Love With a ‘No’

From a young age, for many of us, ‘No’ has probably been one of our least favourite words to hear.

Usually associated with refusal, rejection and denial – ‘No’ is almost always seen as a bad word, that stimulates negative emotions.

But have you ever realised that we can also Love with a ‘No’?

Did you know, that sometimes,

No can say – ‘You’re not ready’

No can say – ‘I want you to learn’

No can say – ‘I want you to grow’

And ultimately, No can say – ‘I want you to depend on God’.

Today I want us to understand that as friends/siblings/parents/partners – whoever we are to the people in our lives, we each have a responsibility of knowing when to say ‘No’, for the right reasons.

I get it – we would do absolutely anything for our loved ones, just to see them smile and just to make sure that everything is alright for them.
I mean we literally just spoke about being our brother and sister’s keeper on Sunday, and ensuring that we’re always there for them, so why would we now be discussing the concept of denying them of what they may request from us?
Well, what God is telling us with this post, is to ensure that we get the right balance.
Loving and caring for someone goes beyond giving them what they ask for all the time, but actually sometimes requires us to be tough and disciplined, in order to produce the best them they can be. 

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.
Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness
and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
[Hebrews 12:11]

Whilst this word can sometimes have negative connotations, what the bible attributes to discipline are good things like self-control, wisdom, knowledge and growth.
Therefore without making the other person seem inferior, our ‘No’ can serve as good discipline, which is important in order for them to grow and learn from their situation.

Now let’s be real, some of us will struggle with this.
Particularly those of us who have fallen into a cycle with a friend or family member who keeps finding themselves in the same situation as a result of poor decisions. Each time they cry for help, we run to their rescue.
Firstly, God bless you for your diligence in supporting them all the time. And please don’t entertain any feelings of guilt as you now read this post, but rather be encouraged and led by the Holy Spirit to know that one day you will have the strength and wisdom to say ‘No’, in order for them to benefit from the crucial lesson that awaits them in the midst of that circumstance.

Yes it will hurt.
In fact the bible already says it will be painful, and this can be true for both us and them – we may feel like we’re letting them down, whilst they may feel unloved/rejected.
But let us not lose focus on what really matters…

You see, though our intentions our good, we fail to realise that sometimes we may end up depriving people of the growth and development that God has purposed a situation for in their lives. And this isn’t at all a post to blame us, but it’s just to make us mindful of the fact that in some cases, we ought to take a step back, and let God be God in their lives.
Let them remember that they ought to always depend on God.
And rather than us trying to take over His role, let us ask Him for the wisdom for us to know when not to intervene, so that He can take control and His perfect will be done.

Looking at the verse again, it says discipline produces a
H A R V E S T  of  R I G H T E O U S N E S S,  which means that our timely ‘No’ can positively contribute to the building of good and proper character – a man or woman that seeks God’s heart, and whose ways are pleasing in God’s sight.
Whether knowingly or unknowingly, some of us have fed our friend’s bad habits for so long, simply because we haven’t said ‘No’.
With this verse in mind, we ought to make the conscious decision to refuse to encourage any detrimental behaviour, and instead be a light in their lives by saying ‘No’, in order to push them to break away from every practice that doesn’t glorify God.

Now I know some of you will be thinking, ‘But a ‘No’ from me doesn’t necessarily stop them from seeking help somewhere else, which could be even worse’.
This is where we remember the importance of prayer and taking everything to the throne.
After seeking wisdom of when to say ‘No’, we must remember to pray that they will receive the ‘No’ with love and will appreciate the training it eventually provides.
Most importantly, our prayer should be that they shift their focus away from man and unto God, and that they seek guidance from Him alone.

Before we go, let us take note of this for ourselves too…
We also must learn to be open to receive a ‘No’.

“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
    but whoever hates correction is stupid.
[Proverbs 12:1]

In loving discipline and knowledge, and taking into consideration what we’ve discussed above, when we find ourselves on the receiving end of a ‘No’, let’s first remember that this isn’t because the person doesn’t love us.
Let us be reminded that we should depend on God, seek His hand in every situation, and pray not to miss the lesson.

With the promise of God in Romans 8:28, we can be confident that whether we’re saying it, or it’s being said to us – the right ‘No’, will surely produce good fruits in our lives.

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

 

#LoveWithANo
#TrueLoveSaysNo
#MoreThan100PeoplePraying

Keeper…

Apologies that it’s been a while.
Without making excuses, I’ll admit that I just need to plan myself better to ensure frequency of posts is never compromised.

That out of the way, I have a task for us this week (and always):

Be your Brother/Sister’s Keeper.

What do I mean by this?

Let’s have a look…

“You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” 
[Colossians 3:12]

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honour giving preference to one another;
[Romans 12:10]

I want us to be more mindful of the people around us.
More importantly – more mindful of the people we haven’t seen or heard from in a long time.

It’s very easy to become so consumed with everything concerning us and our families that we don’t even stop to bother ourselves with the business of anyone else.

We’ve spoken about this recently, in A Need For You, however, God brought it actively to my mind again to remind us of the importance of our responsibility of being the light of the world – spreading love on this earth.

We cannot only think about ourselves as Children of God. We have to think of others too.

Yes I know you have so much going on, you have deadlines to meet, you need your alone-time, but I want us to pray for the desire and ability to be unselfish…
To be unselfish with our time, resources and emotions, and in doing so, reach out to those whom we may have not spoken to for a few days/weeks/months/even years.

Don’t allow your worries to hinder you from doing so – worries of;

Will they think I’m just being nosy?

Is it any of my business to ask how they are?

Will they even respond?

Just go with the right intentions (to extend the love of Christ), pray for the wisdom and direction of what to say, and go ahead and check up on them.

Considering the words from the scripture above;

Compassion, Kindness, Affection,

Let’s step into the week with a heart ready to love and care for our brothers and sisters.

We never know what people are going through, and even though they may not always reply with details when we ask ‘How are you?’, we can definitely be assured that the seed of love has been sown in that person’s life and has reminded them that someone is looking out for them.

Task: Let’s reach out to least one person this week, become consistent with it, and add people to that list as the Holy Spirit plants their names in our hearts.

Don’t underestimate the power of the Love of Christ in you.  

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

#MyBrothersKeeper
#MySistersKeeper
#MoreThan100PeoplePraying

 

I’m Not Finished Yet!

“I’m not finished yet!”

This ought to be our bold affirmation when we find that situations have worked ‘against us’ or ‘haven’t happened in our favour’

“I’m. Not. Finished. Yet!”

So the other day my pastor called me over randomly and asked how I was doing, and by my facial expressions and body language you could tell I wasn’t ‘me’.
So I explained that I was feeling a little under the weather etc, a little tired etc, and somewhere in that conversation, we got to a point where, as pastors do, he began encouraging me.

Here’s a bit of the dialogue;

“When things don’t go as planned, don’t beat yourself up.”

How many of us need that reminder today?

How many of us sit and think over and over again about what went wrong, and dwell in the regret of not doing things differently?

Instead of reflecting on what has transpired and figuring out ways to move forward, we sit moping around with an attitude of ‘if only’.
We sit down in the dumps with a downhearted and let-down spirit, and rather than channel the thoughts we have regarding all the things we didn’t do, into constructive criticism for ourselves, we simply use all those faults and mistakes that we’ve acknowledged, to knock ourselves further and further into the ground.
We don’t realise it, but the only thing we’re doing at this point is paralysing and distracting ourselves from making our next move!

The bible says this;

“Being cheerful keeps you healthy. It is slow death to be gloomy all the time.”  
[Proverbs 17:22]

Another translation reads;

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Now understand this, not only does this verse refer to our physical health, but it is speaking to the health of all the different aspects of our lives too!
Our finances, our relationships, our careers, our education – whatever it is that didn’t go according to your plan that is causing you to think negatively – please look at this scripture and understand that your positivity, your joy and your confidence in the strength you have in the Lord, is what can revive and turn that situation around!
Your attitude has the potential to bring  L I F E  back into something that you deemed as being ‘all over’.

So anyway, this chat with pastor continues; he goes on to say,

“In fact, we have to be very careful that we don’t fall into a habit/cycle of self-pity; feeling sorry for ourselves.” 

And at this point, in my head I’m like ‘Yooooo pastor, I’m not actually going through anything sour right now, like I’m good!’ (Thank You Jesus), but at the same time I reflected back to my attitude and reaction to certain circumstances I had experienced in the past, and in that moment I decided never to do the whole self-pity schpiel again!

Why are you feeling sorry for yourself?

No, please, tell me why?!

We do it to make ourselves feel better about it all.
We figure that when we really really channel and fully assume that role of ‘the victim’, that it will allow us to feel better about the fact that the misfortune has had its way.

Do you know what, in some cases, maybe you actually were a ‘victim’, and maybe you actually did suffer from an extremely traumatising experience – I’m not taking that away from you, or daring to undermine your emotions.
I don’t think anyone has a right to say you’re ‘assuming a role’, because, in the technicalities of the situation, you were the ‘victim’ – by definition, you were the individual who was harmed by the other party, and made to feel helpless and passive – be it an actual person or an issue.

But that’s just technically speaking yeah, so let’s get to scripturally speaking…

Yes, you faced misfortune or ill-treatment, however no, ‘victim’ is not your name! Because the word of God says,

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
[Romans 8:37]

You – are more than a Conqueror!
Yep, I personally think Conqueror suits you better.

Another translation reads,

“No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us!”

You – have  C O M P L E T E  victory! Because Christ loves you, is for you, and will ALWAYS be for you! (Please read Romans 8:31-39).

Therefore I plead with you to stop the self-pity, stop thinking ‘why me?’, stop asking what you did, or who you offended for such a bad thing to happen to you, and understand that what has happened to you has not been designed to break you!
It’s simply part of your story, to make the victory sweeter and to bring greater glory and honour and exaltation to the name of God.

So then pastor left me with this, and that’s why it’s the title of this post, he said,

“You see when things happen to us in life, you have to tell that thing,
‘Oh no, I’m not finished yet!‘ 

Whatever has confronted me and tried to bring me down has not seen the last of me. 
I will rise above it and conquer it!” ~ Pastor Stephen Akinmosa. 

I’m demanding that you snatch these words as your own and apply it when you need it!
Tell those nasty situations that yes, they tried hard, but they didn’t succeed!
Laugh in the face of that circumstance, flick your hair (if you have any) and with an ample amount of sass, tell it that “I [insert name here], am Not. Finished. Yet!”

Mate, I’m just getting started!

 

Keep the Faith Don’t Stop Believing
Keep Being Selfless #SelflessWeek #SelflessAlways
Keep Praying for our youth #MoreThan100PeoplePraying
And as always,
May God Richly Bless you and yours.

 

P.s. Yep, this is definitely a PFP 🙂

A Need For You…

So we’re stepping into a new week, only by the grace of God, and of course, I have a message for you…

There is A Need for You…

Someone needs your smile

Someone needs the hope you have within you

Someone needs the strength that you can share

Someone needs the encouragement your words provide

Someone needs the comfort that you bring

Someone needs the love of Christ that flows from within you.

I want us to make this week all about everyone else.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.
Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,

not looking to your own interests
but each of you to the interests of the others”.
[Philippians 2:3-4]

I want us to take the scripture in Philippians as literally as possible, and try our best to put our own concerns and burdens aside, as we look around to help the people around us.

To some of us, this may sound extremely silly or uncomfortable or hard to do or just not ideal, because your present situation is tough – but what God told me to tell you, is that in the same way He is sending you as a helper to someone else, so will He send someone to you – therefore, you need not worry one bit about what’s going on with you – (remember what His word says in Deuteronomy 31:8Philippians 4:19).
Pray for the strength to turn your eyes away from your issues, and focus on helping the people in your care.

Focus on your neighbour, and consider their needs.

Let them on the train before you, pay the extra £1 they’re short of, phone that relative and remind them someone is thinking of them, pray about the problem that is causing your friend to cry.

The bible teaches us to regard others above ourselves, to acknowledge their interests above our own and to value the things concerning them more than those concerning us.
Like I said above, sometimes when we’re going through so much hardship, and feel like life is working against us (even in the simplest of scenarios such as running late for work), this word is far too difficult of a pill to swallow.
We’re wallowing in our own worries and our self-pity that we don’t even have space to think of others or what they’re going through or how we can help them, because we are in need of help ourselves!!
But what the bible reminds us of here, is the fact that Love is unselfish (1 Corinthians 13:5)…
Therefore with the love of Christ, we ought to remember that there is always someone who is in deeper need that we can reach out to.
And no this isn’t about feeling better about yourself, but it’s about acknowledging that as children of God, God has given us a grace to ALWAYS be a blessing, regardless of our present circumstance.

So let us be mindful of our surroundings.
Let us consider others, and acknowledge their needs physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and let us stretch out our hands and pull them up from whatever valley they may be in!

This week, and always, I want us to remember that we are Ambassadors of Christ.
His Spirit lives richly in us, and we represent Him and everything He stands for.
Therefore just as He came to serve, and honour those He lived with, we ought to do the same with an open and joyous heart, desiring to make the lives of those around us pleasant and peaceful and filled with light.

Let’s start by labelling this week 25/09/2017-01/10/2017 as our #SelflessWeek.
And I pray that through the manifestation of the various selfless acts we carry out this week, we will be encouraged to permanently embed selflessness and living for others, into our everyday life.

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

#SelflessWeek
#MoreThan100PeoplePraying

 

Getting Back to Me…

Sometimes we stray so far away from who we are and what we really stand for, but the grace of God brings us back.

Let’s talk about making the most of that.

You see, what many of us do, is that once we’ve fallen so far by the wayside, and gone so far off course, we feel ashamed to ever come back.
We must understand, however, that coming to the realisation that something isn’t right about the way we’re living, is only by the grace of God, therefore we mustn’t waste that privilege of being able to identify that something has gone wrong…
We mustn’t allow our fear of what people will say, to keep us somewhere that we no longer desire to be…

Of course, we may feel silly, ashamed, foolish, and many other emotions, because people probably advised us against many things that we ended up doing, but chose not to listen.

We finally realise that we’ve made a bad decision, or in some cases, a whole string of bad decisions, but a fear of their reaction to our return, holds us back from making the right turn to get back to who we were…

Getting back to me…

Getting back to the Christ in me…

This is something I feel believers should be more transparent and open about, because the truth is, everyone falls.

And no I’m not saying we should become more accepting of sin and doing wrong, but it’s simply about being more real about the fact that sometimes we may have off days/weeks/months or even years.
Sometimes things happen to us that cause us to fall away, people come into our lives that distract us, or even for no reason at all, we just lose focus, lack wisdom and choose to do things our own way.

It’s kind of like that prodigal son story found in Luke 15:11-32.

Once you’ve read this story, you’ll see that we have three important characters;

The Lost Son – living life his own way, indulging in worldly pleasures, making bad decisions.

The Obedient but Annoyed Brother – living for Christ diligently, listens to instructions, therefore doesn’t understand why there should be a fuss about someone who has only gone and done everything they shouldn’t be doing.

The Compassionate, Forgiving Father – a loving, constant, faithful, amazing God, who understands our human flaws, and is happy when we return to our senses, and return home.

Today I want to talk to us about the fact that at different points in our lives, we may actually find ourselves being able to relate to both sons…

Of course, we desire not to fall and sin and lose our way once we’ve accepted Christ, but sometimes, it happens.
So let’s talk about being The Lost Son…

The magnitude of how lost we are, or how lost we become, can vary between each person. So when I speak about being lost here, I’m talking about when we find ourselves out of character and living in a way that just doesn’t identify with what we truly believe in, or what we know we should be doing for Christ. Therefore this could be the smallest thing or the biggest, but it’s just anything we’ve been doing over and over again that isn’t pleasing in God’s sight; anything that is ruining our witness to the gospel.

My message for you today is, don’t be afraid to go home – to Get back to the real you, and get back to the Christ in you.
Understand that your mistakes do not define who you are, and just like the son in the story, God sees your remorse (Luke 15:18-19) and will welcome you with open arms (Luke 15:20).
Do not be ashamed to admit your faults. Don’t allow pride and shame to keep you in sin, but rather be open about your weaknesses with your brothers and sisters in the body of Christ and allow the mercy of God to turn your heart around and right your wrongs.
Embrace Getting Back to You, and you’ll be surprised who you inspire to do the same.

Now many of us may find ourselves in the position of The Obedient but Annoyed Brother, many times in our lives.
We just don’t understand how/why someone will choose to do all the things they’ve done. And therefore we get irritated and feel like they should know better.

My message for you each time you’re in this position will be the same, and that is, don’t judge and don’t push them away.
We have to show compassion just as our Father does, and even if we are going to advise them on their wrongs in order to help them not to fall again, let us ensure that we do this love.
Our work begins not only when our brother/sister finally realises their wrong, but actually, it starts from when we first see them venturing off (Galatians 6:1-2).
Let us be a constant voice that encourages them to come back, and let us ensure they know that they have someone to speak to if ever they need to.
When they’re back home, we ought to let the found soul feel warm, and let them know that we accept the new and true them, which is who they are in Christ. Therefore let’s refrain from making references to when, and what they did whilst lost, as a constant reminder of this may just push them back there.
As heaven rejoices over them, let us rejoice too (Luke 15:7Luke 15:32).

I’ll finish by saying this; Getting Back to Me embraces the fact that who we are in Christ, is our true self.
Therefore I want to encourage us not to be ashamed of letting people know that we were once lost.
Allowing people to be open about their weaknesses, rather than hiding them and suffering in silence, means that they can receive the support, help and accountability that will actually enable them to overcome the various things they struggle with.
Therefore as the body of Christ, let us create an environment that enables people to discuss their flaws (with remorse and a desire to change), and let us provide the opportunity and support for them to grow into their True Christ-like self.

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

#GettingBackToMe
#GettingBackToTheChristInMe
#MoreThan100PeoplePraying

 

 

Dare to be Different…

You have no business blending in!

This is what the word of God says about you;

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.” 
[Matthew 5:14].

If the bible tells you that you cannot be hidden, then please tell me why you spend so much time ‘fitting in’?

Some of us have come to believe that the best way to get through life is to follow the norms and just do what everyone else is doing.
So even though our light is there, we ourselves have covered it up by failing to embrace the differences in us that we actually ought to use to proclaim Christ and make Him known to others.

What I’m getting at, is the fact that as children of the Most High, we haven’t been called to look and live like everyone else;

“But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”
[1 Peter 2:9]

Therefore, we need to start getting comfortable with standing out, standing proud, and in some cases, standing alone

I get it, it’s good and fun and nicer to have company as we work our way through this journey of life, but let’s be reminded that pleasing God is much more important. And in fact, when we wholeheartedly live to honour and stand for Him, He provides us with peace and boldness to do so!

Now let’s make sense of the title of this post…

Daring to be Different isn’t about making a scene.

It isn’t about seeking attention or seeking to be noticed and praised by others, but rather it’s about plucking up that courage to step away from the things that displease God, even if it’s the most popular trend, or the ‘in thing’ according to the rest of the world.
It’s about loving God enough to let go of our fleshly desires and the worldly pleasures that we’ve become used to, and focus our hearts on the things above.

“Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
[Romans 12:2]

This verse is one that is popularly quoted amongst believers and I want us to pay attention to the faithfulness of God in this verse…

It tells us that God does the transforming. And I believe we ought to find comfort in the fact that this means that He doesn’t leave us to figure it out on our own, or struggle with the temptation that comes with trying to get rid of our old ways.
This verse tells us that if we can shift our focus away from the world and sin, and unto God, then He will work in us and renew our minds.
He Himself will teach our hearts what His ways are; enabling us to develop a better understanding of how to live for Him.

Now we’ve spoken before about standing out and standing for God, when we looked at the story of Daniel, in the post titled ‘Can they See you?’

Daniel stood out in quite a bold and outward way, and in some cases, we will need to do this in order for us to show others who our God is.
But whilst looking at this topic further, what God showed me is that sometimes our ‘standing out’ needs to be in terms of the smaller things, the inside things, and the intimate things…

Daring to be Different transcends all the way into our private lives and the things we do in secret that no one else (but God) sees…

Maybe we skip paying our train fare.
Maybe we’re engaging in fraudulent activities.
Maybe we stream music and movies illegally online.
Maybe we’re engaging in sexual intimacy in our pre-marital relationships.

The things that we could never tell anyone openly, but we know each time we do it, we get an itch about it being wrong.
Yes friend, God is asking us to take the right Stand for these things too, even if it means standing alone.
In fact, it’s with some of these smaller and more intimate things that we may feel like we’re losing out or missing out more, initially.
These ‘behind closed doors’ things that have become so deeply embedded into our lives may actually be the ones that hurt to give up most.
But over time we’ll see that the more God transforms our minds and our beliefs, the more we’ll understand and embrace the beauty of doing what is right and pleasing in His sight.
The more we’ll appreciate the pain it took to stop these things and Stand for God in the first place.

Please understand that I’m not calling you out, but I want us to be convicted today by the Holy Spirit and the word of God;

“My son, do not walk in the way with them,
Keep your foot from their path;”
[Proverbs 1:15]

“Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners takes 
or sit in the company of mockers,” 
[Psalm 1:1

Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
    or walk in the way of evildoers.
Avoid it, do not travel on it;
    turn from it and go on your way.
[Proverbs 4:14-15]

Some of us have been hearing that ‘Stop it’, for so long, but have allowed ourselves to become okay with ignoring God’s voice.
Let today be the day that you take the BOLD step to make the change.

I want us to chase God and chase His ways.
Crave God and crave His ways.
See sin, despise sin, and choose to Stand for a True and Living Christ.

Understand this, we aren’t doing it to prove that we’re better than anyone else, but it’s simply to show Jesus that He means everything to us and that we are preparing our hearts and our lives for His second coming.

You will see, that your Stand will inspire, encourage and push others to draw nearer to God, and even cause unbelievers to want to know Him.
When people see a Difference in our attitudes towards life, our reactions and our mannerisms, one day they’ll be forced to enquire about this Jesus that we choose to honour.

I’ll end by telling us this –

“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.”
[Matthew 5:13]

We have a responsibility to season this world with Christ – let us Dare to be Different, Confident and Firm in the things of Christ, and trust that the world will follow us and move towards the things of God too!

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

#DareToBeDifferent
#MoreThan100PeoplePraying

Timely…

We often underestimate the power of doing things ‘right on-time’.

What do I mean?

I’m talking about when the Holy Spirit inspires us to send a message to someone, or reach out to someone in one way or another, and we delay to do it.

Today I want us to realise the perfection of the Almighty God, and appreciate the importance of moving right when He tells us to.

Question: How many of us have ever sent a random text, or encouraged someone out of the blue, and in return heard that person say that it was exactly what they needed to hear?
How many of us have ever gifted someone with something, and found out that it was exactly what they needed/had been longing for?

You get my point right?

I know a lot of the time many of us shy away from calling things ‘perfect’, but the truth is, God is Perfect, and His perfection can be felt by the world around us, through our obedience to His intricate instructions.

When He whispers these things to us, and we act upon them straight away, we allow a restoration of faith, hope, joy and so much more, in the lives of those on the receiving end.
We allow them to enjoy perfect moments of grace and favour from Father God, and even as I type this I’m filled with awe and joy to know that He’s a God that pays such close attention to the tiny details of His children’s lives.
Through us, God shows Himself right on-time, reminding His children that they are never alone – now friend, how much of a privilege is it, to be part of such a beautiful Master Plan? 

Today I encourage you to allow yourself to be used by God.

There will be times when He moves you to do something, to carry out a certain gesture, to give a compliment, to call to check up on someone, and I want us to promise today that we will do it immediately.

Don’t shy away or allow any human emotions to dissuade you – e.g. thoughts of ‘I don’t want to intrude’, ‘I don’t want to seem too forward’, but rather have faith in the spirit of God in you, and go ahead and do/say what He tells you to.

I often say, ‘You never know what anyone is going through’, and for this very reason, I want us to understand that we have such an important role to play as Jesus’ hands and feet on this earth, sharing His love and peace to those around us.

The lesson today is this: When God urges you to do/say something, it’s because He knows that His child (the recipient) is in great need of those words/actions, at that very moment.
So with this being said, I want us to realise that it’s a privilege to be used by God, and therefore take pride in fulfilling His will.

Let’s pray:

Father we thank You for being a God who pays close attention to our every need.
Today we focus not on ourselves, but rather on those who You will send us to bless, through our timely obedience to Your instructions.
Help us Lord to appreciate the importance of doing things right when You send the word, in order for it to be perfect for Your beloved children in need of the words and actions to come from us.
We thank You for using us for Your glory, and pray that we’ll always embrace Your perfection and excellence, and therefore allow it to be felt by all those around us,
In Jesus’ Mighty name,
Amen.

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

#PerfectTiming
#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)

 

 

 

Can They See You?

What’s different about you? 

When you go for a job interview, the employers are looking for something in you that makes you stand out in comparison to others.
They’re looking for that ‘thing’ that suggests to them that you’d be better than everyone else, for that role.

As we all know this, we go to interviews with our best. We make sure that our CVs/Resumes are in tip-top shape, and we make sure that every unique thing about us is right in front for them to pick up on as soon as they see us…

Here’s my question for today:

When you walk into a room, can people see you?

No, I’m not talking about the outfit, the shoes, the hair, the watch – but I’m asking, when you walk into someone’s life, do they see something in you that is ‘just different’?

Initially, that’s exactly how they may describe it because they can’t quite put their finger on what it is, but they know that there is something different about that guy/lady.

As time goes on and they get to know you more, or just somehow find out about you more, they’ll begin to specify the attributes that contribute to this difference – ‘That lady is always positive’, ‘That guy always brings good vibes’, ‘That woman is generous’, That man is always encouraging people’….

How do people describe you when you’re not in their presence?
I’ll give you a moment to think about it.

Alright, so let’s hit the scriptures;

I’ve linked the whole of Daniel 4 here for you to read in your own time.
For this post, we’ll jump and skip between verses, so it isn’t too many words on a page, but let’s start here – the king of Babylon has a dream, and he seeks someone who can correctly interpret the dream for him;

“But one night I had a dream that frightened me;
I saw visions that terrified me as I lay in my bed.

So I issued an order calling in all the wise men of Babylon,
so they could tell me what my dream meant.

[Daniel 4:5-6]

But despite calling for all magicians and sorcerers etc, he still has no one who can tell him what the dream really means;

“When all the magicians, enchanters, astrologers, and fortune-tellers came in,
I told them the dream, but they could not tell me what it meant.”
[Daniel 4:7]

But then one man came in, and he was different;

“At last Daniel came in before me, and I told him the dream.
(He was named Belteshazzar after my 
god, and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.)
“I said to him, ‘Belteshazzar, chief of the magicians, I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no mystery is too great for you to solve.
Now tell me what my dream means.”

[Daniel 4:8-9]

Let’s pause here for a bit…

As the king reports this story, he begins verse 8 with ‘At last’.
Indicating that he had anticipated this man who was set apart from others.

Friend, does the world, and do the people around you, ANTICIPATE you?
When there is turmoil or disarray, do they wait in hope for You, knowing that your presence will bring something different?

You see, prior to this chapter 4, Daniel had shown himself to be different.
He had made bold decisions (Daniel 1:8), and in all he did to honour God, he had the Lord’s backing (Daniel 1:17).
He spent time with God, was endowed with wisdom, and so showed forth his gift in a way that caused people around him to want to worship his God! (Daniel 2:46-47)

Friend, do you show forth your gifts from God?
If you do, is it in a way that glory returns to God, and not yourself?
Do you stand strong in your beliefs despite what everyone else is doing, and like Daniel did, allow your True God to come through for you because you choose NOT to disregard Him, and NOT to defile yourself?
Ponder on these questions for a moment, and when you’re ready, keep reading…

So what we’ve seen is that prior to this chapter, Daniel had shown the king his ability before (in chapter 2) – hence the ‘at last’, and hence the anticipation.
Meaning the king had formed an opinion of who Daniel was – mystery solver, wise man, a man in whom the Spirit of the Real God lives in….

I ask, what do people acknowledge about you?
Does your daily life represent God enough, for them to desire you and associate your name with positive things?
Just as the king saw greatness in Daniel, do people around you see greatness in you?
Do they see a problem-solver, a peace-bringer, a logical-thinker?
Do they see generosity, selflessness, self-control, discipline, a joyful heart, good vibes?

What I found amazing about this story, is that the king is so sure of his opinion of Daniel!
After describing his dream in verses 10-17, the king says;

““‘Belteshazzar, that was the dream that I, King Nebuchadnezzar, had.
Now tell me what it means, for none of the wise men of my kingdom can do so.
But you can tell me because the spirit of the holy gods is in you.’”

[Daniel 4:18]

He reiterates once again, the fact that the Spirit of God lives in this Daniel guy.

So I ask, how firmly do people stand by their perception of who you are?
Yes, I know you don’t live to please others, but this question pertains to your consistency.
We all know that we should live in a way that is Christ-like, and God-fearing, but some of us seem to have a rota for when we put the armour of God on and off.

Are you someone who is hot and cold?
Are you consistent enough with what you portray, how you live, how you behave – that people see the same you at all times?

Skipping to the end of Daniel 4, a lot has happened in between; Daniel interprets the dream, the dream is fulfilled, and the king then says this;

““Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven.
All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble the proud.””

[Daniel 4:37]

He is moved by the excellence and truth of Daniel’s spirit, that after the dream is fulfilled, the king himself worships God! The True God of Heaven and Earth.

I want to close and bring it all together by asking you this;

How much do you blend in?

Some of us are indistinguishable from unbelievers.
Some of us have days on and days off – we have a certain crowd we play Christ-like with, and another set of people we dabble in sin and pleasure with.
Some of us have that tendency of a great spirit, but every now and then you want to hide it.
Some of us have an excellent spirit – we are bold and unafraid of living for God – no we aren’t perfect, but we’re striving to be the Daniel of our environment.

Let me tell you this, as a follower of Christ, you have no business looking the same as everyone else.

When you walk into a room you ought to bring Light and Life to it.

When people see you, even if they can’t initially identify exactly what it is, they must still know that there is something Positively  D I F F E R E N T  about you!

So I ask you again – How much do you blend in? – With the crowd, with the world, with those who don’t know God…

I hope your answer to this question (if it’s anything other than ‘Not at all’) makes you so uncomfortable, that you begin working on your change from today onwards.
I pray now and forevermore, that the Light of Christ in you will shine brightly for all to see, and be transformed by!

Let us pray:

Father,
Just as Daniel didn’t compromise You, give me a heart that will always stand firm in serving and honouring You.
Let me stand out with my gift from You, that people will anticipate it and will acknowledge Your excellence as it is presented forth.
Let Your Holy Spirit be rich in me! Let Him shine through so strongly, that there is no doubt that I am a man/woman of God.
Give me a heart that is consistent in absolutely everything I do.
Just as the king was firm in what he perceived Daniel as, help me to always be hot for Your work, diligent in my service, and consistent in my living for Christ.
Let my life cause people to run to You and just as the king did, let them turn to know You, worship You and praise You.
When I walk into a room, Father let Jesus be seen in me!
All this we pray, in Jesus’ name.
AMEN.

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

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

 

 

 

 

When He Shows you…

I’ve once written a Facebook post on the Untainted Word page regarding this topic, here’s an expansion, in a FoodForThought type post…

The original post says this:

As God’s Beloved, 
There will be times when He will show you certain things (about situations and people) in order to protect you, but it won’t be everything that He’ll want you to act upon.

“Father, teach me my next move” is such a crucial prayer to say, because it ushers down Divine Wisdom to know how best to deal with that situation.

Sometimes God will say, ‘Do nothing’.
Other times, He’ll say, ‘Address it, by doing x, y, and z’.

The key is to make sure you 
W A I T for God to speak, 
L I S T E N to what He tells you, 
and O B E Y that instruction.

Him showing you, wasn’t for you to take matters into your own hands and REact.
Therefore be led by the Holy Spirit to 
Act Graciously, 
and bring forth the best result from what could actually be a total mess, if dealt with in a way of the flesh.

 

In the Facebook post, we briefly and succinctly address the fact that we must seek out the instruction of God, to know how to act next.
It focuses on the fact that we should deal with the information with wisdom and not jump, based on what our human feelings tell us to do.

Earlier this week, after seeing an image which read ‘Never reject what God reveals!’,
I knew that it was important to include this aspect into the message too – Not Ignoring God.

The reality is this, some of us like ‘the comfortable’, ‘the norm’, and ‘the how things already are’.
And so when we come across anything – anything whatsoever that could possibly compromise the contentment we have in that present stage of life – we block it out.
Our desire for things to remain the way they are, causes us to shy away from accepting anything that could cause a potential stir or change, as the truth.

This means yes, we will hear God speak, but we will convince ourselves that the Big Man didn’t say a word.
He’ll show us crucial things in our dreams, yet we’ll attribute it to the fact that it was just our imagination whilst sleeping.
He’ll show us clear signs, but we’ll reassure ourselves that it’s just a coincidence

Is this you?

Do you realise that your lack of boldness to ever accept or induce change in your life, leaves you stuck in seasons which you should have graduated from a long time ago?
It keeps you stuck with people whose purpose in your life has expired, and rather than adding any goodness to you, their expiration, and past-use-by-date presence in your life is causing you to become sick (spiritually, mentally) – even though you may not notice it or admit it.

‘NEVER REJECT WHAT GOD REVEALS’

Don’t Ignore What God Says/Shows/Tells

This takes C O U R A G E.

I don’t dispute that.

And I say this because sometimes what God will show you will make you uncomfortable.
You won’t have a clue what to do about it, or how to make sense of it sometimes, but this is where I need you to remember to not lean on your own understanding.
When He shows you this thing, go back to Him and ask Him what needs to be done (as it says above).
Yes, it may be uncomfortable, but that lack of comfort is what you need for things to be propelled to the next level, or for you to be saved from a toxic relationship, or for you to avoid making a terrible decision (the list goes on).

You may ask, ‘But if I’m content as you said, isn’t that all that matters?’

Well, I’m going to say NO!

In fact, I’m screaming it!!!

The false and lazy type of contentment that some of us possess, is what causes us to settle for a substandard level of living.
Substandard fulfilment in relationships.
Substandard job.
Substandard intimacy with God…

Friend, today and always, you must realise that God has greater plans for you, and the longer you stay in a place that is no good for you, the more you become unsettled, unrested, and eventually you become robbed of your peace.
That environment can no longer contain you, it is no longer conducive for you to achieve your goals and excel in life – therefore you need to trust God, Acknowledge the Revelation, and act upon it appropriately.

All in all, when God reveals things to us, we need to realise how much of a privilege it is to be Loved so deeply by Him.
Loved so dearly, that He wants to share with us, ways in which we can have a better and more fulfilling journey of life.
Loved so fully, that He entrusts us with information that He reveals to no one else.

What I’m encouraging you to do, is regardless of how uncomfortable the potential change may seem, please please Do Not ignore God when He speaks.
As mentioned above, many times these things shown to us are for our own protection, enrichment and growth in life, therefore rather than hinder ourselves, let us Thank God for the revelation, Accept it as something that needs to be dealt with, and then Obey His way of dealing with it.

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