Change

It’s been so long since I last posted anything on here. So I decided to have a read through some old posts. Isn’t it funny how things change. Not just things, but our hearts and our minds! We grow so much in such a small space of time. It’s very impressive isn’t it! God has done a good job on us wouldn’t you agree?

I remember back when I started this blog. I had so many positive followers and people who appreciated it for what it was, but also had those negative people of the world; you know the kind, those who jump on anything positive and rip it apart for their own satisfaction…? ha. Those people said a lot of mean things, mainly how immature I was. Thankfully I wasn’t alone in my immaturity, and the fact is we all grow up, but until that happens, we’re stuck in a less mature state. The truth is, I look back and realise I was very immature when I wrote this blog. Not only did I write silly things, thinking they were profound, I did a lot of things I wish I hadn’t during that point of my life too. The positive thing is, in my immaturity, God still used me to speak to a few of you. I’m grateful to Him for that! It’s such an honour to speak into someone else’s life. We are His mouthpiece after all.

Well it’s been well over 3 years since my first post. A lot can change in that time. I went on to Bible College here in the UK. It’s Elim’s Regents Theological College in West Malvern, Worcestershire. I’m coming to the end of my time there now, which I honestly can’t even start to believe. How can 3 years go so incredibly fast? I feel like God’s had His finger on fast-forward the entire time. I also find it hard to believe that all the friends I’ve made, the life lessons I’ve learnt, and the self-awareness (the positive kind) I’ve found, can fit into such a small space of time. But it turns out it can. I’ve had an amazing time, and I’ve still got a couple of months left, so it’s not quite over yet.

I can’t wait for the next stages of my life to come around! I’m not wishing my life away, I’m just excited! I’m doing so much with my music these days, so I’m super excited to see where that’s taking me in the rest of 2015. If you haven’t checked out my music yet, go ahead and find me online! http://www.kieronriley.com has a lot of information and ways to follow me. Facebook is an obvious way too 🙂 http://www.facebook.com/kieronrileymusic I look forward to seeing you around!

Talking about change… Sometimes change comes around naturally, and other times it’s a conscious effort on your part. I want so many aspects of my life/character to change, but I’m honestly not as committed to it as I ought to be. I love the idea of change, but I tend to give up before I feel like I’ve even made it past the first hurdle. I hate that about myself. I wish I had more willpower. Or more to the point, was more led by the Spirit. I do consider myself a Spirit-led person, but even the best of us fail sometimes, so I’m pretty sure I’m allowed to haha.

Well, I intend to make this blogging thing more of a habit again once my degree is finished. So, I look forward to connecting with you all again soon.

God bless.
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2 Corinthians 4:16-18
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

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Praying Your Way into Eternity with the Father

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What I’m aiming to bring to you today is a word on how to be in constant fellowship with the Father. You know, eternity doesn’t start when we die, it started when you first believed. The first day you entered into a relationship with God was the first day of eternity for you. We don’t have to wait until we’re face to face with God to know our Heavenly Father, we can know Him today. First I want to explore what prayer actually looks like, and then I’m going to talk more about the importance of being in constant relationship with the Father.

So, here is a slideshow that we’ll follow in exploring the biblical understanding of prayer.
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Position…
We can all agree I’m sure that being On our knees is the most common during personal prayer time, but the other options are great too of course. It’d be interesting actually to see if anyone prays in any other position than what’s on here…? (Leave comments)

I remember reading a book once on the position we take in prayer. I thought it was the best thing I’d ever read, besides the Bible obviously. I guess it was like the majority of us with a C. S. Lewis book. I took everything the writer said as exactly right, but it turned out in the long run to be rather damaging.

It said of how praying should be done from a position we find most comfortable. Well of course I chose lying down…on my bed. Isn’t that where we are all most comfortable? At first I felt a big ‘Ahhhhh’ about it because I was definitely comfortable, but as time went on, I was definitely hindering my prayer life. I believe the more comfortable we become, the more prone we are to day-dreaming our way out of the prayer time we set out to have. In my opinion, there are no spiritual positives in lying down on your back to pray. Another lesson though to get from this is don’t take everything as Gospel even if the author of the book is highly acclaimed. Test everything is what we’re told scripturally, but I think we don’t do it often enough. That’s why I believe it’s important to bring your Bible to church with you – not so you can show everyone you read the ESV translation, but because you have the Word in your hands to test what’s being said.

Speak…
I found this hard to understand when I first read it, because I used to think “well if it’s in my head, it’s in God’s ears already!” So I used to just say everything that sprung to mind. Some of it was appropriate because I’d remember people I wanted to pray for, but most of it was just irrelevant to anything and I was doing exactly what Jesus tells us not to; babbling. I guess it was hard for me to get my head around because I thought God was interested in every part of me, and still do think that. This scripture, if anything, has made me realise that God is the Lord of life and although it’s a true relationship I have with Him, I wouldn’t babble on to the Queen about nothing, so why should I think it’s okay to do so to God? I genuinely think it’s a spiritual discipline for us to learn – to address God correctly. Not to speak official lingo, because as we know it’s not about superior language or putting on a front with God, but about showing Him respect as our King whilst also having the relationship with Him as our Father. He doesn’t swap and change, He stays the same, it’s up to us to find the balance, not Him. I genuinely do think though that the balance will be found through doing it. Seek and you will find. Finding the Father yesterday isn’t the same as finding Him today. We can’t live off yesterday’s prayers, but we must stay constantly side by side with God. He feeds our hunger and our thirst, but half the time we’d much rather struggle on our own than get down on our knees. Perhaps there’s a metamorphosis in prayer? Only then, the transformation is constant. I don’t believe there’s a top-dog of prayer, but I believe there are Christian people who spend their lives journeying with God, and Christian people who spend their lives striving for things they won’t ever take hold of outside of fellowship with the King.

I remember my prayer time with God as a child – I would trade with Him. Did you ever do that? A bit of a rags for riches thing really; You give me everything and I’ll give you myself. I would say “God if you please let my Dad win the lottery, I’ll go to church every week. I promise. Amen.” I was going to say ‘the strange thing is…’ but it’s not very strange at all… I remember praying these prayers with such faith that God would do it. He never did, but His way of leading me to Himself wasn’t to be through finances, but through a much more spiritually refining time.

Why Pray?…
RELATIONSHIP

But if you stay joined to me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted!

The reason we don’t see the working of God in our lives and in our Towns isn’t necessarily down to God’s unwillingness, but perhaps down to His people not remaining in union with Him. The Bible says we are sealed with the Holy Spirit, this is true, but the knowledge of the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives doesn’t replace the conscious effort that we must make in order to have that unity God calls us into.

JESUS ASKS IT OF US

If Jesus is asking it of us, surely it’s something worth while? Prayer even keeps us from sinning! Who knew?!

I think the beauty of the second scripture there is that Jesus is sympathising with the human condition. He knows that we have troublesome times and suffer at the hand of injustice, so He teaches us that continuing to bring our pleas to the Father works only in our favour.

I find it hard to pray…

When we can’t find the words to say to the Father, we have the Holy Spirit as our Helper. He doesn’t speak in our place, only helps us. With His help we find what ought to be brought to the Father and He makes our groans of weakness effective before Him. How amazing and encouraging it is to know that when our human weaknesses surpass us, God still finds the desires of our hearts and reaches us where we are. However, weakness isn’t an alternative term for laziness.

THE LORD’s PRAYER

Then there is The Lord’s Prayer. Traditionally, people use this example of prayer as the only thing spoken to the Father. I feel sad thinking about that because there’s a whole lot more to the relationship we have with Him. However, there was a time not long since when I hit a really dry spot. The most noise I made was the groans of my weakness. But what caused my soul to re-surface was the speaking of The Lord’s Prayer. I made a commitment to speaking it out with a passionate heart every morning as I woke up and every night before I slept. I say passionately because when things are familiar to us, they almost lose their meaning. We say things over and over sometimes without even connecting with what we’re saying. But there is power in this prayer. It holds everything that we need to ask of God, and generally speaking, it lives as an example of what our personal prayers should contain. I love that Jesus was so good to us to leave with us the guidelines of prayer. So, if you ever feel like the title of this slide, like you’re ‘finding it hard to pray’, then I say turn to the pages where Jesus prays.

How did Jesus pray?

1) Jesus saw value in praying with and for others, but He also understood the need for alone time with the Father. Psalm 46:10 reads, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Jesus took the time away to do just this, to “be still” before God. In today’s busy culture the only way for us to do this is alone with God.

2) He could have gone to a home, a synagogue or if He were near Jerusalem, he could have gone to the temple to pray. But there were times when Jesus made the decision to pray where He was, which often happened to be in nature. We are surrounded by so much that is ‘man made’ that sometimes it’s difficult for us to remember that this is not our world, but God’s world, full of wonders for us to enjoy and “be still” in.

3) Jesus’ example of prayer given in the form of The Lord’s Prayer is relatively short and could on first glance give the impression that we aren’t to pray for very long. However, this is obviously not true, He went all night in the presence of the Father.

4) Jesus prayed regularly. Throughout the Gospels whenever we read of Jesus and prayer, it comes up regularly and naturally. It was simply a part of His worldview, integrated into every aspect of Christ’s life. Can we say the same about prayer in our own lives?

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Before I continue, I want to quickly suggest a couple of books to you that will help steer your prayer life in the right direction. The first one is a book called Prayer; Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard Foster. This is a fantastic book guiding you into a prayer life that starts where you’re at and helps you grow further towards a Christ-like relationship with the Father. Also helping you in your prayer ministry. The second is a book called With Christ in the School of Prayer by Andrew Murray. I found it to be a real eye opener; very bible-based and very prayerfully crafted. The book has 31 chapters. So basically a 31-day devotional.

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In Richard Foster’s book he quotes a guy called Frank Laubach who says ‘Oh this thing of being in constant touch with God, of making Him the object of my thought and the companion of my conversation. It is the most amazing thing I ever ran across’.

I thought of an analogy whilst writing this, a silly one I admit, but it makes perfect sense.

Lets say you want to be the next Male Tennis Champion and Andy Murray said “Here’s my mobile number, call me any time and we’ll chat for as long as you like, it’s no trouble, I just want you to become the best you can be”. You would have an earpiece installed so that he was constantly there for you to learn from every time you set foot on the tennis court. Think then, as a Christian man or woman, how often do you walk out onto the battlefield? Daily is the answer. As we arise from our sleep each day, we are spiritually at war. Heck, getting up for me is a battle of it’s own sometimes! Our hearts need to be turned on to God, every minute of every day. Don’t let yourself down by denying yourself of that. You know, sin is dealt with – the battle is WON! Your life has already been bought by Christ and placed into God’s hands, but the enemy is relentlessly attempting to stop you from being with the Father, today.

Taking up a lifestyle of prayer means to activate your determination to commit. We either choose Christ as we rise in the morning, or we choose ourselves. God wants us to live in a life of constant communion with Him, but do we want to? I think if we’re all true believers, and all honest, then of course we want this. We would be mad not to! Though, the world is a mad busy place and full of crazy people that wind you up and bring you down. But I tell you what can make life more worth while – our Father! – who is in Heaven but through His Spirit allows us to commune with Him even now. The beauty of prayer is that our eternity can start today, not when we meet Him face to face.

Prayer is primarily the way of communicating with the Father to ask Him for the things we want for ourselves and for others, but prayer is more than this alone. God is prepared to give abundantly to us, not only things, but also Himself. For me, worship and prayer need to swap. Let worship be just that; worship – us loving on Him. Let prayer be the sharing of our desires with God and watch as He provides us with an outcome – it’s what His heart longs for. We cry out in worship ‘more of you Jesus – pour your love down Jesus’, but I genuinely believe that our time of worship is for us to pour over God; to shower Him with our praise for all He has done for us. Prayer however, is a time where the Father is waiting in that secret place for us to come and receive. He waits on His child to come in whatever state; cold hearted, broken hearted, dark hearted, because God knows that in His presence comes restoration. It isn’t about what we can say or do, but what God can (and does) give.

I tend to escape to that secret place through visualising Jesus sat in the room with me and allowing my imagination to paint a secret scene. The place I often visit is a place that only God and I go to, where I bring my tired heart to Him, where nobody can see or hear me except Him. There is a real silence. This place is a boat on the edge of the sea where I approach Him as He sits and waits for me, where there is no fear, but a liberty that remains hard to stand in light of anything else. Once you tap into your imagination, there are no barriers to where your prayer life can go. I’ve heard people say in the past that they don’t have an imagination; crazy talk! We all have one; we just need to activate it.

Another way I find that place of secrecy is by writing a journal and the fruits I have seen from this have been amazing. Journaling for me hasn’t been the idea of writing out prayers as such, but more of a diary form. I’d write to our Father telling Him all about my day; about what’s ticked me off and what’s built me up. Not only that, but share with Him the things I’ve learnt about Him across the day. It’s a great time of reflection as well as a place where I can share my dreams with God. Ya know, our Father loves us and longs to hear our big ideas, and I don’t know about you, but I hate that saying ‘If you want to make God laugh, show Him your plans’. It’s one of the most offensive comments I’ve ever heard flying around the church. It offends God. He is so interested in your plans! Otherwise, why would He want you to constantly be in fellowship with Him? What would we talk about if it wasn’t the contents of our hearts? Seriously, going back to what I said earlier, don’t listen to everything people say because it’s not always true.

When we spend our time constantly in the presence of God, His voice becomes so prominent. I remember a time not too long ago when I woke up to God’s voice teaching me about healing. I grabbed my notepad and just kept writing until I heard nothing more. It was such an awesome experience to have, because He didn’t speak to me normally, like during the day or whilst I was in a time of prayer; He actually woke me from my sleep. It was all I could think about that day. I walked to work that day praying that He would bring about an opportunity to use me for His glory.

As I arrived at work, God did use me. Not long after starting, a boy, sick with cancer, was wheeled in by his Dad and Brother. I ended up telling the boy and his family about Jesus and I prayed for him. Not long after, the boy died. The point being, I believe it was due to constant communion with The Father that I had the opportunity to share the Gospel with this young boy before he died. I thank God for that. I believe that the boy from that day is now in Heaven because I introduced him to Jesus. God has seemingly crazy ways of doing things, but if we’re in constant relationship with Him, we can have the pleasure of being His vessel to save a dying world.

Let the things of God fill your heart, to enable you to grow a fruitful and satisfying prayer life. If you strive to live a lifestyle of prayer to feel righteous, you won’t succeed. However, allowing yourself to live for God and His honour, by sacrificing your life to His kingdom and His glory, you will come to realise everything around you to be calling out for God. That’s when you can’t help but seek Him.

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Mr. Drewsby.

Mr Drewsby seems weak, but we’re wrong.
Instead, in his mind is a world of his own.
Down here he dies, but up there he lives.
Down here his scars aren’t easily hid.

Mr Drewsby he hides in his grin.
Hurts, which go much, much deeper than skin.
Proof of a war that ‘never occurred’.
Proof of a boy who could never be heard.

Mr Drewsby he has no one else.
So instead he imagines his eight-year old self.
Trying to steal his attention on that day.
Trying to help that small boy escape.

Mr Drewsby he runs, he’s afraid.
Wrapped up in this place just to wait.
Wait for the door to open on death.
Wait for the day he takes his last breath.

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Instinct; Preset V.o.G.

Our minds and our emotions change their state of play each day, bringing light and
dark to the character we try to uphold. Nevertheless, we have an auto-pilot-mode hidden away beneath the madness, ready to take charge when the situations we find ourselves in become hard to handle.
I think the times we can portray the real identity we each have is when we don’t ponder over a thought and just be rid of it or run with it. Our instincts tell us when something is right and when it is wrong, the only problem being our destructive tendency to ponder. If we were to ponder on the life-changing dilemmas life throws at us, we don’t only miss the opportunity for greatness, we miss the opportunity to succeed as who we are destined for because we silence the voice of instinct; the preset voice of God. The situations below aren’t depicting moments of greatness, but they’re simple examples to display instinctive decisions we may face daily.

When we see a person fall to the ground when crossing a road, we immediately feel the need to rush over there and help them to safety. Also when we see a burning fire in one direction, we immediately run the other way. So why is it then, that when it comes to poisoning our bodies with cigarettes, drugs and alcohol, the majority of us run at the chance to hinder ourselves? Another is the language we use, it’s all part of the character we build for ourselves; it’s all playing a part in deception of our personal goodness. We stamp out little goodness each time we drip poison onto good fruit. If we act the way crude men act, then that’s the only type of people we will attract. We constantly become connected with people of our sort, of which there is nothing wrong with, that is why God made us so diverse. However, if we want to be surrounded by good people, we each have to be the good person people become attracted to. Furthermore, there lives a list of personal tribulations in all of us, those of which consist of our own immoralities; each beginning the ticking of self-destruction.

All these things affect our character and deceive our true uniqueness. Not only this, but another thing affected is our auto-pilot. Our auto-pilot no longer saves the helpless or runs the right direction, it convinces us that we’re the helpless (ignorant) and we’re already running in the right direction. The auto-pilot scenario no longer takes place in its instinctual form, but in its complete reverse. No longer do we do what’s right and what was God given, but we have become fixated on what the world has to offer. The world teaches us that we’re one against the others, we’re free to do whatever we like with no sight of consequence and no matter how hard we try, we just-can’t-do-it. If we continue to give in to the lies fed through to us by the ‘prince of darkness’, we will create a worthless and bitter existence for ourselves. As we allow heightening of the voice of darkness, it’s natural for us as human for the voice of God to grow dim, this leading only to a broken-down auto-pilot, with this leading to a broken-down character.

Working on a life of indemnity in Christ is the only way forward in achieving greatness and purity. Don’t let your verification of worth be placed in the world; God overcame the world as He gave His Son as a sacrifice. You have more worth than you can imagine. If there was you alone alive today, the history of crucifixion still remains. Embrace that truth to allow freedom for yourself. Life without freedom is no life worth living, and you have control over that.

God bless.

Romans 12:2
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

 

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Bridges.

It was summer and I was trying to run away from the bondage I feel trapped in at the moment, when I came to a beautiful garden by a canal. I looked around and all I saw was water stretching across my right and left and by my feet was open flowers and pure green grass. I thought what a really nice place to be. Then God told me to go to the other side and I hesitantly thought ‘how? I can’t swim over it I’ll drown!’ Suddenly I saw a wooden plank bridge to my right. Of course, I thought it didn’t look very safe but it was my only option in getting to the other side and that day was from a dream (quite literally) and the weather was great, with no wind to waver my movements. So I stepped out onto the bridge to feel quite stable at first, but as I force my next step, a gust of wind came and knocked me down and the bridge was virtually above me, with my back close to touching the water.

As I looked across the water through the gaps in the rope handles, I saw another bridge just the same as the one I was already on. Here God said, “No matter how many bridges there are, they’re all going to bring the same disruption when attempting greatness. Don’t be put off by the distress; you will prevail as you go on with persistence and determination to be taken from the life I don’t want for you.”

I know after piecing this dream together over the space of today, that God wants me to know I’m safe in His presence. If I stay true to God by pulling through the hurt the enemy may have ready for me along the path God wants me to take, He won’t let me fail because He is with me every step of the way if I allow Him to be. He is closer than breath. He says there could be any amount of bridges ready for me to walk on, no matter how far down the canal bank I get. The point He wanted to make is that those bridges are only always there if I step off the bridge I’m already on because I find it too tough. I mustn’t allow weakness, only the strength of God; the way I can overcome.

The best part to share of this meeting with God is that I’d dreamt in the night already, woken up and had breakfast, then felt the need to sleep again. It’s then that God spoke to me this way. Being ready to meet with God at all times is such a huge discipline for us as His chosen; He – wantsus. We just need to allow ourselves to be His.

Another thing that I loved about what God did in this dream is He displays what’s ahead right at the beginning, He doesn’t portray beauty and perfection only to let us down; He’s truthful of what creation has turned out to be. On the other hand, the enemy isn’t. He has a way of deceiving us into despair by putting up a screen of beauty in front of trauma. Praise God for His purity and deep-deep love for His children. What we need to understand is that living out of God’s presence we’re living a lie because we’re living out the life the enemy has led us into. The enemy is the caterer of deceit and the only way we ever leave God’s presence is due to our natural misconception of what it is the enemy is offering us; sweetened destruction.

Hebrews 10:36
For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.

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The Truth About You.

He isn’t you he’s a story;Image
Fiction sold only by the lonely.

They thrive off controlling your persona;
You’re losing yourself for another.

He isn’t confusion; he’s defeat;
Fiction sold only by the weak.

They shout at the sight of shame upon you,
That which is painted on with false truths.

God Bless.

1 Samuel  16:7
“… the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

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Sipping On Darkness.

Temptation to me is like sipping on sin. If we think of potential sin as a dripping tap,
the temptation is only a drop, but does this mean we have already sinned due to us allowing the temptation space in our freedom of thought? My mind loves to sin but my heart knows better, because my heart knows God.

I always find my mind wandering into the darker more dreary streets of Riley-Town but he always turns around to see the brighter place he strayed from, doing a U-turn not daring to turn back because he knows who’s watching. Then again, and again he’ll find his way back to that place. If only I could take down the posts pointing him there, but I guess then I’d have the power to remove all signs to sin from the grounds of any broken road. If only it was that easy.

I tend to speak in the third person when I come to talking about the adventures of my mind, but don’t you sometimes feel like you’re listening to a bad radio show when you sneak a listen to what your mind is thinking? I go to change the station but the dial’s always broken and I find myself continuing to think the things I don’t want to. I suppose that’s why I feel like my mind is a one man band; trying to convince me it can do everything alone. Thankfully the feelings from my heart are guarded so my mind’s false understanding of feeling can’t infect it; when I’m strong.

Reading over this I’m making myself sound crazy but I really believe I’m just exploring the possibility of our minds. There was once a time when I felt so distant from God that I actually felt my heart become infected by darkness and there was nothing I could do but listen to mindFM become louder and louder whilst I screamed a prayer for peace. I’d become so desperate for God that my mind actually taught me of a nothingness above and below myself, that I had nobody, no thing; no God. That is simply a meek description of how I felt. I can’t even begin to share what I went through in that time. Darkness in people’s lives is like there’s no tomorrow; only today; only a day that doesn’t enter a new space in time; just continued nothingness.

Do you know someone who longs for a new day? If you do, pray for them because prayer is the most powerful thing we have. Go and talk with them, talk until your mouth runs dry and listen until they have emptied their heart of all the darkness they’re feeling. If you’re that person, do the same, don’t let your mind control you, let your heart do the walking, because you know deep down that it’s the gateway to God. Direct, pure and honest.

God Bless.

Matthew 11:28
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

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