We have been travelling a lot this summer – last blog was from Israel, this blog comes with love and heaven’s download, as God poured it into my heart, whilst either waiting with baby Judah for my hubby and kiddos to emerge from a ride at Disneyland, or walking the streets of Paris. I love how our God is so relational, fun, communicative and doesn’t have a dull or religious ‘bone in His body” so to speak! Here is a mix of God’s prophetic message to my heart and prayerful musings over beautiful Paris and Europe. Fasten your seatbelts and come with me for the ride…
As we crossed the sea from Dover to Calais I was reminded of what has become one of my signature scriptures in life, ministry and business:
Psalm 107:23-24 NKJV“THOSE who go down to the sea in ships, WHO DO business on great waters, THEY see the WORKS OF THE LORD, And HIS WONDERS IN THE DEEP.”
What ‘on earth’ are YOU doing for heaven’s sake? God rewards faith! You have to go out into the deep – out of your comfort zone, for it is to “those who DO business on DEEP waters, THEY see the WORKS of the Lord and HIS WONDERS”…. not to those who DON’T! Don’t do nothing… For God’s sake DO something so HE can show you HIS works, wonders and bless your “doings”! God does not desire to bless and multiply nothing: zero x zero = zero! Give God SOMETHING, not NOTHING to work with! Give God the gift of your faith!
“Without faith it is impossible to please God”. Hebrews 11:6
It is to those who will go out of their comfort zone, into the vulnerability zone, that cannot feel the earth beneath their feet, who are out of all human control and natural capacity that will reap wonders, works and miracles from the deep!
As our huge ship sailed away from shore the realisation of how uncomfortable I was at going further from the security of land and out into the danger of the sea began to sink in (excuse the pun)!
I share that same vulnerability every time I go up in the air now in a plane. Our human nature wants to be in control but we have to render that control to the Captain of the Ship or the Pilot of the aeroplane – the one who is in the know. Not easy when we are having to place our very lives and world (in my case my husband and five children, in their hands). Although I struggle with it and battle internally every time; preaching trips, missions, holidays cause me to go! I had to acknowledge in that moment, this ‘little fireball and risk taker’ as my hubby would call me, had allowed this ‘fear factor’ to flow into other areas of my life. I’m just being transparent with you all today! On that boat, feeding baby Judah, God and I had an epiphany moment as I repented of getting too cosy in the comfort zone and rooted out those fears that had been holding me back! Fear of failure. Fear of what people think. Ultimately the fear that I would sink. I heard the voice of Jesus in my spirit “Take my hand, it’s time to walk on water again”! Never feeling good enough or capable of the call God has placed on my life has been a constant struggle for me, beyond where the naked eye can see, but thankfully it’s about what God can do and not about my ability.
We all have similar fears and insecurities. It’s good to have a spring clean from time to time! Nothing will ever be accomplished in life by playing it safe and staying home. Sometimes we have to do business, afraid; step into a new arena, afraid; say yes when opportunity knocks, afraid; launch out into the deep, afraid; fly high, afraid… Sometimes you just have to do it afraid, all that matters is you do it! With God you will not fail but fear will fade and fear will fail in its quest to hold you back from fulfilling your God given destiny in life.
No wonder Jesus taught us, “He who wants to gain his life will lose it and He who loses his life for my sake and the gospel will gain it”! It is time to lose your fears, insecurities, self-doubt, inadequacies and go gain the God life of faith that Jesus died that you could live! Someone today needs to hear God say “Let go – let God – trust – dream – believe – breathe….no fear here”!
I heard the whisper of Heaven say, “I desire my children to live life confidently, knowing my provision and resource will be there when they need it – relying on me, their good Father, as their source!”
My eight year old daughter, Liella-Grace, asked me at breakfast one morning why I had left some of my apple. I explained it was because I don’t like the bruised bits! She was surprised and answered that she didn’t mind the bruises as they were sweeter. I thought about that! How we perceive something can cause us to go for it in life or miss out. The hard knocks that none of us are immune to can make us bitter or sweeter. The bruises on my journey have served to make me humbler when I needed it, have made me softer where I had become hard, have made me more compassionate, understanding and empathetic towards others when I could have been judgemental. The wisdom of a child…. don’t despise the bruises, carry on… there’s sweetness there for others to benefit from!
Paris was a blast with my gorgeous family, but I smiled as it dawned on me my best moments were not the sights, as wonderful as they were, the Disney rides or characters but….. The ones like the many great chats with my 14-year-old; his hugs, his humour and the time when we ended up at the Eiffel Tower after walking 20 km all day and he spotted me fading so pulled back to push me the rest of the way to dinner.
In that moment I heard heaven’s whisper and wisdom, “Don’t miss the magic in the mundane moments. You can be making your best memories in the midst of the mundane! Don’t be so focused on where you’re going you miss the many highlights on the journey”!
As for Paris; city of love, beauty and culture… my heart ached for you! Outside the fairytale world of Disneyland, reality hit and hit hard. Refugees banged on our car windows at traffic lights and in traffic jams, they shook their passports and begged for money, Shanty Towns could be seen at underpasses and all around – this was not the Paris of just a few years ago. I expected those sights as I drove through traffic in Africa, not Paris. Something else striking, aside from the Syrian passports on view, was the sheer volume of refugees showing passports from the United Arab Emirates and other wealthy Arab nations too…. I was not expecting that!
I sensed a tension building up in Paris to bursting point. It felt at times almost out of control… as though something was about to overflow! Police were in abundance, armed and ready, hands positioned on their guns and holsters! I heard the whisper of heaven, “Watch and pray in these days – you will see a thousand fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you!” Perhaps my 10-year-old son, Joel, best summed it up with “Mummy, Paris reminds me of Israel.” There was a time when I lived in Israel 20 or so years ago, that I would never have imagined in my wildest dreams the security sights and concerns in Paris, and indeed Europe, would in my lifetime, mirror that of the Middle East!
Proverbs 12:6-7 “The words of the wicked are like a murderous ambush but THE WORDS OF THE GODLY SAVE LIVES”. The wicked die and disappear, BUT THE FAMILY OF THE GODLY STANDS FIRM’!
Here are some startling statistics for you: 30% of children in France, 20 years of age and below, are Muslims. The percentage in Paris and Marseille has soared to 45%. In Southern France, there are more mosques than Churches.
As we drove back to Calais to catch the boat home to England I realised I could not just drive away! Paris’ problem is our problem. Europe’s problem is our problem. They are our neighbour and we are our brother’s keeper! In many ways, as I listen to their leaders and Politicians, I realise, much like our leaders and Politicians, they are a naive neighbour and a naive brother but they are nevertheless our neighbour and brother! As we stooped low to give our love, hugs and what we had to refugee families sleeping on the streets of Paris, as my children and my eyes filled with tears, how I prayed they would flee the evil ideology and not bring it’s chains, dangers and Sharia Law to bear on the freedom of Paris and Europe. How I prayed that those precious lives could truly find freedom in Jesus. Religion means “to bind” but Jesus came to set free from religion and bring us into relationship with Him.
Oh beautiful Europe you have a problem of catastrophic proportions…. Merkel has said that Germans have failed to grasp how Muslim immigration has transformed their country and will have to come to terms with more mosques than churches throughout the countryside, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Daily. On behalf of Germany, and indeed Europe too, we cannot accept this take-over as an acceptable new norm… it’s acceptance will lead to devastation, and yes, Europe is our neighbour and we are our brother’s keeper!
On our drive back to Calais we drove past the “shanty towns” and the warning signs to “Beware of Pedestrians and flying debris on the roads”. The vital need for the warning signs soon became apparent as intimidating gangs of men threw rubbish and boxes in the hope of slowing down lorries and trucks so they could jump on board and smuggle their way into the UK. France, your problem is our problem. God help them! God help us! We cannot turn a blind eye! As for the disrespect, filth, litter and intimidation this invasion is bringing to bear on beautiful, cultural Paris and beyond, I would say mutual respect would not go amiss – the clear dishonour and disrespect of Europe’s freedom and way of life is just wrong!
On our drive from Paris to Calais, we drove through various “departments”/different areas, all named after great battles, conquests and then we came to one sign that looked bland and dull in comparison. David could interpret the name from French to our English equivalent: “Fertile Land”. He initially thought that not a lot must’ve happened there, until heaven whispered “but what a name, what a promise, what a prophetic word”! Rather than living in the past, remembering the pain and trauma of battles long gone – here was a place, a promise, a very present hope, a future to flourish in… Keep going, keep moving forward, keep the faith, stay the path… fertile land is where God is leading you to, beyond the battles and the hardships, the conquests and the pain, those seeds you have sown with tears will reap a harvest of joy.
A word from Paris…. France and Europe does not have to be a ‘battle ground in waiting’ but Fertile Ground for God and for good. Evil is sniffing at your door but you don’t have to choose to let it in. God is knocking, He won’t force His way, but I pray you will swing wide the doors of your hearts and welcome Him!
Oh, and one final precious moment to mention in closing… As we drove through Paris on our last day, God put my Momma heavily on my heart. I prayed but that wasn’t enough. I had to call her just to let her know “God’s got you in His sights”! It seemed kind of crazy at the time but she was over the moon. You see, she had been feeling a bit low, and unknown to me, as I hadn’t seen her for a week, she couldn’t see for 6 hours after a procedure on her eyes at the Doctors that morning! The Lord wants you to know that during the times in your life when you can’t see clearly, God’s got you in his sights and He is watching over you too…. Whatever He says to you – do it! When prayer and action go hand in hand – there will be miracles in the Land! Paris… France … Europe – God has you in His sights!