Flowing Faith

July 17, 2018
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith

4 Steps to Forgiveness

4 steps to forgivenessForgiveness. Great to receive, hard to give. Yet, only when we are able to give it as good as we get it, we truly embrace it. Many of us even know the benefits of forgiving, yet we are unable to do it. Someone has hurt us so badly that we think it is unforgivable. We need to know that forgiving does not mean approving the wrong-doings. It means we let go and let God be the judge. Forgiving blesses us, not the offenders. So, yes, I’ve become a fan of forgiveness over the years. But that does not mean it has become any easier. How to go about it? Let’s see.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Col. 3:13, NIV)

4 steps to forgiveness

I have come up with a 4-step plan for forgiveness. And each step can be repeated until we’ve successfully completed them. Trust me, this plan works. Not because of us but because of God and his amazing grace. The power to forgive comes from the Lord. The same power that pardons us also enables us to forgive others. But no more talk, let’s see the 4-step plan to forgive.

Step 1

Ask God to give you the desire to forgive
Because when we’ve been really hurt, we don’t even want to forgive. So, the first step is to ask God to give you the desire to forgive. Once you do want to forgive move to the next step.

Step 2

Ask God to enable you to forgive. The truth is we are unable to fo forgive,  on our own we are out of luck. We need God’s empowering grace to do it. Thankfully there is an unlimited supply of grace available.

Step 3

When you’re ready to forgive, say it out loud.
For example, “I forgive xx for yy in Jesus’ name”. It helps to hear it and it is that much harder to forget you’ve done it. And then pray for the offender, give the whole matter to God. And, once again, repeat as many times as necessary.

Step 4

Then it’s time to ask for healing. Give all the parts of your heart to God and ask him to heal you and make you whole again. This is Jesus’ specialty, so wait for good because he is good. You won’t be disappointed. Our God is a healer and restorer.

The freedom and light-heartedness you get from forgiving are beyond wonderful. Don’t forget it and who made it possible. Give thanks and keep on living out forgiveness. You know, it’s grace. Pure grace.


Gracious God,
I come to you with an aching heart.
You know what is going on in my life.
Give me the desire to forgive and
enable me to forgive.
Thank you for forgiving me
and giving me as much grace as needed to forgive.
I want to forgive now_______
Also, I leave this matter and this person to you.
I give all the pieces of my broken heart to you.
Heal me, renew me, restore me.
Fill me with your sustaining grace!
And fill me with freedom, peace, and joy!
Thank you for your powerful grace!
Show me how to live in forgiveness
and how to love like you.
In Jesus’ name,

Q4U: Have you had trouble to forgive? How were you able to do it? How did it feel?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you learn to forgive readily!

Photo by Akshay Paatil on Unsplash

July 13, 2018
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith

Victory over Superstitions

Superstitions and ChristianityIt is once again Friday the 13th. Believe it or not, it brings a wave of readers to my blog. People around the world want to know how Christianity responds to it. So every Friday the 13th I try to answer it with a different twist. So here we go again. Today I will share some thoughts and Bible verses that I hope will bless you and help you to break free from any superstitions that still try to keep you imprisoned. Because as a Christian Jesus’ victory over superstitions, fear, and darkness is yours.

Superstitions and Christians

Superstitions and Christians are not a good fit because God commands us to not have any other gods than him and we are not to keep any other idols either. The things we keep superstitiously believing in are our real gods or idols. They keep us from trusting and believing in God.

“You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself any idol, or any likeness (form, manifestation) of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth [as an object to worship]. (Exodus 20:3-4, AMP)

God guides us to stay clear of superstition because their notions terrify and distress us. He wants us to live freely and peacefully with him. It’s for our benefit to say no to any and all superstitious beliefs.

Thus says the Lord“Do not learn the way of the [pagan] nations, And do not be terrified and distressed by the signs of the heavens Although the pagans are terrified by them. (Jeremiah 10:2, AMP)

Choose Freedom

Also, if you are a child of God, you don’t have to be tormented by superstitions. You just need to remind yourself of God’s protection for his children. Nothing beats it. So we are not to listen to the lies of the world. We need to keep ourselves emerged in God’s word to know the truth. We are free in Christ, we are protected by God. Let’s embrace our victory over superstitions in Jesus.

We know [with confidence] that anyone born of God does not habitually sin; but He (Jesus) who was born of God [carefully] keeps and protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know [for a fact] that we are of God, and the whole world [around us] lies in the power of the evil one [opposing God and His precepts]…Little children (believers, dear ones), guard yourselves from idols—[false teachings, moral compromises, and anything that would take God’s place in your heart]. (1 John 5:18-19,21,  AMP)

So we are to guard our hearts and minds against superstitions. Declare Friday the 13th as your lucky day. Claim black cats as your favorites. Choose to contradict all the superstitions you encounter. They don’t have any hold of you. You are protected by God, you have victory over superstitions in Jesus.

Victory over Superstitions

God provides freedom from the empty superstitions of spirit beings. He sent Jesus to break free from all that. Christ is the way to go, no matter how much people look down on you because you take Jesus seriously. We have victory over superstitions in Jesus.

Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that’s not the way of Christ. Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything. (Colossians 2:8-10, MSG)

All the promises of God are valid also on Friday the 13th. We are safe in him. Always. When we abide in Christ, all that is his are ours, including the victory over evil forces. Hence there’s nothing to worry about. Nothing. Broken mirrors won’t steal our peace and horoscopes won’t tell our future. We are in God’s hands every single day of our lives. Victory over suprstitions is ours in Jesus. Something to celebrate each and every morning.


Gracious God,
Thank you for being always more than we need
and providing for us all we ever need.
We praise you and thank you.
Keep us from harm,
guide us and lead us
according to your plan for us.
Bless us to bless others.
In Jesus’ name,

Q4U: Do you battle with superstition? How do you deal with it?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you embrace who you are in Christ and the freedom it brings with it!

*[As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses toBiblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.].

Photo by Ivan Diaz on Unsplash. Linking up today with Dance with Jesus.

July 10, 2018
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith

Room for Miracles

Room for miraclesIs there room for miracles in your life? I hope so. Otherwise, you’d be limiting God in your life. And, in some ways, I think faith itself is a miracle, anything with God is a miracle. Every breath we take is a gift, every blessing is a miracle. If we want more God, we need to make room for miracles, make room for God to show up. Because God is a miracle-worker. God is awe-inspiring from dawn to dusk.

He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. (Deut.10:21, NIV)

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With people [as far as it depends on them] it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19: 26, AMP)

Room for miracles

How then do we make room for miracles? The most important thing is to keep on surrendering to Jesus. Thus we are open for the work of the Holy Spirit in us. It’s all about openness to God to move in our lives as he chooses. But, sure, we can also make more room for miracles. Less junk, more Jesus is a wonderful motto for anyone who wants to welcome all God has for them.

Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Eph. 3:20-21, AMP)

God is able to do so much more than we can even hope or imagine. We just need to believe and receive all God has for us. God is all-powerful and our problems are possibilities for God. So let’s keep our hearts and minds open to Jesus and thus create more room for miracles in our lives. We don’t want to hinder God, right? So let’s get to it. Let’s create room for miracles.


Gracious God,
We want all you have for us.
So we create more room for miracles.
Come, Lord Jesus.
Come into our lives,
we surrender to you,
may only you reign in our hearts.
Come, Holy Spirit,
move mightily and miraculously.
In Jesus’ name,

Q4U: Do you want to make more room for miracles?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you let God move freely in your life!

Photo by Juan Carlos Pablo on Unsplash.

July 6, 2018
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith

We Are Not Robots

we are not robotsWe need rest because we are not robots. Hence we all need a vacation, some time off. But this does not mean we need to necessarily go anywhere. The key to vacation is to take a leave of absence from routines. Staycation might be even more restful if we are able to break the routines while staying at home.

We are not robots, we have a spirit, a soul, and a body. And all these different parts of us need to be renewed. That’s why we are to have a Sabbath once a week and a longer period of time off each year. Some people call people lazy to take vacations but I call it deep wisdom. When we vacate our life of routines, we have a better chance to hear what our heavenly Father has for each of us. And that, my friend, gives us the best boost and invigoration possible.

God, teach me lessons for living
    so I can stay the course.
Give me insight so I can do what you tell me—
    my whole life one long, obedient response.
Guide me down the road of your commandments;
    I love traveling this freeway!
Give me a bent for your words of wisdom,
    and not for piling up loot.
Divert my eyes from toys and trinkets,
    invigorate me on the pilgrim way.
Affirm your promises to me—
    promises made to all who fear you.
Deflect the harsh words of my critics—
    but what you say is always so good.
See how hungry I am for your counsel;
    preserve my life through your righteous ways!
(Ps. 119:33-40, MSG,*)

We are not robots

God did not create us robots and he is not expecting us to work ourselves to the ground. Also, rest and recreation are not sinful. God does not expect us to be dull and dreary. He is giving us life upon life, joy upon joy. So we are to be joyful! Have fun with our friends and families.

So it is time to stop and smell the roses. It is time to act like we are not robots, it’s time to be a human and take care of ourselves. And it’s time to remember our Creator. He can help us to turn our eyes from worthless, meaningless things that distract us from our heavenly Father. It’s time to rest in God and let him restore and renew our spirit, soul, and body.


Gracious God,
Thank you for not making us robots.
Help us to treat ourselves as your precious children.
Show us how to have a rest-filled vacation wherever we are.
Renew, restore, re-energize us.
Be praised forever and ever!
In Jesus’ name,

Q4U: Are you able to break from routines this year? What’s your favorite way to relax?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you enjoy God’s blessings in your life!

*[As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses toBiblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.].

Photo by Ostap Senyuk on Unsplash. Linking up today with Dance with JesusFive-minute Friday.

July 3, 2018
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith

Live in Forgiveness

Live in forgivenessJesus taught us to both give and seek forgiveness. It was that important to him. He saw something in being free of burdens and being gracious. Hence we are to live in forgiveness. How can we do that? And not just visit once in awhile but truly live in forgiveness. Day in, day out. And what would this mean to our well-being and happiness? Let’s see.

‘And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors [letting go of both the wrong and the resentment] (Matthew 6:12, AMP).

Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others (Matthew 6:12, MSG).

Live in Forgiveness

Sometimes living forgiveness seems like a too tall of an order. But letting go of both the wrong and the resentment blesses us. And that’s why Jesus urges us to do that. So that we could be truly free and tremendously blessed. But how to do it when we are so weak. This is the key: we are weak and but God is not. God’s power to forgive is yours by grace through faith in Jesus. (Follow this link if you want to find how to forgive in four steps.)

I want to challenge you a bit further in forgiveness. Being forgiven and forgiving is great but we are also called to stop searching for perfection in others or in ourselves. And this is huge. This is a life-changing revelation if you let it sink in and take root in your heart. Forgive yourself and others for not being flawless. Live in forgiveness and learn to love imperfection and incompletion. And your well-being and happiness will grow exponentially.

We are all works in progress. Yet God loves us. And we are to do the same.


Gracious God,
Thank you for being so wise and
urging us to live in love and forgiveness.
Forgive us for being cold-hearted.
Make us grace-filled, forgiving and loving,
also towards ourselves.
Enable us to always love and live in forgiveness.
In Jesus’ name,

Q4U: Do you see the connection between forgiveness and perfection? Do you truly live in forgiveness? What would enable you to see beauty in incompletion?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you learn to live in true forgiveness!

Photo by Evan Kirby on Unsplash.

June 29, 2018
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith

Stake Your Life on God

Stake your life on GodIf the promises of the Bible are true, why do you hesitate to stake your life on them? I could somehow understand your hesitancy if there were only one promise in the Bible. But there are more than 7000 promises in the Bible. Also, as we know, God has kept his promises. God’s grace is wild and mighty. So stake your life on God.

Faith, in essence, is a daring confidence in God and his promises. So either we trust him all the way or we do not. And if you want to trust but are wavering in between, take the plunge. Embrace all God is and all God has for you. Live like you believe, make all the promises of God your own. Only that way you can find out what being an heir of God truly means, only that way you can live out your inheritance. Don’t give an inch to your insecurities or impossibilities around you. God is on your side, hence anything is possible.

Stake your life on God

The Spirit Himself testifies and confirms together with our spirit [assuring us] that we [believers] are children of God. 17 And if [we are His] children, [then we are His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His spiritual blessing and inheritance], if indeed we share in His suffering so that we may also share in His glory. (Romans 8:16-17, AMP,*)

If you need proof for God’s love and power, ask him to show you he is real. But once you do take the plunge, be all in. Don’t be lukewarm. Love God with all you’ve got and stake your life on Christ. Don’t live under your privileges as a child of God. Abide in Christ, linger in his presence, be filled with the Holy Spirit. Simply put, enjoy your life with God. Stake your life on God and his promises. Let God show you what he has in store for you.


Gracious God,
Thank you for all the promises in the Bible
and thank you that they are meant for me too.
Enable me to believe all of them and
stake my life on them.
I want to be all in.
Show me how to live my inheritance out.
In Jesus’ precious name,

Q4U: Have you staked your life on God? Has it been a good decision? For me, it has been the best decision of my life. (Although, I am very happy that I married my husband.)

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you (re)turn to Jesus for restoration!

*[As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses toBiblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.].

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash. Linking up today with Dance with JesusFive-minute Friday.

June 26, 2018
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith

Learning to Dance in Grace

Learning to dance in graceRecently, I was looking for some wall art. Something inspirational to start my day out right. So I was browsing on the internet to get a general idea what’s available these days. I stumbled upon some word quote stickers and decided to see if anything resonated with me. One of them declared: ‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain’. It is a beautiful sentiment, don’t you think? Full of positive thinking, aiming readers to seize the day wherever they are. Of course, I agree. Who wouldn’t, right? But I know something better than positive thinking.

What could it be? Isn’t learning to dance through life a wonderful thing? Yes, it is. I do like dancing in the rain. But I prefer dancing in grace. Because when we dance in grace, we are transformed. When we dance in grace, we are one with Jesus. And that, my friend, is the best the life can offer in any circumstances. Because when we abide in Christ, we are one with love and peace. When we lose ourselves in Jesus, we find joy everlasting.

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. (Romans 8:9, NIV, emphasis added)

Learning to dance in grace

So I would rewrite the quote this way ‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in grace’. When we dance with Jesus, we can face anything without losing our peace. When we learn to dance in grace day in, day out, our days are filled with meaning and purpose.

Dancing in grace is living worshipfully. It’s acknowledging the gift of grace and rejoicing in it, it’s reveling in God’s love and sharing it with others. Dancing in grace is so much better than positive thinking. It’s a foretaste of heaven, it’s life like God intended it for his children. Because of Jesus, it’s all yours for the asking.


Gracious God,
You’re so good to us,
you give grace upon grace,
life upon life.
We are invited to come to live with you,
to dance in grace in your presence.
Thank you for wanting us the very best.
Teach us to dance in grace most beautifully.
In Jesus’ name,

Q4U: Do you dance in grace? What does it mean to you?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you learn to dance in grace!

Photo by Taylor Ann Wright on Unsplash.

June 22, 2018
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith

Forgiven Sins Sink to the Bottom of the Ocean

Forgiven sins sink to the bottom of the oceanDo you have guilt over something you’ve done in the past? Even after you’ve repented and been forgiven? I’m delivering good news to you. Once God has forgiven you, he chooses not to remember your sins anymore. How do I know? The Bible tells us God will trample our sins under his foot. So all our forgiven sins sink to the bottom of the ocean. Once they’re forgiven, they’re gone down under. 

He shall again have compassion on us;
He will subdue and tread underfoot our wickedness [destroying sin’s power].
Yes, You will cast all our sins
Into the depths of the sea.
(Micah 7:19, AMP,*)

Forgiven Sins Sink to the Bottom of the Ocean

Once your sins have sunk to the bottom of the ocean, they’re really gone. Because the ocean is really, really deep. Really deep. Yet some people tend to go fishing there. They keep going over and over their trespasses, hoping they would have acted differently. Hence they keep on feeling bad about their past because they keep on fishing their old sins to the surface again and again. But that’s not the way of grace. Forgiven sins sink to the bottom of the ocean and they stay there.

Grace granted is meant to be applied. And that means we do not fish our old sins into the surface. We let them go in Jesus’ name and we gratefully receive as much grace as we need to do it. God intends his children to live in light and love, not in guilt or shame. Grace makes this happen, we just need to receive it and own it.

No fishing allowed

Freedom of Christ is freedom from guilt and shame. Once we’ve repented, we’re cleansed with the blood of Christ. So let it go, my friend. Whatever it is, let it go. Christ has already carried your sins and shame and guilt to the cross so you don’t have to live your life in any kind of darkness. Rise up, my friend. Forgiven means forgiven. Truly. So let your forgiven sins sink to the bottom of the ocean. And, remember, no fishing allowed. Go and celebrate instead! Christ is risen! You’re forgiven! Hallelujah!


Gracious God,
Thank you for forgiving our sins
and choosing to forget them.
Help us to do the same.
Enable us to receive as much grace as needed to do so.
Help us to let go of our guilt and not go fishing our old sins.
Thank you for preparing the way for us to live in light and grace.
In Jesus’ precious name,

Q4U: What does help you to live in the freedom of Christ and not mull over your past mistakes?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you embrace all that God has for you and let your forgiven sink to the bottom of the ocean and stay there!

Photo by Gerald Berliner on Unsplash.

June 19, 2018
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith

Jesus Does Not Need a Makeover

Jesus does not need a makeover flowingfaith.comSo many people try to make Jesus something more -or less- he is. But, my dear friends, Jesus does not need a makeover. No matter how much we think it’d great if he were a bit less rough around the edges. But Jesus does not have to look cool or hip. He is perfect just as he is. Jesus does not need a makeover whatsoever, believe me, or we’d be creating an idol and that’s the last thing we’d want, right?

Why then do we insist on making Jesus more marketable or culturally relevant? Like his message would not be perfect just as it is: salvation for sinners by grace through faith in him. Or like his message would not be valid today? Because it is. Very much so. There hasn’t been a time in history when people have needed Jesus more than we do now.

And having been made perfect [uniquely equipped and prepared as Savior and retaining His integrity amid opposition], He became the source of eternal salvation [an eternal inheritance] to all those who obey Him. (Hebrews 5:9, AMP)

Jesus does not need a makeover

So what to do with Jesus? He turned tables and went against the grain. Jesus was wild at heart and not everybody liked him. He was crucified for it. And he is supposed to be our King, our savior, and our Lord? Yes. We are to embrace Jesus as he is and get to know him as he is. Hence we are not to even try to make him more likable or tame. Because Jesus is perfect just as he is. Hence it’s not Jesus that needs a makeover. Our hearts do. Come, Lord Jesus.


Gracious God,
Forgive us for even thinking Jesus would need a makeover.
Lord, our hearts need makeovers.
Help us not to follow our minds or the world but Jesus.
Because only he has the words of eternal life.
Help us to get to know Jesus so intimately
that we would fall in love with all of him.
In Jesus’ precious name,

Q4U: What do you think? Does Jesus need a makeover or not?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you embrace Jesus for all he is!

Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash.

June 15, 2018
by Mari-Anna Stålnacke @flowingfaith

When in Need of Restoration

flowingfaith.comAre you counting down days to your summer vacation? Are you tired, empty or worn out? You are not alone. It happens. But don’t be discouraged or dismayed. Help is very near. And that help is powerful yet gentle. It’s creative and redemptive. Because of Jesus, this restoration is possible.

The biggest restoration happens when we come to Jesus for the first time. This is complete renewal, not just a quick-fix to conceal some faults. Jesus cleanses us from inside out. But our need for grace and restoration does not stop there. We need Jesus and empowering grace every day of our lives.

As an adult, we might not want to admit our dependence on grace. But nonetheless, every Christian is totally dependent on grace. The faster we learn this, the faster we get to live it out. And that makes all the difference. Then we don’t try to push harder and harder to perform and fake perfection. We learn to truly live in grace, peace, and joy.

How does restoration happen?

What does it take to revive us? We need the Holy Spirit to fill our empty hearts. This might seem like ya-da-ya-da or empty promises to you. But it does work. God is real and his Spirit moves amongst us. The presence of the Holy Spirit is not reserved just for some selected few but for every single follower of Christ. Alone we are empty but when we ask the Holy Spirit fill us, miracles happen. Restoration happen.

Whether it is the first time or the 10 000th time that we come to Jesus, it makes him happy. This is exactly why Jesus came to the world. If we keep away because of our pride or other prejudices, it grieves him. When we come to him, he is pleased and we are blessed indeed.

What does it have to do with me?

What does this have to do with your exhaustion? Everything. The answer to exhaustion and weariness is Jesus. There’s no program or course or anything to do, we are just to come to Jesus. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28, NIV)Jesus can lift our exhaustion away. He will bring us to the green pastures. I don’t know why I am still surprised when this happens. Maybe it just is so amazing to experience the healing touch of Jesus.


Gracious God,
We come to you bone-weary, we’ve done it again:
tried to do and be everything on our own.
Redeem us, restore us, renew us.
Pour out grace upon grace, Lord.
Let us feel your healing presence.
Bless us according to your plan for us.
In Jesus’ name,

Q4U: Are you in need of restoration? Have you experienced the healing touch of Jesus?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you (re)turn to Jesus for restoration!

*[As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses toBiblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.].

Photo by Josh Post on Unsplash. Linking up today with Dance with JesusFive-minute Friday.

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