Taking off the old and putting on the new

imageI’ve just had a brilliant weekend at the Illuminate conference in Causeway Coast Vineyard along with 900 other women!! The theme of “Inheritance” was expressed wonderfully in our worship times led by Kathryn Scott and Jo Hogg and in the words shared by Rachel Gardner and Arianna Walker.

I have SO much to process and ponder following the conference but I just want to share something I felt God was speaking to me prior to it.

Recently I got some new clothes. My daughters always start wearing their new things straightaway but I tend to hold back. I want to keep them for a special occasion?!?! I don’t want to ruin them!?!?

I felt Him challenging me to not cling to the security of the old but to embrace the new.

Maybe you’re like me and although you have new clothes in your wardrobe, you still feel more comfortable wearing the older ones you’ve been wearing for a while.

Imagine if you still kept wearing the old clothes for comfort or security but then put the new clothes on too. Of course they still wouldn’t feel right and probably wouldn’t fit because you are putting them on over the old clothes.

There are loads of ‘old clothes’ we find familiar and well worn.

COMPARISON – constantly feeling you don’t measure up beside others. Or trying to be like others rather than be who He created you uniquely to be.

SHAME – maybe you feel there is no way you can avoid wearing this. How could He ever forgive you? Or perhaps you insist on putting on shame every day because you can’t forgive yourself?

HURT – are you tempted to keep wearing the words and pain others have put on you?

These are not the clothes you were designed to wear.

The Father wants to take away those old things. He’s beckoning to you to take them off and hand them over to Him.

But that means nakedness and that can only mean vulnerability, discomfort, awkwardness, embarrassment, can’t it??

Maybe as we take that initial step but every time we hand something over to Him, there is a divine exchange, and He hands something much better to us in its place.

So instead of vulnerability, He has very special new clothes for you – robes of righteousness, garments of praise, His armour.

Instead of COMPARISON, He has a UNIQUE DESIGN AND DESTINY for you to put on.

He doesn’t want you to wear SHAME any more but to be wrapped in His FORGIVENESS.

And that HURT you thought you’d always have to wear, He has a new outfit of JOY for you.

So ask the Father what He wants you to take off and hand over to Him and receive His divine exchange of the very thing He has created and designed just for you.

IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL,

image“I went for a walk in the forest this morning but I had to choose which path I took. To be honest I was tempted to go down the complaining route, to have a moan on my own!

I’d just left my car with the mechanic, further complicated by the fact Andy is away in USA and his car is at Dublin airport. So no transport 😦 and here I was walking in the rain!! I was so tempted to feel sorry for myself.

But then I felt the Holy Spirit remind me of words from a song I had been listening to in the car … IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL

Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me

Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see
And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name

It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul

Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/bethel-music/it-is-well-lyrics/#7ukzzyRkoA

IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL

No car means I appreciate all the more the fact I do have a car and the independence that brings. But it’s also a good reminder of dependence, about reaching out and admitting ‘I can’t’, ‘could I ask you …?’, ‘can you help me?’ instead of struggling alone. A note to self that independence is not always a strength.

Let go my soul and trust in Him

Andy being away for 12 whole sleeps (I’ve done 5!!) reminds me how grateful I am that he is still my bestest since we first went out over 35 years ago 🙂 It is also another fulfilment of a word Andy received years ago about travelling to the States to lead worship.

Far be it from me to not believe, Even when my eyes can’t see – His promises never fail

And instead of complaining about having to walk in the rain, I’m grateful that we live so near a beautiful forest and I get to enjoy it with JOY on 4 legs ie Tess!!! And I’m not alone, for He always walks with me.

The joy of the Lord is my strength.

The song I’ve quoted above is from the Bethel album ‘Yiu make me brave”, but the line ‘It is well with my soul‘ was originally written by Horatio Spafford in 1873 following a family tragedy in which his four daughters died.

I am well aware how trivial my complaints are in comparison to this tragedy but I’m also aware of how wee things can soon spiral into HUGE things if we don’t nip them in the bud and flip grumbling around into gratitude. Nip and flip!!!

And my circumstances may well be very trivial in comparison to yours but the one thing we do have in common is we all need to be reminded WHO to focus on and WHAT we should focus on …

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me