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Archive for November, 2010

News on my mom:

Yesterday’s blood test revealed my mom’s blood platelets were even lower than last week.  So the Chemo has been cancelled.  As a matter of fact the whole course has been cancelled because:

TMI warning! 

My mom has had some terrible IBS symptoms again for the last few weeks and her stools have been very loose, with some bleeding, but not much.  Yesterday morning she went to the loo early and there was a lot of blood afterwards!  She phoned her oncologist and he told her to come see him immediately.  He suspects that the bleeding is from either hemorrhoids or damage to her intestines due to the radiation she got earlier this year.  He immediately got my mom an appointment with a different doctor in the same hospital who is a specialist surgeon, and that doctor has advised a colonoscopy to see what is causing the bleeding.  My mom will be going for that next week Monday. 

Because of all these problems the rest of the Chemo treatments have been cancelled completely.  They want to find out first what the problem is in my mom’s intestines, and treat that and only when that has been resolved will my mom go for a PET scan probably only in January to see if there is no more cancer.   The oncologist says that the reason my mom’s platelets were lower was because she lost so much blood yesterday morning, and because her platelets are so low she will bleed a lot.  The platelets help the blood to clot – and if you don’t have much then it is harder to stop bleeding.

We are positive and hopeful that it won’t be something serious.  I know God will help us through this too!  And I believe that the 3 chemo treatments were sufficient to get rid of the cancer, so I’m glad that for now she doesn’t have to go for any more…

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It’s been a while since I’ve given you some news on my mom, our friend “G” and Shumi and KT. 

My mom:  She is feeling good – she eventually got her 3rd Chemo treatment after it was postponed twice, and then she only got 80% (they initially gave her 5 bags of 20%, but reduced it to 4 bags).  The lower dose treatment was much easier for her – she wasn’t nearly as tired after the last time as with the first two treatments. 

She was supposed to have gone for her 4th chemo treatment this last Monday, but it was once again postponed due to her blood platelets being too low.  So this Monday she will first go for the blood test and if everything is fine she will get her 4th chemo treatment on Tuesday.  The plan is now for her 4th Chemo treatment to hopefully be her last and the dose will be reduced again, this time to 70%.  The oncologist says that she obviously got some serious damage from the radiation especially in her bone marrow of her lower spine, which is apparently the area where the most blood platelets are formed.  After her 4th Chemo treatment she will go for another PET scan and the oncologist is quite confident that everything will be normal. 

She is also quite excited because her hair has started to grow back and is about 1 cm long now.  It’s growing out blonde!  Not grey – like a lot of people tend to say immediately, because it’s a golden colour not a silver colour.  I saw it with my own eyes!  She is still wearing her wig, but hopefully soon she can stop wearing it and cut her hair in some kind of hair style. The last time my mom was a blonde was when she was a little girl.  Somewhere in high school she became a brunette, and I must say she has never had a lot of grey hair although she is 62 already.

“G”:  He went for his operation and according to his doctor all went well and they were able to remove all the cancer from the inside of his nose and sinus cavity.  He recovered physically quite quickly, but his self esteem got a big knock.  The hole inside his mouth to the sinus cavities is much bigger and that complicates things for him with eating, or should I say drinking as he needs to liquidize his food.  He must sniff up salt water through his nose after eating so that it can wash through the sinus cavities and into the hole in his mouth to rinse out the food particles so that it won’t cause infections.  He is incredibly self conscious of eating in front of others.  His speech has been affected and for some people it’s really hard to understand what he is saying.  His face fell in on the right hand side, it almost looks like someone who’s had a stroke and who has one side of the face paralysed, except that is not due to paralysis, but due to the operation that “G’s” face looks like that. 

Shumi:   Shumi has had his up days and down days, there were times when his nose started to bleed again, but fortunately only a little and I don’t let it upset me anymore.  It’s been raining a lot here lately and it seems the snotty nose did get worse with the wet weather, BUT the best news was yesterday morning when I saw that he was actually breathing through the one nostril that has been blocked for months now.  It didn’t last long, but it was definitely open for a little while, and I’m so thankful for that!  Praise the Lord!  His eye looks a little better too, I don’t have to clean it every few hours, but now I clean it about once every 2 days…

KT:  She was 5 months earlier this week and she’s grown so big!  She is definitely not a baby anymore!  We were a little upset with her on Monday after I went to fetch DH from the airport.  She killed one of the chickens that roam around freely here in between the different houses on our estate.  She was punished though (not by us, by the person that witnessed it as it happened) and hopefully she won’t ever do it again… 

I tried to get a picture of Shumi and KT together so that you can see how much she has grown, but it’s not easy let me tell you!   This is the best of the lot!  You can see Shumi’s snotty eye on this picture – I didn’t clean it before I took the picture.

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This morning while I was making breakfast a thought came into my head.  I have a few times in the past thought that if Shumi would die for some reason – if God does not heal him, then I would give up on faith healing (because that would be proof that it does not work) and go back to my FS again for treatments, and hopefully it won’t be too late and we might still get pregnant.  And this morning suddenly I realised how wrong that was.  I cannot put conditions on my faith.  What kind of faith would that be?  Now please note that I’ve dismissed those thoughts immediately every time, but they come into my head every now and then…

I also immediately remembered something from my previous post where Joy.ce Mey.er said:  “Disobedience in a situation like this can simply be to give up when God is prompting us to press on.  Disobedience is disregarding the voice of the Lord, or whatever God is speaking to us personally, not just transgressing the Ten Commandments.”

So with the combination of these two thoughts I realized that I’m going to have to give up something.  Something that is incredibly hard for me to do.  I have to give up all thoughts and dreams of going for fertility treatment again.  I must make the decision that all treatments are over.  Now let me tell you my “flesh” screamed against that thought!  I didn’t want to promise God that no matter what – I will not go for treatments again – ever!  Even if we somehow manage to get the funds, we will not go for anymore treatments!  But the more I thought about it, the more I realised that that is what I have to do and in the end it took me mere minutes to make the decision.

So with a heavy heart and my mind screaming: “No! Don’t do it!”  I got down on my knees and told God that I give it all into His hands.  I’m going to trust Him completely now – He is now my only hope for having children, just like He is my only hope for healing Shumi.  I have to get the thoughts of keeping a “back door” open or a “plan B” out of my mind.

Afterwards I kept thinking of the situation Abraham was in with Isaac – God asked him to sacrifice his son – the one that was promised to him and for whom they waited so long, and Abraham was obedient.  In the end he had to fight an angel of God to stop him from going ahead with the sacrifice.  I’m sure it was so hard – I’m sure Abraham’s flesh also screamed and complained and did not want to do it, but he was obedient, and in the end God had a plan.  I feel I have to sacrifice my backup plans here, and trust that God will come through for me like He did for Abraham.

So why was it so difficult?  I have believed for a miracle anyway – I wasn’t planning on going for treatment so why was it so difficult to let this go?  Like I have said before I totally believe I can get pregnant again with the help of my FS.   I think we have found the recipe that would ensure another pregnancy.   So it was not so difficult to keep that option open as an alternative should things not work out as I hope it would.  I also think that I would be giving up on what I’ve been taught and that would surely result in a victory for the devil and I’m not going to give that to him!

I know the thought that there is a chance that we might end up childless because of this decision did cross my mind, but I think I have a better chance trusting in God than trusting in myself.  I mean I can get pregnant again, but that still does not guarantee a healthy live baby.  If I’m honest with myself I really think my best hope is in God.  That He will let a healthy euploid (chromosomally normal) egg be fertilised by a healthy euploid sperm, and let that result in a healthy full term baby.

I don’t know if I can verbalize exactly what is going through my mind, but I just have this feeling that God brought me on this road, taught me so much about faith healing that I cannot just decide what I want to take and what I want to discard.  I also feel that I would be disobedient to God should I go for treatments (please note – I’m not saying this is the case for everybody – just for me in my situation) and I don’t want to be disobedient.  I cannot see how God would teach me all this about faith healing and I do not apply it to my life in all aspects.  I believe God has a plan, a plan that I cannot comprehend or understand, but I must trust Him.  I want to get my life right as much as possible and get out of the wilderness and into the Promised Land.

Just before lunch we had a power failure for about an hour – I decided to use the time by doing something that does not need electricity, so I picked up Joy.ce Mey.er’s book “The Bat.tlefie.ld of the Mi.nd” and I read this:

“It is impossible to get from wrong behaviour to right behaviour without first changing thoughts.  A passive person may want to do the right thing, but he will never do so unless he purposely activates his mind and lines it up with God’s Word and will.

An example that comes to mind involves a man who once got into the prayer line at one of my seminars.  He had a problem with lust.  He really loved his wife and did not want their marriage to be destroyed, but his problem needed to be solved or he would surely ruin his marriage.

“Joy.ce, I have a problem with lust,” he said.  “I just cannot seem to stay away from other women.  Will you pray for my deliverance?  I have been prayed for many times, but I never seem to make any progress.”

This is what the Holy Spirit prompted me to tell him, “Yes. I will pray for you, but you must be accountable for what you are allowing to show on the picture screen of your mind.  You cannot visualize pornographic pictures in your thinking, or imagine yourself with these other women, if you ever want to enjoy freedom.”

Like this man, others have come to realize, on the spot, why they are not experiencing a breakthrough even though they want to be free:  they want to change their behaviour – but not their thinking.”

Now my situation is not remotely similar than this story, but what struck me was what she said about our thoughts.  I thought about going back to see my FS often.  I would think of alternatives to IVF that we could maybe try that might work out cheaper, and still give us a chance at pregnancy.  I would think about contacting the sister at the clinic to talk to her, hoping that she could suggest something that I haven’t thought about, or just to make an appointment and hoping my FS would have some wonderful suggestion that would work.  I also hoped for some plan that would supply us with the money for an IVF.

Over the past weekend I realized that I should stop thinking these thoughts, but it only struck me this morning that the only way for me stop this is to resolve that I would never go back to treatments again…  After reading the above part on Joy.ce’s book I feel that I made the right decision.  This message is the confirmation that what I did this morning was the right thing to do.

But let me tell you every now and then I still panic and think:  “What have you done!”, but then I think of the following scriptures to comfort myself:

Romans 8:12-14 (NIV): 12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.  14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.”

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I have mentioned guilt and condemnation in the last few posts of mine.  It’s been something that I have been struggling with.  So as always, that is what you are going to hear about, whatever has been on my mind lately. Now you might wonder what that has to do with the title of this post.  Trust me they are related, keep on reading and you will soon see the connection. 

I have mentioned that DH was away – for a whole week, so on Saturday I didn’t really have much to do so I decided to rent the DVD of the Pas.sion of the Chr.ist.  I know it’s a movie that’s been out a long time already, but we have never seen it.  Why?  I thought that I knew and appreciated the big sacrifice Jesus made for us and as I cannot really watch any medical TV series, because I cannot stand the sight of blood and guts, I thought it best not to watch the movie.  But for some reason on Friday I thought that I need to see for myself graphically how terrible the suffering of Jesus was.  As I was alone at home I could watch it without feeling self conscious about crying, because I knew I was going to cry a lot.

The movie starts in the garden of Gethsemane when Jesus was praying moments before Judas would betray him and he would be arrested.  The devil is whispering things to Him.  Things like:  “Do you really believe that one man can bear the full burden of sin?”, and “No one man can carry this burden, I tell you, it’s far too heavy.  Saving their souls is too costly,” etc.  What did Jesus do?  He continued in prayer, in anguish, but he continued and ignored the devil. He asked for help from the Father.  There is this snake that comes from under the robe of the devil and slithers over to Jesus.  I think they wanted to symbolize the temptation, but when Jesus gets up from His knees he crushes that snake under His foot. 

I got such a revelation from watching this!  It sounded just like the stuff that goes through my mind a lot.  (I know I cannot compare my situation to that one of Jesus, but I’m talking about those same type of thoughts) “You are crazy to think that Shumi will be healed!  Look at him!  Why do you think you will be healed and get pregnant naturally?  Why would things change now?  Stop wasting time and go see your FS – maybe he has some ideas to help you.”  On and on, and I realized that although those things go through my mind, I don’t have to accept them.  It becomes doubt only when I act on it.  If I turn to God just like Jesus did, it is not a sin!  I don’t have to feel guilty!  I don’t have to be condemned!  It’s not me that thinks those thoughts; it’s the devil trying to tempt me! 

Now today I read again from “The batt.lefie.ld of the mi.nd and Joy.ce Me.yer explains the terms doubt and unbelief so nicely, so I want to share that with you.

“… O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  Matthew 14:31

“And He marvelled because of their unbelief…”  Mark 6:6

“We usually talk about doubt and unbelief together as if they are one and the same.  Actually although they can be connected, the two are very different things.

Vine’s An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words partially defines doubt in the verb form as “… to stand in two ways … implying uncertainty which way to take,… said of believers who’s faith is small… being anxious, through a distracted state of mind, of wavering between hope and fear…”

The same dictionary notes that one of the two Greek words translated as unbelief “is always rendered ‘disobedience’ in the R.V” (the Revised Version of the King James translation.)

As we look at these two powerful tools of the enemy, we see that doubt causes a person to waver between two opinions, whereas unbelief leads to disobedience. 

I think it’s going to be helpful to be able to recognize exactly what the devil is trying to attack us with.  Are we dealing with doubt or unbelief?

Doubt

“… How long will you halt and limp between two opinions?…”  1 Kings 18:21

I heard a story that will shed some light on doubt. 

There was a man who was sick and who was confessing the Word over his body, quoting healing Scriptures and believing for his healing to manifest.  While doing so, he was intermittently attacked with thoughts of doubt.

After he had one through a hard time and was beginning to get discouraged, God opened his eyes to the spirit world.  This is what he saw:  a demon speaking lies to him, telling him that he was not going to get healed and that confessing the Word was not going to work.  But he also saw that each time he confessed the Word, light would come out of his mouth like a sword, and the demon would cower and fall backward.

As God showed him this vision, the man then understood why it was so important to keep speaking the word.  He saw that he did have faith, which is why the demon was attacking him with doubt.

Doubt is not something that God puts in us.  The Bible says that God gives every man a “… measure of faith” (Romans 12:3).  God has placed faith in our heart, but the devil tries to negate our faith by attacking us with doubt.

Doubt comes in the form of thoughts that are in opposition to the word of God.  This is why it’s so important for us to know the word of God.  If we know the word, then we can recognize when the devil is lying to us.  Be assured that he lies to us in order to steal what Jesus purchased for us through his death and resurrection.

Doubt and Unbelief

18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, So shall your offspring be.  19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead— since he was about a hundred years old— and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.  20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.”  Romans 4:18-21

When I am in a battle, knowing that God has promised and yet being attacked with doubt and unbelief, I like to read or meditate on this passage.

Abraham had been given a promise by God that He would cause him to have an heir from his own body.   Many years had come and gone and still there was no child as a result of Abraham and Sarah’s relationship.  Abraham was still standing in faith, believing what God had said would come to pass.  As he stood, he was being attacked with thoughts of doubt, and the spirit of unbelief was pressing him to disobey God.

Disobedience in a situation like this can simply be to give up when God is prompting us to press on.  Disobedience is disregarding the voice of the Lord, or whatever God is speaking to us personally, not just transgressing the Ten Commandments.

Abraham continued to be steadfast.  He kept praising and giving glory to God.  The Bible states that as he did so, he grew strong in faith.

You see, when God tells us something or asks us to do something, the faith to believe it or to do it comes with the Word from God.  It would be ridiculous for God to expect us to do something and not give us the ability to believe that we can do it.  Satan knows how dangerous we will be with a heart full of faith, so he attacks us with doubt and unbelief.

It’s not that we don’t have faith, it’s just that Satan is trying to destroy our faith through lies.

Faith is a product of the spirit; it’s a spiritual force.  The enemy doesn’t want you and me to get our mind in agreement with our spirit.  He knows that if God places faith in us to do a thing and we get positive and start to consistently believing that we can actually do it, then we will do considerable damage to his kingdom.”

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Fear

I’ve been thinking about this topic for a while now –ever since this post. Sam made a comment on it, and it was also something that stood out to me, one of the reasons why I quoted from the book Are you rea.dy for your Hea.ling? by Dr Fr.ed Chi.lds. But I don’t know if anyone else noticed it, so I want to dedicate a whole post to it.

The part of the post and the book I’m referring to is this: “There is a law in Proverbs 23:7 (KJV) that says: “7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:…” What we think shapes what we believe, and what we believe is what we become. Job admits in Job 3:25 (NIV): “25 What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.” Fear will attract the devil. Job received exactly what he had faith for. The only difference between fear and faith is whose words you have faith in. If we believe the words of God and what He has said, we receive what we believe by faith. If we believe the words of Satan through the pessimist, we open the door for Satan to bring into our hearts and lives the things that we fear. Fear is faith working in reverse, or faith that Satan perverts.”

How many times have you feared something and it happened? If I look back on my own life there are a few instances I can think of: Just before we moved from our farm I started to fear that our dogs will be killed by snakes. Not just a fear, but an actual feeling of dread, or I think I can even call it an “evil foreboding”, and I felt that we could not get away from the farm fast enough. Now why I felt like that I don’t know – I mean we were living there for almost 3 years already and yes they were bitten by snakes before, many times, but never by a cobra, and they survived every time. As a matter of fact neither Shumi nor Simbi were actually sick from any of the previous snake bites. 17 Days before we were supposed to move we found Simbi dead and Shumi with a wound in his neck because they were bitten by a cobra. I could not understand why it had to happen, because I was praying specifically that it would not happen.

Then earlier this year I started to say things like: “I don’t know what would happen if something bad should happen to Shumi, if for some reason I should lose him.” Especially after I had my miscarriage, I said it often… And a little while later we found out about his cancer. Why I started saying things like that – I don’t know…

Also I think I’ve mentioned this before – I have always had this “feeling” that I would have trouble conceiving. I never imagined it would entail 11 years of infertility though.

So I guess I have to take responsibility here and realize that the above instances were my fault. I brought it on us with my fears. So now I’m very conscious about my fears and I try to be a lot more positive and less fearful. If my fears could bring on these bad things, positive expectations are sure to bring on good things.

With the help of the Holy Spirit it’s getting a lot easier not to be fearful anymore and I find comfort in these scriptures and even confess them out loud, to drive out the wrong thoughts from my mind.

2 Timothy 1:7 (Amp):7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”

Romans 8:14-16 (NIV):14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”

1 John 4:18 (NIV): 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

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Yesterday I got out my “Bat.tlefie.ld of the mi.nd” book by Joy.ce Mey.er because of the realization of this spiritual battle I’m in and I started to read it again.  It helps sometimes to read books again later because you look at it with a different set of eyes.  I came across this chapter that really spoke to me and comforted me, so hopefully it will do the same for some of you:

 “And the Lord your God will clear out those nations before you, little by little; you may not consume them quickly, lest the beasts of the field increase among you.”  Deuteronomy 7:22

“The renewing of your mind will take place little by little, so don’t be discouraged if progress seems slow. 
Just before they entered the Promised Land, the Lord told the Israelites that He would drive out their enemies little by little lest the “beasts of the field” increase among them.

I believe pride is the “beast” that will consume us if we receive too much freedom too quickly.  It is actually better to be set at liberty in one area at a time.  That way we appreciate our freedom more; we realize it is truly a gift from God and not something we can make happen in our own strength.

Suffering Precedes Liberation
 

“And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace [who imparts all blessing and favour], Who has called you to His [own] eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you.”  1 Peter 5:10

Why do we need to suffer a ‘”little while”?  I believe that from the time we actually realize we have a problem until Jesus delivers us, we endure a type of suffering, but we rejoice even more when freedom comes.  When we try to do something on our own, fail and then realize that we must wait on Him, our hearts overflow with thanksgiving and praise as He rises up and does what we cannot do ourselves.

No Condemnation

“Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation…for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.”  Romans 8:1

Don’t receive condemnation when you have setbacks or bad days.  Just get back up, dust yourself off and start again.  When a baby is learning to walk, he falls many, many times before he enjoys confidence in walking.  However, one thing in a baby’s favour is the fact that, even though he may cry a while after he has fallen, he always gets right back up and tries again.

The devil will try his hardest to stop you in this area of renewing the mind.  He knows that his control over you is finished once you have learned to choose right thoughts and reject wrong ones.  He will attempt to stop you through discouragement and condemnation.

When condemnation comes, use your “Word weapon.”  Quote Romans 8:1, reminding Satan and yourself that you do not walk after the flesh but after the Spirit.  Walking after the flesh is depending on yourself; walking after the Spirit is depending on God.

When you fail (which you will), that doesn’t mean that you are a failure.  It simply means that you don’t do everything right.  We all have to accept the fact that along with strengths we also have weaknesses.  Just let Christ be strong in your weaknesses; let Him be your strength on your weak days.

I repeat:  don’t receive condemnation.  Your total victory will come, but it will take time because it will come “little by little.”

Don’t Get Discouraged

“Why are you cast down, O my inner self?  And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me?  Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, for I shall yet praise Him, my Help and my God.”  Psalm 42:5

Discouragement destroys hope, so naturally the devil always tries to discourage us.  Without hope we give up, which is what the devil wants us to do.  The Bible repeatedly tells us not to be discouraged or dismayed.  God knows that we will not come through to victory if we get discouraged, so He always encourages us as we start out on a project by saying to us, “Don’t get discouraged.”  God wants us to be encouraged, not discouraged.

When discouragement or condemnation tries to overtake you, examine your thought life.  What kind of thoughts have you been thinking?  Have they sounded something like this?

“I’m not going to make it; this is too hard.  I always fail, it has always been the same, nothing ever changes.  I’m sure other people don’t have this much trouble getting their minds renewed.  I may as well give up.  I’m tired of trying.  I pray, but it seems as if God doesn’t hear.   He probably doesn’t answer my prayers because He is so disappointed in the way I act.”

If this example represents you thoughts, it is no wonder you get discouraged or come under condemnation.  Remember, you become what you think.  Think discouraging thoughts, and you’ll get discouraged.  Think condemning thoughts and you’ll come under condemnation.  Change your thinking and be set free!

Instead of thinking negatively think like this:

“Well, things are going a little slow; but, thank God, I’m making some progress.  I’m sure glad I’m on the right path that will lead me to freedom.  I had a rough day yesterday.  I chose wrong thinking all day long.  Father, forgive me, and help me to “keep on keeping on.”  I made a mistake, but at least that is one mistake I won’t have to make again.  This is a new day.  You love me, Lord.  Your mercy is new every morning.

I refuse to be discouraged.  I refuse to be condemned.  Father, the Bible says that You don’t condemn me.  You sent Jesus to die for me.  I’ll be fine – today will be a great day.  You help me to choose right thoughts today.”

I’m sure you can already feel the victory in this type of cheerful, positive, God-like thinking.

We like everything instantaneous.  We have the fruit of patience inside, but it is being worked to the outside.  Sometimes God takes His time about bringing us our full deliverance.  He uses the difficult period of waiting to stretch our faith and to let patience have her perfect work.  (James 1:4 KJV)  God’s timing is perfect.  He is never late.

Here is another good thought to think:  “I believe God.  I believe He is working in me no matter what I may feel or how the situation may look.  The Lord has begun a good work in me, and He will bring it to full completion.”  (Philippians 1:6; 2:13.)

It is in this manner that you can effectively use your weapon of the Word to tear down strongholds.  I recommend that you not only purposely think right thoughts, but that you go the extra mile and speak them aloud as your confession. 

Remember, God is delivering you, little by little, so don’t be discouraged and don’t feel condemned if you make a mistake.

Be patient with yourself!”

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I haven’t posted in a while because we were incredibly busy.  DH left last night for a work conference and there was so much we had to do to get ready.  So much to organize and very little time to do it in, so blogging had to take a back seat, but now I’m alone at home, except for the 3 dogs of course, for about a week and I can concentrate on blogging again. 

Last night when I was lying exhausted in bed, awake at about 2h00 in the morning (Shumi woke me up), I realized that we have been under attack again.  The devil is so sly – he uses your circumstances to make you weak and then he tries to attack with full might!  He has well laid out plans and he is quite patient in executing those plans! 

Let me explain:  Last week, about Friday I noticed that one of the folds on Shumi’s nose was bigger than it used to be and that the area around his left eye is much more swollen than around his right eye.  Now the left hand side of his face is where the tumour was diagnosed.  It has also always been the side where the snot and blood used to come out of his nose until that nostril got blocked and since then it’s coming out of his left eye.  Ever since Saturday night Shumi has had trouble breathing at night, and he has been gasping for air at times so loud that he wakes us.  Yesterday his nose started bleeding again, but this time the blood came out of his right nostril.  So it seems like he is getting worse again, and it seems that he is at a new worse off stage, a stage he has never been at before…

The devil used our busy circumstances and lack of sleep, and pain to try and weaken us.  (I have had a terrible back pain, and pain in my left shoulder for the last few days too.)  I started hearing those horrible lies he likes to tell us again yesterday, but I brushed them off, refusing to listen to them.  But when I came home after dropping DH off at the airport last night and I had finally a chance to relax, I could hear the lies much louder.  “What if Shumi does not get healed?  What if he dies soon?  What if he is suffering – maybe it would be better to let him go…” 

Let me tell you it is incredibly hard to keep your faith and trust in God, when circumstances around you either don’t change or change for the worse.  I keep looking for encouragement and hope to keep me going, and most of the resources I’ve read do not mention how hard it is to endure when your circumstances don’t seem to change.  I don’t want to lie to you all – and that’s why I’m telling all this like it is.  It always sounds so easy – Just keep trusting in God, keep your faith.  Let me tell you I have felt like a failure when I was not able to do that!

Ephesians 6:12-17 (NIV):   “12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  13 Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

I have heard quite a lot of messages about spiritual warfare and on the above verses from Joy.ce Me.yer, but never consciously realised that I was already engaged in warfare and wielding those weapons, until last night. 

The belt of truth:   I’ve learnt a lot lately – especially the truth about God – who He really is and what He wants for us and from us.  It’s becoming second nature to me now.  I recognise a lot of lies immediately for what they are.  And I thought a year ago I knew what the truth was – I have learnt so much recently and it amazes me.  But I’m sure there is still a lot more to learn!

The breastplate of righteousness:  I never really understood the word righteousness, until Joy.ce Me.yer explained it properly in one of her teachings.  It means to be in right standing with God.  On our own we will never be able to be in right standing with God, but through His mercy and the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus paid for us, we are put into right standing.  It was something that I thought I never deserved – it took a long time for that to sink in and accept – that I have righteousness before God, through Jesus Christ.  I always thought I was not worthy, because of my sinful nature.

The shoes of peace:  This one was really hard to achieve and is even harder to maintain.  But it helps if you know the truth, and if you trust in God, completely.  I think that is 2 keys you really need to achieve peace.  It is also one of the fruits of the spirit, and therefore I think only possible with the help of the Holy Spirit…

The Shield of faith:  Faith is also incredibly hard to maintain as time goes by and you do not see continued improvement.  As a matter of fact if you see the complete opposite like us with Shumi, where it seems like he is getting worse, then it is a hard thing, to stay strong in your faith. 

The helmet of salvation: This one was one of the first that I could accept – that I have achieved salvation through the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  It is also something that must really sink in and become a revelation – I have been saved by Jesus Christ! Once you realise that you have been saved then it easier to accept that you are a new covenant son of God, and all that comes with it.  I realised that I can use the name of Jesus Christ with authority, because of my relationship, my salvation and my right standing with God.  That revelation came a lot later than the one of salvation though!

Sword of the spirit – God’s Word:  This I’ve blogged a lot about, but what I never realized was that it doesn’t help to just say the verses.  We must meditate on them.  They must become real to us.  We must get a revelation on those scriptures.  We must know in our heart that those scriptures are true.  To have no more doubts about them.  So that when we hear a lie, we can without a moment’s hesitation refute the lie with a scripture to prove it wrong. 

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (Amp):  4For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, 5[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasoning’s and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),”

What are strongholds?  Well years ago cities were strongholds.  They were built atop a hill or a mountain, often enclosed with walls, and they were very difficult to defeat by their enemies.  In the Bible it means a lie that the devil tells us which we believe so much that we cannot envisage it not being true.  We are held captive or are incapacitated by that lie.  There are so many strongholds that have been exposed to me recently – and I have been actively trying to share it with as many people as possible.  But strongholds can also differ from person to person – on your circumstances and what you’ve learnt through your life.  For example:  a lot of infertile people just don’t believe that they can get pregnant – they want to believe it, but deep down they think it’s impossible, because their circumstances have told them that so far it’s been impossible.  That kind of stronghold is very difficult to recognize as a stronghold and to break free from that is also incredibly difficult.  Believe me – that was definitely one of my strongholds…

Except for the above weapons what else do I do?  I praise God, I worship God and I keep expecting good things to happen, especially in those times when our circumstances point to the opposite.  I make a point of doing all of it when I feel I’m under attack, and it’s starting to become second nature to me.  I don’t think I need to tell you here that my time spent with God is getting more and more lately, because that is the only time I can keep up and keep on without giving up!  It a conscious effort that I have to make, and I have to make time for all this which in itself is not always easy!

I’m finding comfort in the following scriptures because they tell me that God is with me in this difficult time and that in the end it will be worth it if I don’t give up. 

Isaiah 43:2 (NIV):  2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

Galatians 6:9 (NIV):  9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” 

I don’t want to hammer just on the negative.  Let me just add that there have been small victories and those also help to keep me going.  Remember the big lump on Shumi’s back?  It’s completely gone – no sign of it anymore.  I don’t know what it was, but it was rock hard and big and now it’s gone.  I believe God healed that!  There were some specific times where things looked really bad with Shumi, and then suddenly he was much better again, especially when we kept going without doubting, confessing scriptures, laying hands on him and rebuking the devil.  I have also seen some results from praising God and expecting good things.  At times when Shumi had trouble breathing at night for instance – If I kept at it for 15 minutes to about half an hour his breathing would get much better and calmer and I think for that very reason Shumi is following me around everywhere lately.  Usually he wants to be outside most of the day, but lately he is not far from me, and when he is not feeling well he comes to me and wants me to touch him.  I am praising God for those small victories and I believe that soon those victories will become bigger and bigger!   All thanks to God off course!

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