Inspiration comes through challenges and in unusual circumstances:
Suddenly you have a “lightbulb moment”
I entered a Photo Inspiration Challenge about a year ago with this picture below.
This was my inspiration: Jonah spat out of the mouth of the fish and washed ashore.
He had disobeyed God when told to go and preach at Nineveh. He boarded a ship to Tarshish and all hell broke loose on the ship. He knew he was the cause and asked to be thrown into the sea to save the lives of those on the ship. They did and there was a great calm.
Jonah was swallowed by a big fish and there he repented and worshipped God, who had mercy on him and commanded the fish to spit him out. He was then washed ashore as we can see in the picture. Read Jonah Ch1 and 2 for the full gist.
” Fenny was Ireland’s first black, Pentecostal male nanny. now, that has got to be a first:) we had interesting, challenging and prayerful times together….”
I dare anyone to break that record. His ways are not our ways. Life’s difficult roads often lead to pleasant destinations. See what the Lord has done through the valley of the shadow of death. Visit my youtube Channel
)and inspration4generations and see for yourself and subscribe to receive the latest songs and inspirational treatise. And what you will see is just the tip of the iceberg. The legend gospel singer /songwriter Andrae Crouch put it so succinctly: “through it all, through it all, I’ve learnt to trust in Jesus, I’ve learnt to trust in God….”
While I was going through the mill God, was birthing songs upon songs in my spirit and using me to minister to others in various churches as He still does today. The enemy may meant it for evil but God uses the valley to spell victory. He uses the mess to write a message and the trials for triumph, the barriers for breakthroughs.
Job said, though He slay me, yet will i trust Him. when He had tested me, I shall come forth like gold. God’s word is so true.
It’s a spiritual warfareThose who put their trust in Him will not be put to shame.
So if you’re going through the mill, hang in there, looking unto Jesus, the author and Finisher of y9ur faith. He who has begun a good work in you will continue to work at it until He brings it to a glorious finale.
“These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold.” (1 Peter 1:7a NLT)The Bible repeatedly says that God has promised to meet your needs: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 NIV).
But the Bible also tells us that with every promise there is a condition. One of the conditions for this promise is that you have to trust him. The more you trust God, the more God is able to meet needs in your life.
So, how can you learn to trust God more so he can meet all of your needs? How can you learn to have greater faith?
You don’t get faith by sitting in a Bible study group or just talking about it. Faith is like a muscle; it develops by being used. The more you use your faith, the more it gets stretched. And the more it gets stretched, the more God is able to bless your life.
We call the circumstances that God creates to stretch our faith “trials”: “These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold” (1 Peter 1:7a NLT).
There are four common trials that God uses to test our faith, and, chances are, you’re in one of these tests right now. When you go through them, you can know that it is an opportunity for you to develop your faith so you can trust God more. I’ll talk about the first two today and the next two tomorrow.
The Pressure Test The pressure test asks the question, “How will you handle stress?” Will you depend on yourself, or will you depend on God? Psalm 50:15 says, “Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me” (NIV). Do you turn to God when you’re in trouble and not to other things?
The People Test God often uses people in your life to test and stretch and develop your faith. This test asks the question, “How will you handle disappointment?” Life is often disappointing. Careers, marriages, and even plans don’t turn out the way we planned them. But the most disappointing thing in life is people. Why? We get disappointed by people because we expect them to meet a need that only God himself can meet. This is a test!
Your problem is not the people in your life. Your problem is your response to the people in your life. People are not the problem, and they’re not the answer to the problem, either. The answer is God. When you expect other people to be your savior, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
Jeremiah 17:7 says, “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence” (NLT). What happens if you trust in the Lord? Look at God’s promise in Isaiah 49:23: “Those who hope in me will not be disappointed” (NIV).
Talk It Over
Which of these tests is God using in your life right now to stretch your faith?
How will you choose to respond to the stress and people in your life that are testing your faith?
He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the glory.
Christ Himself is the builder of His spiritual temple, and He has built it on the mountains of His unchangeable affection, His omnipotent grace, and His infallible truthfulness. But as it was in Solomon’s temple, so in this; the materials need making ready. There are the “Cedars of Lebanon,” but they are not framed for the building; they are not cut down, and shaped, and made into those planks of cedar, whose odoriferous beauty shall make glad the courts of the Lord’s house in Paradise. There are also the rough stones still in the quarry, they must be hewn thence, and squared. All this is Christ’s own work. Each individual believer is being prepared, and polished, and made ready for his place in the temple; but Christ’s own hand performs the preparation-work. Afflictions cannot sanctify, excepting as they are used by Him to this end. Our prayers and efforts cannot make us ready for heaven, apart from the hand of Jesus, who fashioneth our hearts aright. As in the building of Solomon’s temple, “there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron, heard in the house,” because all was brought perfectly ready for the exact spot it was to occupy-so is it with the temple which Jesus builds; the making ready is all done on earth. When we reach heaven, there will be no sanctifying us there, no squaring us with affliction, no planing us with suffering. No, we must be made meet here-all that Christ will do beforehand; and when He has done it, we shall be ferried by a loving hand across the stream of death, and brought to the heavenly Jerusalem, to abide as eternal pillars in the temple of our Lord. “Beneath His eye and care,
9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.1Cor3:9
7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you
36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Matt9:36-38
When baby Jamie was tragically born 27-weeks early his chances for life were slim. Doctors pronounced him dead and told his grieving parents to say their goodbyes. But after cuddling him against her skin and both parents whispering prayers and words of love, baby Jamie miraculously began to show signs of life. Read more at http://faithhub.net/mothers-touch/#vsLItVBXrVyORkAq.99
15 ” Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. Isa49:15
It not what happens to you but how you respond to what happens to you that will determine the outcome of your life.
The doctors dismissed these sign as just a reflex but the parents continued to give Jamie the warmth and the love he needed and told him about his twin sister and talk to him about all their plans for him. ‘…trying to entice him to stay.’
Jamie continued to respond and improve until after two hours they had to call in the medical team who agreed a miracle had taken place.
Notice that the parents were calm about their news and decided to give their baby that best cuddle that they could before he left.
They talked to their baby as if it was alive. They did not get mad at God or anybody. Their response turned the situation around.
This can apply to any situation you face. Your attitude will determine your altitude. Your response will determine the outcome. Speak to your situation even if it is dead. Speak to it as if it is alive. Look for something to thank God for. Your victory is in your praise and thanksgiving.
If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. – Isaiah 58:10
Having compassion for and loving all of God’s creatures is an important part of being a Christian. It’s God’s will that we help the needy, feed the hungry and protect the weak, whether they be human or animal. Below is the story how one person’s compassion gave hope to one lost and helpless puppy.
I was cruising on my sailboat in Mexico when I first saw her sitting in the street in La Cruz. She was gazing at us in a restaurant, hoping someone would toss her some scraps. I couldn’t resist that sad little girl and went out to her several times. She was afraid at first but got over that quickly. She started waiting for me to come ashore every day in my dinghy. I bought dog food for her. She had mange, fleas, ticks, infected eyes, huge bald spots on her skin that were so sunburned, they were raw. I slathered 50 SPF on her every day while she was eating. A friend helped me give her mange & flea baths.
bought a small kennel, and the same friend helped me get her in it. She got her shots, and I brought her on board “temporarily” so I could try and find her a home. No luck. My friends laughed at me, because she was obviously meant to be mine.
She stopped eating and got sick. Back to the vet to learn she had Ehrlichia. Antibiotics and Prednisone took care of that. Then soon after, I noticed her fat tummy with very prominent little pink nipples that I hadn’t noticed before. Ultimately we had eight adorable puppies on board my boat for 12 weeks…they all got homes except two runts who didn’t make it. I cried over those babies.
I brought her back to the States. I was still traveling a lot, so my go-to doggy co-parents kept her. We shared, but finally they said they were too miserable whenever I took her away. We worked out a deal. They are brother and sister to me now, and I go hang out with Eloise and them and one more rescue I brought back later on whenever I’m in Washington. (I spend a lot of time there these days.) Eloise is happy and loved and has the best life in the world. Spoiled rotten, and that’s just great!
The story of Eloise is my story and your story if you know the Lord. We were lost, going stray, hopeless, disfigured by sin, but Jesus came to rescue us and paid the price for us to be set free from sin. He restored us, made us whole and put us in His family, gave us a home and an assurance of heaven.
We did not deserve it , yet He came and transformed us inside out.
Can you see yourself in this story?
If so like
If you are still out in the cold and living in sin, come to the river of life and be washed clean, given a new lease of life. Come and confess your sins and acknowledge Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. The Old will go and the New will come. You will pass from death to life.
(Psa. 62:11). The Holy Spirit is the Person who imparts to the individual believer the power that belongs to God. This is the Holy Spirit’s work in the believer, to take what belongs to God and make it ours. All the manifold power of God belongs to the children of God as their birthright in Christ: “All things are yours” (1 Cor. 3:21). But all that belongs to us as our birthright in Christ becomes ours in actual and experimental possession through the Holy Spirit’s work in us as individuals.
To the extent that we understand and claim for ourselves the Holy Spirit’s work, to that extent do we obtain for ourselves the fullness of power in Christian life and service that God has provided for us in Christ. Let us study the Word of God, to find out what the Holy Spirit has power to do in men:
1. The Holy Spirit has power to reveal Jesus Christ and His glory to man. “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost” (1 Cor. 12:3).
When Jesus spoke of the Spirit’s coming He said: “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me” (John 15:26). It is only as He does testify of Christ that men will ever come to a true knowledge of Christ.
We will send men to the Word to get a knowledge of Christ, but it is only as the Holy Spirit takes the Word and illuminates it that men ever get a real living knowledge of Christ. If you wish men to see the truth about Jesus, do not depend upon your own powers of exposition and persuasion, but cast yourself upon the Holy Ghost and seek His testimony.
2. The Holy Spirit has power to convict the world of sin. “When He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged” (John 16:8-11).
It is by showing Jesus and His glory and His righteousness, that the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. Note the sin of which the Holy Spirit convicts, “Of sin, because they believe not on Me.” You can never convict any man of sin because that is the work of the Holy Spirit. You can reason and reason, and you will fail. The Holy Spirit can do it very quickly.
But it is through us that the Spirit produces conviction. In John 16:7-8 we read: “I will send Him unto you, and when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” It is ours to preach the Word and to look to the Holy Spirit to produce conviction. (See Acts 2:4-37.)
3. The Holy Spirit has power to renew men or make men new, to regenerate. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5).
Regeneration is the Holy Spirit’s work. He can take a man dead in trespasses and sins, and make him alive. He can take the man whose mind is blind to the truth of God, whose will is at enmity with God and set on sin, whose affections are corrupt and vile, and transform that man, impart to him God’s nature, so that he thinks God’s thoughts, wills what God wills, loves what God loves, and hates what God hates.
It is through us that the Holy Spirit regenerates others (1 Cor. 4:15). No amount of preaching, no matter how orthodox it is, and no amount of mere study of the Word will regenerate, unless the Holy Spirit works. Just as we are utterly dependent on the work of Christ for us in justification, so we are utterly dependent upon the work of the Holy Spirit in us in regeneration.
4. The Holy Spirit has the power to give abiding and everlasting satisfaction.“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14; cf. 7:37-39).
Water here means the Holy Spirit. The world can never satisfy. Of every worldly joy it must be said: “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again.” But the Holy Spirit has power to satisfy every longing of the soul. The Holy Spirit and He alone can satisfy the human heart. If you give yourself up to the Holy Spirit’s inflowing or upspringing in your heart, you will never thirst. Oh, with what joy unutterable and satisfaction indescribable the Holy Spirit has poured forth His living water in many souls. Have you this living fountain within? Is the spring unchoked? Is it springing up into everlasting life?
5. The Holy Spirit has power to set us free from the law of sin and death.“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2).
We all know this law of sin and death. We have all been in bondage to it. Some of us are still in bondage to it, but we do not need to be. God has provided a way of escape. That way is by the Holy Spirit’s power. When we give up the hopeless struggle of trying to overcome the law of sin and death, of trying to live right in our strength, in the power of the flesh, and in utter helplessness surrender to the Holy Spirit to do all for us, when we live after Him and walk in His blessed power – then He sets us free from the law of sin and death.
There are many professed Christians today living in Romans 7. Some go so far as to maintain that this is the normal Christian life, that one must live this life of constant defeat. This would be true if we were left to ourselves, for in ourselves we are “carnal sold under sin.” But we are not left to ourselves. The Holy Spirit undertakes for us what we have failed to do ourselves (Rom. 8:2-4).
In Romans 8 we have the picture of the true Christian life, the life that is possible to us, and that God expects from each one of us, the life where not merely the commandment comes, as in chapter 7, but where the mighty Spirit comes also and works obedience and victory. The flesh is still in us, but we are not in the flesh. We do not live after it. We “live after the Spirit.” We, “through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body.” We “walk after the Spirit,” and do “not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16).
It is our privilege, in the Spirit’s power, to get daily, hourly, and constant victory over the flesh and over sin. But the victory is not in ourselves, not in any strength of our own. Left to ourselves, deserted of the Spirit of God, we would be as helpless as ever. It is all in the Spirit’s power.
Has the Holy Spirit set you free from the law of sin and death? Will you let Him do it now? Simply give up all self-effort to be free from “the law of sin and death,” to give up sinning. Believe in the divine power of the Holy Spirit to set you free, and cast yourself upon Him to do it. He will do it. Then you can triumphantly cry with Paul: “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2).
6. The Holy Spirit strengthens the believer with power in the inward man.“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inward man” (Eph. 3:16).
The result of this strengthening is seen in verses 17-19. Here the power of the Spirit manifests itself not merely in giving us victory over sin, but in (a) Christ’s dwelling in our hearts; (b) our being “rooted and grounded in love”; (c) our being “made strong to apprehend with all the saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.” It all ultimates in our being “filled unto all the fullness of God.”
7. The Holy Spirit has power to lead us into a holy life, a life as “sons of God,” a Godlike life.“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Rom. 8:14).
Not merely does the Holy Spirit give us power to live a holy life, a life well pleasing to God when we have discovered what that life is: He takes us by the hand, as it were, and leads us into that life. Our whole part is to surrender ourselves utterly to Him to lead and to mold us. Those who do this are not merely God’s offspring, which all men are (Acts 17:28), neither are we merely God’s children. “These are sons of God.”
8. The Holy Spirit bears witness with the spirit of the believer that he is a child of God.“The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Rom. 8:16).
Note that Paul does not say that the Spirit bears witness to our spirit, but with it – “togetherwith our spirit,” is the exact force of the words used. There are two who bear witness to our sonship: first – our spirit bears witness that we are children of God; second – the Holy Spirit bears witness together with our spirit that we are children of God.
How does the Holy Spirit bear His testimony to this fact? Galatians 4:6 answers this question: “Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”
9. The Holy Spirit brings forth in the believer Christlike graces of character.“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Gal. 5:22-23).
All real beauty of character, all real Christlikeness in us, is the Holy Spirit’s work. It is His “fruit.” He bears it, not we.
This life is not natural to us, and it is not attainable by any effort of “the flesh,” or nature. The life that is natural for us is set forth in the three preceding verses (19-21). But when the indwelling Spirit is given full control in the one He inhabits, when we are brought to realize the utter badness of the flesh, and give up in helpless despair of ever attaining to anything really good in its power, when we come to the end of ourself and give over the whole work of making us what we ought to be to the indwelling Holy Spirit – then these holy graces of character are His “fruit.” This is “sanctification of the Spirit” (1 Pet. 1:2; 2 Thes. 2:13).
10. The Holy Spirit has power to guide the believer “into all truth.”“Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He shall guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak from Himself; but what things soever He shall hear, these shall He speak: and He shall declare unto you the things that are to come” (John 16:13).
No amount of mere human teaching, no matter who our teachers may be, will give us a correct apprehension of the truth. Not even a diligent study of the Word, either in the English or the original languages, will give us a real understanding of the truth. We must be taught of the Holy Spirit. And we may be thus taught – each one of us.
11. The Holy Spirit has power to bring to remembrance the words of Christ.“But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you” (John 14:26).
This promise was made primarily to the apostles, and is the guarantee of the accuracy of their report of what Jesus said. But the Holy Spirit does a similar work with each believer who expects it of Him and looks to Him to do it. He brings to mind the teachings of Christ, and the words of Christ, just when we need them, for either the necessities of our own life or of our service.
12. The Holy Spirit (a) reveals to us the deep things of God, which are hidden from and foolishness to the natural man, and (b) interprets His own revelation, or imparts power to discern, know and appreciate what He has taught.“But unto us God revealed them through the Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For who among men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of God. But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God; that we might know the things that were freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth; combining spiritual things with spiritual words. Now the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged” (1 Cor. 2:10-14).
Not only is the Holy Spirit the author of Revelation – the written Word of God, He is also the interpreter of what He has revealed. How much more interesting and helpful any deep book becomes when we have the author of the book right at hand to interpret it to us! This is what we always may have when we study the Bible. The author – the Holy Spirit – is right at hand to interpret.
To understand the Book we must look to Him. Then the darkest places become clear. We need to pray often with the psalmist, “Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law” (Psa. 119:18).
It is not enough that we have the objective revelation in the written Word; we must also have the inward illumination of the Holy Spirit to enable us to comprehend it. It is a great mistake to try to comprehend a spiritual revelation with the natural understanding. It is the foolish attempt to do this that has landed so many in the bog of the higher criticism.
To understand God’s Word we must empty ourselves utterly of our own wisdom, and rest in utter dependence upon the Spirit of God to interpret it to us (Matt. 11:25). When we put away our own righteousness, then, and only then, we get the righteousness of God (Phil. 3:4-7, 9; Rom. 10:3). When we put away our own wisdom, then, and only then, we get the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 3:18; Matt. 11:25; 1 Cor. 1:25-28).
13. The Holy Spirit enables the believer to communicate to others in “power” the truth he himself has been taught.“I, brethren, when I came unto you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1 Cor. 2:1-5).
We not only need the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth in the first place; and in the second place, to interpret to us as individuals the truth He has revealed; but in the third place, we also need the Holy Spirit to enable us to effectually communicate to others the truth He Himself has interpreted to us. We need Him all along the line.
One great cause of real failure in the ministry, even when there is seeming success, and not only in the ministry but in all forms of service by Christian men and women, is from the attempt to teach by “inciting words of man’s wisdom,” that is, by the arts of human logic, rhetoric or eloquence, what the Holy Spirit has taught us. What is needed is Holy Ghost power, “demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”
We need, we are absolutely dependent upon, the Holy Spirit all along the line. He must teach us how to speak as well as what to speak. He must be the power as well as the message.
14. The Holy Spirit guides the believer in prayer. “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit” (Jude 20).
The disciples did not know how to pray as they ought so they came to Jesus, and said: “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). “We know not how to pray as we ought,” but we have another Helper at hand to help us (John 14:16-17). “The Spirit also helpeth our infirmity” (Rom. 8:26). He teaches us to pray.
True prayer is prayer “in the Spirit,” that is, the prayer which the Spirit inspires and directs. When we come into God’s presence to pray, we should recognize our infirmity, our ignorance of what we should pray for or how we should pray, and in the consciousness of our utter inability to pray aright, look up to the Holy Spirit and cast ourselves utterly upon Him to direct our prayers, to lead out our desires, and to guide our utterance of them.
We must wait for the Holy Spirit, and surrender ourselves to the Holy Spirit. The prayer that God the Holy Spirit inspires is the prayer that God the Father answers.
15. The Holy Spirit teaches us to render thanks.“Be filled with the Spirit; speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father” (Eph. 5:18-20).
One of the most prominent characteristics of the Spirit-filled life is thanksgiving.
16. The Holy Spirit has power to inspire in the heart of the believer in Christ worship that is acceptable to God.“For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God, and glory in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3).
Worship is a definite act of the creature in relation to God. Worship is bowing before God in adoring acknowledgement and contemplation of Himself. Someone has said, “In our prayers we are taken up with our needs, in our thanksgivings we are taken up with our blessings, in our worship we are taken up with Himself.” There is no true and acceptable worship except that which the Holy Spirit prompts and directs.
To worship aright we must “have no confidence in the flesh.” We must recognize the utter inability of the flesh, that is, our natural self as contrasted with the divine Spirit who dwells in and should mold everything in the believer, to worship acceptably. In utter self-distrust and self-abnegation we must cast ourselves upon the Holy Spirit to lead us aright in our worship.
17. The Holy Spirit has power as a guide.“As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate Me Barnabas and Saul, for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus” (Acts 13:2-4).
The Holy Spirit calls men and sends them forth to definite lines of work. How shall we receive the Holy Spirit’s call? By desiring it, seeking it, waiting upon the Lord for it, and expecting it. God speaks often in a still small voice. Only the listening ear can catch it. Have you definitely offered yourself to God to send you where He will?
“Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot” (Acts 8:29).
The Holy Spirit also guides in the details of daily life and service, as to where to go and where not to go, what to do and what not to do. It is possible for us to have the unerring guidance of the Holy Spirit at every turn in our lives.
Here are five steps to getting guidance: First, we must be conscious of and fully admit our own inability to decide wisely. Second, we must desire to know God’s way, and be willing to do God’s will. Third, we must ask, definitely ask guidance. Fourth, we must confidently expect guidance. Fifth, we must follow step by step as the guidance comes.
18. The Holy Spirit has power to give us boldness in testimony for Christ. “And when they had prayed the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and they spake the Word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31).
Many are naturally timid. They long to do something for Christ, but they are afraid. The Holy Spirit can make you bold if you will look to Him and trust Him to do it.
God’s Perfect Provision
Two things are manifest from what has been said about the power of the Holy Spirit in the believer. First, how utterly dependent we are upon the Holy Spirit at every turn of Christian life and service. Second, how perfect is the provision for life and service that God has made, and what the fullness of privilege that is open to the humblest believer, through the Holy Spirit’s work. It is not so much what we are by nature that is important, but what the Holy Spirit can do for us, and what we will let Him do.
Christian life is not to be lived in the realm of natural temperament, and Christian work is not to be done in the power of natural endowment; but Christian life is to be lived in the realm of the Spirit, and Christian work is to be done in the power of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Spirit is eagerly desirous to do for each of us His whole work. He will do for each of us all we will let Him do.
From How To Obtain Fulness Of Power In Christian Life And Service by R. A. Torrey.
He brings about the miraculous
opens doors that are shut; amkes a road in the sea; rivers in the desert
He brings about resurrection of what should be alive: vision,dreams, health and healing, vitality etc
He is the Helper
Mass evangelism, householsd salvation
Enables us endure hardness as good soldiers of Christ
Sofa surfer: Lucy Buck, above, saved her rent money to set up Child’s i Foundation (Picture: Catherine Hinds)
We all have moments when we dream about helping people in need but few of us take it further. Amy Fallon meets four women who did.
Lucy Buck, 35, set up Child’s i Foundation
Lucy Buck was so determined to establish her charity, Child’s i Foundation (CiF), she was prepared to give up her own bed. In the two years she spent setting up CiF, Buck relied on friends’ sofas to save rent money, which she put into setting up the organisation.
‘I was averaging about four different beds a week, never wanting to outstay my welcome,’ laughs the former TV producer, who lives in Island Gardens, east London.
Every week in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, hundreds of babies are abandoned in hospitals, car parks and on roadsides. Malaika Babies Home, which CiF runs in the city, provides temporary emergency care for up to 25 children, aged two and under. It aims to resettle babies with their extended families within six months to avoid long-term psychological damage – but if this isn’t possible, places them with adoptive Ugandan families.
‘These children have no one to fight their corner and historically they’d stay in residential care all their lives,’ says Buck, who set up CiF in 2008 after volunteering to work for a Kampala baby orphanage. ‘In families, they grow up loved and cherished instead of becoming another orphan statistic.’
Malaika Babies Home opened in 2010 after Buck won the Vodafone World of Difference Award. TV production company Endemol now helps pay her salary, allowing her to run the charity. ‘In a country where adoption is very uncommon, we’ve placed 20 abandoned babies into adoptive families, thanks to our media campaign with the Ugandan government,’ says Buck.
Alison Naftalin established Lively Minds, which has now helped 13,000 children
Alison Naftalin, 33, set up Lively Minds
Alison Naftalin signed up to volunteer in a primary school in Ghana, west Africa, for two months in 2007. ‘The children missed out on so many important opportunities most British children take for granted,’ she says of her time teaching in Tamale. ‘There were no books or toys at home. Most parents hadn’t been to school and couldn’t read or write.’ Two weeks after Naftalin returned to her home in Muswell Hill, north London, she quit her job as a government lawyer, explaining to the ‘horror of her family and friends’ that she was going back to Africa.
‘I hit on the idea of training mothers to run their own play centre for village kids using toys made from local resources,’ says Naftalin. ‘I wanted to give young children a chance to learn through play when creative education makes such a big difference to their future development.’
With just £1,000 – some of it raised through persuading her mates to run marathons – Naftalin set off for Ghana again in January 2008. The centres took off ‘like wild fire’ both there and in Uganda, where Naftalin later visited.
In July 2008, she established Lively Minds, which has now worked in 50 African villages and helped 13,000 children.
Besides setting up play centres, the charity works with Unicef in Ugandan schools to raise awareness of the horrific practice of child sacrifice. Until last May, when she received a grant, Naftalin worked four days a week as a lawyer, devoting her spare time to Lively Minds. ‘Lively Minds has changed my life,’ she says. ‘But I don’t regret it.’
Lively Minds runs a volunteer scheme in Ghana, so you could make a difference too.
Olivia Barker and Corrie Latham, both 23, set up Kids Club Kampala
At the end of their six-month teaching stint in Kampala’s slums in 2007, the last thing Olivia Barker and Corrie Latham wanted to do was set up a charity. But after unsuccessfully convincing other charities in the Ugandan capital and in Britain to do more for the vulnerable children they’d met, the pair, then 19, felt they had no choice. ‘There’s a stigma attached to slum children,’ says Barker, of Harringay, north London. ‘People think these kids are dirty, they’ll steal from you, they’re worthless. Kids Club Kampala (KCK) aims to not only help children with basic needs but also encourage and empower them so they know they’re worth something and that people do care for them.’
KCK runs football and dance projects, feeding programmes, clothing campaigns and agricultural projects in and around Kampala, reaching more than 4,000 children, most of whom can’t afford to go to school. It also supports children with school fees while helping adults with literacy and numeracy.
Barker and Latham faced criticism from their friends and families in 2009 when they announced they were setting up a charity. Barker’s father asked: ‘Can’t you get another hobby?’ But things have changed.
‘Last month, he bought 100 footballs to donate,’ says Barker. ‘My mum’s currently in Uganda volunteering for her sixth time.’
Barker runs KCK while holding down a full-time international development job and Latham is completing a master’s degree.
The organisation’s running costs are about £25,000 a year, which comes from donations, fund-raising and the pair’s own pockets.
‘We work from our own homes,’ says Latham. ‘Even things like envelopes we buy ourselves. But starting KCK has been the best and most challenging thing I’ve ever done.’
There are around 180,000 registered charities in England and Wales and possibly the same number of smaller unregistered ones, according to the Charity Commission, which regulates registered organisations – so you need to do your homework before setting up another one.
‘The process is relatively simple but we always encourage people thinking about it to look at the register and consider whether there are other organisations doing the same thing,’ says a Charity Commission spokeswoman. ‘People should also look at our guidance detailing what to think about before beginning the process.’
The commission emphasises the difference between fund-raising and establishing a charity. If you do go ahead and launch your own organisation, it will be required by law to register with the Charity Commission when it has an income of £5,000 or more.
Lively Minds founder Alison Naftalin says it’s important to get good people on board. ‘Get good trustees involved from the start, particularly with experience of start-ups,’ she says. Olivia Barker, from Kids Club Kampala, agrees it’s all about teamwork. ‘It helps to have someone to talk through ideas and share the workload with,’ she says. ‘Corrie and I couldn’t do this without each other.’
Her best tip for any emerging charity is to be organised. ‘Write lots of lists, have lots of meetings and meetings about having meetings,’ Barker recommends.
Lucy Buck, who founded Child’s i Foundation, worked on TV shows such as Big Brother, House Of Tiny Tearaways and Love Island, so made the most of her TV connections. Buck advises using your contact book as much as possible. Website http://www.knowhownonprofit.org has also been invaluable to her.
‘Don’t ever give up on your dream,’ says Buck. ‘You’ll go through highs and lows but if you are determined enough, anything is possible.’