How to walk with confidence

I read one of the funniest stories in the bible the other day. Significantly short. But the message I found was impactful on my own life, and it gave me a laugh.

The story comes from Acts 20. Paul is in the town called Troas. He intends to leave the next day so he decides to speak to the people until midnight at a home. When it started to get very late one of the men started to fall asleep. He was sitting by the window and when he eventually fell asleep he fell 3 floors. When they picked him up they said he was dead! But when Paul came and picked him up he said:”Don’t be alarmed, he’s alive!”.

As soon as Paul touched the man, he rose from the dead! He didn’t say a word, didn’t pray for the man. He simply had so much power and anointing from the Holy Spirit that simply by touch he could raise people from the dead. And even in his other stories, people would use a handkerchief that Paul touched as a healing tool for the sick.

What stood out for me was how confident Paul was. I’m almost certain he walked to the man with the faith that when he touched the man that he would wake up. The confidence that he had was not in a spirit of arrogance and in the belief that the miracles that was done through him was because of his doing, instead he had the spirit of confidence that God had shown and given to him.

I feel that we need to live the way that Paul lived. With the confidence not in our own ability but from our creator. The one who has set us free. The one who gave His only son to take the burden of all our sins on himself. Our boundaries should be defined by our Father and not by the things that others tell us are boundaries.

Another thing I realised was that the way Paul postured himself was a direct reflection of the relationship he had with his father. They were probably so close that he could audibly hear the voice of the Lord. He would know when to do what, when to take a step forward, when to take one back, when to leave, when to stay. All because of the relationship he had with the Lord and the time he spent with Him. There was definitely tough times, times where he wouldn’t hear the voice or touch of God. But he knew what was in him, and that’s enough.

We all go through phases. And there are times where we neglect our bibles. We don’t have the drive to get out of bed and go to church, saying a simple prayer is tiring. We just go through a rut with our relationship with God. So how do we get out?

Going back to the basics.

Taking it slow. Start by just reading a chapter a day. Pray for 5 minutes and you will see your life change for the better. Imagine not seeing your friend for a few months. You would lose that tight bond you had. It’s like your daily bread. You constantly need a fresh loaf of bread, otherwise it will go stale and won’t fulfill you the way it should. We need to constantly spend time with Him so that He can reveal another part of His complex heart. We may never understand Him while on earth but there is so much we can while we are alive. Intimacy. That’s all I’m saying.

Confidence and intimacy. That may change your life. Having these 2 key characteristics will show you the way ahead for yourself and to others.

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Life without pain is painful

If you had to ask a world-renowned sports athlete how he became so prosperous he would say that he suffered. If you had to ask a famous writer how he has become so crafty with words and sold many books he would tell you he suffered.

I heard this today in an interview with Jon Foreman, the lead singer and guitarist from the band Switchfoot, great band by the way, and he overheard it from someone else at the store funnily enough. Long story short the message he wanted to bring was that there is light in the chaos, a reason for adversity. if we never struggle in life we may struggle!

My favourite passage in the bible comes from a story in 2 Corinthians 12:10. It’s when Paul gets a thorn in his flesh and at first he is angry that it has happened to him but then comes a moment where he has come to terms with it. A moment of euphoria.

He then says: “I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions and difficulties for when I am weak; then I am strong.”

Through the pain and suffering he finds his strength in God and grows from the experience. I’m sure there was an experience you had in your life that was seemingly impossible at the time but now would seem rather doable, perhaps easy.

I had that moment just recently, I do find it hard to say that it will be easier and less stressful next time around but even so I will at least know how to deal with the situation a lot more efficient.

I was challenged with an amount to pay that was just too much. Although I have some savings in case of an emergency I would still not be able to cover it. I would have to take out a loan that would possibly take me at least a year to pay off while I change my lifestyle to extreme minimalism. Practically never eating out. Not buying miscellaneous items I might need. Not putting money aside for my future. Nothing.

I had that plan but it was stupid. Flawed. I only started to get a better way to sort out the problem by seeking counsel from my mom. Aren’t they always the best advisors?

So I would have to plead to the other party and request that there is anything they can do, but I was nervous, worried what they would say. So I gave it a day. That evening my life group worshiped and sang the song Good Father. It reminded me how good He is, crazy isn’t it? The coincidence. Even though things are not going the way you want them to, even though you walk through the valley of suffering, fear and even though it seems impossible God is good. Maybe I do take out a loan, maybe not. Regardless He is good.

I started to declare it. When I was ready to confront the other party I was filled with peace and it turns out I couldn’t have gotten a better deal. I saved myself from a large loan. I was thrilled.

You may look at adversity and shake but I look at a time of suffering to produce growth(sometimes). What God also said in that passage is this:

” My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

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Believing in Miracles

There are some radical stories of miracles. Some which have happened thousands of years ago and then there are those which are happening in our lifetime. If anything, more are recurring today.

But what is a miracle? – An extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency. It comes from the Greek thaumasion and the Latin miraculum—as that which causes wonder and astonishment .

To witness a miracle is extremely special and sometimes we are the miracles: Being swept away from death, cured from imminent death or simply saved from harm. I have heard countless stories of people being raised from the dead. Some incredible stories have jumped to life.

So one would think that there is no obstacle that cannot be overcome. No sickness that can’t be cured for He has done it all am I right?

In my honest opinion I say yes. Yes he can save you even when your heart stops beating or any other terrible disease. I have faith in any situation. Regardless of the scientific probability of there being a transformation in a person’s situation, see what I did there 😉

But then there comes a task my way. A task that seems rather difficult, way out of my comfort, a task I will need to dedicate hours on to get done for weeks on end. It’s more like many tasks culminating to one big task. I can do it on my own though. I just need to eat right. Get the required sleep when I can and not spend a second procrastinating or getting distracted.

It is a big task. And right now I feel that I have fell short. Right now I’m rather sick, according to the doctor I have bronchitis. Thankfully it hasn’t reached the harmful stage and I am getting better by the day. My guess is I have been eating rather unhealthy and working rather hard. So once I’m fully recovered I’ll go back at it, this time still working as hard as I can but I won’t be eating so much junk, maybe just a little.

That way I’ll know for sure if I’m actually working too hard and need to reassess my timetable.

Sometimes He wants us to grow in our capacity while other times He wants us to learn saying no and get into His rest.

You might be wondering, now how on earth does this have to do with miracles or is this two different blog posts I accidentally added together?

So going back to miracles. I am able to succeed and complete my task on my own with the gifts and talents already given to me. But that’s not how our relationship with God should be. It should be a constant friendship, a constant relationship of guidance, wisdom and revelation. He can assist you to your goals in a swifter fashion, in a way that will leave you in a better state than you were.

I came off the phone with my mother today and she reminded me of something we tend to forget. God works outside of time. So seeing that time for Him is irrelevant He can take us out of the world where time is irrelevant while still keeping us here on earth. Something that may take 2 hours in our world can take just a few seconds if we are in God’s timing!

It may sound ridiculous to some, but try it, ask for that much needed time you need to get done what is needed to get done. I always wished that I could pause time, study for days for a test and when I have learned what I need to learn time will start again, I can write the test and I’ll receive great marks. As much as that can happen He will probably not do it if you leave your study time for the last few minutes before a test and then start to learn.

What I’m trying to portray though is that we can sometimes have faith for the impossible. Believe that anything is possible. But then comes something small. Something we don’t really need help from God, but then we believe we can do it ourselves or is something that doesn’t need the hand of God to help us. In fact, He wants to be there for us daily. For every single task regardless of the size or difficulty.

If we have faith the size of a mustard seed we can move mountains, but that also means we can move rocks.

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Who to spend your time with

You Are The Average Of The Five People You Spend The Most Time With.

I’m sure you have heard that saying before at least a few times.

Because it’s so true!

Your friends have a huge impact on your mindset. Imagine how inspired you would be if you were friends with Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Richard Branson and whoever inspiring person you could think of. There wouldn’t be a night where you wouldn’t be thinking about your future and what greatness lies ahead for you. You would be willing to take a huge leap of faith. You would do exactly what you love because your friends are doing it. They’re supporting you every step of the way.

But if your friends were not the greatest? What if they saw the world as a dark place and it’s a fight for the fittest and if you get scraps that’s fine? It’s going to affect you negatively. Your vision of life would probably also not be so great.

That’s why it is important to have positive friends.

I got to know someone through this year and we became friends but one thing I noticed about him was his negativity about life. All he would speak about would be the things that irritate him. This beautiful place that I call home was perceived dark, depressing and a place to be broken.

The friendship actually got to a point where I would start to think negatively about things that he saw as negative. It eventually came to a point that I snapped at my colleague at work because I started to see the things that irritate people instead of the things that makes him stand out and that makes him a really nice person.

Fortunately I realised what was happening before it became a problem. It made me realise the importance of who we spend our time with. It doesn’t mean I should unfriend that person; but rather speak life to him and the goodness that I can see in other people and over the places we see instead of listening to negativity.

Sorround yourself with people you admire.

But don’t let that saying constrain you. You can be the difference in your friendship group. The fresh apple in the basket (which is a stupid thing to say because the rotten apples will stay rotten, or get worse, but anyways). But what I can say is that it wouldn’t hurt to have aspiring friends.

Every good dream begins with a dreamer.

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Promises from God

Don’t you ever get a word from someone that things are going to get better? Or that the harvest is near? We always hear from others how things will get better as long as we trust God and spend time with Him, but what does He promise in the Word?

But seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33.

Now in this verse it may seem that everything we need and want will be ours but it is in fact not true. He only promises food for our bellies and clothing on our bodies.

That’s it!

In the passage God is telling us not to worry for food and clothing for that will be given to us. But that is it. No other mention of anything else.

Don’t let your trust in God be that you will be blessed, because that will become your idol.

I have been a victim of this too. Trusting for something rather than being content with what I have. It is just crazy how focused we can become on something that hasn’t happened yet and will not give us fruit. If it has been promised then so be it, Your life does not need to revolve around it.

It’s a gift to be happy when you have nothing.

What we forget to realise is that we have everything regardless of what is in our homes and bank accounts. The culture we live in today says we must strive for more, always searching to receive and never actually give. It isn’t wrong to want more but one must be careful of what they want because it can rule over them rather than be a goal to look forward to.

If we are humble with the little we have then surely the same will be with the overflow of things we will possess. However, when we become greedy with the little you can surely bet we will be greedy with the abundance of things.

Sometimes we need to be humbled before we can receive what is truly installed for us.

It is always important to be happy with what you have, but also in pursuit for more. If you have a filled stomach and warm clothing tonight then you are richer than 821 million people in our world.

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Finding “The One”

Being in love with someone means that you feel your life is complete. Whatever could happen in the future whether it is positive or negative will not affect your joy you find in that person. When you find ‘the one’ you feel complete. You feel the desire to always make them happy and if you could do something that would bring them joy you would do it.

But what if you haven’t found the one yet? What if you just haven’t met that person yet?

There was a time where I thought I found ‘the one’. She is one of the most amazing people I have ever met and she had certain qualities that you don’t normally find in people. The most incredible thing about her was that she was such an inspiring person. And that was what drew me to her.

She wasn’t ‘the one’ though.

There was nothing wrong with her I just eventually discovered that she was not the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.

So I’m back at square one. 7 billion people approximately in this world. Let’s say 3.5 is woman. So I can cross of 1 name. Great progress!

So what’s the next step? How can I find her?

After months of trying to figure it out I came to a conclusion that will probably not satisfy you but I feel content at this point of time.

There are tons of people that I could be with but I want the perfect match. You can make any marriage work but why struggle now to make it work in 5 years or rather wait for the perfect one and deal with the things that will affect the relationship before you go into the relationship and for her to do the same?

There is also something else I would like to address. Something that I have recently discovered. Rather tiring yourself out looking for someone that inspires you, why not become the inspirational person you would like to meet?

To do that you evidently need to start doing crazy things. Things that excite you but also freak you out. Things that you will never forget. It doesn’t need to be something you aren’t ready for yet but something that will scare you at least on some level. Then one day that thing you thought you never could will be something you will laugh at because it is such an easy feat.

So start daring yourself. Do crazy things. If you’ve got bad memory then just do unforgettable things.

What crazy things have you done and what are the things you are planning to do?

I am also not a hypocrite so I will also be doing things that entice me and of course bring those stories to light.

They say you are the product of the people you spend your time with. I’m sure it will be the same with the person you love. So once you become an inspiration to others you may find ‘the one’.

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The Good, the Bad and the Smelly

There is something most people don’t actually know about me that is rather peculiar. That is my sense of smell. Since as long as I can remember my smell has been non-existent. I could not smell the most obvious things which in a way was rather lucky for my family has a reputation for emitting the most horrendous odours at any given time, myself included. It never really had an impact on me and there weren’t many times where I wish I could smell like a ‘normal person’.

This past week however, was a big change in my life. I honestly felt different on that day. My work took me to the mountains on that specific day (which was the first time ever actually) and my colleague asked me if I could smell the scent of the untouched nature. Now usually I take a deep breath and act in bewilderment and say something like: “Hmm, smells great” but when I took that breath I could
honestly smell the fresh air that the mountain was giving. It made the hike even more special to witness another aspect contributing to the beauty of what I was experiencing in that part of the world.

What made it even better was that I was able to smell other things over the week such as diesel, pancakes and some not so nice scents. Even now I can smell certain things that are around me that I never could.

Through this brand new experience I have learned a couple new things.

Before I was shielded from smelling anything nasty or peculiar but that also meant I would not be able to smell things that were beautiful and fresh. So to be able to smell a rose or an enticing meal of food I head to brace the fact that I might also smell someones gas or a dirty room.

And that was the choice Adam and Eve basically chose, to give up the perfect place just to be able to know what is wrong as well as what is right, to be able to see the evil as well as the good.

Being able to know the difference makes you appreciate the times where you see the most amazing things.

You will only be able to know what true love is if you have experienced the opposite (which doesn’t mean you need to find someone to break your heart, just learn from other people). You will only know how to treat others when you have experienced it on both levels.

And that is just life. I am so glad now that I have the ability to smell things regardless of whether it is a good odour or not because it is that extra beauty one can find. Our life is so intricate that there are multiple ways to appreciate life and sometimes the scent of nature is all you need to shift your emotions.

As Jon Foreman says:”The shadow proves the sunshine”, meaning that even in dark places and dark times, positive things are happening in the world.

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