handed a smack in the face from life, bad news, health issues, financial stresses etc. We can love and serve God with all our hearts however because we live in a fallen world full of sin, unfortunately we are not immune from bad things happening. Yet despite this miserable news (insert big grin and thumbs up!), in the middle of every wave, hurricane, storm and more, we can have peace that surpasses understanding, we can face the situation and do what we need to do (for example seeking medical professional help etc) and yet we can remain positive that God is holding us through it all, we can remain confident that our God shall supply all our needs and we can remain courageous believing that NOTHING is impossible for our God! He does not always come through in the timing or the way that we hoped or thought He would, but He is always there and He is always on the move and He is fighting for you at all times!


The story that you come through this situation with will be more powerful than you could ever have imagined, the inspiration that you can provide for others will blow your mind. The glory that God will receive as you hold firmly onto Him will result in the promise of Ephesians 3:20-21, to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

I am determined, like “grit my teeth, force myself every day” determined, that this year I will be a person of faith. I choose on purpose, to be positive, to be confident in Christ, and to have courage no matter what I face! Let’s together make that commitment, tell someone that you are planning to do this, be accountable for your emotions and actions and remember that when you have a bad day and are slightly less positive than you probably could have been, His mercies are new every day, so get up and try again tomorrow!

Believing for your best year yet, that everything you do and everything you face would come from a position of FAITH: positivity, confidence and courage!

Just keep standing!


Warning: Use of undefined constant tr_read_more - assumed 'tr_read_more' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c12/h06/mnt/215407/domains/jodiechristinat.com/html/wp-content/themes/purity/templates/blog/right-sidebar-1.php on line 21

In the cafe we have a phrase “just keep smiling”, there’s a bit of a story about where the phrase comes from which shall remain in the vault, but we usually say it in a silly voice and have a good laugh!

I thought I would title this blog “just keep standing”. If I say it in a silly voice then I might make myself laugh and a bit of a laugh is good for us all right?! Saying it with “gritted teeth” and clenched fists might describe more of my current state, however, whichever way you want to say it, the message is the same, keep on standing…!

After a disappointing day and what feels like the “icing on the cake” (but gross icing on a yucky cake!) a faithful and wonderful friend sent me a message with the reminder in Ephesians 6:13, “and after you have done everything, to stand.”

Sometimes it feels like we have done absolutely everything we can possibly think of, imagine, manage and yet still the breakthrough isn’t there, the healing hasn’t come, the finances look exactly the same, we are still lonely, discouraged, desperate etc… I loved it when I received this verse from my friend, because the truth is I do feel like I am doing everything I can and yet this verse encourages me TO STAND.

Part of the everything that this verse is talking about is founded around the verses preceding it:

v10-13 “Finally, be strong in The Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

OK, so when your world is falling around you or you are facing some battles, because I’ve been reminded again that we ALL face battles, they look different to each of us, but we all face them and they are all relative! In those times:

1. Be strong in The Lord and in His mighty power!! I mean, that’s cool right from the start! We don’t have to muster up our own strength or fake it till we make it, we can totally rely on HIS strength! When we are weak, He is strong, His grace is sufficient, His power is made perfect in our weakness! Are you feeling weak? Insufficient? Over it? It’s OK because as long as you actually don’t give up, He has more than enough strength to cover us all!

2. Put on the FULL armour of God so that you can stand against the devil’s schemes. What are those schemes? Discouragement, worry, anxiety, fear, depression, loneliness, losing trust, disillusionment… the list goes on with a thousand ways he tries to attack us! Matthew Henry in his commentary on Ephesians 6 describes the full armour of God like this… (read it slowly and take it in, it’s good!)

“The different parts of the armour of heavy-armed soldiers, who had to sustain the fiercest assaults of the enemy, are here described. There is none for the back; nothing to defend those who turn back in the Christian warfare. Truth, or sincerity, is the girdle. This girds on all the other pieces of our armour, and is first mentioned. There can be no religion without sincerity. The righteousness of Christ, imputed to us, is a breastplate against the arrows of Divine wrath. The righteousness of Christ implanted in us, fortifies the heart against the attacks of Satan. Resolution must be as greaves, or armour to our legs; and to stand their ground or to march forward in rugged paths, the feet must be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Motives to obedience, amidst trials, must be drawn from a clear knowledge of the gospel. Faith is all in all in an hour of temptation. Faith, as relying on unseen objects, receiving Christ and the benefits of redemption, and so deriving grace from him, is like a shield, a defence every way. The devil is the wicked one. Violent temptations, by which the soul is set on fire of hell, are darts Satan shoots at us. Also, hard thoughts of God, and as to ourselves. Faith applying the word of God and the grace of Christ, quenches the darts of temptation. Salvation must be our helmet. A good hope of salvation, a Scriptural expectation of victory, will purify the soul, and keep it from being defiled by Satan. To the Christian armed for defense in battle, the apostle recommends only one weapon of attack; but it is enough, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. It subdues and mortifies evil desires and blasphemous thoughts as they rise within; and answers unbelief and error as they assault from without. A single text, well understood, and rightly applied, at once destroys a temptation or an objection, and subdues the most formidable adversary. Prayer must fasten all the other parts of our Christian armour.”

3. Our fight is not against flesh and blood. Note to self, apologise to Tim for taking out frustrations on him far too many times!! Lol. Seriously though, how many times do we look for someone to blame or someone to get mad at? It’s time to start getting mad at our true enemy and coming against him with the Word of God, praying prayers of faith and boldness and believing against all odds and despite all circumstances that we are more than conquerors!!

4. We are reminded AGAIN, to put on the full armour of God, and then to stand our ground! And then when we’ve done everything, to keep on standing!!

The fact is that none of this makes it any easier, and that often we know it deep inside but the circumstance is still raging on the outside, we usually don’t want to hear encouraging verses or well-wishers, often it’s easier to allow the disillusionment to wash us over… I don’t know what is facing you today, or what will face you tomorrow, like I said, we all face battles and we will all need a miracle at one time or another, but can I be one of those annoying people and encourage you today, to STAND. Stand your ground, the enemy IS defeated, the victory IS yours and the battle IS the Lord’s! So give it to Him day in and day out, keep bringing it to Him in prayer, find those Scriptures that you can memorise and shout out loud, and when you’ve done everything you can, just keep on standing!

….now to go and follow my own advice!

Love and believe in you…the breakthrough is coming! xx

Identity Thief #2


Warning: Use of undefined constant tr_read_more - assumed 'tr_read_more' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c12/h06/mnt/215407/domains/jodiechristinat.com/html/wp-content/themes/purity/templates/blog/right-sidebar-1.php on line 21

A few weeks ago I shared on some of the things I have experienced this year, I did say that I would write again “next week” but life got in the way, maybe my next blog will be about discipline…ha! For now I want to continue along the line of Identity because I think it’s one of the most vital parts of our existence – how we view ourselves!

Let me start with a few questions: what or who defines you? Is it your job, your call, your parents, your sickness, your life circumstances, your kids, your friends….or a mixture of all sorts of things? Someone I admire greatly wrote a comment on my previous blog saying that lately they’d been thinking, what if it was all stripped away; their job, their family, their everything, what would be left, what would remain? What if that happened to you? If you took away all the things you do and all the things you have, what would be left?

I think that far too many of us start off in this life with dreams, ambitions, goals and all sorts of grand plans, but it seems that as “life” happens, those things can so easily get stripped away. Far too many times, we allow the things that happen to us, or the busy-ness of life/work/job/relationships/kids etc, or the conditions that we might be labelled with, to become our identity and to stop us from realising who we really are and who we really are capable of becoming!

I want to make it clear that I don’t believe that what we DO or what we HAVE, the dreams, goals or achievements reached etc, should define our identity, they definitely add to our life, they can help shape our character through the things that we experience along the journey, but what you do does not define who you are. What you have does not define who you are or who you were created as, or who you are becoming.

John 1v1-5 says, “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”

He existed before it all, He always has and always will, nothing was created EXCEPT through Him, Jesus! You were created through Him and by Him and for Him, He gave life to you and He wants you to shine!

Ultimately, we need to understand and have a revelation of the fact that we are defined by WHO’S we are, by Who created us, not even by who we think we are or by what we do. So many things in this life come along to try and steal our identity; labels that were placed upon us, sicknesses that try to take hold of our bodies, words that are flung at us, medical conditions that we are diagnosed with, circumstances that try to rob us of the abundant life we’ve been promised, relationships that don’t go the way we wanted and leave us wondering what went wrong, but not one of these things define who you are and you CAN stop those incorrect identities as you begin to declare who you truly are despite what life has thrown at you!

You have been created with a certain identity, formed in the image of God, but only you can accept that identity and walk in it.

God has given us the creative power of speech, just as He spoke and the world was formed, He has given us the ability to speak over our lives and our circumstances to bring change. Our words create our world.

So who are you and what are you allowing to define your life and your world?

You are formed in the image of God (Genesis 1:27)
You are more than a conquerer (Romans 8:37)
You are a ruler with great authority (Genesis 1:28, Luke 10:19)
You are His workmanship created for good works (Ephesians 2:10)
You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:13-14)
You are thought of constantly (Psalm 139:17)
You are full of purpose and destiny (Jeremiah 29:11)
You are rich in the inheritance of Christ (Ephesians 1:11-14)
You are a child of God (Galatians 3:26)
You are forgiven (Romans 5:8)
You are free (Galatians 5:1)
You are secure (Romans 8:38)

…..and the list goes on and on!

Can I encourage you to 1) Stop judging yourself, stop viewing yourself through the eyes of your “role” or any sickness or condition that you’ve been labeled with, or through what you have achieved or gained or done in this life, all that is wonderful (except the sickness bit!) but it isn’t truly who you ARE! 2) Be careful not to assess others by what they do, or by the thing in, or on their life, first and foremost they are a child of God created in His image, take time to get to know them and always remember that everyone is on a journey!

This has been a big lesson for me this year, stripping back all that I “did” or felt called to “do” and discovering that none of that makes me who I am, who I am is completely wrapped up in Jesus Christ! I absolutely believe that each and every one of us is called to do great things for Him and that He wants us to live life to the full and dream big dreams and do wonderful things, my dreams and the call I feel upon my life are so much bigger than me, but the place that I have come to is a place of surrender, truthfully able to say that if none of those things ever occur, I am content in being a child of God, content with Him alone. Ultimately it’s where it all starts and it’s where it all ends and the goal is to ensure that it’s the way it is the whole way through! It is a lesson I’m sure I will have to continue to learn and be reminded of over and over for the rest of my life, but again, it’s a journey!

He is SO good and He loves you more than you’ll ever know, not because of what you do, but because of who you are – HIS.

Much love, Jodie xx