Saturday, 11 April 2015

A Shift In Schedule

To my regular readers, I'm deeply sorry. I know I'm supposed to be writing the sequel to my last post but you see, something came up. [And to my new friends, do bear with me also]. {I'll definitely get that follow-up ready soon}.

However, my friends Hillary and Brittney are publishing a post I wrote for their blog earlier this year today. This is because, due to some mix up, they couldn't get it up before now.

Hills and Britts (as I fondly call them) are best friends, single sisters with hearts for God, and have been running a blog together. It's called The Quiet Place. It was established as a place where sisters can be encouraged and drawn to find rest in the Lord.
And it's been a privilege and great honor to have been a contributor for their blog for some months now.

Today, my post goes live on The Quiet Place. In it, I shared what our intents must be when we seek God. The bible says that God judges the intents of our hearts (the why and not the what). Therefore, it is very important that we're getting 'the why' right.

I'd really love it if you went over there to read the post (and leave your feedback)! I'm certain you'll be inspired, encouraged, and dared afresh! Thank you!!!


SHALOM

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Monday, 6 April 2015

2 Things You Must Let Go Of If You Must Move On

Credit: Christian Photos



A lot of times, God's call upon our lives isn't to go do some small tasks. I mean, if you look at it, you may think it to be easy and simple; but no matter how easy it may seem (especially to an onlooker), it's usually a tough job for the one who has been called.

I remember when God asked me to sign up as a writer on Faithwriters, I browsed through the website and felt, I don't belong here - these are certainly professional writers - well advanced and experienced. Yet God kept pressing, Sign up! Then I said to Him, this is HUGE; but just as soon as I made that comment, His response was "...but I am HUGE-R." I laughed. I didn't need any other confirmation. I signed up.

In a similar case, when I started this blog, I wrote in my bio," ... I am not a preacher neither am I a writer."

Shush!

No kidding.

Why did I do that? It's simple; I didn't want to be judged. I didn't want criticisms or someone questioning either my "theology" or grammar/presentation.

It was fear.

It was the sense of inadequacy.

And we all have that. We all face it; especially when God's leading us to do something. Unfortunately, until we let go of these inhibitions (the walls that our minds make up to stop us from going ahead and doing or committing to that task God is calling us to), we will remain stuck. It doesn't matter what we turn our energies to, we only will be circling about. It's up to us to engage God's help to pull that Jericho's wall down!

In this post, and the very next after it, I'll be discussing two of the bricks that make up this inhibiting wall. For this post, let's look at the chief of it -Fear.


Fear


God doesn't always perform His great and mighty acts of judgement before "small men"; but most often, He requires and uses "small men" to do them. In other words, He sets small men against the big bosses! He must be crazy, right? I mean, wouldn't it prove more gainful if it were the other way round? Won't it be just great if He would just use us in places we're already comfortable in? But no; instead, He will require us to stand before men (and handle assignments) of whom (and that) ordinarily we will be intimidated of and/or afraid of. And then He'll go "... Say not, I am only a youth; FOR YOU SHALL GO TO ALL TO WHOM I SHALL SEND YOU, AND WHATEVER I COMMAND YOU, YOU SHALL SPEAK" - Jeremiah 1:7, Amp.



Why does He do this?



I believe the answer lies in the fact that we do not see things as God does; therefore, we understand and, approach things differently. While we may think or even, believe that we are inadequate; that we stand no chance, God knows that we are more than able. Where we see a wall, all God sees is an large expanse of playing field for us to go in and show what we are made of.

And what are we made of?

It's not what but Who.

God knows that we can do anything and everything He sends us to do because He has duly equipped us with nothingless than Himself; and has endued us with the power of His Spirit. While we are afraid because we believe we are ill-prepared, ill-equipped; God is full of faith in us because He knows that we are more than conquerors.


A Well-balanced Mind


How then do we conquer fear?

It's a matter of the mind; of dealing with something we've only made up in our minds (and that's only true in our heads). Someone once said that fear is faith in the negative outcomes of things. Where we believe for the worst.

Paul wrote this to his son, Timothy;

"... God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. Do not blush or be ashamed then, to testify to and for our Lord, ... but [with me] take your share of the suffering [to which the preaching] of the Gospel [may expose you, and do it] in the power of God. [For it is He] Who delivered and saved us and called us with a calling in itself holy and leading to holiness [to a life of consecration, a vocation of holiness]; ... " - II Timothy 1:7-9, Amp.

I read a post by the Good Steward Sisters a while back titled, Just Go Afraid . In it, Charlotte seemed to say, even when you can't seem to mutter up enough faith to say yes to God, and go do what He's asking you to, then go afraid. And honestly, there's no better way to say it; to conquer fear. Don't choose to wait for faith to come (or keep time searching for it); go, even if you're in the belly of fear itself. I remember some guy who said to Jesus, "I believe Lord, help my unbelief." (Mark 9:24).

Though sometimes I still wonder if my grammar is cool enough, after a year long of having a blog bio that says I am not a writer, I've boldly proclaimed who I am; who I've been called to be. And to be that, I must write. [I welcome constructive criticisms, but never again will I let the devil's opinion through the lips of naysayers hinder me from being who I am - even if that means writing!]

I encourage you to do same. You'll see how much shine you'll begin to give off when you start living in God's will for your life - performing the task He's called you to; even speaking those unpopular words before the "big men".

Let me share with you my paraphrase of Joshua 1:9:

"Have I not commanded you? Be capable of exerting great power and/or capable of resisting great power; be determined, possess active physical and mental strength, and have the [very] ability to control fear when you face danger and/or pain. Be not afraid (never fear a thing nor anyone), neither be dismayed (never be or feel discouraged), for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.


[In the next post, we will look at the 2nd thing you must get rid of if you must move on. Don't miss it! Subscribe to receive it via email. Instructions below].


SHALOM

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Monday, 30 March 2015

How To Succeed By Doing Absolutely Nothing!

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A few weeks back, I read an ebook by Jeff Goins. It's called the Surprises of Success and contains 15 practical tips on finding and living a successful life. While I agree with the content of the book, I realize that there is a foundation those tips must be built on (and some of the writers emphasized this).

Success is good but it is relative. That means that what I might consider as being a success may hold little water to you. It all boils down to the different stages of life we are in and the situations/challenges we may be currently facing. All in all, there is a root from which true success must grow.

The Book of Genesis tells a story of a seventeen year old boy who was sold into slavery in a far land by his brothers out of jealousy. His name was Joseph. The bible recorded that, though a slave, he was successful and prosperous (Chapter 39 Vs 2).

What success and prosperity can a slave be said to have seeing that he is but, a slave and everything he has is but, his master's?

Let's take a moment to learn a bit and understand Joseph's situation.

• Back in his father's house, he was his father's favourite.

• He had a dream of becoming truly great.

• He has now been sold into slavery by his own brothers because they despised him for his dreams.

• In this strange land, he definitely missed his family (at least he missed his father and younger brother, Benjamin).

• He definitely hated his elder brothers and hoped that a day would come when he would pay them back in their own coin.

• His dream had been cut short by his treacherous brothers.

• All he was now (and to him, will ever be) was a slave.

How could such a boy with his entire future stolen from him be said to be successful?

One Answer Is Included In The Same Verse


But the Lord was with Joseph... - Genesis 39:2a, Amp.
God's Presence in Joseph's life was the success and prosperity that Joseph had. In other words, God was Joseph's success and prosperity. Not money. Not material things. Not even feelings.

I'm sure there are times in your life when you may think that Joseph's situation during this season of his life was even better and more hopeful than yours ( - and that might be happening now); but what we see here clearly shows that our life's situations - whether good or bad - never determines if we are successful or not. [Note, I do not say "if we will be successful..." but "if we are successful..."]. It's about the now; and God's Presence in your life now could never be subdued by whatever is going on in your life now (or ever). It's time to start thinking it, believing it and living it: because God is with you, whether it is raining or shining, you are successful and prosperous.


He Was Still In God's Plan


While Joseph may have thought that his dreams had been cut short, he couldn't have been more wrong. No God-inspired and God-sized dream gets cut short by human hands or will.

Joseph was forced into slavery by his brothers. He would rather be with his family in his father's house. So we can say that situations caught up against him and life did him bad. There is no mention of him still dreaming or "working to realize his dream". He simply lived in the moment - being a successful slave. No longer in the land where his brothers and parents could bow to him and he, rule over them.

Nonetheless, Joseph's God-sized dream was never misplaced. Reason is, Joseph didn't own the dream, God did. He was only a trustee and steward of a dream that belonged to God.

There was going to be a famine and that would affect the Israelites; should the sons of Israel be no more (including Joseph), who would God use to fulfill the promise He made to Eve and to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? The Israelites needed to be preserved. Therefore, it wasn't about Joseph, it was about God working diligently towards fulfilling the promise He made to His friends years back.

'Tis the same with us. What is that dream of yours that seems to be pouting over? If it is God-inspired, He will preserve it. You need not worry nor fret; only trust that He is working it out for your good and ultimately, for His glory.


Joseph May Have Worked, But,



And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all that he did to flourish and succeed in his hand.
- Genesis 39:3, Amp.

So I was talking about Jeff Goins' ebook [by the way, you can get a free copy on Noisetrade]; and how it is filled with practical tips; yet, we know that unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain who build it (Psalm 127:1a) and that it is useless to work so hard for a living, getting up early and going to bed late; when the Lord provides for those He loves, while they are asleep (Psalm 127:2).

I am not advocating that you get lazy (and surely the bible pities the man who does - see Proverbs 24:30-34); but whilst we work, we must bear in mind that it is God Who brings the increase; Who causes to grow what we plant. Armed with this knowledge, we know to turn all of our labour into God's hand.

The Lord caused all that Joseph did to flourish. To flourish (Oxford Mini Dictionary) means to grow vigorously; prosper; be successful. To grow vigorously indicates not just an increase in size or amount but with an equally active physical and mental strength and with such force as cannot be withheld or stopped. Now, you know why you need to invite and engage God in your work.

Joseph did not go out of his way to please Potiphar or make him happy. The man simply saw how the Presence of God on/in/with him made him flourish and prosper and he (Potiphar) delighted in it. Joseph simply served him. He didn't go looking to play favourites. He simply served. God did the rest.

All the while, Joseph remains practically insignificant in his own success story. He did nothing, planned nothing, thought nothing and, he orchestrated nothing. The Lord was with him and he succeeded and prospered.


SHALOM

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Sunday, 8 February 2015

If You Don't Get This, You'll Keep On Failing!

photo credit: www.christianphotos.net


At this time 5 years ago, I was in a league of students getting ready for their pre-final examinations only 2 weeks away coupled with the hijack that is carrying out and writing a research study paper. Like the rest, I burned late night candles, slept at cyber café, battled anxiety ...and every other thing a student felt before examinations. One thing I didn't know was that the end of February 2010 would herald a new beginning in my life. It did. I gave my life to Christ. And that changed everything.

I'm your typical melancholy and we love perfection! It must then not come as a surprise when I tell you that Matthew 5:48 was one verse of the bible that made perfect sense ...or not. I wanted and set out for a pure and FLAWLESS Christian life. I mean if Jesus commanded it then it must be possible ...huh?!

It was.

It is.

Then came the unexplained anger__which led to unexplained tears__which poured day and night__and became a recurring event in my first year as a christian. What was worse was the fact that these troubling streaks of anger rose within me in our place of prayer (my friends and I held weekly prayer meetings), after a christian workshop or conference etc. It always set in at times when I should be bubbling over with the joy of the Holy Spirit, having spent time in the Lord's presence. But no; instead of joy, I had anger. How flawless is that???

Each time, I felt like a failure. Depression became my lot. How can I have Christ in me and at the same time be swimming in the sea of depression? That made me feel like I was worse than a failure. And if you haven't guessed it already, I quit. I gave up.

But that was it. I gave up. I quit but God would have none of it because He is no God of quitters Who is my God. Halleluiah!

Jesus said, "...I have come down from heaven not to do my will and purpose but to do the will and purpose of Him Who sent Me. And this is the will of Him Who sent Me, that I should not lose any of all He has given Me, but that I should give new life and raise [them all] up at the last day." - John 6:38-39, Amp.

It wasn't long before He caught up on me and restored me to Himself.

It wasn't long before He took me back in His arms. ...once more ...and whispered into my ears, You are flawless because I AM.

And that heralded ANOTHER NEW BEGINNING!!!

He taught Me that true spiritual maturity isn't flawlessness but a continual and complete dependence on the One Who is flawless.

He taught me to set aside feelings and put on faith.

He taught me to abandon fear and choose love.

He made me see myself through His eyes.

That's when I began to understand that free in Christ is free indeed! I had met my Angel (the Lord) and He said to me, I AM risen from the dead. I AM no longer bound nor sealed in a tomb for the dead. I AM alive. I, your Redeemer lives. It was the Voice of love and glory; of truth and grace; of the One in Whom is the Life that is my Light and It shines on ...more and more, brighter and clearer until It reaches It's full strength and glory in the perfect day.

I am a work in progress.

I needed to understand that.

I may not be perfect, yet; but I am no failure.

I am above anger and depression; I may be your typical melancholic but it isn't a disease rather it is a distinct personality created for God's glory. I may be a perfectionista but that's ok because now I have a God Who I can completely rely on His PERFECT love for me. His love that no anger nor depression can quench.

I get it now, I am living IN victory!


SHALOM

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Thursday, 8 January 2015

Dare To Rise!

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Arise [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you--rise to a new life]! Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you! - Isaiah 60:1, Amp.

Arise! is a call to action; an injunction; a command; a charge in which the exhorter actually expects the one being called to respond; to rise!

As believers in Christ Jesus, we have a chief exhorter__God. Jehovah is not static. Though He is the same yesterday, today and forever; He is not stagnant. He is a motion God; and because His plan for us, from the beginning, has been that we be like Him... in everything, He needs us to be a people who are equally mobile.

When God says to arise, He is saying to the one lying down to sit up; the one sitting to stand; to the one standing to move -- walk, run, fly...; Paul called it "...the upward call of God in Jesus Christ..." (Philippians 3:14) "Come up higher", He calls. High... er. Upward.

Where are you? Oh Buife, up here. I've arrived at the peak. Not yet. God says there are yet a many places to go... above "the peak".

And you? Buife, you would never understand. I can't. I'm overwhelmed; I'm sucked in; I really am done. Not yet, you ain't. Not until God says you are. Right now, He says to you, Arise! And yes, I may never understand (and frankly, I don't claim to ever do) but He does understand. He knows all about it, yet He says arise!

We all crave new beginnings. A clean slate. Another chance. That is exactly what God is offering! Where are you? Look up, you still got places to go; I still have miles to cover; we need to move.

Don't ask how, just take a step! "...arise and shine, for My glory is risen upon you", He says. Put off the old self (Ephesians 4:22)__the one in an alliance with sin, depression, uncertainty, fear, confusion, weakness and rise to a new life where the Spirit of the Lord reigns, where there is liberty, where you are known and called a child of the Living God (Romans 9:25-26); Rise!

You were made for more; stop allowing the devil to keep ripping you off. Seize the new beginning God is giving you and like He said, forget the former things (Isaiah 43:18). Forget the time you failed Him, the days you wallowed in sin, that moment you fell... oh wait, God said you only stumbled (Psalm 37:23-24)... forget it all. In their stead, receive the mercy, grace and love that God's rolled out for you. You were made for more; Rise!

Rise and take up the mantle God is giving you; you have a work to do, a Divine assignment to carry out; therefore, forsake timidity, fear, feelings and answer God's call upon your life; Arise!!!


SHALOM

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Wednesday, 31 December 2014

It's 2015!!!

Happy New Year, Everyone!!!

May You Always Have The Colors Of The Lord's Bow To Continually Remind You Of His Faithfulness!


Today marks the beginning of another 365-day cycle. We give God all the glory for bringing you and I into "this side of the Jordan"! God has proven Himself faithful. He has surpassed all our expectations. He has, like the mountains that surround Jerusalem, being our safe refuge.

Like it was in the time of Joshua, challenges will spring up from east and west to cause us to question God and His faithfulness, all over again.

On this very first day of the 2015th year, A.D, I will say to you the same thing that God said to Joshua before he embarked on that journey beyond the Jordan along with the Israelites to claim and possess what the Lord had promised them.

One thing I want us to note is this: the Israelites were going to take something that GOD WAS GIVING THEM. It wasn't something they had seen and liked and wanted of their own; no, it was GOD giving them that land to possess.

For us too, God is giving us something to possess, individually, and collectively, as His Church - the first being that we be conformed to and molded into the Image of His Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). Now, a lot of Girgashites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Amorites, etc will come to stand in our way; and when they do, we might be tempted to forsake what the Lord our God is giving us, and instead, choose to settle.

God, Who is Omniscient, knew of all these "huge-never-ending-challenges" and how they can make even the man of great strength to become faint and He said to Joshua to "...be strong and very courageous! twice (Joshua 1:6,7). As if He perceived that Joshua might not have fully understood what He was saying to him, He turned the advice into a command;


Have I not commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. - Joshua 1:9, Amp.

Why do we need not be afraid nor feel discouraged? It is because the Lord our God IS with us wherever we go! He is not going to be with us; He IS already with us! What He is saying is that He has no plans of leaving us on the way!

As we continue our lives' journey in this new year, always remember that wherever you are, wherever you find yourself, God IS with you. And knowing that the Lord Almighty is with you, refuse to let any force bring you down. You have what it takes to surmount every situation; you have God with you, in you and for you!

Once more, Godly people, I pray the Lord that you have an awesome year; I pray that He grants you Godspeed as you live and walk in His will.


SHALOM

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Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Is Time Running Out On You?

I thought you should know ~

That our God is faithful!

I thought you should know ~

That our God is faithful!!

I thought you should know ~

That our God is faithful!!!

He is immensely faithful, completely reliable and amazingly trustworthy!

I need you to understand that He never goes back on His Word(s).

You need to know that He values His Words more than His Name. For it is in keeping His words that He shows how mighty His Name is.

I thought you should know ~

That God isn't limited by time!

I thought you should know ~

That even time is in His hands!!

I thought you should know ~

That if He needs to, He'll stop time to suit Him!!!

He is immensely above all persons, all things; even time. He does all things WHEN He desires; when He knows the time is right.

I need you to understand that He hasn't forgotten;

The promise He made to you.

The thing He whispered to your ears during the quiet mornings;
When you sat at His feet.
When you stared into the space before you beholding nothing but the sorrow and pain in your mind and bones.

You need to know that He'll fulfill them; He will keep His covenant with you.

He will never leave off halfway.

Our God is faithful enough to do this and do them He will at the right time.

Therefore,

Keep the faith.

And remain convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. - Philippians 1:6, Amp.

Never say, I give up, nor actually quit until you lay hold of (grasp) and make your own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) laid hold of you and made you His own. - Philippians 3:12, Amp.

Did you get that last part? It says Christ made you His own; He owns you; you belong to Him; we belong to God, and I said, O.U.R. God is faithful!


SHALOM

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