THE CHRISTIAN WALK, Walking with God

Contend For The WORD


What is your environment like? Is there pressure and fear? Do you have enough food to eat or are you worried? Is it hard to have your children home all the time and not be able to work as much? Are you uncertain of the days ahead? Do you have a mask? Do you have running water? Are the guards well? Are your children getting mad with being cooped up? The possible list of questions is endless for sure.

The last week has been full of conversations about coping and adjusting. They have been about what we are losing, what is changing, what we can control, what is out of control, what we fear most and how we could change things. The conversations often end hanging because there are no guaranteed answers or known outcomes.

Let me set the context first.

When we look at life today, it is nothing like the life we knew before March 3rd 2020. In Kenya, we have a dusk to dawn curfew that many have ridiculed and containment measures on four major counties. One commentator in Europe asked if it spreads at night and many laughed it off. What many didn’t know was that there are too many people who cannot be catered for if we do a total lockdown. I don’t have the economic facts or actual numbers but I know what I see on the streets.

In my daily life, I am on the move in public vehicles like many Kenyans. I walk the streets and I listen to conversations (maybe I eavesdrop a little). I see the people walking past my home in the morning and evening looking for work. I hear the boda guys talking about how work has changed. If my estimates are right, more than 60% of Kenyans live in the informal settlements or are poor in the rural areas. That is approximately thirty million people. Can you imagine trying to feed all those people daily? Thirty million mouths every day for the duration of the pandemic. It isn’t sustainable!!

Staggering perspective I know, it floored me.

I was staggered too. It made me look at the matatu conductor, the boda guy, the mama mboga on the street, the maize guy on the corner, the watchman, the gardener or house keeper. Most of them earn less than Kshs 10,000 a month and they literally live from hand to mouth in small houses without the capacity to stock food or even social distance. Many believe that this pandemic is the makings of the rich and don’t take the government measures seriously. But it gets worse.

There are children sitting at home without access to WiFi or steady internet who cannot continue with school. Their parents don’t have the ability to access any the online learning platforms and they probably don’t have enough homework and assignments to keep them going or on track until schools resume. What happens when they get back to school and are behind but have to catch up before the November exams? What happens to this part of the community? Who will stand for them?

I am asking myself, if there is a word God has spoken over this nation that we can stand on? Is there a promise that we can build our lives about? Is there a way of escape into the arms of God that we will find is we connect to His truth? Is there a way out of here?

There is always an option…Contend for the WORD.

A call has gone out over and over for repentance and recommitment to God for real. It has been a call to RETURN. What do we return to?

‘Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.’ Jude 3.

The above verse talks about contending for the faith but it struck me a little differently. It came to me as contend for the word.

What word has God spoken to you or I that we can hold onto? Do you know it by heart? Do you have the scripture to stand on? Do you understand the fullness that your life must produce based on the word over you and your nation? Oh that we would know the word and live it out. Oh that we would be committed and true to that word?

The word of God is our roots, our anchor, and our strong tower.

Child of God, take a deep breath and be still. Be still because it is only in the stillness that you will hear the voice of God. He is waiting for you to turn your ear to Him and listen. Listen to hear, really hear, and then take the time to understand. Understand what? Understand the word, the call, the assignment, the position, the posture, the process. The word of God isn’t just to be heard; it is to be taken to heart and lived out.

The word of God is transformational because it changes our minds, it shifts our hearts, it gives us strength to go on yet it should never be taken lightly. I had said contend for the word earlier because receiving the word is only the first level. The contention will come when we stand to ensure the word comes to pass. Things in life will come together to stop the word hence the contention. People will stand in our way and ridicule the word hence the contention. You might doubt the word, hence the contention.

There will be a day when the very word God spoke isn’t coming forth and the onslaught around you seems more than you can bear, that is the day to contend for the word. When you can’t see the end of the tunnel and your heart, mind and body are weary, that is the day to contend for the world.

Know the Word God gave you; BELIEVE; Speak that word every day; Pray the word; Depend on the word; Defend the word. To contend for the word, let it be that you are the one who stands their ground until the word comes to pass. Do not be deceived it will be easy yet it is simple; just STAND. Stand and don’t cede ground.

Photo by Suliman Sallehi on Pexels.com
The Simple Life

Alone


The crowds are large

The people many

The needs great

The conversation lively

But my heart is lonely

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The sky is blue

The wind is cool

The sun is just right

The birds are singing

But my heart is lonely

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The rain has fallen

The seeds have sprouted

The plants have grown

The fruit is harvested

Yet my heart is lonely

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I’m laughing in public

I’m chatting with people

I’m making progress at work

I’m teaching the wore

Yet my heart is lonely

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My heart isn’t just lonely

It’s broken, scattered

It’s blown to smithereens

Its pulzerised

There’s nothing there

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You have forsaken me

I am adrift at sea

There’s no land around me

No sight of a tree

Just water everywhere

I am alone

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You have deserted me

I am in the desert

In the scorching sun

Low on water

With mirages all around

I am alone

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You have abandoned me

I am by the roadside

Not a vehicle in sight

Those that pass speed by

Not a glance my way

I am alone

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I have no food

I have no water

I have no shelter

I have no family

I have no work

I am alone

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I have nowhere to go

I have nothing to do

I have no one to talk to

I have no hope to hold on to

I have no reason to believe

I am alone

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Then I hear it

A rustle in the air

A shift in the atmosphere

A stillness in the silence

Like a warm wind blew through

I am no longer alone

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I was no longer alone

There in the room it all changed

Peace descended like a warm rain

Calm wrapped me like a blanket

My heart began to settle

I am no longer alone

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I am still at the bottom

And the only way is up

I am still unsure how to move

But strength is coming soon

Though I am still grasping

I am no longer alone

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I am learning my Father cares

I am learning He has a plan

I am learning nothing is wasted

I am learning it all works

I am learning He is enough

I am no longer alone

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I am not alone

God is with me

I am not alone

Grace is abundant

I am not alone

Strength is rising

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I am not alone

My Father is watching

I am not alone

Jesus is with me

I am not alone

The Spirit is teaching

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I am not alone

I will never be alone

I am learning to press in

I am growing in faith

I am no longer alone

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THE CHRISTIAN WALK, Walking with God

Sitting on the side-lines.


Recently a sister and I were having a conversation about the state of affairs in Kenya and Nigeria and the similarities were stark…unexpected.

For many of us, it has felt like we are in a never ending cycle of pressure, stress, trouble and hardship.  Many look at our lives and our nations and wonder what is going on, what we have done to deserve this and how we will get out. It is as if we stepped into a washing machine that was turned on to full power with hot water and in a never ending cycle of washing. It feels like it is unending…yet the end is appointed to come.

Many times, we feel helpless and wonder what to do to right things around us. We have prayed, fasted, asked, meditated and just when we think things are on the mend, a prophecy comes through that God is angry because we haven’t been faithful, we have not repented, we have allowed madness to happen in His land and He is coming in force to deal with us. Someone has a dream of disaster, judgment and violence that God has said He will release on the land.

It feels like watching a football game from the side-lines.

I don’t have an answer to the prophecies and dreams people have had off late, so if you are looking for those, you can stop reading right now. I cannot share wisdom on those items because I am still awaiting clarity and interrogating my response if there will be any. However, whatever happens, I will stay true to the word God has spoken to me and only that because everything else is confusing and scary.

Have I had dreams I don’t understand? Yes! Have I had conversations that confirm I am not the only one seeing those things? Definitely! Does it make sense? Heck no! Am I scared? No! Do I have a plan of action? Yes! What is the plan? Simple…be still and sit until I get word about my points of engagement and the required strategies.

It feels like watching a football game from the side-lines.

Many of us hear a word or a dream and we panic because it is scary and we think we need to be doing or saying something right here, right now and move…just to say or do something because a word has been spoken. If we do that we would be like Ahab when he went against Syria with Jehoshaphat. He wanted people to tell him they would win and this had created an army of 400 hundred false prophets who said what he wanted to hear and the one true prophet Micaiah was consistently side-lined and ignored (1 Kings 22).

As they went to war this time, Jehoshaphat asked more than once if there was a true prophet of God who could tell the oracles of God and ofcourse Micaiah was called tongue in cheek aka shingo upande. As usual he didn’t have anything good to say about the war because he was speaking the word of the Lord that remains true and had nothing about keeping people happy. He said to Ahab, ‘If you return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me. Take heed, all you people.’ He was confident that what he spoke was the word of God and nothing could stand in the way of its accomplishment. That is the certainty I am pursuing in this season and all the days of my life. I want clarity that I have heard and I am living out God’s word even if it is different from what others are saying because, He (God) watches over his word to perform it, (Jer 1:12).

In my instance today, Micaiah represents the ability to sit still and await a clear word from God with tactics and reasons for every move. It is the ability to understand that though there are many options of actions, the only ones that matter are the ones God has given. There certainty and conviction that a specific set of actions is right and no matter what will produce God. So if a fast or a day of repentance or a season of mourning is called, each of us can only engage as directed by God for to do anything else is to put the whole army in danger. It makes me think of the Bereans who took every word the apostles taught and went back to scripture to interrogate it and learn deeper.

So when you see me sitting still watching, understand that I am awaiting instruction or that is my instruction. Pursue yours!

I would rather be in the right place, saying simple prayers and doing the silent work of my Father than be seen on the frontline of things only to get killed or injured in the wrong place. I know who I am, I know my role in this journey and I know how it is to be lived out in this season. Did I always know it? No! But time and sitting under the right authority has opened me up to it.

The other thing I understood a few days ago is that I am specially designed for the role assigned to me so the very things people use to judge and dismiss me are the ones that God has placed in me to allow me access to hidden places and secret wisdom useful only for the assignment. I am not sitting on the side-lines doing nothing…I am there being, listening, making room, praying, activating and shutting down, to give my Father proof a life lived for Him.

What are you doing on the side-lines?

THE CHRISTIAN WALK

The Route


The Route

In this day and age of super highways and by passes it is important to chart the route you will follow to anywhere. If you miss your exit on the super highway it will take you like ten to fifteen minutes to get back to the right place in the event there is no traffic on the side roads and you know where you are going. At times the easiest thing to do is ask for directions and work from there.

So is the same in life…look ahead and realise that you can only see as far as the next corner and you need to have as strong support system to make it through. What better support system than a relationship with God and a place in a community. Stop take stock, hear the instruction, formulate the plan, chart the route and start off. Walk by faith and in community and life will indeed be better than you expected.

Photo used is courtesy of Judy Niemeyer