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.

A Prayer for our Youth

I woke up yesterday, and I could overhear my younger sister’s conversation.
I could tell someone else was gone again…

Immediate emotions were heartbreak, fear, sadness for the young boy’s family, but then it struck me that we can’t sit in silence, when God has given us a weapon – P R A Y E R – which has the power to destroy every evil plan, at the mention of the name of Jesus!

You see, the youth of today are often referred to as the future of tomorrow, because they ARE! But if their lives are all cut short now, there simply will be no tomorrow!

So this is what I ask of you today;
That you’ll stand with me and say ‘Enough is Enough!’
And I hope that you will believe with me, that as we connect our hearts and our spirits as one body to pray this prayer, that heaven will hear our cry and attend onto our prayers.

In Jesus’ Name,
Let us pray: 

For Guidance

Father Lord guide each and every one of Your children as they go in, as they go out.
Direct their footsteps and do not allow them to go where Your glory doesn’t lie!
Help them to be led by You, and to not be led astray by the tempter in Jesus’ name.

For Friendships

Every friendship that will lead them to destruction, Father bring it to an end in Jesus’ Name.
Help them to move with the right crowd and be influenced by people who will lift them up, rather than bring them down.
Help our youth in fact, to be a light onto others, rather than the darkness people are running from!

For Families

Every youth coming from a home that is troubled or broken, Father give them peace in Jesus’ Name.
Be the Peace that completes them and fills their void in Jesus’ Mighty Name.
Father though it may be difficult, please allow them to see their struggle, misfortune, or difficult beginning, as motivation to do, and be better for themselves, and for their own future generation to come after them.

For Education

Every Spirit of dropping out and giving up, Father we rebuke and come against it in Jesus’ Name.
School is not impossible for them, therefore we pray for every single youth we know, both closely and distantly, that You will enable them to always remain passionate about furthering their learning and broadening their horizons in Jesus’ Name.
Every limitation that teachers/professors/advisors may have placed upon them is broken today in Jesus’ Name.
And those who lack belief in them shall be put to shame in Jesus’ Mighty Name.

For Relationships

Father, we pray for romantic relationships, platonic relationships, relationships with siblings, friends, parents – that You will give Your young people an ability to love and treat others with respect.
Help them to honour one other and look out for those around them, whilst being led by You.

For Lives Lost Already

Father, we pray for those who have been snatched from us so early – whether it happened 10 years ago, or 2 days ago – we pray for comfort, strength, and peace for their families and friends in Jesus’ name.
We pray that every bitter heart towards what has happened, will be taught how to love again.
We pray that You will soften the heart of every person wishing to seek revenge, and give them peace and wisdom to know that judgement and vengeance is Yours alone.
Help them to hold firmly unto You, and never ever let go in Jesus’ name, for their true help, comes from You alone, Lord.

For a True Love of You

Above all things we have prayed for Father, we pray that each soul will run after You, long for You, and desire You more than ever before.
As they seek You, Lord, let them find You, and never let You go!
We pray that they will love You and be people after Your own heart.
Let them develop a relationship with You, and let them fear You and honour You with their whole lives.

Father Lord,
We trust that as our hearts connect with one another, You have heard our cry and have heard our prayer, in Jesus’ name.
We ask that the  T R A N S F O R M A T I O N  of the youth of today, across the world, begins now, and becomes a permanent triumph over the enemy in Jesus’ Mighty Name.

We pray that the helpers of our Youth, the people whom You have put in a position to lead the change and encourage Your young people, will never be discouraged or fearful or fed up in Jesus’ name.
We pray that those who are praying for our young people, and fighting for them to come to church, come to Jesus, find Salvation and so on, shall never get tired of fighting for their souls! We pray that You will keep a fire burning in them, that will never give up until Your work is fully accomplished, in Jesus’ name.

We pray that parents will no longer mourn their children.
We pray in Jesus’ Name, that we will celebrate our youth more, rather than grieve and cry over them.

We seal our prayers with the blood of Jesus.
We thank You for the privilege to even remember that we can pray and speak to You.
And we know that all this is done, as we have asked and prayed,
in Jesus’ Mighty Name.
A M E N.

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

Now, not Later

“I will hurry, without delay,
    to obey your commands.”
[Psalm 119:60]

Today’s post is one where I want us to look at this verse uttered by David the Psalmist, and pray for our hearts to have the same attitude to do God’s will NOW, rather than later ‘when we’re ready’.

Let’s talk…

You see I get it.
We have the freedom to live however we please.
We have the liberty to live life to the fullest and not be bound by any limitations.
We all want to do things at a time convenient for us, and when it fits into our timetable and works well for us.

All this is perfectly understandable!
But in the midst of our freedom, we have to remember who permits it…

We have to remember the One who enables us to live this life, so freely, so easily and so fully.
And in remembering that it’s God’s grace which allows us to go about our business, day in, day out, then we too must realise that we ought to honour Him, listen to Him, and yield when He instructs us to do things.

I guess we can point out two types of commands from God; there are those which we find in His word – right there in the scripture, either telling us to do this, or not to do that.
Then there are those commands which God plants into our spirit personally. These are instructions He gives us regarding how to act, move, and behave in our daily life.
These are the things He shares with us when we’re engaging in conversation with Him – often perceived by some of us as an urge to do something (sometimes totally different from what we’re used to).

So anyway, David says in this verse,
‘I will hurry, without delay… to do Your work, God’.
He’s basically saying, ‘I’ll do it immediately Father’.
He’s saying, ‘I’ll drop whatever my plans are, and get stuck in with Yours’.
He acknowledges that the will of God takes precedence over all else.

Anyone else agree that this is BOLD?
Like, really bold, and forward.

But friend, this is definitely something to emulate.

You see, David demonstrates that he understands that we are made for God’s glory – Isaiah 43:7.
He demonstrates an understanding of the fact that his life belongs to God – Psalm 100:3. And so in knowing that he is God’s, he realises that fulfilling God’s desires should come first.

Now I want us to look at the sense of urgency in this verse…

David says he will hurry, hasten, not delay
This aspect of the verse is extremely important for us to pay attention to; the ability to not only say yes to God, but to also say, ‘I’ll get on it Right Away!’

I want us to dwell here a little, and be real with one another…
David sets the bar kinda high here, right?
I mean not only is he setting the example of obedience, but he also crosses into the timing factor – not wasting time, and not doing it when it suits him, but actually doing it diligently and in a timely manner – which essentially gives the obedience a greater sense of wholeness.

Can we pray to have this heart of obedience too?

I know immediately, you’ll probably think of all your life plans, and your personal schedule, and all the fun things you currently indulge in, and think to yourself – no thanks, I’m gonna give it time before I do what this post is saying.

But that’s exactly my point.
Many times, we have read things, heard sermons, watched videos pertaining to the things of God, and the commands and instructions of God, and even though we have felt a shaking in our spirits for us to make a change, we have resisted that change because in our opinion it just simply was not convenient.

That’s what I want us to break down today –
The attitude of not being ready, or rather, or not wanting to be ready to live by God’s word when we receive it –
And we’ll do it with a few prayers…

(With regards to the commands in the word of God):
Father help me to not spend a day longer pleasing my flesh and engaging in sinful ways which Your word has commanded me not to indulge in.
Help me to do the things You have instructed, such as sharing love, peace, joy, and bearing with those around me.
Help me to look at the things within me that are contrary to what Your word says, and rather than wait till later to deal with them, give me the courage and the respect for the authority Your word carries, to deal with them NOW.

(With regards to personal instructions from God):
Father help me to act on the things You place in my spirit, immediately.
Let me not deprive the manifestation of Your word or Your will with the stubbornness of my heart, but rather let me move according to when You say so.
Every inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Father I pray that I will not ignore it, or brush it aside, but rather I will acknowledge, honour, and fulfil the assignment, by Your grace and strength.

(In general about this topic):
Father rid me of any spirit that is lazy when it comes to doing Your work.
Take away every wrong desire to dwell longer doing things of the flesh ‘until I’m ready to change’, and place in me a burning fire that will long to do the things which please You, Right Now, and always.

All this we pray, in Jesus’ name,
Amen.

If we’re being fair, we’ll be able to admit that God doesn’t constantly demand different things from us each day, nor does He wake us up each morning with a long list of Dos and Donts.
In fact, His most important instructions to us as followers of Christ are to Love Him and Love one another.
Subsequent instructions, therefore, are simply a guide for us to know how best to get these two Great commandments right, so friend, I pray that we will listen, trust and obey God’s word when it comes, and very importantly, I Pray we will do so, on-time, in God’s time, to honour and reverence Him.

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

Schedule Him In

This is somewhat a PFP, but soon I feel I’ll need to announce that less, because I can feel God transforming the tone of this platform.

That out of the way let’s talk…

If you’re someone who already actively makes time for God, and spends time with Him consistently, then well done, but still, keep reading.
There is something in here that God has for someone you know, and it is your responsibility to share it with them.
So make sure once you’ve read it, and God shows you exactly what you need to show them, you share it with them.

Now getting into the post…

Today I led a short bible study titled ‘Using your free time wisely: Getting closer to God’.

Now while the emphasis is not necessarily on the fact that it’s only in our ‘free time’ that we should attempt to grow in God, the point here is simply Making Time for God.
So truthfully, for many people who may not already actively spend enough time with Him, yes, it may start out that you find you only want to fit ‘God stuff’ in when you’re less busy – but I am sure that once you begin studying Him more, and growing in Him, you’ll understand that He deserves much more than just your left-over hours of the day.

Now let’s look at something – many of us will proudly and openly say that we love God. This is great.
However moving on to knowing God, it’s likely that fewer of us are able to claim this so boldly.

So I asked during bible study today, ‘How can you love a God you don’t know?’

I mean it’s already one thing that we don’t see Him, but then to not really know much about Him either – how is it possible to love Him?

Well here’s what we raised in our session – yes, we can still love our God without knowing Him properly.
How?

Well, it’s because we know of Him, we hear of the things He does, we are cultured and steered by peers and parents to believe in Him, we ourselves are direct beneficiaries of His kindness and mercy and grace and so much more, and most simply, because we are recipients of His love. The bible tells us that we are able to love Him, because He first loved us – (1 John 4:19). All these things enable us to love God, or rather, have love for God, despite not necessarily knowing Him.

So here’s the thing, knowing of God, is not knowing Him. Knowing of Him is not understanding Him, ‘getting’ Him, relating with Him, knowing where He’s coming from.

Friend, knowing of God is therefore probably good enough to love Him superficially but it’s hard for it to go any further than that.
And the thing is, I’m sure you desire more.
I’m sure you desire to worship God in spirit and in truth, and honour Him with your life, and Love Him with all your heart as the bible says in Matthew 22:37.
I’m sure you yearn to love Him deeper and grow in Him more than ever before.

Which is why we need to make time for God.
And in making time for God we’re studying His word, we’re opening our hearts and ears to Him, and we’re drawing closer and closer, day by day.
In drawing closer to Him, we’re learning more about Him, about His mind, about what pleases and displeases Him, and essentially we are walking and living in a way that exudes a true deep Love and Reverence for God the Father

Now I like practicality, so I’ll share a few ways how we can begin to spend more time with God, and doing the things of God.

Remembering that this is a PFP, please understand that these ideas are simply suggestions of resources, as well as people/ministers whose teachings have personally agreed with my spirit and have benefitted my walk with God.
There are also some suggestions included below that were raised by other individuals at the bible study today.
I want you to note that this list isn’t exhaustive, nor a guide to being the perfect Christian (if that exists at all), but rather it provides (hopefully) relatable and realistic ways for you to take an active step forward in Getting Closer to your God.

Before anything on the list –
The first step is to make time for God!
Whether you start by dedicating five minutes of your lunch break everyday, or by deciding to get up thirty minutes earlier each day – decide a realistic (but worthwhile) period you want to set aside for God, set it aside, spend that time with Him and just see how it goes.

Now here you are, different things you can begin to incorporate into your life, to get closer to God:

Watch videos of teachings, preachings, sermons, topics, bible discussions and so on.
Swap that music video, or reality TV show for a word of God – initially you won’t really want to do it, but just click on it (the God vid), and you’ll see how your day becomes transformed by the presence of God.
Examples: I follow One Church LA on YouTube and enjoy teachings by Pastor Toure Roberts and Sarah Jakes Roberts.
Also on YouTube, Ify Alexis has a range of messages/sermons, as well as a young women’s ministry called Love Limitless.
Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat – seek that Christian video/word and click it instead of skipping past it.

Read the bible – Joshua 1:8.
Now this is one of the most obvious ones, but possibly the hardest to know how to do.
A suggestion I have is to select a book in the bible, skim through to see how many chapters there are, and then create a reading plan for yourself with an aim of when you would like to read it all by e.g. one week, a few weeks, a month.
Tip: Always ensure to pray before reading – for God to give you understanding of His word and ability to apply it to life where appropriate.
If you don’t have a physical book bible, it’s easy to download any available bible app on to your phone, or access one online – I often use BibleGateway for my online bible, easy to navigate.

Use The Bible App.
There are many reading plans on this App that encourage a structure to read the bible.
Look through and pick one/some that suit you, and begin them. Once you’re done, choose another, or you may at this point want to do the above, and create your own reading schedule of a particular book in the bible.
I’ve enjoyed many of the plans written by Joyce Meyer.

Read articles on Christian blogs/platforms from people of relatable backgrounds.
This could be someone at a similar stage of life to you e.g. student-student, or someone at the stage you’re aspiring to reach next e.g. single-married; whatever you find resonates well with you for whatever topic/topics you’re seeking to learn about.
Examples: Hopefully this platform (Untainted Word) plays a helpful part in being one of the platforms you can come to, and learn.
Love Limitless as mentioned above.
My friends have also enjoyed and shared with me words from desiringgod.org.

Read devotionals.
These are words (and in some cases prayers too) that encourage you for the day, and also give a few scriptures for you to read as well.
Examples: UCB’s Word for Today was suggested at bible study today.
But you can also type in ‘devotionals’ into Google, and see what it brings you.
The Bible App above also has many of these.

Pray.
This is another obvious one and a very very important one but sometimes a difficult one when it isn’t a common practice. A suggestion raised today was to set a timer and don’t stop praying until it rings. You may only set it for 2 minutes initially, but just start with something, and gradually increase the time.
What to say when you pray? Friend, I’m not telling you what to say, I’ll just remind you that God is YOUR Father, you are HIS child, therefore be free with Him and just have an open and honest conversation with Him, and hey, don’t forget to listen back for Him speaking too.

‘Alone-time’ with God; Dates with God.
This could be dinner for two – where the other party is God, or a walk in the park, or a sit-down in the coffee shop – dedicate moments of pure ‘alone-time’, listening-time, with God.
You’ll be surprised how much He’s been waiting to share with you – He just needs you to give Him those moments.

Now go ahead and choose a couple…
I encourage each of us to select Prayer by default – as we know that this is key, and the bible does say to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), so let’s try not to go another day without a prayer, from today onwards.
From the rest of this list, I hope there’ll be at least one or two more things that you’ll be willing to try out – starting today!!

I want to end by saying this…
Having shared so many different suggestions, and opened you up to many different platforms being led by other people in the Christian faith, it is important that we always always always seek out the truth. I’m not saying question everything you read or hear, but simply pray beforehand that God will direct you to resources that will teach sound doctrine, and enrich your spirit in the way He desires for it to be!

I hope you’re excited for a new walk and a new level of Loving and Knowing God!

(Please please feel free to talk to me – let me know how this goes, how you find some of these resources and share with the rest of us some other things that maybe work well for you.)

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

 

*Disclaimer: (and I chuckle as I write this, but it’s important that I do) I haven’t been paid to ‘advertise’ any of these ministries/platforms/websites/resources. These are genuine suggestions from myself of resources that I personally use and feel benefit my walk with God.*

Through Christ…

Overwhelmed?

Just think for a second…

Are you leaning on your own understanding?

Are you relying on your own strength?

Are you trying to do everything all by yourself?

Sometimes when we get stuck and overwhelmed, and feel like we’re literally over-stretched with responsibilities and tasks to fulfil, we ought to stop and ask ourselves; by which strength are we trying to do it all?

Yes, friend, this is the best time to reassess the way we’re functioning and really ask ourselves;

Are we resting on our own power, or on God’s?
Are we depending on our own human strength, knowledge and wisdom, or are we giving everything up to God and saying ‘I surrender my plans, tasks, responsibilities to You, work through me!’?

I don’t know why we do it, but many of us have made Jesus a mere spectator in our lives as we run our race, rather than our personal Coach!

And we’ve got to realise this – if we only give Jesus front-row tickets to watch us ‘do our thing’, then He’ll get the message, and understand that we don’t want His input.
Yes, He may be close enough for us to hear Him, but as He knows that we invited Him to watch us do it our own way, He will simply assume the position and just watch.

As our Coach, however, Jesus is our strength and encouragement every step of the way! Front-row seats or not, we will have a sensitivity to His voice to hear Him whenever He speaks to guide us on the journey.
The fact that we work closely with Him daily, and have decided to trust in Him and trust in His direction, means we will be able to take on board every tip, skill, and instruction that He offers in order to ensure that we run well!

So with that being said, ask yourself;

Have I told Jesus to Watch me or Direct me?

If you realise that He’s simply watching from the sidelines, despite His love and desire to lead you aright, then it’s time to seek forgiveness and mercy, and ask Jesus to take the lead and have His way.

The Bible says that we should acknowledge the Lord in all our ways, and He will direct our paths. (Proverbs 3:6)

Therefore rather than struggling to juggle everything, and barely making it work, why not place Jesus at the centre of it all, and allow Him to direct your path, just as the word says?
Trust me, even if it seems like a lot to the human eye, when you are doing it ‘Through Christ‘, you’ll see that you are more than capable of fulfilling it all, and then some.

So friend, please allow Jesus to take the appropriate role in your life.

 

I hope this blesses your Wednesday evening, and I also take this opportunity to apologise for the lack of posts in the past three weeks!

I myself had to knuckle down during university exam time, but we’re back now, and God willing back with better time management and organisation skills, as Jesus is the one steering!

I pray the rest of your week is saturated with favour, strength and grace, in Jesus’ name. Amen!

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

 

Not Some… ALL

The thing about the bible is, the words in it do not lie.
Therefore when we see a sentence in there, or when we see a phrase in there, we have to take it for what it says.

How many of us are familiar with the Philippians 4:13 verse?
The one that tells us we can do all things through the strength we have in Christ Jesus.
How many of us believe it? (Many of us will say ‘me’.)

Okay, now how many of us truly believe and live by it?

You see, it’s one thing to believe that something is true, but it’s another thing to actually take on that truth and embed it into your own life.

All things, means All things.

It doesn’t mean a quarter, or a third, or two thirds or even 99%, but All things, means ALL…Things…

That means when you’re thinking of quitting because man, or even your own flesh has qualified you as unable to fulfil that task – you need to step up and realise that Christ is with you in ALL things, and you can and will do it – just apply yourself.

When your teachers/professors tell you that ‘Most students fail at this hurdle, hardly any students make that jump successfully…’ – you need to wear the garment of ALL things being possible through Jesus, and let them know there’s a Greater Being in you, that drives and enables you.

When your bosses say you can’t do it because of your background, or your experience, or your qualifications – you need to tap into that favour and grace from Christ that breaks protocol on your behalf and places ALL things within your reach.

Even when your family, who most people would argue are the ones who know you best – yes friend, even when they, in the deepest love for you, and through the desire of wanting to protect you from disappointment – even when they tell you that the venture is no good, or it’s too hard for you –  you need to strap up your ALL things footwear and get trekking, because Christ is going to take you there; to that desired goal and even further!

My reminder for you today is this,
When we extract verses from the word of God, let’s take them in their wholeness.

Just in the same way that we know we shouldn’t follow laws half-heartedly, or ‘pick and choose’ which commandments we want to follow, we also shouldn’t weaken verses of encouragement and empowerment, but rather, take them as FULLY as they come.

If Christ was only capable of enabling us 50% of the time, in 50% of the tasks, then the bible would tell us that!

100% UW

But as it says ALL things, it assures us of Him being 100 percent!
Therefore I encourage you to,
1. Put ALL your faith in His strength that lies in you.
And 2. Be bold to step forward and know that you truly are a conqueror, a victor and a success in EVERY single thing you lay your hands upon.

Now how’s that for a word to start your Wednesday morning?!

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