The Paradox

“Where man puts a timeline, God puts a deadline. And just because God has a timeline does not mean He doesn’t have a deadline.”

A couple of years back, in the midst of a trial, God spoke this truth to my heart. Ever since, no matter what I have had to walk through, this continues to echo in the depths of my being, whenever it is that I have needed reminding.

It is human tendency to fall prey, every now and then, to the lie that this is never going to change. The Truth, however, is greater than the facts. The Truth of God’s Word says that He changes the times and seasons. That the glory of the latter day shall be greater than the glory of the former day.

Allow me to expound further. This current trial in your life won’t last forever. There WILL be a brighter day. Where you feel your breakthrough needs at least a decade’s worth of work, I urge you to remember that God’s Grace is greater. One touch of His favor can turn the situation around, causing a riveting set of circumstances to take place only to bring you closer to that next level you have been praying for.  Sounds cliched, but is very well true.

Just because the path seems a bit arduous and long right now does not mean that His favor and blessings can’t meet a “suddenly” in your process, causing your faithfulness and obedience, your trust and your surrender to be rewarded by a harvest of fruitfulness.

Faithfulness always precedes fruitfulness. Surrender always precedes miracles. Belief always precedes manifestation. As The Bible says,

“the just shall walk by faith, and not by sight.”

I feel  God wants us to re-evaluate. Where we have given it a five-year planning program, God perhaps needs only five months. And where it seems like we are expectant but can’t see it come about yet, let us remember that His Faithfulness will even look to the culmination of that which  He has begun.

So, let the deadlines come down and let God have free reign to move majestically in our lives. Radically. Beautifully. Deeply. Gently. All at the same time.

After all, isn’t that the paradox we signed up for?

I think you concur.

Have a blessed day!

 

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The heart of Worship

“I value you because of who you are, not because of what you can do for me.”

At first, these words were impressed upon my heart for a fellow being, till they began to point to The One who has given me the capacity to love, in the first place.

Then I began to ponder. Isn’t that the heart of worship? When we don’t just praise Him for what He does, but we shift our focus to WHO He is.

Saviour, Father, Healer, Redeemer, Deliverer, The Song of our Salvation.

When we learn to consider Him worthy of our worship, irrespective of the circumstances we find ourselves in, I believe a lot changes in the stratosphere of our being. We learn to appreciate the Truth of who He is, which indefinitely points to His Infinite ability to perform beyond our wildest expectations.

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.”

When we have the assurance of His Promises, let our circumstances not dictate the depth of our  worship. I believe it is at that pivotal moment when we allow ourselves to dwell in the revelation of who He is, when the power of His Presence becomes more important to us  than the plight of  temporal circumstances, when we exalt His impeccable character above the  fleeting situations we find ourselves in; that Glory takes over, and a new version of ourselves takes birth; a version that remains undaunted in the face of adversity because it is rooted in The One who is The Way, The Truth, The Life.

Letting this soak in has completely revolutionized the way I perceive people too.

When we learn to value God for who He is as opposed to what He does, we find ourselves in a state where we can use the same lens to view the world that is around and about us; a world that needs to be loved extravagantly and unconditionally; a world that is full of people not to be leveraged for personal gain, but rather engaged for who they are;  a world that is far from perfect and promises to disappoint, but a world we are called to touch and transform, nonetheless.

That, I believe, is the hope of the calling we, as God’s children, have received.

As we shift our gaze from our circumstances to His Character, we will find ourselves not only more in love with Him, but also simultaneously morphing into instruments that spread the kind of love that has no strings attached. We will ourselves evolve into more whole and mature versions of ourselves that can see the worth and value in  each one we encounter, whether or not they choose to see ours.

As I hasten to a close, let us extol The One who has indeed enlarged the territory of our tent and deemed us worthy of not only receiving, but even extending such love. Let us say to Him, with one heart and soul;

“I value You because of who You are, not because of what You can do for me.”

Amen.

 

 

 

Bob Goff 🎈

www.youtube.com/watch

I’ve recently stumbled upon Bob Goff and I believe he is an absolute gift to humanity. A unique hybrid of fun and substance, he will introduce you to such thought provoking truths that will challenge you to test your faith. He is a wise man who knows how to love people REALLY well! I highly recommend his books, “Love Does,” and “Everybody always!” Out of the box, funny, potent and spiritual; you will find yourself in peels of laughter while simultaneously imbibing lessons from a life well lived!

All my love,

Simran❤️

The Journey

“We are not trying to make waves. We are only trying to make our way back Home.”

God has recently impressed this thought upon my heart. Pretty interesting, it definitely got me thinking.

Following Jesus is a life marked by adventure. He gives us the desires of His heart, and the passion needed to follow through. He gives us creativity and He ignites ideas that when shared with the world, are a potent force in bringing life and liberty, healing and wholeness, revelation and truth. On this journey, it is imperative to understand that it is when our hearts beat for what His Heart beats for, miracles happen.

Sometimes, our seasons are rather obscure. We feel overlooked, ignored, forgotten at the back side of the desert. If that’s the place you find yourself in today, then take heart. You’re in good company. Moses felt the same way, as God trained him in the desert to be a leader. Singing psalms of praise on the lonely hillside, David was being prepared to be a warrior. In the barren wilderness was trained John, the Baptist. Paul, who has written nearly two-thirds of the New Testament, was trained in Arabia. It is often in the dark room that God illuminates the Light within, and goes on to use it for our good and His Glory.

Then there are seasons when you have been promoted to the next level. Your book is released, your business is thriving, your marriage is restored, your career is booming. You have let your wings take flight and have soared to destinations that perhaps you could not even imagine in your wildest dreams. And it was all possible ONLY because you chose to remain faithful in the wilderness.

It was the wilderness that developed in you the faith, the humility, the tenacity and the grit necessary to sustain you in the place that God promised you. The wilderness gave you radical encounters with God that brought you to a place where you knew you could trust Him with your brokenness. The wilderness was the place where you learned that you are the clay, in the loving palms of The Potter, who promises to take you from strength to strength.  His Loving Hand  moulded your heart and transformed you from the inside out. Suffice to say, the wilderness is the place why  you will never be the same again.

The world may look at you now and think all you’re trying to do is make waves. But I encourage you to remain true to the most honest, authentic part of you that knows your mission in life is to serve, not be served. I urge you to look within yourself and test the motives of your heart. I exhort you to continue to remain steadfast in your faith and make your way back to The One, who standing on the edge of Eternity, beckons you by name.

Because the Truth is simply this:

“We are not trying to make waves. We are only trying to make our way back Home.”

Selah.

 

 

Death and Life

“By Your Spirit, I will rise

From the ashes of defeat.

The resurrected King

Is resurrecting me.”

With Easter being just seven days away, the lyrics of this life giving worship song infused with my spirit seem to set the stage to rise to the occasion.

Yes. We know the story. But have we embraced its reality?

Lord Jesus Christ’s gruesome crucifixion on the Cross of Calvary for the atonement of our sins followed by His resurrection on the third day, that which we have come to commemorate as Easter, reveals to us the hope of the calling we have received.

Death and life go hand-in-hand.

In my experience, the death of toxic waste like fear, anxiety, shame, regret, unforgiveness, vengeance and pride only pave the way forward for a New Life to spring forth; one that is rooted in love, faith, hope, humility, gentleness, understanding, courage and compassion. It is the crucifixion of the narrow self-life which makes possible for us to walk into the wide, open spaces that God, by His Grace, has already pre-destined for us. It is a declaration of such death that is a precursor to inevitable victory; a victory over the narrow confines of self preservation, selfish ambition and false identities.

I believe with all my heart that when The Bible says that the old has gone, the new has come; it is boldly declaring the Truth that the old man with all of his flaws and limitations now has legal access to a new life, a life renewed with authentic Hope and Victory.

Do we just waltz our way into it?

Yes.

And no.

For it is by the Grace of God that we have this privilege and this promise. But at the same time, it is our daily obedience and commitment to living out our new life that determines to what extent we will tap into the victory that has already been purchased for us.

To what lengths will we go to see the death of those things that are poisoning us and plaguing our existence ?

How much are we willing to stretch ourselves beyond our comfort zone to reach out to those that are in need of what we have to offer?

Are we truly willing to let our hearts experience the beautiful paradox of what Jesus did?

Have we abandoned ourselves to His care enough to trust that where we have seen death and destruction, we will also see restoration and resurrection?

I believe that if God has you reading this, He wants you to know that you are chosen. You are loved and you are valuable. You are treasured and you are cherished. Your God truly does love you.

Will you love Him back enough to let those things that are tainting your experience of life die once and for all, as you simultaneously reach out for the newness that comes with trusting Him to birth within you that which will give you true life?

I believe you will.

I believe I will.

Together, we will.

And as I write?

I suddenly have the strangest feeling that Heaven is smiling upon us.

Have a blessed week towards Easter, dear friends!

All my love,

Simran.

❤️

Lessons from a plant

Today, I want to share with you the story behind the Chinese Bamboo Plant.  It’s a story of faith and hope; and a sure testimony to the fact that dreams, in fact, do come true. Miracles still do happen. Visions still take flight.

 

It goes something like this.

A struggling, impoverished Chinese farmer has a dream of planting and harvesting a gigantic Chinese Bamboo plant. He digs up spots in the ground and faithfully plants the seeds. He waters these spots diligently, day after day, in the hope that he will one day reap a harvest so huge that it will suffice to even feed his generations. That is his dream, his vision and perhaps, his prayer.

 

The first year goes by. There are no signs of growth. In his wisdom, he plants even other crops nearby in order that he may be in a position to at least provide for his family, as he awaits the manifestation of his promise. Does this not sound a bit like us working on our day job as we simultaneously and secretly harbour hopes for a better future, one that has seen and savoured the taste of long awaited dreams turning into reality?

I think it may resonate.

The second year goes by. Still, there are no outward signs of growth.

The third year goes by. No growth, no sprouts, nothing.

At this point, many of us would be tempted to simply call it quits, to give up. But not our Chinese bamboo farmer. He continues to believe that his breakthrough is around the corner, even if he can’t feel it nor see it. This tells me that Faith is really a decision. We can either choose to succumb to the temporary reality of what we see, or dare to believe that something better is possible.

As the fourth year comes around, there are still no signs of growth. Having endured the ridicule of critics, haters and nay sayers; our farmer tenaciously continues to water the seeds, fertilize and most importantly, keep the faith.

Now is the part we all get happy. As the fifth year rolls around, the farmer stands tall to witness the first signs of growth from the seeds he had planted years back and tended to through the passage of time. He sees the sprouts come forth, and jumping with joy, runs ecstatically to relate the good news to friends and family! All come out to see and are left stumped, to say the least. In the course of the next six short weeks, this plant shoots up to grow into a towering 90-feet tall bamboo plant.

The farmer now has seen his faith give birth to a legacy that will not only feed him and his family, but even his children, and children’s children. His faith now stands as a pillar for even others to lean on and gain inspiration from. The very people who made fun of him perhaps feel like taking their words back. But at this juncture, none of that matters. All that remains is the tangible evidence of what a simple farmer’s spirit dared to believe and what the potent power of faith is able to accomplish in one’s life.

Begs the question.

What really was happening in the first four years of hard toil and cumbersome labor?

It all boils down to what is perhaps the substratum of our faith – Roots.

It was in those years when the ground seemed barren and the growth appeared dormant that the plant was actually developing a strong root structure, a root structure that had to be deep enough to support the growth that was destined to be bestowed upon it, in the years to come. To me, this speaks succinctly to the truth that before releasing the fullness of His Promises in our lives, God always does a deep work IN us before He does a great work THROUGH us. He is more interested in developing our character then merely unleashing that which, if given prematurely, can do more harm than good. It is in those times that we feel overlooked, forgotten or rejected; that He is purging the motives of our hearts and building within us the fortitude needed to go along with the “good success” He promised. When we want to microwave our dreams, He is loving enough to let them cook in the crock pot.

So friends, let us yield to His process as we patiently await His Promise. Let us plant, water, believe and trust the One who is well able to give the increase.

Let me close with a cherished Bible verse,

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,

whose confidence is in him.

He will be like a tree planted by the water

that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when heat comes;

its leaves are always green.

It has no worries in a year of drought

and never fails to bear fruit.”

Together, let us rest in that, my friends.

Amen.

 

 

 

 

Pain

“We don’t deny the pain. We simply refuse to be defined by it.”

Pain comes without prejudice. It comes for people of all races, regions,religions, nations and ethnicity. It comes in all shapes and sizes. It comes when it’s most inconvenient. It comes when it’s most unexpected. It comes and it knocks the wind out of our sails.

If you’re alive, you understand that pain is an inevitable reality. The loss of a loved one, the demise of a dream, the break up of a decade long relationship, having to be a single mom, discovering you’re adopted after years of living out of another identity; pain is ruthless and leaves no one untouched. Heartbreak that plagues us years after the incident, grief that torments us long after the betrayal, anger that besets us each time the memory comes to mind, unforgiveness that poisons us when we are caught off guard; all of these only to surmise that pain is inevitable.

The only reasonable question then is how do we deal with it?

A life of Faith is one which entails suffering, which entails pain. But it is also one which equips us to process it in ways that don’t leave us feeling victimised but rather enriched and empowered by the experience; wherein we don’t deny the pain, we simply and blatantly refuse to be defined by it.

Having researched world leaders from nearly all walks of life as I wrote my first book, it was clear to me that anyone who has risen to exceptional heights of success have had to endure more than a fair share of pain, trauma, sickness and despair. It was not the set of circumstances that determined their outcome. It was in the tenacity of their spirit and the unflinching belief that something better was up ahead that gave them the fortitude to not only withstand the vicissitudes of life, but to steward them in such a way that the very thing that threatened to sabotage their Destiny became the very catalyst to catapult them into the next dimension of their being.

Take a moment, and see who comes to mind.

Whom do you admire and see greatness in who has not had to endure pain, criticism, rejection or heartbreak?

You get the point.

The substratum of this piece of writing is simply this. If we can’t avoid pain, and we certainly shouldn’t resist it, how do we respond?

At this juncture, Maya Angelou’s timeless words come to mind,

“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”

Pain is never sent to break us, rather, it’s purpose is to make us and mould us into vessels that are large enough to carry the weight of whatever it is that God is calling us to.

The transformative power of pain is huge, should we choose to tap into it.

Think about it.

If we weren’t hurt, we wouldn’t have learnt to forgive.

If we weren’t heartbroken, we wouldn’t have healed.

If we weren’t abandoned, we wouldn’t have relied on His Presence.

If we weren’t rejected, we wouldn’t have learnt to hold our own.

If we weren’t crushed, we wouldn’t be anointed.

I don’t know what life has had you walk through, but I do know this. You are powerful, overcoming, strong, beautiful, magnificent. You are in the process of becoming – an even better and more glorious version of yourself than you can possibly imagine. It may seem gruelling at times, but when you set your eyes on the prize; there is literally NOTHING that can hold you back. Not even pain.

Together, I hope and pray that we would find the beauty in the ashes, the strength in the scars and the wisdom in the wounds. Pain may have found us, but guess what?

It doesn’t get to define us.

And THAT’S good news.