The Simple Life

Who am I?


Over the last few months I have been seeking answers for things in my life and every time they came I was astounded. For so long I have wanted to know why some things in my life are the way they are then I get the answer and I am amazed. Papa is never slow to answer He allows us to see things at a pace that we can understand and digest and not a step faster.

 

I have had time to mull over things and I still don’t have an answer. I have thought long and hard and I realise that it is just for the grace of God that I am where I am today. Who I am and will become is all a part of His plan but I am learning daily that my life is in His hands and I just one person and He loves me no matter what.

 

Walk daily in His love and care and you will discover daily that He is different. His ways are not ours and His thoughts too yet he reaches out to us every day and He will love us to the end. He doesn’t give up on us no matter what and he is the one person who will never leave us alone.

 

I am but one expression of Him and I pray that I will be the kind of expression that will bring Him glory.

THE CHRISTIAN WALK

Her needs


 

We all know the story of Genesis 3 where Eve was convinced to eat the fruit and she convinced Adam to eat and they were then thrown out of the garden of Eden. So did you ever really see verse 16 & 17?

To the woman He said….. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” 

Then to Adam He said….Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.

 

There are many women folk who are unhappy with how their relationships with their spouses are going. For a long time I have wondered if there is something we are missing then one day in conversation with my sister we discussed this scripture and I had a flash of revelation. Let me explain.

 

Eve was told that her desire would be for her husband and he would rule over her. Adam was told about toil for the rest of his days. Get it? Eve would want a deep and close relationship with her husband and look up to him for everything. Adam on the other hand was clueless. For real he was. He did not get the memo about being there for her as she needed him to be rather he was set over her as a ruler. I am not giving the men a get out of work free pass but I just realised we are on different wavelengths from the beginning. However, there is a difference between what we desire and what they were told about.

 

God’s idea of marriage was to mirror his relationship in the Trinity but sin entered and spoiled the equation. He intended total connection and commitment with clear communication and no competition. Each one would have his or her role and make a clear effort to achieve the common goals. The fall of man completely scuttled the plan so that it takes the hand of God for us to work together and be the kind of people he intends for us to be.

 

So here we have the daughters of Eve wanting deep contact and communion with the sons of Adam who are totally clueless on what is needed. The desire though, God-given, must be met differently from how we are trying to meet it. Many of the men and women have tried to meet each other’s needs but we speak different languages from each other so their efforts come to nothing at all.

 

In the end the reality is that only God can transform us to daughters of Heaven and then meet the desires of our hearts and love us the way we desire to be loved. It is utterly impossible for even a son of Heaven to be all we need them to be let alone for us to meet their needs. It is therefore my suggestion that we all take time to look to God and invest in our relationship with him that will stand the test of time and reach into eternity. He will respond and reach into our lives and sort the things that we desire to have him sort. We are called to seek first the kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to us, (Matt 6:33).

 

I believe this system of relationship also refers to relationships in all sectors of our lives including work and other social relationships. The beauty of God’s work is that He deals with one area at a time and is very interested in our relationship with him as an on-going process. There is no greater place than to find peace and love in the arms of an everlasting God who looks out for our best interests all the time whether or not it seems that way. He loves us and will show each one clearly which way to go and works it all out step by step.

 

I call each of us to take the time to get to know Him deeper and deeper and see how He will begin to work things out one step at a time.

THE CHRISTIAN WALK

When it all changes….then what?


My plan for the day was to have a nice quiet Sunday, rest and do homework with my son…however that was not to be. My niece had woken up with a bad headache for a third day running and so we agreed to get a medical opinion. It was the beginning of a roller coaster ride. We went from check up for blood pressure admission to control blood pressure to emergency section in three hours. The parameters of assessment changed and we had to adjust regardless of how we felt.

As I was thinking about the whole experience again, it came to mind that this is the same premise that our walk with God operates on. This is platform God wants to deal with us on a day to day basis. Ok, let me break it down a little bit. Say he tells me to leave a relationship that has been very important to my survival so far and trust him to meet my needs totally how long will it take me to respond? A day maybe more? Probably more as I ‘weigh’ the consequences of the move. So let’s say that I now believe it is worth it and that I become obedient and begin to leave the relationship and there is a major fallout so that I lose my sense of stability and the comfort I had and I find that I cannot count on the same people I used to the extent I used to. Will I still walk in his will and way? Mmmmh.

I am reminded of the disciples in the boat when the storm came upon them. They were used to Jesus being in the forefront doing the miracles and astounding them each time yet in the two storm instances he did something different. In one of them he was asleep and the other he was not even there. What was their reaction? They were so terrified and they lost the connection they had to the reality of what Jesus could do. At just the right time, Jesus showed up and stilled the waters and their faith was restored. Then he took time to comfort them and teach them more about himself.

Do the challenges and shocks around you shake your faith? When things happen differently do you wonder where God is and what he is doing about it? I know often I am shaken even if it is only for a few moments and many times I am ashamed to admit it. My heart’s desire is to reach the place like Christ where he simply expressed his heart’s struggle and then moved into the Father’s presence to receive encouragement. He had checked into the reality that God is supreme and never fails His people or reneges on His word. His word never fails and it achieves all its purposes. How did he get there? He was connected with His father. He had faith.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, (Rom 10:17). Oh how I need to spend more time in the word and hearing and my faith will grow continually. Are you with me? Do we need to talk together? Let’s commit to this consistent walk of faith and find the peace that comes from being connected to the King of all creation and the Lover of our souls.

THE CHRISTIAN WALK

Impact as Designed


When I least expected it my view was changed. Last Friday a colleague and I went venue searching and we ended up in a venue in one of the local forests. The thing I really was left with was the need to conserve the environment. We met the GM there and he is looking to better the place and it was amazing. He had an interesting thought process.

 

First he believes in empowering the local people to do the work and then train them to improve productivity. Second, he doesn’t think anyone should sit in one place and get comfortable at their job. One should look for comfort in their lives as well as look for opportunities to improve themselves and move on. The intention here is to make room for others at the lower rungs in life. Isn’t that amazing?

 

Isn’t that a new thought? Isn’t that the way to build an organisation? Create a place that can bring people in and improve them then let them out and on their way? Concentrate on improving lives and the ability to make impact. We all want to get people and keep them and there is a place for that in the top levels for purposes of consistency however, how many of us ever create systems that can work without us and still be as efficient to the client as if we were there? Systems that will enable us to be effective and have the kind of impact God intend us to have.

 

The local reality is different. Usually as a business owner, I am the centre of my business and as long as I am alive, well and able to work it will flourish. What happens to the design of leaving a legacy and inheritance for my children? Prov 13:22 is very clear, “A good man leaves an inheritance for his children and his children’s children but a sinners wealth is stored up for the righteous.”  I will concentrate on the first part; “A good man leaves an inheritance for his children and his children’s children…” anything else is for another day. It is God’s intention that I leave a legacy for the next two generations but how can I do that if I am not even able to take care of the current generation?

 

That thought takes me back to my thoughts on work. I am building a firm with a mandate to create great impact and wealth. You see, there is so much that needs to be done in the expansion of the kingdom yet there isn’t enough money. Think of how many people are still hungry, how many missionaries are ineffective because they do not have the right funding, there are people without bibles, clothes, homes, education….there is so much need and there are not enough resources to go around. How about the lack of schools and the need to train more teachers? There is so much to do out there and I cannot sit here and be complacent.

 

I must rise up and do what God is telling me to do whether or not you agree with me. I must get to the place where His instructions are more important to me than my personal opinions. I must connect to His voice and understand that the plans He has for all of us are good and not for evil to give us a future and a hope. I cannot but follow my destiny and work to walk in His ways and make the kind of impact I need to make.

 

Recently a man of God said that many of us are not being exposed to our destiny and to people of higher impact because we are not ready and able to withstand the onslaught of challenges that come with that kind of exposure. So, if I am destined to be so great and create such greatness for the glory of God then why have been so low financially for so long? Why have I struggled? What lessons do I still have to learn? What is it that I am not yet ready for? One thing I know is that I am filled with a deep desire to just get to know God and understand Him and His purpose for my life. I am beginning to understand what Christ meant when He said, “Seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you.” Matt 6:33. Wow…the answer is in being in the place He desires me to be and in the line with His will all the while listening to His directions and walking in obedience.

 

Ok, so what does it take to be where we need to be in life? Obedience! When God says move we move. When HE says stay we stay. When He says wait we wait. I know that I am in the midst of something great and the only way I can latch on to it is to obey. I know I have written a lot about obedience in the last few months but it is a message that is refusing to let go of my heart and each time I put a hand to the keyboard it jumps out at me. This is the key I see for the way things will unfold to the honour and glory of the God the Father. I don’t know about you but at this time when all is said and done I want to be so sure of my calling, destiny and impact on this earth that it is worth aligning to the plans and focus of God.

 

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The Cost


Walking this new road is interesting and strange all in one. I have come to realise that the main agenda is to: LOVE GOD ONLY. This means that I believe all that he says and I do it all with comprehension and revelation that His word is supreme. This is achieved by dying to other things by the way of truth. Today I understood it all in a new way. Dying to self means to grasp the truth of the word of God and responding to it by

  • Hearing the word
  • Aligning to the word
  • Forsaking all other options and solutions

 God is seeking just one person who…deals honestly and seeks the truth in a city…then he will forgive… Jer 5:1…to the praise of his glorious name…Eph 1:6. When I realise that I am not the main agenda of this life then I realise that I am positioned to make greater impact than I ever understood. Someone said that when I give up something to be closer to God then I should count it not as a sacrifice but as a JOY. It is a joy because i am operating in the love and understanding of God and I am secure. When it is a joy it is better handled and resonates differently in my heart. It also brings out the light of Christ that I need to be showing and allows me to be a living epistle for the kingdom. Isn’t this a small price to pay? Isn’t it better than silver or gold?

 This process is not for nothing. It is the labour before I give birth to the great destiny and impact set out for me from the foundations of the earth that will make me better despite the pain. The outcome will be ever more beautiful. This child will be like a light or sweet aroma that draws others to God. Isn’t it amazing that God allows us to be a part of the birthing of this new dispensation?

 In all this He reminded me that, Christ is above all, a daily creator, unmovable, forever and secure. It is even more astounding when I realised that I have a choice to tap into this place and be obedient to his call. Scripture says that “without faith it is impossible to please God.” This is because he is the Maker of the impossible, the Creator of the unbelievable. God is TRUE, God is GRACIOUS. I serve an awesome, unbelievable, outlandish God. He is TRUE to His WORD and the destiny of His people is coming to pass in ways that are totally unexpected. All the glory and honour goes to him and he will share it with no one. God is in the midst of it all. He is redefining it all. There will be joy about what He’s doing to produce trees of righteousness to heal the nations. He will work through us to:

  • Heal
  • Restore
  • Guide

 The unfolding is daily and the last miracle he did will be nothing compared to the next thing He will unfold in the sight and hearing of all. We must be ready daily and willing to be obedient even when it seems strange and inexplicable. Daily we must seek to connect and find him before the onset of our day. We must also connect on a moment by moment basis and ask:

  • Who is the right recipient of the blessings of God through me?
  • What do I need to pour out on the nations?
  • Where should I be to bring praise to him?
  • What is my God-given office that I need to align for God to use fully?
  • What is God redefining for me?

 I must ALLOW God to do His thing and He will supply all MY needs according to His plan. He is indefinable, has no point of reference and there are no referral notes. I must be like Mary who despite the fact that she did not understand, said, “Be it unto me according to your word…” I must no longer hold back and be conformed to past but connect with the present and press into the deepest move of God. I must know and speak the Word, take charge of the situation with confidence and power knowing well that when I bow and worship him, He will come forth.

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

How clean is my heart?


Today I am sitting at home trying to rest and I wonder if a woman ever does so. I haven’t had help in the house for three weeks and it has been interesting. I have had time to appreciate the work my help does and realise that I do a lot too. The beauty of my line of work I can work from anywhere; the challenge has been that I have another full-time job on my plate and I didn’t anticipate just how much it would be. Several days I have been full of energy then I remember the days I have had to go out for meetings and all and my energy levels have been less than ideal in the evening. Just enough to get home keep the young man entertained and do dinner. Once we have eaten and I lie on the sofa I crash in the real sense of the word crash.

The work in the home is unending and if you live where I do close to the road with many trucks it can be daunting at times. There have been days when I have just reached the main door and realise that there is a new layer of dust forming as I stand there because a truck passed outside when I opened the door. I know now that there are things that may look undone at the end of every day that were done but were messed up by the location of the house. Will I move? No way! I love this place and I know that one day the trucks will be blocked as other residents build their homes and block the ‘panya’ routes they use.

But back to the house! There are rooms we clean very carefully and everyday and others that are cleaned thoroughly at a different frequency. I am thinking of the kitchen and the bathroom versus the bedrooms and the living room. We buy special cleaning materials and detergents. We take extra care and train the help extra hard with the skills needed to keep the chances of disease at bay. Of course we clean all rooms well and move the furniture to clean underneath it and behind it and on a monthly basis we do thorough cleaning and then maybe once a quarter we do spring cleaning or is it once a year? All in all we spend time daily to clean out our rooms and keep our homes clean and healthy to live in.

It makes me think about my life. I must clean out all the rooms of my life on a daily or monthly or quarterly basis and be consistent at it. Yet I wonder if I do so with as great a frequency as I should. There are rooms I don’t know when I last cleaned out. There are other rooms I work on daily and yet they are still kind of messy. In the recent past I have often heard the statement; “Die to self daily.” What does it mean? How do I do it?

The man of God said it and I mentioned it before “obedience is easy unless self is in the way.” I understand self to be those things that are me and not of the Spirit of God. Things that my human heart holds onto that have a negative consequence in the spiritual walk I am on. They are things that hold onto me or I hold onto that are detrimental to my spiritual growth. These are the things I need to die to daily and remove from my life. I am better off without them. I think of things like irritability, a bad temper, lies, envy, disobedience etc. on the other hand it could be things that in and of themselves do not seem to be evil but are leading me away from the desired path. Things like procrastination, the desire to see before believing; the need to confirm and re-confirm the word of God, slow responses to the word, the list is endless.

How do I deal with self? I must wake up each day and connect with God and lay my heart on the altar for him to make new. Every moment from then on is another opportunity to keep my heart on track. This is what Paul was talking about in Romans 12:1 when he says…offer your body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God which is your reasonable service. This implies that it is purely a voluntary act. There will be moments when I wonder what is going on and how to make it, or someone does something and I feel the anger rising in me, or I see something I have always wanted with someone I may feel doesn’t deserve it and I feel jealous or I find something I really wanted finished and want to blame someone or a long list of other things. My role in these situations is to remember those things that God has spoken over my life and still my heart to his will.

It is incredible that when I find peace and strength in the promises of God over my life that I am can overcome inappropriate feelings and emotions. When I am convinced that God’s word over me is true and will come to pass regardless of my current circumstances, I will be able to walk in the way that he has set out for me and die to flesh every day. An interesting scripture I found is John 6:63… It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words I speak to you are spirit and they are life. If it is the spirit that gives life then I must plug into the Spirit at every opportunity and walk in him and achieve everything God has set out for me.

 My heart will be well and true when I am continually connected to the Spirit of God.

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

PURPOSE


The last time I wrote I was talking about obedience and the impact it has. The more interesting one was the realisation that there is so much more that enhances obedience. Think of it this way, there has to be something that makes the demand for obedience worth the pursuit and allows you the time to keep everything on track. This is PURPOSE.

I am not talking about purpose in the usual sense it is used meaning the reason we are alive and the work we are called to do on this side of heaven. I am talking about purpose in the sense of taking a pre-determined position and sticking with it. This is even more interesting when we look at the place is stands out more in scripture.

We all know the story of Daniel and often we overlook the profound truths that lie in plain sight but we never truly see them. We all know the story…Nebuchadnezzar captured the nation of Israel and took them into captivity. He gave orders to have the young men of good looks and royal bearing be brought to him to be trained and fed well in preparation for his service. In the group was four Jewish young men namely Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. With Daniel in the lead they requested to be spared the goodies of the king’s table and given vegetables and water. This was because they had PURPOSED not to defile themselves with wine and food offered to other gods. They were tested and found to be superior in all ways to those who partook of the goodies. AMAZING……

There are many things to learn but I will only highlight the ones I found most profound.

They PURPOSED not to defile themselves. This was not a half-hearted easy decision to make. In the event they did not look better than the other young men the move could cost them and the head of the eunuch’s their lives. Yet despite all this they decided to do something different and nothing could dissuade them from the same. I said NOTHING could change their minds from the decision. They settled it in their hearts that this was a risk worth taking regardless of the consequences.

They REQUESTED to be excused. Even after deciding in their hearts they informed someone outside the circle who was unlikely to understand their stand. The head of the eunuch’s did not know better than to obey the orders of his mater. This coupled with the fact that there were such delicacies he could not wrap his mind around the fact that these young men did not want the goodies. The four men politely made their stand abundantly clear and were ready to stand up for what they believed.

The FOUND FAVOUR in the eyes of man. The head eunuch listened to them and considered his options. There was no natural reason for him to listen to the strange request from these four kids but he did and contemplated it and discussed scenarios with them…UNBELIEVABLE.

They were TESTED. The eunuch agreed to try this mad diet and see if they would actually survive and be what they believed they could be. Ten days…shorter than a diet to begin to take concrete effect and they had it all down and ready. They were more handsome, brighter, fatter and generally in better shape. They passed with distinctions and were then allowed to stay on their preferred diet.

They found FAVOUR with God. God honoured their faithfulness with knowledge, skill, wisdom, understanding and the gift of interpretation. He raised them to a place of prominence that would have been impossible to attain if they did not defer and focus on God and his will.

This got me thinking…if it was me in that scenario what would I do? I am wondering because God is working on me and pushing me to do things for him that I at times find ridiculous and not the way I want it to go. Then I am reminded of different things like:

It is no longer I that live but Christ that lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith

Without faith it is impossible to please God

I cannot achieve great things for God if I am not willing to do radical things and hold onto His word over me and my life. Purpose in this sense then is brought to pass when we have a clear vision on what we are called to be and achieve in this life and make the rest of our days meaningful. What is it that I must purpose to do that I may never be cast out of the presence of Jehovah? The task or act we are called to will vary from person to person depending on our destiny. Each of us has a task to accomplish and so we must buckle down and figure out the best way forward.

In this season of my life…I have purposed to follow Jehovah with all that is in me despite the surrounding situation and the slow pace that things may unfold. I have learned that disobedience is born of an over-active self that will eventually lead me down the wrong path. I wonder what your need to purpose in your to do that your destiny may be released upon you. I have purposed to:

Have a consistent time with my father and king on a daily basis regardless on the circumstance.

Die to self daily moment by moment that I may hear the voice of the Lord clearly

What do you need to do to make the changes in your life… Seek first the kingdom and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. Stand firm and do not waiver even when everyone is changing course. I am reminded of the words of a song by Cece Winans…alabaster box. She says “…you weren’t there the night that Jesus found me; you did not feel what I felt when he wrapped his arm around me…you don’t know the cost of the oil in my alabaster box.”

I believe that when we focus totally on God and his will for us, the world will stop and take notice and make room for us.

What do you need to purpose to do with his call on your life?