Archive | November 2017

He Tested ME


IMG_20171118_180845.jpgNo man can be tested outside of what he has learnt, and no one can be tempted outside of his own fleshy desires. That you are tested shows you are ripe for promotion and that you are tempted shows you are growing and maturing. For example, a prostitute cannot be tempted with sex, neither can a drunk be tempted with alcohol. It is just a natural state of such base existence so temptation can’t come into it. Therefore, this means that whatever you are tempted by is what you are growing out of. So are you tempted, don’t kill yourself over it. Just take a look at your heart and see clearly the beauty of the seed of Christ in you that shows you are growing.

Do all to pass the test of the things you’ve learnt and do all to rise above your desires, for in doing these two, you rise into conformity to Christ.

Samuel Phillips

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I came across this post recently and it resonated very deeply. A few days later, I was chatting with a group young people on the subject. Talk about advance provision of notes. This God!

In our discussions, it became apparent that we all have things we struggle with in our hearts and minds, that others neither see nor know about. This is because the real us, is hidden behind whatever ‘masks’ we wear. Those hidden places are the spots God is dealing with in us and we know what we should be working towards; what God has told us about who we are and where we are going.

However the conversations with the young people brought to light how being less than we know we should be really affects us. Many of them were feeling low because they were totally stuck in struggles they needed ways out of and they wanted to be much further along in their life journey. This situation left them feeling like failures because they hadn’t conquered everything in life.

Why would they feel like they have failed yet they were making progress? Why would this load be so heavy? In their opinion, all the older believers they knew weren’t struggling with anything. There was an outer presentation of ‘perfection’ and ‘having arrived’ that the older believers had which put pressure on the younger ones to achieve. The net result was they were hiding their struggles to look good yet they were distressed within.

A certain conversation with my father came to mind and the lessons I had recently learnt from him.

Not one to keep facades, I set out to burst that bubble with a series of questions.

  • How many times have older people hidden fear behind smiles?IMG_20171118_181827.jpg
  • How often have parents hidden their fear behind strict rules, regulations, anger or threats?
  • How many times have we kept our phones with secret locks and always on our person because of things on them?
  • How many times have we failed to share how we made our wealth because we did a deal many years ago that got us the right footing but we paid someone something?
  • How many times have we changed our story because the truth wasn’t how we wanted to be known?

I didn’t have real answers to these questions but they created points of comparison to their own behaviour and that of others around them. You should have seen their eyes when they realised that we all struggle with different things. We could almost touch the relief and a load was lifted from their backs.

It also led me to track people in scripture who sinned but God extended grace. Think of David, who seemed like a perpetual sinner but God had mercy on him every time because his heart was in the right place. However, at the end of the day, David committed to walk with God always and he was called a friend of God. Ananias and Sapphire lied but twice they were given the opportunity to redeem themselves by telling the truth but they were more concerned about looking good so they lied and as a result died.

I have found courage in my brother’s words, “whatever you are tempted by is what you are growing out of.”

This means that the place God is focusing on to help me grown in and become all He sees me as is the place testing starts. Testing is the stepping stone to my next reality and revelation. It is the area He needs dealt with out of the way so that I may walk in the fullness of how He sees me.

He will not let me remain lost forever rather He will press and prod until I become all He sees me as. He will not give up on me the same way He didn’t allow Hosea to give up on Gomer. However, His eternal desire for me to reach fullness doesn’t give me the license to live in wanton sinfulness otherwise He will hand me over to my fleshly desires and raise another to be and do all that is established for me.

I choose to say; Not on my watch Lord! Not on my watch!

No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Cor 10:13 NKJV

 

Hearing God is a Choice


I know he speaks to all of us but hearing and responding aright is a choice. To really hear is to listen to what he has to say and then act accordingly. Hearing God is a choice.

Recently I was pleasantly surprised by friend I will call Jane. She is young and in a tight position financially so every coin she earns is budgeted. Over a period, she had been thinking about me and sensed that God would have her bless me. She had a very specific instruction down to what to do, when, how much and why. She also knew that this assignment was time bound but her perception of herself and her capabilities stood in the way and it took two weeks for her to finally agree to act.

Once she made up her mind, it became clear to her that we would meet on a certain day at a certain meeting and it was now time for her to follow through with her instruction. The funniest part is that she was still bargaining about that matter and telling God many long stories.

Long story short, we meet on the appointed day and I am clueless about her predicament but she pulls me aside and shares her experience. I am totally tickled as she begins to share her two week battle with God. No, it is not because I think she is funny, I am tickled because her process and mine overlapped during that period. Just a day or two before she had the impression to bless me, I asked God for something very specific.

A few years ago, God taught me how he supplies our needs. He asks for specifics. I had always asked for money to buy this or pay for that and for a period there it wasn’t coming. One day after a long fight, he simply asked, what do you need? And I gave him a shopping list of what I needed. I honestly needed food and clothes for the family so I wrote the list out. Wah! In the next few days, yes I just said days, everything on that list arrived in my house in the right quantity. Even more interesting were the unlikely people who brought these things.

So I know that is my process with God. When I need something, I ask very specifically so I had written my shopping list for him. As the supply of the said item continued to run low, I reminded God that we needed to replenish that item and I was open to know how to do it. So imagine Jane’s shock when she got to the end of her story and I was not surprised.

I wasn’t shocked because this is how God dealt with me but Jane was floored and not for the obvious reason. Yes she was shocked that I would need the exact thing that she had in her heart to give me and the amount quoted had a calculation behind it but there was a bigger reason for her shock. You see, in her mind, she was the last person she would expect to be the source of something for me. I am not special nor do I have extravagant tastes but she had internally judged herself as unable to help others because of her situation. She was worried how she would survive now that God had leaded her to give away a portion of what she had yet he knew she didn’t have much.
This dear people is the matchless hand of God at working clearly knowing what each girl needs and raising the channel that would provide. When each of us learned to listen and really obey placing our full trust in His promise to provide; he is moved to cause his word to perform.

The key thing was to shift our focus from our capacity to sort things out based on what is in our hands so we are blind to see his capacity to use each one as a vessel of mercy. Each of us had to trust. Jane had to trust that giving away that thing wouldn’t affect how she would survive the rest of the month and I had to trust that as long as I have told my father what I need he is doing all he can to provide it.

He spoke to each of us and we had a choice about how we responded. We each had to trust that when God says he’ll anything it doesn’t matter what is going on around us or how long it takes, that thing will come to pass. This will get us to the place of faith where no one can shift us no matter how good or dire the situation is.

That is his deepest desire for us; that we may be secure in Him and therefore secure in our walk with Him and the sound of his voice. This security then makes us unshakable, unchangeable and unstoppable. When we are secure in Him as God then we can ‘step off the cliff’ no matter what.

Would it be us that our lives would be fully poured out for Him and His glory? Would it be that we may fully produce ONLY Him because we are so deeply steeped in Him.

Shalom

I Pray for You…


Sometimes the words of another say it all…thanks Chioms

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This came from my heart today, because I saw an image of myself with my forehead permanently wrinkled with the worry and stress of the journey and I said to myself, noooooo!!

No because my cry to Him has been that I would enjoy the journey, no matter what He takes me to or through, because this life which He has chosen for me and chosen me for is perfect; Made perfect in and because of Him.

Therefore I choose Him always and I choose to give Him thanks and praise knowing that this is a good life. A very good life (Jer 29:11).

I pray for peace for you; God’s peace not the world’s. That the stresses and strains of the journey, what it has taken to get you here, to this place in Christ… that the drama, the heartache, the tears, the distress, the conflict and the separation – the frustrations, the discomfort of the new and the pain of the separation with the old would all take their proper context and therefore the accurate perspective in God.

I pray that all you would be left with would be an unhindered connection with the source of your peace who is God. I pray for an overwhelming awareness of His peace, love and understanding, that you would no longer carry the burdens and pressure of the journey either physically or emotionally or any other -ly :). In its place would be the joy of the expectation of the destination to which you are being carried by your Maker.

He who is your Husband, caregiver, nurturer, provider, comforter, shelter and strength; whatever His unique expression is to you. I pray that no matter what, you would go on with joy and expectation of Him in you, filling you and overshadowing you. That whatever lies ahead (even what the world calls hardships) you would move forward boldly and with His joy and His peace surrounding and encompassing you dear one to Him, dear one of His.

I pray this for myself too, because eish man, I need this… I pray this in Jesus’ name. I bless you.
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I need this prayer as much as my sister and so Lord, I join my voice with hers.

May we all find you Lord and walk in your ways…till we all come to the unity of the faithIMG_20171008_144904.jpg and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. Eph 4:13-16 NKJV

Alleluia