THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Living Out Under Instruction – IV


Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo
Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo

Hi Daddy.

Hi Love. You’ve been quiet

Yeah. Was thinking.

About our conversation?

Yup.

Did you talk to God about things?

Yup

And….

Jean looked at Daddy for a long time before she answered…

You were right…blessing actually includes failure or chastisement and challenges.

I’m wondering if this was a great process or if it was tiring to your heart

Initially it was tiring but with time I found real strength in it and I feel lighter today than I did in the past.

Remember the end of our last conversation?  Please read Matthew 6:25-34?

Jean reached for her bible and read the scripture out loud.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what

Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo
Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo

you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[g] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’…  34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

She looked up at Daddy then asked,

Is this really how we need to live out out lives?

I would say that the place to start is to trust God fully and know that His plan for you is really the best plan and it will succeed.

But I trust Him yet there is so much I don’t have and even more that doesn’t make sense.

Have you gone hungry or missed work because you don’t have fare to get there or been evicted?

No

Image Courtesy of Wilson   Mrema Kyalo
Image Courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo

Would you still trust Him  and believe that HE was still be with you if you had been hungry, walking to work, kicked out of your home, lost and alone?

I’m not sure, because He promised to be good to me and provide for me?

Yet there are people with less than you and greater challenges than yours. Does that mean that God doesn’t love them or provide for them?

Wow…that is a hard one

Yet it is a true question. If you are going to doubt God because of your lack what does that mean about all those who live in dire situations of poverty, illness and more? Do they walk with Him or not? Has HE left them? Is their faith unreal? How do you explain their situations?

I don’t know…He promises to provide doesn’t HE?

Yes but He didn’t promise it would be easy, stress and challenge free did He?

Not really, but why would He allow challenges to come my way if HE has promised to provide?

Remember I said you need to tap into His plan for you?

Yes.

Did you realise that His plan for you is on His terms and not yours? He doesn’t provide according to your perceptions of a

Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo
Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo

good God or based on your shopping list. He provides what He know you need based on His plan for your life.

So the hard times are to keep me focused on Him?

The challenges are part of the plan to help get you to where you need to get. You need to understand why HE sent you here and where He needs you to be? Every situation in your life is leading you to the centre of this plan.

Really?

Yes. There is a reason for the path He has allowed your life to take.

Really?

Absolutely!

So you’re saying that I have to find God’s plan for me and live it out?

Absolutely

And this plan determines my supply, the people I meet and work with, the places I live and work, the choices I make?

Yes. Now we are talking

But what happens when those around me find me strange, question my actions and the progress of my life? Won’t I look like a failure? How will I explain my lifestyle to them?

Do you have to explain your lifestyle to them?

Of course.

Why?

Image Courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo
Image Courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo

They are my friends and I owe them an explanation.

Really? If they already don’t understand your life, would an explanation change what they think of you?

I don’t know…

I know you might look foolish to some people but since you know for certain that this is the plan and path that God has set out for you it gets easier to keep walking it.

So I must know for certain that I am on the path that God has determined for me?

Yes.

And I must hold fast to that instruction and word for me no matter what?

Yes.

Wow. You seem so confident about this, have you been there?

Of course.

How did it work out?

By His grace.

Was it easy?

Image Courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo
Image Courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo

Initially no but over time it became part of my life and easier to do.

What happened?

That’s a story for another day.

Please Dad, pretty please….

Not today love, not today.

Wow…so God actually prepares things for us to lead and guide us along the way?

Yes He does.

Were there other days when you didn’t have a solution?

At the start, very many until I realised that what I thought was the lesson turned out to be the side dish not the main dish.

What??? Does it mean there is always more than one lesson?

Absolutely.

Wow.

This wasn’t what she wanted to hear but the past few days meant that she was willing to find a middle ground with

Image Courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo
Image Courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo

God and walk in the path that she was walking.

Will I ever know everything that is in store in my life?

Never ever!

What? So what do I need to do?

Learn to live one day and instruction at a time. Keep your ear to His heartbeat and walk tall in the knowledge that you are in the centre of His will.

Is that how you live your life?

You better believe it.

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Suddenly, Daddy’s life made even more sense than ever before. He had everything he needed because God provided for his needs. The truth was the way God provided was never the same and never predictable but provision always came. Daddy had always said that if it is God’s plan, HE will send supply for every instruction. What a way to live and what an incredible sense of peace and joy. She was going to learn how to live according to the plan of God and believe that all will be well in the course of her life.

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Living It Out Under Instruction – III


To be blessed is to receive everything you need for success including chastisement and failure – Daddy

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Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo
Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo

When Daddy said this the last time we spoke I was flustered. I walked out because I couldn’t wrap my mind around this statement. For days, I rolled the thought around my head and I couldn’t really find an explanation for it. Daddy always says that if you cannot understand something the first time, you should take it back to God and have a candid conversation with Him. So after a few days of thinking and figuring I decided to have that candid conversation with God because I desperately needed answers.

Dear Father,

Daddy, says to ask You any question I cannot answer and I guess even the ones that I can answer still need a candid conversation with You. So here I am today asking something I can’t seem to wrap my mind around.

How can it be that blessing can include chastisement and failure? How can it be that the road to success in You could lead down a road contrary to what I want to have and the success I desire? I’m so confused after that.

I have always been taught and believed that if I do all the things You say in Your word things will automatically be well with me. Did I get that wrong? Have I believed in a lie? How do I find the place of peace and grace in the middle of this walk? I feel like I am lost and stuck in rut and I cannot get out. Is the rut a figment of my imagination or is it a real rut that You have created to get me out of the place I am stuck?

I need help. I desperately need help to work this out before my mind blows. Help me Lord for I don’t know how to get out of here. Please help me.

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The Bible came alive with stories of people who went through hard times and in the end the plan of God was evident and accomplished. There was Joseph, Abel, Job, Esther, Mordecai, Hosea, Daniel, Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego, Paul and even Jesus. Suddenly it hit me like a tonne of bricks. Everyone who walked with God had some really hard times in their lives but had remained steadfast to the call of God upon their lives.

Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo
Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo

The story in Esther chapter 3 & 4 caught my attention afresh. Haman had risen in the ranks to be a highly respected member of the king’s court; however he was plagued by very deep self-esteem issues. He was feared and by the King’s decree all the people bowed to pay him homage as he passed. His deepest desire was to be honoured and respected above all regardless of whether it was needed or not. That is, all except one measly Jew who wouldn’t move when Haman passed by. The people chided Mordecai for not bowing yet Mordecai simply wouldn’t break his faith. Haman’s friends incited him. They even placed bets to see how long this standoff between the two would last. Believe it or not it went on for twelve months…yes twelve months from the first day of the month of Nisan to the last day of the month of Adar. Everyday Haman passed and everyday Mordecai refused to rise. Everyday Haman got more enraged; everyday Mordecai retained his peace. This fuelled one of the greatest fits of rage on record and led to an edict that all Jews were ‘enemies of the state’ and deserved to die. Esther must now take the leap of faith and speak up for her people or risk certain death.

Right here, there is so much struggle and hardship it hit Jean right between the eyes. This couldn’t have been easy. Both Esther and Mordecai were fearful for their lives. Esther was realising that being in the palace was a blessing just as much as it was a source of trouble. Yet there was an opportunity for hope right in them middle of the death threats. Esther spoke up and the king gave her Carte Blanché in drafting the edict for the response of her people. Trouble? Yes. Blessing? Absolutely.

Image Courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo
Image Courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo

The blessing was on several fronts. First, they were challenged to choose God and their dedication to him. Second, it galvanised a nation of people together. Third, the source of trouble was out of the picture for good. Clearly, blessings include trials and struggles.

  • Were there people who had been through a lot to get to the end goal for God? Yes
  • Did they all go through the same process? No
  • Was the process important to the fulfilment of their purpose? Yes
  • Did they all understand the reason for the process? No
  • When things were hard did they give up? Almost but they all rallied to the call of God and in the end it all worked out.

It was clear that indeed there was a place for struggle, suffering, chastisement and great pain as part of being blessed. Even as the good is coming and is also a part of the process it is not everything and must never be touted as that.

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So many questions even fewer answers…

THE CHRISTIAN WALK

Living It Out Under Instruction – II


Image Courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo
Image Courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo

Daddy watching his baby girl and his heart broke. The frustration etched on her face represented the turmoil in her heart and he needed to speak the right thing so that she would be turned back to the truth of God’s word and the real depth of His love for her.

Dear Father,

Help me speak Your word to Your daughter in a way that she can understand. She is precious to You and You are the only one who can reach into the space she is in and help her understand what You are doing in, with and eventually through her. In Your Name, Amen

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Dad began to speak

Let me put it this way, God loves you and HE sends your blessings your way.

My blessings?

Yes…your blessings. However, there is a process and until you have successfully walked the process, learnt the lesson and filled out His plan He can’t give you all the blessings He has in store.

Are you saying I have to earn the blessing?

No, dear. I’m saying that there is a process and lesson in everything.

A process and a lesson…mmmhhhh…do you mean something like school or coursework?

Yes. Something like that. Each of us can take the same course but the end result will be different. It is not about equal effort

Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo
Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo

equal result. It is about individual gifts, commitments and outcomes. My effort could seem to be the same equal to yours but my results could be lower or higher simply as a function of who I am. As long as I have done all I need to do, listened and applied myself to achieve my own result I have indeed done my best.

Dad paused to allow baby girl to think then continued….

It is the same with God. We all go through the same process at the point of salvation. We confess our sin and accept Him as Saviour. However, we all apply ourselves differently in our relationship with Him and that determines how deep we get with Him not what we get out of Him.

What do you mean by apply ourselves? Is it about the things I do, how I live out the tenets of my faith? How many hours I spend in prayer, fasting and bible study? How do I divide my time between Christian activities and work?

Not at all! It is about hearing God, receiving and following His instruction to the letter not the things you do or don’t do.

Don’t we always do that?

Do what?

Follow His instruction to the letter…

I don’t know…Do we really?

Of course we do. How else would we work and provide for our families? Isn’t HE the one who gives us the power to create wealth and live well?

He is, yet there is more. The big question here is…do we trust Him fully to provide for us even when it is unclear how He will provide or when we lose everything we thought we had in the process of waiting for His answer and provision?

Of course! We pray, work hard and then wait for Him to supply.

If that is true, why are you so stressed about that you have or don’t have against what others have? Why are you measuring your life against the plumb line of the lives of others?

It’s simple, I am a child of God and my supply is guaranteed and therefore my success is guaranteed.

Really?

Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo
Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo

Doesn’t the Bible say that as children of God we are blessed, appointed, that He will supply our needs according to His riches in glory?

It does.

So, why wouldn’t I receive every blessing?

There’s no reason you won’t receive every blessing. However, can I define blessing for you?

Sure.

To be blessed is to receive everything you need for success including failure and chastisement.

What?

So many questions were running through her mind. This conversation wasn’t making sense. It felt like the rug had been pulled out from under her feet or the blanket had been pulled back on a cold July night or cold water had been poured on her while asleep.

  • Was this true? Could it be? What were the odds that this would be real?
  • How could blessing include chastisement and failure?
  • Weren’t blessings good things? How could the hard things be blessings too?
  • Would God really let her fail at something to get her attention or teach her something?
  • Would she survive the process?

As she sat there lost in thought about the new definition of blessing she had just heard made Jean forget that her

conversation with daddy had stopped.  There was so much to process.

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The journey continues…

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

Living It Out Under Instruction – I


Image Courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo
Image Courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo

My name is Jean and life isn’t really going as I had planned. A few years ago I had a perfect plan for where I wanted to be by this date. My hopes and dreams about life seem to have evaded me and I have not achieved them. I have so many questions that I need answered. My father loves and serves God and his life has been so full of the miraculous yet here I am his daughter struggling to live a life worthy of God’s favour. I feel like there is something I am missing that will connect me to the kind of favour and provision Daddy has. His life is idyllic…or at least it seems that way. How can it be that I am his child yet the outworking of the will of God is so different? I had always thought that because his life is working and I am doing all that I know to do mine will work out too. Well, right now…it is not like that so I need to have a chat with him and understand things.

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Dad, I was wondering why my life is like this.

Like what my dear?

I do everything I know God wants me to do and I am so stuck in this rut.

What rut?

I am struggling to make ends meet, my friends have better jobs than me, I have more demands on my life than I can meet and I want to so much more out of life.

So much more? More of what?

Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo
Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo

Life, excitement, achievement, success…everything!

So that?

So that I can be happy.

So, you are saying that if you have all the things you want you will be happy and content in life?

Absolutely.

Are those things on God’s list for you?

What do you mean?

Does God want you to have all those things on your list of things to make you happy?

Doesn’t he?

You hear from Him too baby girl, have you asked Him if he wants you to have those things.

Really Dad???? Really? You want me to ask God if He wants me to be rich and successful. You want me to ask Him if He wants me to have societal impact. You want me to ask Him if He wants me to provide for my needs. You want me to ask Him if I should buy a car or use public transport? Doesn’t He say that He will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory?

Of course He says that. My real question to you is this, are the things you want God to supply for you the same things God knows you need to fulfil His purpose in your life?

Are you saying I am focusing on the wrong things?

I don’t know…are you?

Dad, doesn’t God promise to supply my needs?

He does.

Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo
Image courtesy of Wilson Mrema Kyalo

Doesn’t He promise to bless me and the works of my hands?

He does.

Doesn’t that mean that I will have great success?

It could mean that.

Could mean that? Really??? What do you mean by that? Why wouldn’t God want me to have the things I want? Doesn’t He say that He will give me the desires of my heart?

He does.

So what did you mean when you asked, ‘Does God want you to have all those things’?

Daddy watching his baby girl and his heart broke for her. The frustration etched on her face represented the turmoil in her heart and he needed to speak the right thing so that she is turned back to the truth of God’s word. There was silence in the room for a long while as Jean’s thoughts run from list to list of things in her head and she realised she couldn’t really answer Daddy’s questions…all she had was more questions:

  • Where the things she wanted the things God wanted her to have?

    Image courtesy of Wilsom Mrema Kyalo
    Image courtesy of Wilsom Mrema Kyalo
  • Was her focus on the wrong things?
  • Was she missing something?
  • Why were these questions so hard to answer?
  • Could it be that the things she had been looking at all her life were not the things that would get her from A to B?
  • Was there a guarantee that things would work out and they would be to God’s honour and glory?
  • Why where the questions dad is asking so painful?
  • What was causing her such pain and discomfort with the question of if this was what God wanted her to have?

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This conversation has plagued me all week as I have had to deal with the same questions about my life. I don’t have the answers and I am certain neither do you but I choose to pursue them to the end and find the reason I am here, where I need to be planted and what I need to have to succeed at God’s plan. I admit there is progress in my life but everyday something comes up that needs to be dealt with and my quest for answers takes on a greater and more desperate tone because I want to honour God above everything else in my life.

The walk continues…join me