Monday, February 28, 2011

Getting Into Spiritual Character

A period actor steps out of their trailer and gently jogs onto set. They appear absorbed and, at this point in time, are neither their character nor themselves.

With consummate ease their focus subsumes them; they perform perfectly first cut.

Are they professional or purposeful, or both?

Both... and more. Getting into character is the actor’s job. They have to find ways to address gaps between their own personality and that of the character, in their presentation of the role, and give identity to it.

Assuming Our Spiritual Character

Many of us can be slow to ask. Does being spiritual mean we’re to be much different compared with how we normally are?

It’s a good question. On the outside there’s probably not much discernable difference, unless people notice us as more quiet or calmer than usual.

But within is where spiritual beings are alone with themselves and with God.

Within ourselves we step into the Spiritual tempest, but only when we’ve assumed Spiritual character—the holiness of right fitment with God; the heart that enters the hallowed ground of entrance with the Divine Being.

Assuming Spiritual character is hence a time of reflection, of spilling the burden of sin via repentance, of reflecting over God’s holiness and our individual need of the Lord.

A Separate and Safe Part of Ourselves

If we’ve always got another ‘place’ within ourselves to climb into, we always have safe refuge from the wiles of the world and of Satan.

God is this place, for the Almighty is heavenly sanctuary.

Of course, God is within us, as the Divine Being is everywhere at all times. We’re no less endowed of the Lord’s Spiritual Presence at the deeper visceral level.

This is a place we can go at any time we wish. When the world is rushed, scary, boring, tiring or maddening, it’s the Spiritual cave of the Lord that we can climb into—by manner of knowledge of God’s Presence.

This can happen, with enough practice, in the crowded room as anywhere.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

New Leaf Prophesies

Turning a new leaf in life is always made easier at the behest of God. Whether we see these as Divine orders or just suggestions for better living is beside the point—opportunity beckons.

But so does failure. New Year’s resolutions have an infamy for falling over late January (or even late January 1!).

When I undertook training as a fitness instructor over twenty years ago now, I was taught the rule of the two’s. People will sustain their exercise routines if they don’t give up after the first two days (due to soreness), and the first two months—as such habits take at least two months before they stick.

There is an application of the two’s here too.


The difference between righteousness and sin—so far as God’s revelation is concerned—is follow-up... action... obedience. Call it what you will; maybe we’ll use stick-ability.

For new leaf prophesies to stick there needs to be the ability to adhere to them, for:

C Two minutes—to defeat the temptation to pass over the thought, giving it credence and making precedence of it;

C Two hours—which is enough time to develop a simple plain to ensure burgeoning interest is maintained and risks are noted for mitigation—to promote stick-ability;

C Two days—and so these are the first tests of our veracity to commit! Buckle here and the dream is gone (for the moment);

C Two weeks—halfway there, truly. Not by time, but by necessity of effort. The hardest work is done; maintenance is now the key; and,

C Two months—time to celebrate, but not so much that we drop the ball. Maintain the discipline.

The Commonality of Goal-Setting

There’s probably nothing that summarises humanity better than the drive or passion to achieve.

The sense of our humanity is intrinsically linked to this. Set a goal and we’ll want to achieve it. We will want—no, need—a result that proffers us toward righteousness, not sin, for righteousness builds up, but sin tears good things down.

If our commonality is written at the view of goal-setting toward achievement, that is how we’ll measure success. It’s not what we try that counts, but whether we achieved it. By that bar we’ll be rated. Admiration is afforded to the person who became known for their stick-ability.


Adhering to the rule of two’s is not a hard thing as much as it’s a diligent thing.

We can turn over that new leaf. That thing that God’s calling to our hearts to, that thing we’ve been pondering... set about changing it.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Spiritual Optimism When Your Gut Says, “Give Up!”

Any modern Saturday it can occur. You’re faced with being behind the eight-ball from the moment your eyelids blossom apart, revealing eyes parched for hope, for what is about to commence is a day of frenetic abandon.

Everything’s a rush. Breakfast thrown down, dishes and other chores multitasked, as is bathing and dressing (if there’s enough time!), and into the car. Thoughts of “What have I left home?” buzz through your consciousness as the house gently fades from sight through your rear-vision mirror.

Seems everyone else you encounter on the road has the same challenge—you’re met with a rash of red lights, the perennial slow driver, people who drive with their eyes closed, or the serial tail-gater.

As you’re about to burst your first gasket—God speaks to your spirit... “Hush, child, what’s the matter?”

Stopped dead in your spiritual tracks... like deer in headlights.

Thoughts are transformed...

C Delays become Divine appointments where the rush makes way for underlined belief that all will be okay. The path of faith.

C With each task done—just in time—the mind switches onto the next thing, without a second’s distraction. Diligence melds with prudent calm to do what must be done—not a fuss entered into; diss the distraction.

C As the fleeting vacant moments assuage the inner panic, planning becomes the forte, and the angels of God fill us with wisdom fitted wondrously for the circumstance. Thoughts are malleable, ordered, optimised.

C The ticked-off list, growing more impressive throughout the day, accomplishments in their regal aplomb, and confidence is confirmed. The jury’s back in. Optimism of the Spirit’s power is winning the day. Indeed, the fact that overwhelming things do not crush us is cause for dizzy celebration.

The Calming Presence of the Spirit When Matters Are Beyond the Sublime

Prayer is the ordinance that makes the event of God’s inspiration occur.

The Lord has made the Spirit known to us; the speech of the Almighty resounds within our spirits as if to remind us we’re on holy ground—even now.

When our gut, heart and mind are colluding in confusion, and matters are awry in the pickle of hurry, it’s too easy to give-in to the fear.

God’s Spirit is the quiet voice calming the calamity, breaking down the moment into divisible, achievable tasks... for that’s all life is; one task after another. Not difficult, just linear activity.

Having purpose; that’s our gentling key.

Prayer is how we get through—the constancy of God’s Presence.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Believing ‘What’ We See

What makes us believe the things we physically see? Does this have a parallel with the things we believe in—or “see”—spiritually?

It’s about perception.

Before that is sensation. We must sense something prior to perceiving it. Something must awaken us to the presence of things in our world.

Why is this important?

Seeing and believing, and believing what we see, is critical to life—they make life worth living.

An Important Realisation

I realised this as I reached the toilet one dark night without even fumbling, despite my gauntly scattered half-awake state. Rubbing my eyes, I lost vision momentarily.

It’s interesting how much we depend on our sense of vision when things are even pitch black. As my sight dithered I suddenly realised sight is everything to a sighted person, yet to a blind person it’s nothing.

But sight is not just a physical thing—it’s most fundamentally spiritual. Spiritual sight, and no less equilibrium, is everything to both the sighted and blind.

When we see physically, the information goes into our minds and the brain processes the imagery, through which is produced perception—how we see our world. Even in Christian circles there are many different formats of visual perception that people see, making logical to them what they see.

It’s necessary that spirituality, besides some fixed bases, is flexible, pliable.

God Gives Us Perception for a Reason

If we see things the way we do, we do so for a reason. Importantly, atheists and agnostics see their worlds the way they do for compelling reasons, even though we might be compelled to think they’re fooled.

Their perception is every bit as real to them as ours is.

God is the founder of all this. How ironic is that? God creating ‘room’ for unbelief purely out of Divine love that issues free will with heavenly abandon... such is God. We cannot figure it.

The way we see is important. It makes us who we are.

Why would we doubt what we see? Why would we despise it or deny it or run from it? It’s there for a reason.

This gets us back to a basic premise—the one we began with. What we see we’re best served believing, otherwise we fall for a form of what psychologists call cognitive dissonance—the experience of confusion between what we see and what we do.

Believing what we see is about believing truth, so long as we fit what we see also with what the broader world (and God) validates as truth.

It’s our purpose for life.

Believing what we see will compel us forward to where God’s got us going, for surely we run our own internal validations over what we see, disproving some things and approving others.

The main thing is, we must believe what we see spiritually—and believe in why we see it. It’s taking us somewhere important and intentioned, if we’re discerning correctly.

It really is everything to us.

The Lord is leading us by the instant. The seeing instant is everything. Trust it. It’s all we really have.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fighting a Losing Battle?

The unrequited fight for life is a story known by many of us; daily battles, seasonal conquests of the struggling nature, and a lifetime of spoil for gain that reveals itself as loss.

Life can feel utterly meaningless in the mix of such desolate despair.

Burnout is two events occurring simultaneously: a final realisation that keeping up is no good, and the burgeoning realisation of fear because of it—that sense that life as we knew it, our comfort, is finishing.

This is both a horrible reality and sick hope. Hope because it is, sick because it’s one we cannot yet see.

The Cusp of Salvation

The host in heaven must begin to get excited as we approach the end of ourselves.

As we limp along, hardly recognising the faint trilling light coming irrefutably toward us, we cannot yet see what is to become our greatest joy.

The lower the depth we plummet to, the more in amid the Lord Almighty is with us.

I can tell you, as my fingers dance along these keys I feel that depth; and at the very same time I feel the Lord Jesus reaching down very deep within me, retrieving my soul from the experience of Hades!

As we sink, our Lord is going down with us, deeper down and under. As we claw at our rock-bottoms, God’s there—under us, and pushing us up.

The host in heaven and all around must dance at resplendent glee to see our Almighty Intercessor ringing the changes wrought by our soul’s bequest of poverty.

The cusp of salvation is a glorious place; truly moments in time when one is not just saved for the Kingdom, but affirmed for it, freshly anointed into it, as good as and perhaps better than the very first time was.

The Divine Strike-Back

When we live like we’re losing the battle of our lives, and we’re about to give up in wretched despair, God’s about to swoop down and swoon us away by a strength charged through us that can only be felt, and never understood.

God strikes the devil as we agree to be taken up in the Lord’s arms.

Striking back is the ‘deeper magic’ of Divine sacrifice where we’re put in a hallowed place with God’s Son—the event and meaning of Christ’s cross reaching throughout all eternity, rippling out to this very calamity of our despairing moment, now!

Comprehend just now this reality. The saving of us back then is the saving of us just now, and forever more.

Fighting a losing battle is a sign to us that God is near. What is about to happen, right now, that too cannot be comprehended.

Our circumstances will not change, but something within is transformed—yes, even now, or soon to come.

Salvation is near.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Finding the Strength to Get Through

A day might be as long as it ever lasts,

The morning brings with it a breeze,

But that day’s long – a chilly forecast,

And the last thing felt is ease.

Why is it like this – and why right now?

Comes abreast the understood sigh,

The spirit not at rest, instead having a row,

It’s something we shouldn’t deny.


It’s something that comes across the world of feelers, and particularly keen spiritual persons—call it a spiritual attack if you will. There are many manifestations of this, and heaven only help the person saying they don’t occur. They do.

Finding the strength to get through is quite a paradoxical art, for such strength is in weakness. Abject weakness—checking the Apostle Paul’s theology—is how we draw on God’s grace for our situations (2 Corinthians 12:8-10).

For those prone to such attack, there’s no avoiding it, apart from, perhaps, early detection and response. Still, circumstantial matters oppose many such responses, so, whilst some responses work well, others are forlorn.

We Cannot Force Empathy

The thing that someone who’s under spiritual attack needs is empathy—some pleasantly placed sounding board who will just listen to the grievance, without a shadow of judgment. That, and prayer.

These people are not always available and forthcoming.

But we can learn to empathise with ourselves, so as to allow the Spirit of God to quell our ebbing tide.

Holding Out for the Commencement of the Next Day/Season

Patience admonishes us to wait. Times are coming when things will be more even-keeled. You’ll see. As the storms subside and light returns we survey the damage, and unlike hurricanes, there is never as much spoil as we first thought. This is because we have better, more positive sight.

The following day (metaphorically speaking) works wonders, and holding out for it proves us faithful to patience; the ability to persevere.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Graphic Credit:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

God’s Got Something Better In Mind for You!

Have you ever had one of those times when you felt God whisper to you in your disappointment, “Don’t worry, I’ve got something better in mind for you,” and believed it?

Well, we shouldn’t make a practice of doubting this sort of ‘Word’ from God. But, sometimes in our biggest disappointments God’s somewhere in the background of it all saying this very thing. “Don’t worry, you’ll see!” will perhaps be the broad message as we’re advised to enfold our faith over our circumstances.

God’s Leading Us There

Of those challenges we fail against, those ones we’ve not been prepared for, or those that are currently beyond us, have we ever thought that God’s exposing us to these to take us beyond where we think we can currently get to?

It’s an absorbing question.

Many believers will think that God’s not putting them up against challenges in life that are too much for them. Could it be, however, that the nature of this God-willed life, as it’s revealed to us day by day, is to coax us to new heights and new endeavours?

It’s threateningly new.

It’s okay to fail.

Indeed, it’s a revelation to fail and to come to a sudden realisation that we’ve survived it. We brush ourselves off from our fall in the dirt and we inspect for scrapes and worse. Yet, apart from a hurting heart—which we can soothe with the gentle, logical mind—we’ve come out of it basically unscathed and, additionally, we’ve actually learnt something.

A Vision Months, Years and Decades Away

Most people reading this have several years to live, even possibly multiple decades. Whether we like it or not, God’s plan for the totality of our lives means some things we covet now we will not attain yet, or perhaps ever.

There are things also that God has in mind for us, but we’ll have absolutely no conception of them. And we’re not supposed to.

If we really believe we’ve heard from God, that call to our hearts, the passion that’s inherent in just who we are and who we’re becoming, then it’s incumbent on us to carry through with this vision indefinitely—even to the point of never losing hope.

The Occasional Disappointment

Being let down every now and again is normal in life. The amount of times we see these disappointments as blessings-in-disguise is rare, however.

But, perhaps that’s our challenge—to see more potential for the bigger, brassier handled doors that are opening to us in the midst of those that are slammed shut against our faces.

God has a plan.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham. (Re-published)

Monday, February 21, 2011

What’s My Life Trying to Tell Me?

This question could very well be, “What’s God trying to get me to see and respond to?” Sometimes we can just beg to know, but the answers might be closer than we think. At other times we know what the answers are, yet we don’t want to go there.

Right through life as it contends,

With strength to abide and knowledge to know,

Despite that which the soul pretends,

We deny truth toward warnings of a blow.

Trying to get through is a thing we resist,

Besides our flow and success it remains,

A humbling truth continues to persist,

Compelling our hearts toward a reality that sustains.


There’s no getting away from ourselves, or the shortcuts to life we take that are forlorn.

For every person there’s the fatal flaw revealing where further they can move; if they will, soon it will be the next thing to attend to, then the next and so on.

Life’s never ‘squared away’ as we live at the reality of challenge and necessity. The key thing, from God’s viewpoint, is to get past the elementary things (Hebrews 6:1) and onto those more advanced things worthy of our burgeoning maturity.

No More Running Away from Ourselves

Many are those who cannot stand to look their inner selves in the eye when glancing past a mirror. For every one of these, there are several also who refuse to deal with the truth-appending situations that insidiously rock their world off the pendulum, over the years.

Diet is a classic example. We know how to eat and what to eat—for the best of health—but there are many conveniences in the way, besides, exercise also has such a dark name in the minds of many. Westernised humanity is suffocating in dietary affluence.

God Has a Message for Each One

At each juncture of this journey of life, God’s speaking to us in quiet and visible ways.

It’s up to us to firstly be interested and, secondly, to act on the information we’re able to glean.

If we sit down with a notebook and pen, there are half a dozen or more areas that our Lord’s got for us to focus upon, and adapt in, by way of improvements.

We don’t need to work on everything at once, but we do need to work on growing if we’re to please God in faith (Hebrews 11:6).

The growing life is the contented life—discontent with the status quo, but content with working toward a better ‘us’.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Acting When God’s Backing You In

The LORD says,

“Yes, I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed it, and I will do it.”

~Isaiah 46:11b (Amplified).

Many people say they’ve never heard the audible voice of God, yet the Lord speaks to us all the time in the manner of life; it just has to be discerned. Perhaps, then, the “audible” voice of God’s Spirit is overrated—in the estimation of value we give to it.

It’s abundantly clear in the calling of many of the prophets; there was a portion of holy work to be done. The matter about it was starting. That’s our challenge; we hesitate and then the passion for the task God’s ushered through our spirits abates before it’s even begun.

What Is God Asking YOU To Do?

The Spirit of God has something for each of us to do—we don’t exist on this island of salvation to sip mocktails and margaritas and enjoy the sun.

Some of these things are little things—actually, all the things we’re to do are little, though often part of a much bigger plan.

The key question we must all ask ourselves, more or less constantly, is “What’s God got for me to do... right now, tomorrow, next week... next year?”

We have a dimly clear vision of what God’s plan contains by manner of our heart for certain things, our experience—how we’ve been prepared for ‘now’—and our gifting. Indeed, these three often weave into, on and over each other, forming a woollen ball of spiritual competency for service.

The main point is, the Lord has work for each one of us to do today. Many of these things are even beyond our heart, experience and gifting. Discernment and faith are all we need.

Answering the Call – Acknowledging Its Existence

At some point, when it’s most appropriate, we have to have faith in what God’s saying to us. This is the only assurance we sometimes need, though the confirmation of trusted others always helps.

The test is love. Love never fails, in this manner, via actions we do for others in God’s name. The thing we do, that to please God, works out in love. Only occasionally do we get it wrong, and this we humbly add to our experience of learning in both discernment and delivery.

Let the Word from the Lord be. Let it occur as it is, without exhaustive questioning, and follow the thread to where it leads.

What God has purposed, he will bring about.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Better Ways to Think

Truth as it is helps us to recognise,

There are more ways to think than this,

For us stinking thinking compels to despise,

Whilst states opposed combine for bliss.

Rebounding to care about our thought-world,

Enough to nurture our hearts,

Abrasion to vexation – kindness unfurled,

A goodness toward us darts.

Better it is to think amid truth-held test,

Defying imagination’s occasional folly,

Strident to form a mighty rest,

Mind’s discharged with a jolly.

You be the judge,

Are there better ways to think?

Is it time to begrudge?

Or instead perhaps to blink?


When times are awry and we clamour for a more reasonable scope for life, there is always a better way to think—a better way to see the situations we’re in.

This is not so much against a depressive episode, or panic attack, or similar, so much as it’s a reminder of how to manage times when we have choice over how we’ll respond. This merely recognises that at certain times, and in certain seasons, responses are made for us.

But this is not how life typically works. Most of us, most of the time, can control our thought-world.

Converting Stinking Thinking

This term, “stinking thinking,” I learned years ago. Everyone is affected, on occasion, by thoughts where we see the worst of a situation and we venture on that pitiful road for a time.

But we can do better. There’s a classic way for anyone to convert the thoughts that everyone has into a healthier reality; the recovery of the blinding moment.

There is warfare in the spiritual realm—and it manifests itself, first and foremost, for us as individuals, in the thought sphere.

Two ideas always come together to combat such warfare: the insight of awareness and the compulsion to act against the prevailing negative thought, countering it with kindness.

A Kindness Toward Ourselves

To think in genteel ways is a pervasive kindness—enfolded of God’s blessing—over us.

The way through to defeating stinking thinking is gentleness firstly with ourselves. When we’ve managed this, we’re open to gentleness with the situations causing us angst, and therefore with others also.

Understanding the Nature of the “Testing” Life

Seeing into our situations—resolving to find the testiness therein—is ripping away the negative power of our imaginations that despoil our spiritual progress.

Upon the truth is found platform for rest. There’s no need to fret. The world as it is isn’t the threat—our minds are.

The mind that knows this reality is empowered to inform the rest of the body, and the soul’s benefit materialises.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Lower Your Armour, Heal Your Wounds, Shine Your Light

“When we have our ‘armour’ up and are conscious of our ‘injuries’, then we cannot ‘shine our light’ easily or readily. So, lower your armour, heal your wounds and shine your light!”

~David Deane-Spread.

There are two essential gates to proceed through before we can grasp our pragmatic mental, emotional and spiritual freedom.

Opening the first gate goes against the grain of our human nature—to be vulnerable enough to drop the armour of our self-protectiveness. In a condition exposed to the elements of a critical world, there’s little wonder we’ve developed the armour in the first place.

But, before we go further we must seek to understand what it is that we’re protecting.

The Truth of the Wounded Self

Each of us, if we strip away the protective armour, is deeply wounded. The gate to the true self is closed fast and armoured. No matter how wonderful our parents were, they—in their humanity—failed. Likewise, despite the quality of our education, it didn’t protect us from hurts that slashed away at the sinews of our hearts.

Each of us has unresolved hurts and disappointments due to our pasts.

Over the true self that’s whole, complete and entirely confident of faith, is this wounded self that turns fun into harsh seriousness and ease into hardship. This effect is the armoured self protecting us.

But the armoured self is not always an ally. It often acts against our best good, because fear fuels it.

Addressing Our Woundedness

To become more of the person we are deep inside—the one alive and free of spirit—we must deal with our woundedness, or at least be honest about it.

This cannot be done with our armour up, so we must drop it. But it’s got to be said, that without the right preparations, that can prove even more damaging as our wounded self is exposed to pummelling attacks.

Given this, we’re blessed to buoy and build up stocks of courage-on-loan to assist.

A Vision of Our True Selves

Imagining an eagle flying high in the sky, totally enabled in its flight, without the faintest fetter and certainly no fright, we see ourselves—yes, each one—at our best.

We know the glimpses of ourselves that we get from time to time; confidence is high and the world laps at our bowls. We’re the person of the moment in our little demographic; ‘world-beaters’ are we.

Yet, so often we’re not like this. Too many times we’re far less.

Shining Our Lights

Each of us is a spiritual being with the potential of light within that could captivate the entire world. But our armoured self and wounded self gates must first be opened.

It’s not until we prepare the wounded self in courage, and then drop the armour to truth, that we reveal our truer selves to the development opportunities that prevail every day.

We have a need of healing, and of a Healer—apportioned to the need of the Spirit of God. This facilitates the lowering of our armour, of being real, and bravely acknowledging our woundedness, and that invites irrefutable light to beacon through, flaring away the darkness of fear.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Acknowledgement: to David Deane-Spread’s, Master the Power of Your Attitudes (eBook), p. 7. Website: