imageDuring the past two weeks we have chosen to PURSUE and OVERTAKE. As we begin this week with focus on RECOVER, let’s remind ourselves of David’s story in 1 Samuel 30 again ….

So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep. And David’s two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had been taken captive. Now David was greatly distressed, for the peo ple spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.

So David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?” And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all. ”

So David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and David rescued his two wives.”
I Samuel 30:3-6, 8, 18 NKJV

As we read these words let’s set our hearts with an expectancy to RECOVER ALL. David and his men didn’t settle for just recovering some of what the enemy had taken from them. Nor should we!!

And NOTHING of THEIRS was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David RECOVERED ALL.” I Samuel 30:19 NKJV

Why RECOVER ALL? Because it was all THEIRS.

The thief comes only to STEAL and kill and destroy.” John 10:10 NIV

A thief couldn’t break into my house to steal a 40 inch plasma screen TV. Why? Because I don’t have one!!

A thief can’t steal something you don’t have. A thief can only steal what is rightfully yours.

RIGHTFULLY YOURS.

You have a right to recover what the enemy has stolen from you because it is RIGHTFULLY YOURS!!

It belongs to you!

The second part of John 10:10 reads “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

The enemy’s purpose may be to steal from you BUT you can choose to pursue, overtake and recover all because of God’s purpose for your life – to “have it to the full”.

Let’s RECOVER ALL!

KEEP MOVING AHEAD (Day 14)

imageWe concluded our first week’s journey to PURSUE with the words PRESS ON. Now we round off this week’s theme of OVERTAKE with the definition MOVE AHEAD.

You have moved ahead and you are moving ahead.

The righteous keep moving forward,” Job 17:9a NLT

I pursued my enemies and overtook them,” Psalm 18:37a NIV

This is not just a season of catch up. It’s time to OVERTAKE. To get past your past and leave behind the things you were never meant to hold on to. (Day 8)

Put your foot down, keep going and do the OVERTAKING by giving HIM the driver’s seat. (Day 9)

Choose to allow His blessings to OVERTAKE you. (Day 10)

OVERTAKE your circumstances with gratitude, the posture for multiplication. (Day 11)

Let His lavish and unfailing love OVERTAKE you. (Day 12)

Help others to OVERTAKE with your words of encouragement. (Day 13)

Keep going.

Keep moving.

Forward.

Ahead.

And encourage those around you to do the same!!

PAY IT FORWARD (Day 13)

imageHave you ever watched the film “Pay it Forward”?

The story of a social studies teacher who gives an assignment to his junior high school class to think of an idea to change the world for the better, then put it into action. When one young student creates a plan for “paying forward” favours, he not only affects the life of his struggling single mother, but he sets in motion an unprecedented wave of human kindness which, unbeknownst to him, has blossomed into a profound national phenomenon.”

Encouragement is the ideal way to pay it forward.

Encouragement is not flattery or empty praise; it is like verbal sunshine. It costs nothing and warms other people’s hearts and inspires them with hope and confidence in their faith. It is like oxygen to the soul.” #BIOY

“A word of encouragement from a teacher to a child can change a life. A word of encouragement from a spouse can save a marriage. A word of encouragement from a leader can inspire a person to reach her potential.” John C. Maxwell

YOUR words have the power to transform lives. With kind and encouraging words, you can change a person’s day or even their entire life.

You can change your own day too! Even your life!

You’ve maybe heard the saying, “Sometimes I wake up grumpy, and sometimes I let him sleep!!!”

There are days when you do feel you got out of the wrong side of the bed and it stays that way till you get back into bed again.

But you can choose to turn that discouragement round to encouragement.

Don’t focus on what is trying to drag you down but look for ways of building others up.

Instead of feeling overwhelmed, overwhelm others with words of encouragement and appreciation!

Encouragement is like a boomerang.

When you make a throw away remark to encourage someone, it makes its way back to you and you end up encouraged too. It’s not the primary motive for doing it but it is a natural consequence of ‘what you sow, you reap’.

One of the most beautiful gifts in the world is the gift of encouragement. When someone encourages you, that person helps you over a threshold you might otherwise never have crossed on your own.” John O’Donohue

Let’s look for ways to PAY IT FORWARD by sowing seeds of encouragement.

When we pursue encouragement for others, it overtakes the discouragement in our own lives.

My nearest friend (Day 12)

imageTAKE BY SURPRISE.

Another meaning of the word we are looking at this week, OVERTAKE.

I had a wee surprise today that made me giggle and Google!!

My hubby is a singer by trade and our daughters have great voices too. Me, not so much! So very often I ‘worship’ by writing the words and lines of songs that ‘pop’ into my head and using them as a prayer of adoration and declaration. Today as I wrote my thanks for all Jesus has done for me, I heard the words “my nearest friend”. I couldn’t get them out of my head so I googled to read more lyrics of the song they came from.

My google turned to a giggle when I realised the writer of those lyrics was none other than my own nearest and dearest, Andy Rogers!!!

The song was written over 15 years ago so he has forgiven me for forgetting!! However, the truth of the lyrics still applies today as does the truth of Proverbs 15:9 “the Lord loves those who PURSUE righteousness.”

Father, thank you that as we pursue you and your righteousness, you pursue us with your LOVE. Father, draw near to our hearts again if we have felt distant from that love. May our lives be continually overtaken with surprise by Your lavish, unfailing and merciful love. Thank you Lord x

I pray these words give voice to the prayer of adoration and declaration in your heart too …

LORD, YOU ARE MY RIGHTEOUSNESS,
The One who sanctifies my life,
My Shepherd and my guide.
Banner of deliverance,
Warrior and my defence,
In Your secret place I hide.
Every other throne must fall
And proclaim You Lord of all
At the mention of Your name;
My salvation and my light,
In Your presence I abide
And Your righteousness I claim.

Jesus, Jesus,
Jesus, Jesus.

Though You are the King of kings,
Yet You are my next of kin,
And my nearest friend.
Laying down Your life for me,
Your amazing grace I see,
And Your love without an end.
How can I keep silent, Lord?
Even stones obey Your word
And they give to You their praise.
You’re the Lord of everything,
All creation’s voices sing
Of the glory of Your name.

Written by: Andrew Rogers, Copyright© 2001 Thankyou Music, CCLI Number: 3359028

If you fancy a listen you can download this song for free 🙂

Gratitude is the posture for multiplication (Day 11)

imageDay 11 … just over halfway … a perfect opportunity for more thanksgiving.

Thank you Father for your incredible love that pursues me relentlessly.

Thank you Father that I am continually overtaken by your boundless mercy.

Thank you Lord “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105

One thank you leads to another to another to another.

The more you give thanks, the more you have to be thankful for!!

I love how Julian Adams puts it “Gratitude is the posture for multiplication“.

Recently I read a challenge to give thanks for 100 things. I thought I would aim for 20 but the 20 turned into 50 and the 50 soon turned into 100!!

What are you thankful for today and so far on this journey?

GOOD CHOICE (Day 10)

imageAnd all these blessings shall come upon you and OVERTAKE you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God:” Deuteronomy 28:2 NKJV

The Message translation reads
All these blessings will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the Voice of GOD, your God” Deuteronomy 28:2 MSG

All these blessings will come down on …
your home (verse 3)
your family (verse 4)
your daily needs (verse 5)
your everyday life (verse 6)
your work and workplace (verse 8)

In fact “GOD will ORDER a blessing on your barns and workplaces” Deuteronomy 28:8 MSG

AND

GOD will defeat your enemies who attack you. They’ll come at you on one road and run away on seven roads.” Deuteronomy 28:7 MSG

HOW? WHY? WHEN you make a CHOICE … “to LISTEN OBEDIENTLY to the Voice of GOD, your God, and HEARTILY OBEY all his commandments” Deuteronomy 28:1 MSG

RESULT? Read verse 2 again …

All these blessings will …. SPREAD OUT BEYOND YOU“.

Not only will the blessing of God in your life impact you, it will impact the lives of others too!

“To LISTEN OBEDIENTLY to the Voice of GOD, your God, and HEARTILY OBEY all his commandments” = GOOD CHOICE!!!

Who’s in the driver’s seat? (Day 9)

imageAny driver knows you can overtake but you can also be overtaken. But how often, when you’re in the process of overtaking, does the other driver speed up so they are not overtaken?

Similarly how often does the enemy try this manoeuvre?

You start to move forward only to feel you’re ending up further behind?

OVERTAKE can also mean ‘engulf’, ‘overwhelm’ and this sums up the enemy’s tactics.

Last Thursday at small group we looked at what Alan, our pastor, had spoken about in church on simple ways to live out the love of God in our neighbourhoods:

Greet strangers
Show kindness
Speak life
Release hope

We took some time to pray and ask God to give us opportunities to do just that in the coming week and asked Him to give us “treasure hunt clues” so we would be more focused on and aware of people we ‘happened’ to come across. We shared the clues we felt God had given each of us. One of mine was a ‘denim pinafore’.

When I got home, to be honest, I started to feel a bit more ‘overtaken‘ than overtaking!

I could hear the whispers of ‘who do you think you are? You did too much talking and most of it was rubbish!! What was the point to teaching others about treasure hunting when you haven’t done that yourself for ages? You’re just a fraud and a failure.’

I could feel heaviness and despondency threaten to engulf me but he’d tried this trick a few days before and I found a good walk round the forest helped clear my head and declutter my heart so I figured best get out rather than just sit around feeling overwhelmed.

When the enemy uses intimidation, it’s a sure sign of the Father’s invitation into MORE of Him and what He has for us.

I needed a new journal so I went into town to get one and thought I would pop into the shop next door too. To be honest (again) my treasure hunt clues weren’t at the forefront of my mind but suddenly I realised I was standing next to a whole display full of denim pinafores (I hadn’t even realised they were in fashion again!!) and there was a girl going through each of the racks.

More honesty … I walked past her three times before I plucked up courage to speak to her! I explained about asking God was there anyone in particular He wanted me to pray for and about the denim pinafores and how it had taken me 3 tries before I spoke to her.

She laughed.

Not in a ‘you’re a total loony tune way’ but in a friendly way that made it easy for me to ask her ‘is there anything I could pray for you today?

She told me how her father who was recovering from a stroke (another one of my clues had been health of a family member) and I had the privilege of praying with her for him right there, beside dozens of denim pinafores!!

I had been tempted to feel overwhelmed by the enemy’s lies but God in His mercy left me feeling overwhelmed by His goodness and engulfed in His kindness.

Don’t allow the enemy to slow you down or stop you completely so you can be overtaken.

Put your foot down, keep going and do the overtaking!!!

If you’re feeling discouraged, ask God to show you someone you can encourage.

If you’re feeling like a failure, ask Father to give you an opportunity to have another go!

For every lie the enemy taunts you with, ask Father to reveal His truth about who you are and whose you are. And declare that truth!!

After all as Jesus reminds us in Matthew 16:24 (Message translation):

You’re not in the driver’s seat. I AM.