I woke up in the middle of the night at around 1am one saturday morning after turning and trying hard to catch some sleep but to no avail. To end this fruitless effort, I decided to get my hands busy on a website I had been working on. As I sat up on the bed and started working, the Holy Spirit dropped a message in my heart which I am about to shar with you.
He reminded me that God never sleeps nor slumbers (Psalm 121:3-4) and that even though I was working on Bro G’s website at that time of the night, there was no way Bro G could know I was doing His work if I didn’t tell him. Get it?! I’ll explain.
Just as I woke up to work on the website (despite other pressing needs), the same way God – who never sleeps, is working day and night on our behalf (despite the number of people on the surface of the earth). But we still fret, worry, get scared because we can’t physically see Him working things out for us instantly with a ‘magic wand’.
The only thing I expect Bro G to do at the other end is to trust me that I will do what I said was going to do. So also, our level of trust in the Almighty God (who is the Potter, Creator, Unchangeable changer and Omnipotent) determines our level of calmness in the midst of crisis. If we can hold Him by His words that ‘He will do what He says He will do’, then there’s nothing to worry about. Matthew 6:25-34
We often complain about abandoned projects by the Government and how resources for a particular project are diverted. It is easier to complain about them since they are major topics of discussion in the media and almost everyone is talking about what was done wrongly. We only need to look inward rather than outward to be convinced that we are sometimes victims of abandoned projects. We know in Luke 14:28 how we were advised to count the cost before embarking on a project. The truth is that we don’t remember to put into consideration the hurdles or obstacles we might confront in the course of carrying out a worthy task. Nobody ever plans to fail!
Have you started that business and you seem not to be getting results, or have you been writing that professional exam but you keep seeing the opposite of your expectation, or have you started that ministry the Holy Spirit prompted you to start but you can’t see any progress? Hold on and don’t give in to failure. Is your marriage giving you a headache? Remember it’s for better and for worse because divorce is not an option (Malachi 2:16). Do you remember how the devil, who enjoys frustrating every successful work used Sanballat and Tobiah against Nehemiah in Nehemiah 2:19? As it was in the beginning, it’s now and ever shall be…….The works of Jesus received the same kind of treatment from the antagonists of his days. Missionaries in various parts of the world carrying the message of our Saviour are facing this today. “Quitters don’t win and Winners don’t quit” is a common saying. It’s never too late to go back to that project you left abandoned as long as you can gather yourself together. Rise up today because if a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again (Proverbs 24:16 and Psalm 37:24).
It was this name that closed all airlines in and out of UK and extended it’s authority over some parts of Europe without being sued to court. Presidents and Kings had no control over it. They simply succumbed and obeyed its warnings.
Who gives all these names anyway? It was hurricane Katrina, Rita, Wilma and now it’s the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallojokull. I was keen to know how these names were given and this was one of the resources I used. Wondering when your name might be next on the list?
I think the volcanic ash is just a tip of the iceberg of what God can do. We humans are so passionate about saving the earth, animals, the planet, trees, the artic, solar system etc. It’s all for a good cause but as I read in (Joel 2:21-27), I found out that only God who created them can sustain them. He doesn’t embark on a project He cannot complete. Your life is a project as well – get it?
There was nobody to hold responsible for the grounded planes and disrupted journeys so, it was termed an “act of God”. Children of God, please ask them if there is God or there’s still no God? He’ll keep showing Himself as the Controller of the universe no matter how much people try to keep God out of the scene. God cannot be silenced but He can keep all things silent (Habakkuk 2:20).
This morning on our way to work (on the bus), I was reading through the book of Joel when I came across two verses: (Joel 1:4) and (Joel 2:25). Take note of the latter part of Joel 2:25 which says, “…my great army which I sent among you”. I was discussing this with my husband and I was of the opinion that I wouldn’t like to say God does evil but would prefer to say God allows evil whenever we stray away from His covering or whenever He’s putting us to test. Just like the case of Job, God allowed the devil to have his way in order to prove a point. My husband was of the opinion that God allows evil and does evil. Yes, God is good without any controversy but He kills and makes alive (1 Samuel 2:6), He is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29) and He actually sent destruction as written in Joel 1:4.
Just as I was about to counter the view that God cannot do evil, he said, “…but you can’t defend God”. It was just like switching on the light in a dark room. Eureka!!! That’s true! Initially, it was a bit hard for me to accept without an argument but there we go! That statement was all I needed to hear to convince me that truly God has angels of destruction (Revelation 9:13-21), he wiped out His creation during the time of Noah (Genesis 7:21-24) and utterly destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24). Was it the devil who did all of that? Not at all mate! God sent his angels.
I concluded within me that the difference between God and the devil is that the devil does only evil (John 10:10) but God does good and evil (Jeremiah 18:8,11; Micah 2:3) depending on what the situation is. No wonder some are specialists and internationally-recognized icons for defending God. This unjustifiable nature of defending a God who is big enough to defend Himself has led to “honour” and dishonour killings, maiming and other forms of brutal and inhuman actions against fellow beings. Why don’t we just have a rethink, stop the violence and let God be God!
As I was saying, this man who was insane in Mark 5:1-10 was a scary-looking man who had been tormented by legion of demons. He lived where the dead lived, had the strength of many men put together, tortured himself with stones and roared louder than a lion. Luke 8:27 says the man had been in that condition for long and he had no clothes on. Can you ever think of moving close to that kind of man? He was a weird mad man who could never be tamed by anyone. Medical attention was impossible in his case because he’ll simply dislocate the bones of his doctors and nurses if they ever dared to come near. His situation was a no-go area. Even his family members would have had to relocate to avoid the shame of being associated with this incredible hulk!
I am sure that no one in his or her right senses will ever hurt himself or herself to that extent. Demons took control of his spirit, soul and body. He mutilated his body beyond recognition. Are you being controlled by an unseen force to do what you would not normally want to do? This man had been disgraced, deformed, destroyed and demoralised by the devil and his agents. You might be facing a situation that makes you think you are finished! Your integrity, reputation and prestige have been shattered; the problem you once encountered tarnished your image. You’ve been tagged ‘the devil’s incarnate’ and the mess you got yourself into seems impossible to come out of. So, the best solution you can think of is to remain in that unacceptable state.
Two wrongs can never make a right. Staying in that problem or continuing in that ugly situation can never help you. Remember Judas and Peter faced the same problem of unfaithfulness. Judas betrayed while Peter denied. The difference between both of them was that Judas fell flat and committed suicide but Peter fell and rose up to be a committed Evangelist. That one step of repentance was what made Peter a hero and Judas a zero. What step have you decided to make despite the past mistakes?
A righteous man falls seven times and rises (Proverbs 24:16). This is not an opportunity for believers to keep falling into sin at the slightest blow of wind. We are expected to keep striving to overcome the lust of the flesh towards sin. The one and only one who could move close to the fierce-looking man was the Almighty who created this man in His own image. Peter was disappointed with himself but he was courageous to take the bull by the horn and forge ahead. You might have also disappointed yourself, your parents, siblings, boss, husband, wife or children. It’s not the end of life. Ask God for His mercies through Jesus Christ, confess your inadequacies and ask Him to take full control of your life. He has done it before for others and He can do it again in your life. Peace!
Prayer 1: Lord, I am nothing without you. I have fallen into the sin of ………….I have realized that I can’t help myself. I need you to help my helplessness. I release my total being to you now. Please work upon me. Make me what you want me to be and let every mind set of sin be flushed away by the blood of Jesus that was shed for me on the cross of Calvary.
As a family, we were watching a programme on the screen about a new believer who met his old friends at his new place of work (on the farm). These old friends kept luring him back into his old ways but the new man refused to take heed. The old friends wanted the new man to just join them in socialising and they met the new man’s boss to ask for permission for a while. These friends described who the new man used to be to his boss (who only knew the new man as a Christian and nothing less). The boss was greatly disappointed and asked the man to leave his farm because he ‘thought he was a Christian’. This new believer was greatly sorrowful and was encouraged by an older believer using the story of the mad man in the bible Mark 5:1-10. The older believer later intervened in the issue and there was a resolution. Praise God.
I tried to analyse the whole scenario and figured out that we all tend to forget that NOBODY WAS BORN A CHRISTIAN. You might have been born into a Christian family and even given a Christian name but it doesn’t make you a Christian. Just like ‘going into the river to swim does not make you a fish’, so also going to church does not make you a Christian. Get it ??!! Making a deliberate confession of sin and allowing Jesus as Lord and saviour is what makes anyone a Christian. Is anyone accusing you based on what you used to be before now? Keep calm and remember you are a new creature in Christ. Simply respond to any false allegation with a yes or no, a gentle spirit and not putting up an angry act. You might not be perfect or where you want to be in your relationship with God, but remember you are definitely not where you used to be.
Prayer 1: Father, make me a living testimony for you wherever I go in Jesus’ name.
It’s common to hear people say ‘BE YOURSELF’ but I beg to defer on this. Psalm 51:5 and John 3:3 confirm that every human is born in sin hence the need to be born again. I know of someone who allowed himself to be put under the bondage of the devil’s deceit. This guy is now a shadow of himself and has refused to take the RIGHT step. All that is required of someone who falls into sin is to repent and not pretend (Proverbs 28:13, Proverbs 24:16). This might mean different things to different people and this is why I was prompted to air my view on this topic.
First of all, depending on who says “just be yourself” changes the meaning. For example, if a novice says “just be yourself” he means to do nothing and just let fate take its course. On the other hand, if an experienced guru on dating says “just be yourself” then it has a totally different meaning. – Jimmy James
In my opinion, being yourself means doing what comes to you naturally. My natural self exhibits my ‘Adamic’ or human nature (Jeremiah 17:9). 1 Corinthians 2:14 says the natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. Several times the human nature struggles with the spiritual nature as in John 3:6. The human nature encourages us to retaliate, be malicious, hate people, be greedy, steal, lie or exhibit the works of the flesh as seen in Galatians 5:19-21. Now let me ask you, will you still want to be yourself? Not at all –if you’ll ask me. I’ll rather say I want to be what God wants me to be. I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20). I like the ‘I am’ showing the present tense which is a current action. So, when we are provoked to anger, we should remind ourselves that we are crucified or dead to the flesh. A dead man doesn’t respond to insults. Hmmm… A hard pill to swallow? His grace is sufficient so, keep working on it and you will surely be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. That means, we all need to take DELIBRATE actions to prevent us from being ourselves and then be what God wants us to be. Full stop!
Prayer 1: Father, please help me to put my flesh under and make me sensitive to your instructions at all times in Jesus’ name.
Phew!!! The end of my first week at work was such a great relief. I started off with great stress with Transport for London (TfL). This was solely my fault because I depended on my last knowledge of train times to work from last year without checking. This reminds me of Romans 12:2b which talks about being transformed by the renewing our minds. Acts 17:11emphasises this by asking us as true believers to daily examine the scriptures. This aspect of our daily walk with God is crucial. Little wonder Jesus taught His disciples how to pray. He said they needed to include in their daily prayer point,Matthew 6:11, “Give us this day our daily bread..” which was to provide for their daily food. This principle also applies to our daily spiritual food. This is because in Lamentations 3:23 and Psalm 68:19 we are loaded with benefits daily due to His faithfulness to us. To be like our Heavenly Father, we need to plug into this realm of daily downloading from the throne of grace. If I had checked up my daily schedule online, I would have avoided the hassle of road works and cancelled trains. When our minds are updated with our daily manual (the Holy Bible) through the help of the Holy Spirit, we can avoid frustrations, deceit from the pit of hell, misery, suicide and other unwanted circumstances. Being outdated is very deadly to the spirit man so, get updated today!
Prayer 1: Holy Spirit, teach me the ways of God today and enable me to be upgraded daily to the perfect image of God in Jesus’ name.
I’ve been pondering on the scripture we read as a family last night in Luke 2. It was recorded twice in two different circumstances that Mary “….kept these things in her heart” Luke 2:18-19 and Luke 2:51. Hmm… what a woman worthy of emulation who kept good things in her heart, pondered and acted on them with love. Where others were busy wondering, she was busy pondering. Imagine if she had kept the ‘not-too-good’ stuff in her heart, it would have exploded when Jesus was a boy and went missing in Luke 2:46-51 . What do you think her reaction would have been? Or maybe when Jesus said, ‘Behold my mother and my brethren!’ when he was told that his mother and brothers were looking for him? Mark 3:31-35. Doesn’t it sound insultive? Not to Mary! Sometimes I tend to overreact and think beyond what I ought not to and I know this happens to you too sometimes. Or maybe you’re just like Mary? Thank God for your life. But for me, I’m still working on it.
Remember what we need to think of in Philippians 4:8, “… whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report ….. think on these things”. We are encouraged not to keep grudges, gossips and negative thoughts within but to meditate on His word. Sis, please rise from the wondering level to the pondering level and I believe the Lord will help us all.
My break time is almost over and I need to zoom off now. Shalom.
Prayer 1: Father, I ask for your mercy now. Forgive me of any filthiness within my heart that might hinder your pure love from flowing through me in Jesus’ name.
Prayer 2: I release my thoughts, mind and heart to the Holy Spirit to restructure and remould into the perfect image of God. I put every negative thought under subjection now in the name of Jesus.
“I’ll do that later”. Does that sound familiar? “Procrastination is the thief of time” says Edward Young (1683-1765). This intelligent man also quoted the popular saying, “Be wise with speed. A fool at forty is a fool indeed”. Wow…this is what I call HEAVY WORD!!! After I had Rebecca (my first child) in 2005, I thought to myself, “I need to start some postnatal exercises to get my tummy back.” Guess what happened? After 5 good years, I’m still dilly-dallying. I’ve read the postnatal handbook over and over and …..over again, that I know exactly what to do but didn’t do it. I can almost hear you say, “guilty”. We are all guilty of these things in one form or the other. I rose up this morning and started the tummy muscle stuff. “Easy peasy lemon squeezy”, I thought aloud. No wonder some mothers have flat tummies few months after giving birth. Did I hear you say “Liposuction”? Not at all. I mean non-celebrities that discipline themselves to do exercises. I’m keeping my fingers crossed to continue till my desired change comes.
There’s great harm in delay. Little wonder Jesus talked about settling scores with our brothers/sisters as a matter of urgency before offering ANY gifts at the altar (Matthew 5:23-24). Also, we must deal with our anger as quickly as possible before the sun goes down (Ephesians 4:26)
James 4:13-14 and Hebrews 3:12-15 explain it more. Take that first step like a child learning to walk and start that exercise too. Or maybe yours is a business proposal you’ve suspended for too long, or that career upgrade you talked about and you kept thinking of the perfect timing for years, or that visit or call to a friend you haven’t seen in a while or maybe a change in your diet that has tarried for too long. Have you made up your mind to witness to someone close but haven’t got the courage to do so? Have you heard the gospel several times and you concluded that there’s still time? Or have you been invited to worship your Maker in a church but you have decided to make the money first and when you retire, you’ll have all the time to serve God. Hmm… remember He is the Potter and you are the clay. He can do and undo!!! Wake up bro, arise sis, take the bull by the horn because time waits for no man.
How time flies!!! Ahh.. It’s almost bible study time. I mustn’t fall victim of procrastination this time. I think I must stop because I’ve got some cooking to do. Shalom!!!
Prayer 1: Holy Spirit, my Counsellor and Teacher, please teach me how to set my priorities right. I also receive courage to face and defeat that giant of procrastination. I submit my will to you in Jesus’ name.