SILVER PLATTERS AND SILVER SPOONS - THE OPPOSITE SPIRIT SERIES

Faith is not the opposite of fear. 
Courage is not the opposite of fear.
There is only one thing that trumps fear, every time, all time, bigger, better, faster, more powerful.

Have you ever wondered in your prayer and petition for the miraculous, whether or not you’re big enough to contain the blessing you’re asking for?  Heaven’s silver platter provision comes not without a demand for stewardship.

When I finally gave away worldly dating and prayed for a Godly man, God was faithful.  I became quickly aware that to steward this blessing meant I would have to fight.  Fight for purity, fight for honour, fight for submission.  Almost two decades later I am still in a fight for my marriage.

When they told me I would not be able to have children, my 19-year-old self cried out to God for healing, and He was faithful – miraculously faithful.  Now with four children in my care I have realised that this is perhaps the biggest fight of all time – a fight for their moral integrity, a fight for their character, a fight for the Spiritual reality around their everyday experiences. 

Yes! There are Heavenly silver platter deliveries granted us, but not without a call to stewardship and arms.  Often, that fight is fearsome, riddled with question and clouded by doubt.

AN OPPOSITE SPIRIT

“Come at it with an opposite spirit,” Tim suggested in the midst of a ministry challenge.  Tim and Wendy McDonald have run alongside Sam and I in ministry for close to 20 years.  They have been true friends and co-labourers.  

I can no longer remember the specific details playing out in this particular scenario that took place many moons ago, but I have always remembered those words.   

“ACT IN AN OPPOSITE SPIRIT.”

Since that conversation this mantra has become a resolve to govern many of my difficult decisions over the years.  And now, more than ever, there is an urgency for Christians to carry the culture of Heaven into their circumstances and wider spheres of influence. The culture of Heaven is usually opposite to the culture of the world.

On observation, there appears to be a fair deal of struggle in people’s lives.  It may be the sifting mentioned so often in both testaments of scripture, and we should not be surprised when it greets us and leaves us with a decision to make – which response will govern our heart condition and our action?   

Will you be reactive or proactive?
Will you be led by emotion or by vision? 
Will you be overcome or will you overcome?

CHRISTMAS STARTED IN A GARDEN

POURED INTO US

Piercing the clouds, a celestial Hand reaches out of Heaven and dips His miraculous fingers into dirt of the Earth.  He gathers, He shapes, He gives physical form to the yearning of His heart.  A body… of dust

Cosmic conversation takes place.

“Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26)

Glorious Creator draws near, ever closer.  Leaning over the clay, He breathes into the nostrils of that humble yet magnificent countenance.  Searing pain of first-drawn breath into virgin lungs bring body, soul, spirit to life.   

MISTAKEN IDENTITY

It was a two-week rest with my children while they were on break between school terms.  It was a stay-cation.  We slept in, occasionally stayed in our pyjamas till the crack of noon, ventured out whenever it pleased us and enjoyed an agenda-free time together.  It was a well-needed time doing much of nothing.

One afternoon, as I was collecting damp pool towels off the white tiles, which were becoming increasingly littered with grass-clippings as the day ensued, the Holy Spirit breathed these words over me: 

“Karolina, when I said the Kingdom of Heaven belonged to children I didn’t only mean child-like faith.  I meant the Kingdom of God belonged to people who know at the very deepest core of themselves that they are MY children.  A child who approaches the Father with all confidence, in all love, in all security and fullness of identity – that is who the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to.  This is what it is to be a child of God.”

UNDERSTATED OVERPERFORMERS

It doesn’t take a genius to see a problem.  We can all identify things that aren’t right.  It seems to me that most people easily make those sorts of observations.

It does however, require some kind of an excellent spirit to see and action a solution.  Many fewer people can do that.  Many fewer are willing to do that. 

These are the few who manage to tap into a source of favour the rest only pine after.