Word of Encouragement: Ruins to Residence, Restored to be a Restorer

This week I’ve been battling a cold. Stuck back in bed at first I was quite grumpy and I was feeling miserable but yesterday I managed some study and I have done some writing, so God is at work. Unfortunately, I haven’t felt I’ve had the energy to work on “The Greatest Story” but I do have a word of encouragement that I pray blesses you.

I’ve been watching a show called “Restoration Australia” each episode shows how a historic building, that is on the brink of complete collapse, is lovingly restored. Stone walls are rebuilt, walls are re-plastered, roofs are made watertight etc. Now I’m telling you this because God is the God of restoration. I desire to encourage and challenge you today.

Ruins to Residence

Encourage you that if you feel like you’re a bunch of ruins about to collapse that God wants to begin to restore you today and take full residence in your heart.

In Jeremiah 30:17 the Lord declares: “I will restore health to you and I will heal your wounds!” Though you’ve been an outcast feeling as if no one cares for you, Jesus loves you and He proved it by dying upon a cross to set you free.

From His gloriously unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. As Christ takes up residence in your heart He begins a process of transformation, as you trust Him more and more God’s love keeps you strong (see Ephesians 3:16-17).

I urge you to cry out to God, thank Jesus for being the great Restorer and invite the Holy Spirit to breathe His breath of life. We CAN live restored to God and reconciled to the body of Christ (see Ephesians 2:16 TPT)

God’s life-giving word of encouragement can do wonders to restore joy to the heart. (see Proverbs 12:25 TPT)

YES! Let me declare boldly:

I am COMPLETELY and utterly convinced that our great God will FULLY satisfy every need you have. He will pour it out from His abundant riches of glory, which have been revealed through the Anointed One, Jesus Christ! God our Father will receive all the glory and the honour throughout the eternity of eternities! I pray that right now you overflow with the grace and favour of our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen! (Philippians 4:19-20, 23 TPT paraphrased)

Restored to be a Restorer

The challenge is that God desires restored people to become restorers. In Nehemiah we read about an unlikely leader who rose up to call the Jewish people to the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem. The Jewish people had returned from exile to a ruined Jerusalem, moral was low and the task of rebuilding the wall was overwhelming. But after encouragement the first part went well because the people worked with enthusiasm but then excitement waned, and the wall only got half built.

Nehemiah receives a word that there is an imminent attack, the Jewish people are in danger, so he commands each family to be responsible for the part of the wall that was nearest to their home. Each family member, so each individual, took part in rebuilding the entire wall! Here is what Nehemiah declared at completion;

“So on October 2 the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun. When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it, they were frightened and humiliated. They realized this work had been done with the help of our God.” (Nehemiah 6:15-16 NLT)

I believe we’re called to be restorers and that God will help us with the work to be done.

I know you’ve been given a very specific individual role that will contribute corporately to the life of your church.

I invite you to join me in this prayer:

O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps His covenant of unfailing love with those who love Him and obey His commands (Nehemiah 1:5).

Lord please hear my heart crying out to You today. Where I’m distant from You, I ask You restore me back to You Lord. Where I’m weak, remind me of Your great strength.

Though I’ve felt like an outcast, as if no one cares for me, Jesus You promise that You love me and proved it by dying upon a cross to set me free. I thank You Jesus for being the great Restorer and I invite the Holy Spirit to breathe His breath of life.

Lord from Your gloriously unlimited resources please empower me with inner strength through Your Spirit. Christ take up residence in my heart and begin a process of transformation, as I trust You more and more God’s love will keep me strong (Ephesians 3:16-17).

Lord please restore health to me and heal my wounds! (Jeremiah 30:17)

God Your life-giving word of encouragement can do wonders to restore joy to my heart (Proverbs 12:25)

Let me be COMPLETELY and utterly convinced that my great God will FULLY satisfy every need I have. He will pour out His rich blessings from His abundant riches of glory, which have been revealed through the Anointed One, Jesus Christ! God my Father will receive all the glory and the honour throughout the eternity of eternities! I pray that right now I will overflow with the grace and favour of my Lord Jesus Christ! (Philippians 4:19-20, 23)

God I invite You to grow me, shape me and mould me. Restore me so that I can become Your restorer.

I praise You that I CAN live restored to You and reconciled to the body of Christ (Ephesians 2:16 TPT). Reveal to me the individual role I’m to play corporately to see lives restored.

Let the work I set my hands to drawing people to You Lord, let them see the work being done and know that it’s done with the help of my God (Nehemiah 6:16b).

Holy Spirit come and breathe upon my life in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Go forth restored to restore others.

Many blessings, Keona

restored people

2019 = JOY. My Emotional Healing Testimony

Today I’d love to share with you my emotional healing journey, please note that this is the very brief overview because there is just SO much that God has done that I’m compiling it all to eventually release in a couple of books!

In February 2017 God invited me upon a deep inner healing journey and a huge part of that was dealing with the emotions that I had struggled with my whole life. Over the next few months God gradually unpacked grief, rage, hurt, pain, despair, fear, doubts, disappointments and so much more. Many times it felt like my heart would explode with the pain. I thought my mind would melt from the memories of despair combined with the emotion of hopelessness. I felt like my spirit was completely crushed beneath the weight of all I had endured and it was weak and failing me fast.

But praise God for He sustained me!

My heart full of pain was replaced with a heart full of grace and love.

My mind overwhelmed with despair has been renewed with hope and blessed assurance.

My ocean of tears filled with bitterness and great grief were replaced with tears of redemption!

My weak spirit is now steadfast and strong!

It was a journey where I needed to continuously cry out: “not my will but Yours my Lord!”.

God has taken me on a journey of embracing the fact that I‘m emotional and a couple of things that really helped were:

Firstly studying the life of Jesus and recognising the many INTENSE emotions He dealt with whilst here on earth and coming to the revelation that His emotions were centred in God.

Secondly studying James Goll who is a prophetically gifted man, he explains that prophetic people are extra-sensitive so that they can be receptive to the gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit. Sensitivity enables us to quickly perceive things in the spirit realm. I gained a great comfort from knowing that God wants people with sensitive soft hearts.

I’ve noticed that when we prophecy we feel the pain of others so that we can convey the heart of God. We can feel God’s pain or love or compassion for those we are speaking to so that we can engage appropriately. As emotional people we can be highly sensitive to the Holy Spirit which is a wonderful thing!

As God has patiently and gently taken me upon this journey I’ve seen a shift where I can now fully embrace my sensitive and emotional nature and allow God to use it for His great glory.

I wanted to share my story because I believe that God can heal every area of people’s lives – spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. God can make us WHOLE!

Larry Sparks, in his book “Ask For The Rain: Receiving Your Inheritance Of Revival & Outpouring”, explains it like this: “It’s not about who we are; it’s about Who He is in us and through us. If God is really inside of us, then everywhere we walk, we carry the rule, reign and administration of the Kingdom of Heaven.”

For God to do a work through us He needs to remove the rubbish and fill us to overflow with Him and His glorious presence, it is then that we will see as it is in Heaven unfold. It is a painful process but one that produces such freedom!

I felt prompted to declare over 2019 the following which has been inspired from Isaiah 61:

Jesus comforts and heals the wounds of the brokenhearted, He grants joy to ALL those who mourn.

He proclaims release from confinement and condemnation.

Jesus’s great sacrifice has freed us from every sin that would entangle and entrap us.

For those who are disheartened, Jesus grants the garment of praise.

Grasp hold of Jesus’ righteousness that makes you magnificently strong and full of integrity.

Jesus can rebuild that which seems destroyed and restore that which seems lost.

No longer will shame shadow you or humiliation be your name for a double portion will be restored to you and an everlasting joy bestowed upon you.

For our Lord God loves justice and hates robbery.

When others see our prosperity, they will know and acknowledge that we are God’s dearly loved and highly prized children.

Let us REJOICE greatly in the Lord, let our souls exult Him and His wonderful ways.

He clothes us in garments of salvation; covers us with the robe of righteousness; places a crown upon each of our heads; and adorns us with His goodness.

Just as the earth springs forth that which is sown into it, let us spring forth with righteousness and praise because we have the Word of God sown into our hearts producing a great harvest!

Praying 2019 unfolds with much joy. Many blessings, Keona

Press in and Receive

2 years have passed since that wonderful day when God intervened in my long-term illness and healed me! It’s been 2 years of deep inner and restoration. 2 years of cherishing every day because there were many days I didn’t think I could go on.

As I celebrated the day quietly at home I heard the words: “press in and receive” ring in my heart.

As I reflected upon those words I wondered what they could mean and then I knew that I needed to “stop and take some time and wonder…..” (Isaiah 29:9a Amplified).

I started to research what it is to press into God and to unpack the word receive but before I could read the article links I had saved my answer came.  A friend posted on Facebook an extract from Psalms 62 and I was reminded of the journey God has taken me on of developing a worshiping heart.

“I’m energized every time I enter your heavenly sanctuary to seek more of your power and drink in more of your glory. For your tender mercies mean more to me than life itself. How I love and praise you, God! Daily I will worship you passionately and with all my heart. My arms will wave to you like banners of praise. I overflow with praise when I come before you, for the anointing of your presence satisfies me like nothing else. You are such a rich banquet of pleasure to my soul.” Psalms 63:2-5 The Passion Translation

I declared:

  • How I love and praise You God!
  • My arms wave to You like banners of praise.

I’ve discovered that pressing into God is simply spending time listening to worship music and or reading the Bible. It has been in my times of entering into His presence with praise that I have received refreshing and renewal. Therefore, the words: “press in and receive” were a reminder to keep praising, to keep seeking His face so that I can receive the promised restoration. I believe that there is so much that God wants to bestow upon us but I also know that we need to be in a place of being able to receive.

My prayer:

Oh Lord thank You that I’m energized every time I enter into Your heavenly sanctuary! I long for and seek more of Your power and desire to drink in more of Your glory. Lord God, Your tender mercies mean more to me than life itself. Thank You for developing my heart of worship, I now passionately love and praise You God! Daily I will worship You passionately with all of my heart, my arms will wave to You like banners of praise. I overflow with praise when I come before You, for the anointing of Your presence satisfies me like nothing else. You are such a rich banquet of pleasure to my soul!

Psalms 63:2-5 The Passion Translation paraphrased

I encourage you today to spend some time pressing in so that you can receive. Here is a YouTube playlist for you: Soak in God’s presence

Many blessings, Keona

A Redemption Story, Day 717

My 2-year healing anniversary is coming up (4th Sept) and to be honest I thought things would be different by now. At the start of the year I felt prompted to get my story ready to share and I dreamt of holding a celebration party in September to launch my healing testimony. Which, unfortunately, hasn’t unfolded but I’m more than ok with that, I’ve realized that my story hasn’t finished being written because I’m still learning lessons that need to be included.

Last week I felt overwhelmed with busyness, I had done a few extra things that I hadn’t done for a long time and it was also my daughter’s birthday week. In the preparations for her party I had pushed myself harder than usual and I could feel it catching me. Friday I chatted to a friend over lunch who suggested maybe I should reassess my commitments and later that day, as I attempted to construct my daughter’s birthday cake, I realised I had set myself a task that was a bit too adventurous. Saturday was the actual event and it meant a later night than I would have liked which I could feel taking its toll on my body. Sunday was busy also with church and I felt absolutely wiped out by Sunday night. Monday I awoke with a terribly sore throat, no voice and no energy to get out of bed. My body reminded me that I desperately needed rest. Tuesday as I awoke still feeling flat I decided I needed to withdraw from almost every commitment for the rest of the week, I decided I’d still try to attend class but pull back and rest from other things. As I made that decision I also decided that I would study some more on how to rest well, I want to grow and learn from this so that I don’t keep pushing myself to the point of collapse. You’ve got to understand that it’s been so frustrating because as I start to feel better and stronger the need to limit myself is a HUGE struggle. I constantly find myself comparing my ability now to how much I used to be able to do and feel as if I’m ‘falling short’. I want to race ahead and get back into life as normal and enjoy all the things I used to do such as full days of activities or going out at night without feeling like I need to be back in bed. I’d love to be able to make plans and not worry about having to cancel them because I’m too tired or unwell. But the fact is that a great work has been done but I still have a long way to go.
My study, on how I can rest well, led me to a devotion titled “Sacred Rest” by Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith on the YouVersion Bible app and the first words that ‘jumped out’ to me were: “Hunger to draw nearer to the sacred sanctuary of rest.”. I’m intrigued what is the “sacred sanctuary of rest”? Whatever it is I need to go there! I’m going to be brutally honest with you and say that this restoration phase sucks! I feel like it’s an uphill climb which entails a lot of really hard work and yet I still can’t see the top. Also, just when I think I’m making progress I slip back down the hill and find myself lying in the dust battered and bruised. I lie there wondering if I’ll ever make it to the top, hoping that at the next attempt I won’t forget the lessons learnt and I’ll take it slow.

It’s demoralising right now to have to step back from life yet again, to be stuck in bed for days feeling useless. I’m not well enough to attend class which is really sad. But I’m reminded that yet again I got busy with distractions, I started doing stuff that I wasn’t meant to do just yet. My friend, who asked me to look at the priorities, said the definite column was the things only I can do and I know the 3 things only I can do: be a wife; a mother; and write the things God has placed in my heart and upon my mind to write. So those things have to be my priority and everything else has to work around that. Easier said than done though when I’m the kind of person who sees a need and wants to fill it! But day 2 of my study reminded me to “Return to rest, quietness, and trust as a deer returns to a stream. Return to the source of your strength, and in doing so, you will be saved.”.

Once again I’m like that deer panting for water: “As the deer pants [longingly] for the water brooks, So my soul pants [longingly] for You, O God.” PSALM 42:1 (AMP)

Once again I find myself in silence (I literally can’t talk) before the Lord where I submit to Him and His ways; I remind myself that I will wait for as long as it takes for Him to do the work within me because my hope is in Him alone! (Psalm 62:5)

How wonderful it is to know that He promises to fully satisfy my weak and weary soul for He declares that He will give rest to the weary and joy for those who find themselves buried in sorrow (Jeremiah 31:25-26).

Dear reader I want to encourage you today that if you find yourself in a season of busyness, one that is leaving you exhausted, then maybe you could spend some time reassessing your priorities and look at the things that only you can do. Lay down all that you’re doing at God’s feet and ask Him to help you find wisdom around what you’re meant to be doing and the strength to do the things He has called you to do.

Many blessings, Keona

‘Take Courage’ – Bethel Music featuring Kristene DiMarco – YouTube Lyric Video

‘Backseat Driver’ – Tobymac ft. Hollyn & Tru – YouTube Lyric Video