I recently came across this powerful quote by Oswald Chambers, which I have held onto over the past three weeks. The quote is this:
“He does not give us overcoming life.
He gives us life to overcome.”
Two of the past three weeks have been spent at the Hillcrest Hospital. Our two-year-old Layah had viral meningitis, and last week Mila, who is six years old, was in hospital with a bacterial infection known as “chlamydia pneumonia”. Please don’t be alarmed. This form of pneumonia is by no means linked to the sexually transmitted disease. Please don’t go and google this either… I warned you.
Anyway, Dylan has been sick for over a month and I was then bitten by a spider last week! But, the Cherry on the top, is that little Samuel has an enormous red boil… on his little four year old BUM!
Ok, I am aware that this was a complete “overshare”. Sorry Mila and Samuel, hopefully they will never find out that I shared this information. But the honest truth is that I have been going through a winter season- a season of stretching, a season of warfare against the enemy, a season of learning to overcome.
I was asked to speak at a woman’s conference at Rec Road Church in Toti on Saturday and as a result of the place I have been in lately, I prepared a message for these women that was more of a call for us to be strong, resilient “Warrior Women”. I envisioned sharing about how we are called to grip tightly onto the sword of the spirit and thrust the word of God against the onslaught of the enemy, who the bible says is “like a thief that comes to rob, steel kill and destroy, a roaring Lion who constantly seeks whom he will devour.”
But on Friday evening, the first night of the conference, something incredible happened during our worship. As we repeatedly sang about the “Beautiful Name of Jesus,” I realised that as our praises rose, something powerful was happening in the heavenly realm.
It became so clear to me that as we were singing about His Beautiful Name, He began to respond with songs about ours…
In Zephaniah 3:17 it says this…
The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
On Friday night, as our voices merged with the voices of angels, declaring the magnificent beauty of our Jesus’ name, He responded with songs of delight. Songs that echoed each one of our names. Our Mighty Warrior triumphed our battles as He sung our names repeatedly. He sang our names and rejoiced in the love we poured out to Him. The Lord was pleased with His daughters, His chosen, beautiful ones.
Then as I drove home this scripture from Song of Songs 4:7 began to resound in my head. The scripture reads:
“All beautiful you are my love, there is no flaw in you.”
As my Warrior King sang my name on Friday night, He sang the names of every woman in that room. He sang songs of approval, songs calling us to more. He sang songs of destiny, songs of deliverance. He sang the words “all beautiful you are my darling, there is NO Flaw you.”
And so my message to these ladies changed completely. I sat up until 2am on Friday night, preparing a new message, a word derived from the song that I believe our Father sings over every one of us. The song He is singing, day after day, month after month, year after year, struggle after struggle, victory after victory.
I have not written a blog post for over a year now, but as this revelation burned on my heart, I felt very strongly that this was something I needed to share. I really believe that God wants us to become aware of the incredible depths of His love that make up the lyrics of His songs which He is singing over you and me.
I believe there are many types of songs that God sings over us, but there are three that I think are important for us to be aware of right now.
He sings songs of approval
He sings your name
He sings songs that commission
- He sings songs of approval…
In John 15: 16 it says: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”
I believe that the song on Gods heart for you at the moment is a song of approval. So often we are driven by an unspoken need for the approval of man. Instagram is testament to this vain pursuit. Farcical lives portrayed on the screen of a mobile device, lives that hanker after comments and likes that are no reflection of authenticity. Man’s approval is a lie and cannot and will not ever sustain the soul.
Social media aside, what about the way we were brought up? What about the approval we sought to receive from our parents and teachers that altered the career decisions we made? What about the approval you long for from your spouse, your children, your employers, your friends? The approval of man is a vain pursuit.
God has a master plan for our lives and as we “double-tap” OUT of the need for human acceptance and stay still for a moment to hear the sound that resounds from heaven, you will hear the lyrics of a song He sings that say, “you are enough”.
I remember hearing a story by Kayle Mumby about when he went into nature to wait on and hear God. God spoke to Kayle about the call on his life and was beckoning him to make a commitment to a life of uncomfortable sacrifice, specifically when it came to his incredible prophetic gift. Kayle believed God say to him that He would confirm His words to Kayle “like no man ever could”. At that moment, an enormous owl flew out of nowhere and perched itself on Kayle’s head. He completely freaked out and eventually the owl flew off.
The next day, Kayle was speaking to a friend and he relayed the story. In complete awe, the friend went silent and then began to explain to Kayle how his dad, a pastor at their church, had been preparing to speak that Sunday on how the owl is a sign of the next generation of prophets.
I believe God approves of us and that although we may not all have an angelic or owl encounter, God wants us to listen to the sound of heaven that resounds with the words “I have chosen you, you are enough”. Press into God and be bold enough to ask him to give you an assurance of His approval through His word, through signs, wonders and spiritual gifts.
In Galatians, it speaks about how our Faith is credited to us as righteousness, and so we have to believe that God approves of us, even when we don’t approve of ourselves. The reality is that God doesn’t need us to approve of ourselves in order for Him to approve of us. We don’t influence God’s approval of us. Your negative self-esteem does not stop Him approving.
But if you want change to happen and you desire to walk into the fullness of what God has called you to, your approval of yourself needs to align with His. You need to see yourself the way He sees you.
“All beautiful you are my darling, there is no flaw in you.”
2. He sings your name…
I also believe that God sings your name, in Isaiah 45:2-3 it says:
“He will give you treasures hidden in the darkness- secret riches. He will do this so you may know that He is the LORD, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.”
When I was pregnant with Layah, before I knew that she was a girl, I prayed for God to tell me exactly what her name ought to be. I knew that He had her destiny marked out for her and that His plans for her would be far greater than what I could ever begin to imagine. Therefore, I did not want us to be the ones to name her. Dylan and I had no name, but we knew Her creator God had one. I was pondering this in the shower one evening and in my mind, I pictured the word “Layah” (I saw this exact spelling) and was intrigued, as I had never seen or heard this name before. I launched out of the shower, simultaneously grabbing my towel and phone so that I could Google the meaning of the name. The name meant “the first flowers of spring”. What was even more awesome was that the very next day was the 1st of September, the day that marks the beginning of Spring. My heart leapt with excitement, I was convinced I was pregnant with a girl. We discovered a few weeks later that she was a girl and so she was immediately named “Layah Joy”.
When Layah was born a friend of my mom’s told me that the ALMOND TREE in the Bible would always produce “the first flowers of spring”. The almond tree produces magnificent blossoms in winter, just before Spring comes and the leaves form. The flowers are white with a delicate pink tinge, soft and fragrant, they break through the bark and cut through a thick wooded seal. In the face of adversity, they break barriers, they push through… they bloom. When I think of this picture I smile, as only an awe-inspiring God, who formed this child in my womb and dreamed about how He wanted her character to be, before time began, knew that she would need to be a boundary breaker! And she is just that… even at the tender age of 2! She is our fire 🔥, our strong-willed child, our fierce one that puts the little boys to shame. She is called to be a flower that breaks through the bark of this world and blooms in a way that is tender, soft and graceful yet undeniably strong.
God knows your name.
God sings your name.
God loves your name.
Do you know the meaning of your name?
If the meaning of your name is not a positive meaning, then don’t you worry… your name is not yours anyway. You see, if you have given your life to Jesus He adopts you as His own. You belong to Him and therefore you are given a new name. That name is “Christian” which means: “Little Christ”, “anointed one”. Your name is His name. His name is yours. Your name is a beautiful name, there is no flaw in it.
3. He sings songs that commission…
I believe that God sings songs that commission us. In Isaiah 42:6-7 he says:
“I am the LORD; I have called youb in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations,
7to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
As you close your eyes, hear the sound of heaven erupt as the Father sings songs that call and commission you to a life that is beyond yourself. To a life that sings songs of deliverance over the depressed. To a life that shines bright as it sings of freedom- not only personal freedom but freedom for the people you will set free as you walk in forgiveness. It is time to join with heaven and sing songs of deliverance over those that are unaware of the song God is singing over them.
It is time to sing songs on behalf of those that have lost their voices or who have not yet found them. For the orphans, little children, the destitute, the broken. May your life song respond to the song of God that declares that “there is no flaw in you” and commissions to catch the wind of his Holy Spirit and drive freedom and breakthrough for others.
You may be full of flaws, riddled with self-esteem issues as a result of past hurts and lies believed by the enemy? Maybe your emotional state is like the Cherry family’s past physical state? Or maybe you are addicted to the dopamine high of social media, on a permanent Instagram search for mans approval? Maybe it isn’t Instagram, maybe it’s the lengths you will go to be noticed by a man, or a woman, or your boss? Maybe you have allowed self-hate or even pride to seep in like a meningeal virus or a chlamydia pneumonia? Or you are holding onto offence; offences that are sitting like a boil on your bum and it’s hard to sit.
No matter what the state of your life and heart is today, God does not look at your mess. Your sickness. Your boils. When he looks on you he sees the sacrifice of Jesus and His blood shed on the cross to cleanse us from the mess. He sees the finished work of Jesus Christ that makes you pure and blameless, flawless and beautiful, before the lover of your soul.
Song of Songs 4: 9 & 10 go onto say the following…