Idols?

What or who are they in your life?

A lot of us within the body of Christ have the false belief that because we don’t look up to graven images and we don’t physically bow down to shrines or symbolic statues or figures, that we aren’t idolators…

But we’re so wrong.

Take a look at the list below and let’s rank these things – and I want you to be very very honest with yourself.

In your life, where is God’s true position amongst the following things/people?
(And please let this be a genuine assessment of where He really comes in the mix of things and not where you’d like Him to be in an ideal world…)

  • Job/Career
  • Business
  • Spouse
  • Partner (boyfriend or girlfriend)
  • Child/children
  • Education
  • Home care and chores
  • Socialising
  • Food
  • Bills
  • Fitness
  • Any other activities and people we fill our days with

Where is He?
Lower than you expected?

You see, every single thing/person that you allow to take a greater weight, value or importance in your life than your pursuit of God and His will and His word –
is an I D O L.

And please bear in mind that this is not always done consciously…
You mean no harm or insult to God when you do it, but to name a few:

  • You look at your phone and check that social media news feed ten times more than you even think of meditating and conversing with Your Maker.
  • Your tithe and offering is often short because you had other things to pay for.
  • You just want to quickly do the washing up first, then you’ll pray.
  • You just need to cook for the family first, then you’ll read the Word.

Very easily, He’s fallen a couple or even a good number of places in the ranking…
But we didn’t mean for it to be so.

Now don’t get me wrong, a very select number of things in our lives are actually ‘that important’ and in fact God does not undermine their importance either. However the problem of idolatry arises when we prioritise these things above God, and often it becomes a repeated habit.

What many of us have done is just about ‘fit God in’ and made Him work around everything else that we have going on, rather than the other way round. This is not only in terms of spending time with God, but it is also applicable in terms of what we do with our finances and other resources in which He has given us clear instructions about how to use them to serve Him.
We have put things so far above God and made Him last on our list. We rush and are eager and take so much more pleasure in engaging ourselves with all the things of the world; but we forget that we ought to be working out our salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12-13).

Sound like idol worshipping yet?

One of our favourite luxuries being children of God, I’m sure is G R A C E.
But that very gift that God has given us freely, is what many of us are abusing and it’s the reason why we’ve become so lax in our service and worship to the Creator of Heaven and Earth.

We seem to have forgotten that God comes first!
(Matthew 6:33, Matthew 22:37-40).

How about we flip it, and start to do it right.

-Prayer and worship should be intentionally scheduled into your daily routine, not just as and when you remember.

-Your tithes should be the first thing intentionally set aside from your 100% on payday, not just scraped together after you’ve dealt with everything else.
I understand this can be sensitive for some who are struggling, but I really encourage you to activate your faith in doing this, and then watch for the fruits of your obedience – the Lord Himself says ‘Test Me…’ – God will never fail you! (Please see related scripture here: Proverbs 3:9-10, Leviticus 27:30-34, Malachi 3:8-12).

-Church services – to fellowship with others, and render a service before God, take precedence over work and social events etc.

Again, that’s only to name a few – we all know the things we need to adjust in our lives, so let’s not neglect what needs to be changed.

I must say though – I get it… A lot of the time when we’ve put God on the back burner, our main justification is because it’s in order to do stuff ‘we HAVE to do’ – it’s when we’re tending our flock – so God understands, right?
I’ll put my hands up and say I’ve done it too – mainly with my education – surely God doesn’t want me to fail, right?

But let us remember the word in Ecclesiastes 3:1 that says there is a time for everything, thus we must create order, structure and discipline in our lives and ensure that drawing nearer to God is at the top of our plans.
Retrain your mind to know and understand that God who gave you all these things will surely help you take great care of it all, but not at the expense of your worship and relationship with Him.

Father,
Today we call our hearts back to You in Jesus’ Name. We ask for Your perfect forgiveness to cleanse us and renew us for every single way we’ve made things and people in our lives god above You.
We ask that You enable us to consecrate our lives back unto You and revere and honour You as we ought to.
We don’t want Your wrath O God, we want Your smile and we want to make You happy, therefore help us get our worship and service right in order to please You. And help our hearts to truly chase and long after You in Jesus’ Mighty Name

Restore us unto You Father, let us be close to You,
in Jesus’ Mighty Name we pray.
Amen.

Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing.

 

Beauty in your Simplicity…

Do you realise that sometimes your most simple and plain stateis more than enough? 

Now this is a weird one, because we see that actually sometimes in the bible the reference made to being simple/simple-minded is actually in a light which displays a lack of wisdom and an inability to push forward (Proverbs 1:22, Proverbs 14:15).

However at other times we see that simplicity in worship, and in serving Christ, is deemed ‘just right’. (2 Corinthians 11:3, 2 Corinthians 1:12)
And that’s where I’m going today.

Quick scenario to hopefully help paint the picture:
Have you ever dressed up in what you thought was the absolute best outfit ever, perfect make-up/shape up, gone out, and then not really gotten as many compliments/as much attention as you had anticipated (not necessarily because you desired it, but because you believed your appearance commanded it)?
But then on the most lowly and meek of days, when you didn’t try so hard, but still looked good, this very day was when everyone had something positive to say?!

I assure you that this does not happen just by chance.

God is such an intentional and amazing God, that He uses such scenarios to show us something deeper.
And with this example, God is showing us something in terms of our walk with Christ – that there is greater beauty when you strip all the layers away, and just come as you are, in your truest and purest form…
With a child-like innocence (Luke 18:15-17, Matthew 19:14), and a heart that just yearns for more of Jesus.

You see, many times we get so tied up in the puzzle that society has created Christianity to be.
We get lost in the complexity that man and woman have themselves constructed as the apparent ‘life of a believer’.
And we forget the beauty of the basics.
Unfortunately, once this is gone, we find ourselves losing out on the results of an authentic worship.
We find ourselves playing the role of someone who loves God, rather than truly living it.
Thus, we become less fulfilled and actually find that we’re struggling to truly Encounter God as we have before.

But remember, God just wants us to worship in spirit and in truth though… (John 4:24)

He didn’t ask for an extravaganza or a parade or all the dramatics that sometimes maybe look like they’re making something happen in the spiritual realm.

He just wants the real you.

He wants a worshipper, a child of His own, who will live for Him and serve Him, in spirit – not led by the flesh or things of this earth, and in truth – not a facade and not a show for others to see, but genuine, real, sincere worship.

You see what happens is, on the days when we don’t try so hard and don’t try to do too much, what people see is beyond the physical.
In fact God takes that simplicity and purity, and places His glory upon it, and makes it way bigger than we could ever comprehend.
What am I saying here?
I’m saying that when we do less, we give room and allow for the glory of God in us to shine through MORE – and you better believe this glory is incomparable to anything we think we could ever adorn ourselves with.

This applies not only to our walk with Christ, but with many other areas of our lives too – when we allow God to Shine through – the outcome is so much more glorious than what our mere mortal ability could have ever accomplished.

So with this, let’s pray…

Father Lord,
Let our lives always give You all the glory.
Help us to come back to the heart of worship, and bring ourselves to You in our realest, purest form.
Help us to strip away every addition we’ve put into our relationship with You, based on what humans have said it should be, and rather let us just come with a humble and pure heart, ready to receive every part of You.
Enable us to never lose sight of the cross and never get so caught up in what society says Christianity should look like, but rather empower us to have confidence in our simple, true and moving worship to You, with every single aspect of our lives.
In Jesus’ name. 
Amen 

Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing
God Bless you.

Submit your Flesh

The excuse of ‘I’m human’, is one that definitely gets overused in our society of believers.

Many of us use it to justify our actions when we’ve fallen short, or sometimes to actually convince ourselves that we can go ahead with doing something that we know isn’t right.

But here’s the thing, if only we would cultivate and nurture a good standard of self-control and self-discipline, as the bible instructs (Titus 1:8, Galatians 5:22-23), we would find ourselves resorting to this statement less and less…

I aim to challenge you with a few things today, in the hope of you developing a renewed conviction about some of the things you’ve allowed yourself to slack with…

You see, the bible teaches us to flee from sin, (1 Timothy 6:3-11), yet so many of us walk side by side with it.
Where we’re mingling and mixing with the things that lead us astray, some of us will find that rather than becoming more spiritually inclined, we’re becoming more accustomed to the ways of the world, and in fact becoming more comfortable with engaging in practices/activities/habits that we ought to really detest as children of God!

That’s why this message today reminds and instructs you to always
Submit your flesh to the Spirit of God in you!

It is an absolute MUST to do this.

“Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? 
Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 
Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? 
For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.”
[Romans 6:1-4]

When we make the decision to accept Christ and walk with Him, one of the first things we establish is that our old self has died, and our new being is alive in Christ, as the above scripture says. We are then encouraged to walk in the light of Christ, and to actively rid ourselves of all the worldly things we used to do when we didn’t know Him, in order to fully pursue this new life and new glory with Him.

But friend, these days your lines are blurred.
You’re speaking Jesus but you aren’t living Him.
You’re portraying Jesus but your heart isn’t really here for Him, fully…

So what’s changed?

Why does it seem like you’re caring less and less about the implications of your decisions?
Why does it seem like you’ve lowered your standard of how much you want to obey God?
Why does it seem like you’ve lost focus?

You see, the word of God is intentional, and therefore every word is for a reason, so when it says to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12), it’s because being a follower of Christ is not at all a passive decision, but rather an active, alive and vibrant choice to walk in His way. This means therefore that if we don’t culture, grow, nurture, and pay attention to our spirit, then indeed we will so easily become entangled in sin (as Hebrews 12:1 puts it).

So for many of us, over time, our lax attitude towards our journey with Christ has allowed the old self to creep back into our environments and slowly infiltrate our minds and therefore our behaviours, beliefs, and attitudes.
What this means is that we’ve become more ‘okay’ with lying, theft, sexual immorality, drunkenness, idolatry, selfishness and all the other things that we were initially so eager to put behind us when we first got saved.

For some of us, we get tired.
Our enthusiasm runs out.
Our interest and ability to be ‘bothered’ with the things of God, and honouring God, decreases, and so we find ourselves drifting further and further away from the will of God and His purpose for us.
In some cases, what’s surprising is that actually some of us are still able to look ‘Jesus-good’ externally, but deep down in our hearts, we couldn’t be any further away from true worship and surrenderance to the heart and will of God.

If I’m talking to you, and this message is for you in any way, and you’re ready to be real, I’m saying let’s go back to basics
Yes, I’m calling you out, and I’m hopefully making you uncomfortable with where you are in your walk with Christ right now, but understand that I’m not judging you – instead, I’m simply saying don’t spend another second compromising your faith or relationship with God! Rather, let’s return to that very fundamental aspect of giving our lives to Christ, and turning our lives around;

“We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.”
[Romans 6:6-7

“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.”
[Galatians 5:24]

You are not a slave to sin. 
Sin is no longer your master.
Sin no longer controls you.
Sin no longer has a hold or any power over you…

I’m emphasising this point, because the weakening of sin’s power, by our death and resurrection in Christ Jesus, is such a key element to remember from today’s message.
When we stray away from the will of God, we often forget this truth because we are so immersed in the ways of the world.
Therefore sin begins to look convenient. And in this slippery area of dabbling, the devil capitalises on our state of mind and tries to trick us into believing that sin holds us ransom again as it once did, that it’s too hard to let go of the wrong habits, and that sin has defeated us…

But these are all LIES!

You are no longer a slave to sin. (I had to say it one more time!)

And you must rise with this strength daily, in order to conquer every wayward desire of the flesh.
You must understand from this truth, that the Spirit of Christ Jesus, who conquered death and destroyed all power of sin – that Spirit in You, is greater and more powerful than your flesh.
Your Spirit has authority over your flesh!

Therefore you ought to train your flesh to pipe down.
You ought to tell your flesh ‘not today, not ever, you’re not getting your way’.
You ought to submit your flesh to the will of God daily; your thoughts, words and actions – and begin to build up a resilience against any desire to engage in sinful natures (1 Peter 4:1-2).

I’ll finish by sharing something Paul said in the bible;

“I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.”
[1 Corinthians 9:27]

Another translation says;

“No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (NIV)

Let us develop the understanding that we too have the authority, the courage, the power and the tools of the spirit, to discipline ourselves, discipline our bodies, and discipline our flesh, in order to ensure that we do what we are meant to be doing, and that we run our race with purpose and perseverance to win!

Further Scriptures to read and pray with daily:
Overcoming tiredness – Galatians 6:7-9
Overcoming sin – Romans 6:11-14, Titus 2:12, Ephesians 4:22-23, Romans 12:1-2
Growing in the Spirit – John 3:30 (a crucial daily declaration)

Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing
God Bless you

#SubmitYourFlesh
#SpiritWins
#MoreThan100PeoplePraying

What can I do for You?

Having recently had many conversations regarding relationships, and ‘getting it right’, and understanding the different requirements etc, it made me think about applying certain things to our relationship with The Father.

One thing that came up in particular is the fact that as individuals, we often focus solely on receiving our personal wants and needs from others.

Meaning that though we’re in a relationship with another person, we only concentrate on the different things we expect that person to do for us; how their actions and decisions can benefit us, and how anything and everything pertaining to them, can please us.

But what about the other person?

Today I’m asking us, What about God?

A relationship with God is the most important relationship anyone should have, therefore we ought to evaluate our behaviour in this relationship, every now and then, in order to see how we can improve it and make it better – all in the desire of drawing closer to Jehovah.

So let’s be real, just as we can sometimes be selfish in our relationships with one another, we are often also very selfish in our relationship with Abba Father.

Many of us get to a place where our prayers (which ought to be conversations) only contain requests galore…

“Father can You do, ABCDEF,
maybe I don’t need G,
but I definitely need HIJK and all the rest of it.”

We wake up, and yes we may manage to thank Him, but again, we jump in and ask Him to bless our days, grant us favour and grace and so on.

Now don’t get me wrong, asking God to be the centre of your day is not a bad thing, trusting in the beauty of His grace and therefore desiring your day to be saturated in it, again, is not a bad thing, but what God gave me for this post, to pass on to you, is that
every now and then, it’ll be nice for us to ask Him what He wants…

If we read Deuteronomy 12, we see a God of specificity.
And don’t worry, I understand that this chapter is in a completely different time, where there was no Saviour yet, but what I want to draw from it, is that we serve a God who pays attention to detail.
And if the bible tells me that my God is Consistent, never-changing, the same today, yesterday and forever (Revelation 1:8, Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8), then that must mean, that this Specific and attention to detail God, still exists.
So why not appeal to that side of Him every so often?

Why not acknowledge that He has wants and desires too, and rather than ask so much for things that can bless our own lives, let’s ask God how we can Perfect the one thing that He takes from us, which is our worship.

I’m not asking you to go before God with a goat or a cow, but I am encouraging us to develop a habit of ASKING God what He wants and how He wants it…

How would You like me to proclaim Your name today?

How would You like to be served today?

What do You want my worship to sound and look like today?

What songs do You want to hear me sing to You?

What can I do today to make Your name and glory STAND OUT to those who experience and encounter me?

Many times we base our entire ‘living for God’, on what we think and assume He wants, what we’ve seen or heard others do, or what we’ve been told to do;

““These people come near to me with their mouth
    and honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
    is based on merely human rules they have been taught.”
[Isaiah 29:13]

But the bible tells us a true worshipper, worships in spirit and in truth – John 4:24.

Therefore I want us to become more sensitive to the Spirit of God in us and let us listen to what God is saying about true worship, rather than imitating what we’ve seen around us.
Let us become unselfish in our relationship with God, and learn to stop focusing only on what we can get out it.
Instead, let us ask Him what He wants, and actually wait to hear what God desires of us.

Let us desire to have a heart that is near to Him, through a worship that is no longer based on rules and acting, but rather based on a deeper knowledge and understanding of what God wants, what God likes, and what God will be pleased with.

Let’s pray;

Father, I know I have the freedom to worship You freely all the days my life, so I pray that You will help me to worship You in a way that is personally perfect for You.

Let me not focus on doing it anyone else’s way, but rather help me to acknowledge and focus on what You want, and how You want it.

I pray that after reading this message, I won’t get caught up on worrying about worshipping ‘right’, but instead, I pray that I will always long to worship You in Spirit, and in Truth.

Help me to always consider You more in my daily living, and let me walk closely with You, and become so familiar with Your heart and Your desires, that the things that flow from me naturally are more and more aligned with that which pleases You.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing
God Bless you.

#AnUnselfishRelationship
#MoreThan100PeoplePraying (Let’s keep our daily prayers up for the youth of today – our leaders of tomorrow)