who am i?

"I write for the unlearned about things in which I am unlearned myself." - CS Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Road Patch...

On one of the regular routes I use, there was a rough patch of road we always had to avoid to prevent our cars from being flung into the pothole. It was probably fixed sometime during the night without our knowing, but it still looked like a rough patch. And so we kept driving and swerving because our consciousness was stamped with that pothole in the patch. One day I was driving through and it dawned on me that I didn’t need to dodge this patch anymore, it was fixed, and I confidently drove over it while others ahead of me still swerved…. Smart girl I am. I really am smart, silly people stressing themselves out for nothing.

We sin. We’re only humans… but as blood washed, blood bought children of God, our sins are not enough to separate us from the love of God. Its just like that rough patch of road… we come before God cautious and guilt ridden in prayer… just like the cars swiveling to avoid the pothole. We forget there’s been a repair… once we come to God for forgiveness, He forgives, He washes us, He cleanses us… or why else would the word say “there is therefore no condemnation to those in Christ”… why else would it say nothing can separate us from the Love of God? Because when we come to Him He washes us clean, the blood of Jesus washes us and speaks forgiveness for us in the presence of the father. 

The blood is our shield, its detoxifies us, its our everything. But we’re so sin conscious, that we still walk around God with caution because of the sin we committed three years ago. Condemnation still holds us down even after God has forgiven us… we feel God is still waiting to punish us big time, He hasn’t forgotten that sin… as soon as we have a headache, our minds go straight to the sin and we wonder if punishment time has come. Just like the other drivers avoided the patch, because they were so conscious of it. Oh come boldly into His presence, drive through that patch with confidence….  He says come boldly and obtain mercy. How glorious He is.

Thank God for the birth of Jesus, that led to His crucifixion and taking the price of our sins on Himself just to save us. Now the blood of sprinkling speaks better things for us, it takes away condemnation and guilt consciousness, our sins are forgiven, we are justified.

God isn’t some big bad god waiting to punish us; eager to send us to hell… you think He would sacrifice Jesus if He wanted us punished? We only punish ourselves by refusing to respond to His love. Yes He is a mighty and fierce warrior, but that’s to those who come against us, in the same breath He is the gentle savior to us. How He loves us, how He hurts that we don’t see Him in the light of His love but as a shadow of fear and condemnation breathing down our necks all day every day… pointing accusing fingers. If you feel accused even after repentance, that’s not God, that’s satan, because He is the ‘accuser of the brethren’. (Rev 12:10)

We’ve conditioned our minds to be guilt conscious. Its so hard to take forgiveness of sins without penance, so hard to think we can easily be forgiven, so we distance ourselves, we move away from His love and eventually let go because we let our guilt kill our worship… We become works conscious, trying to make up for sin by going to church everyday and sweeping the church and carrying a bible in our hands for the world to see. That’s works, trying to justify ourselves when Jesus has done all that for us… He’s right there righteous before God interceding for us, seated at the right hand of God and we who have received Him are seated with Him at God’s side… God hates sin, but He forgives us as soon as we ask because the blood of Jesus has given Him no choice but to forgive and forget our sins.

See His love for you… run into this love and obtain mercy, and bask in forgiveness and goodness and joy and peace and good and perfect gifts. See the father’s love for you. How many of you have had rebellious stints as children? Many must have stolen from parents, gotten pregnant, dropped out of school or done something hideous at one point or the other… but look how your parents still love you, even if they are just the channels you came into the world through… how much more your God? The one who formed you and conceived the idea of you and placed you in the hands of your parents to take care of you.
Stop avoiding that patch, the pothole has been filled, drive with confidence over it. Say hello to your God with confidence, He truly has forgiven you.

(Its funny sometimes when we say there’s a special place in hell for murderers and then just before the hideous murderer dies, He grabs a revelation of Jesus and gives His life to Christ and then we stroll into heaven and see Him having a bbq on the streets of gold… sounds unfair right? But that’s God. Look at the thieve on the cross with Jesus...He received salvation just at the point of his death... Everyone is welcome!)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

On Red Carpets and Spotlights...

The wisdom of the red carpet is all about knowing that social events aren’t just social sometimes. I remember dressing up and heading out for an event. It was one of those intellectual organizations having a social event. I didn’t care about the intellectual part, I cared about the social. Thus I was one happy dressed up lady in her red heels and red lips out for a night of food and music.

I knew what the event was about… vaguely. I was basically going for the social. And so it was that we hit the red carpet… and the cameras came for me, my red lipstick must have made my teeth appear whiter in the dark night and attracted the cameras… they wanted an interview, for me to say something about the event and what I thought about the theme. That’s when my heartbeat produced a new soundtrack. I had to whisper to my companion to save me, give a hint, say something, whats the theme again? help me!… I’m not sure how I was saved, I probably did the interview and blabbed all through, I can’t seem to remember.

I watched some youtube clips on real red carpet ambushes, where people were asked to give meanings of words… I mean, people are dressed up to have a good time, brains are left at home, don’t do that to them on the red carpet, it isn’t fair.
Lesson learnt? Always come prepared… wherever you go, be prepared, have your brain well polished and tucked cozily in your head. Study about the event, you never know whom you’ll be sat next to… or who you’ll have to strike a conversation with, or if the camera will come for you like it’s metal and you’re magnet, with no hiding place for you, and your ignorance will be exposed to the world.

Peter says, always be ready “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” 1 Peter 3:15

We dress up in Gods salvation, looking fabulous on the red carpet of life, in the spotlight of the worlds view, dressed in splendor… but when they walk up to us, are we clueless? what do we say? I never really know what to say. Like I was stuck on the red carpet, I get stuck when it comes to answering certain questions of my salvation and I come off a fool. Like why do I take communion daily and why do I pay my tithes and why do I hand out offerings and why do I sow seeds? My heart knows all the right reasons why (it’s not because some pastor has found a way to manipulate me to give)… But when it comes to arguing with people who ambush me with questions, my head, my voice betrays the words my heart pleads to spill out. You just don’t know when the cameras will come looking. We ought to come prepared always.

I received a mail from someone in one of the Islamic nations asking me about Jesus… that was a red carpet moment for me, I was glad it wasn’t live… but I struggled in trying to express what my heart knew. Its like trying o describe the feeling when that first spoon of ice cream melts in your mouth to a person who is clueless about what ice cream is…
There are loads of people dressed up in the fancy outfit of Christianity and mouthing off “I’m Christian” but they know nothing about this Christianity that they show off. Nothing!!!!

This scripture was just dropped in my heart But when you are arrested and stand trial, don't worry in advance about what to say. Just say what God tells you at that time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit.” Mark 13:11 Maybe I get clueless because I rely on myself and my intellect when I should be completely dependent on the Holy Spirit to give me the words and boldness to express what is in my heart. Maybe our self effort is we trip on and fall face flat as we walk the red carpet of life.

May we remember to draw from the help of the Holy Spirit that we have been given when we are asked about this hope that we have in Christ.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Through The Wilderness...

It gets exciting in church or in your quiet prayer time, when you can feel the presence of God so strong and then God drops a word In your spirit or the Pastor is operating in the office of a prophet and he prophesies to you or maybe makes declaration to the congregation and your Amen is the loudest… and your heart screams I believe and I receive and O how light your soul feels. God actually sees, He actually knows, or else, why would He give a specific word, relating specifically to you.
All is well, now the promises are yours… Except, as you step back into life, all isn’t as well as you imagined/believed.
There’s still unpaid bills, there’s still no baby, there’s still no blooming business and there’s still no breakthrough. It feels like a bad to worse kind of situation. All the words you believed so strongly struggle to stay afloat in your mind when you go day by day in such dryness that you wonder why the word bothered coming to you when it did, if it had no intention of fulfilling itself.

There was a man named Jesus, He wasn’t really a man, He was God, the word made flesh… but then He was man (go figure), He became man to fulfill a purpose. And He must have lived like the average man for years, waiting on God, seeking to begin His purpose… time was going, He was turning 30 and still no public ministry… still just a carpenter, still no sign of how He was going to fulfill the word to which He was born to. Still the reason for the whispers from the neighbors… “Look He’s 30, not yet married… still in His fathers house, still just an ordinary carpenter when His mates are big time bankers and making something of themselves”…

Then one day, He attended service at John the Baptist’s church and heard these words being referred to Him by Pastor John “… “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ “ John 1:29-30 And as He was baptized by John, He got another word, a specific word from heaven “and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:17  

Now that must have been a relieve, finally He had stepped into His purpose, He got a word, a confirmation from God that His hope and expectations were not cut short and His appointed time had come. Surely that’s what it meant, His waiting period was finally over. Oh what joy! He left the church holding at Jordan and instead of an immediate transformation, the Holy Spirit led him into the wilderness. Things went from bad to worse. He fasted 40 days and night and dealt with whatever people have to deal with in wildernesses, such dryness, such silence, and such loneliness. 

He was Hungry and exhausted after those 40 days and it was at this point, His faith was tempted… “If you are the son of God…..” a statement that could have caused a seed of doubt to grow. The devil said “the son” omitting a key word God used “beloved”, but Jesus remembered He was the “beloved son” the exact words God used on Him when He was baptized, and He must have gained strength from that knowledge to overcome the temptation. He must have been going through a hard time, but He knew without a shadow of a doubt that He was still God’s beloved despite the pain and weariness of the wilderness, the word stayed afloat in His mind even if I’m sure He was almost losing His mind from that experience.  He was tempted three times, all the offers that could give Him instant gratification instead of waiting on God, but the word stayed afloat in His mind.

After this wilderness experience, He launched His ministry and did in three years, wonders that still awes the world, and fulfilled His ultimate purpose, a sacrifice on the cross that still speaks for people, now and till the end of the world.

He went through the wilderness experience you’re going through. In the period of waiting for the word to manifest, you will be tempted. Alternative means to fulfill will be thrust your way… Sometimes, manifestations are as sudden as they are spoken, sometimes you go through a waiting period. Notice His temptation came at the end of the wilderness experience, sometimes just at the brink of breakthroughs we give up and give in to every temptation of doing things our way… sad!
If He didn’t wait on the word, we probably wouldn’t be enjoying the ripple effect of salvation we enjoy and experience here… cool story. True story… more than just stories that touch.

Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all (2 Corinthians 4:17)

If you’re received the word… and you’re in the wilderness now, let not your heart be weary, keep praying the word, don’t be discouraged by everything contrary to it you may be experiencing, keep holding on to it, keep declaring it. God gives us the vision and the words so we have something to hold on to when the test of our lives hits us… so when we are thrown into the wilderness, which is our place of preparation, we have words to hold on to… We have a picture to look forward to, our faith anchors on the word to keep us from drowning in despair… Never forget that you’re the beloved, no matter what it feels like, know that God loves you deeply, too much to let the wilderness kill you… Meaning, if you’re in the wilderness, there’s definitely a greater glory coming from there and you are coming into your word shortly.

When you eventually get out of the wilderness where your strength and character gets built up, you’ll so overtake and do in three years what you weren’t able to do in the last 30years of your life, wonders that will outlive you… children that will carry your legacy proudly, businesses that will go beyond where you dreamed of, ministries that will save more lives that you would never know.

“It may be getting worse but God is setting you up for a miracle” Bishop Noel Jones

“When the Lord took the children of Israel to the Promised Land, it was not about the destination...there’s something about the process.” T.D Jakes

Monday, January 13, 2014

Just Ask... Just Give.

It’s easy for me to grasp the fact that everything that belongs to mum is mine. What’s hers is mine and what’s mine is mine. I haven’t been able to discipline myself when it comes to her possession.
I wear her laces, I use her jewelry, her shoes, her perfume, her sunglasses, and her bags… With my sisters and aunts, I have self-control, or fear control. Sisterhood stops when it comes to grabbing their stuff and acting like it belongs to you.(Well, except they travel and you use their stuff and then have to hide your pictures so they don’t find you out.)

Mum’s enjoying a meal, and I waltz in and take over.
Her last sip of coke, I want.
Her car, I use and even grumble when she’s out for long and I need to go out.
She’s my earthly mother and there’s no way she would withhold anything good from me, as long as she can get it, she'll go all out for me…. How much more our heavenly father?

Mum travelled and bought herself beautiful new bags. One day, I decided I was going to use one of the new handbags she got. I searched her room but couldn’t find any of her new bags. Why would she hide her bags from me? I searched everywhere, all the hiding places… I couldn’t find any of the bags. The only way to get them was to ask her, but I didn’t bother. It was strange that I had access to her gold, which is obviously more expensive than the bags, but not the bags. Why would the jewelry be easier to find than the bags? There’s no way she wouldn’t have told me where the new bags were, even if she grumbled about me using her new purchases.
But I didn’t ask her, so I didn’t get to use it when I wanted to.

What are you trying to access from God? It may seem little or irrelevant, but some things no matter how little they seem, wouldn’t get to you if do not ask. God may give you that car without you even praying about it, or He would preserve your life without you having to pray for long life, but He would wait for you to ask him when you need a phone or something that seems smaller than a car or irrelevant compared to life… I had access to mums more expensive gold in it’s hiding place, but I didn’t get her bag that was worth less because I didn’t ask. Don’t just sit grumbling while waiting for a need you haven’t asked God to meet  Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better?” Matthew 7:7-11(msg)

I grumble when mum wants to use my stuff, which isn’t often. My precious bottle of Chanel perfume was in the last drops and she would come into the room and before stepping out, spray a little and my soul would hurt real bad (It doesn’t matter that I spritz a cocktail of her perfumes everyday). The other day she decided to use my bag, I should have given it to her and asked her to keep it since she liked it, but I wasn’t about sacrificing my Prada to the woman who has given me the world. I gave her the bag and made sure she knew it wasn’t for keeps by the way I talked about it when I handed it over, she returned it swiftly after her day out and told me how everyone seemed to like the bag, that was my cue to say “you can have it mother dearest”, but I quickly took it and put it in the dust bag! I’ve got stories of other sacrifices I have grumbled or refused to make for her even as much as I love her and enjoy receiving her love.

What is God asking you for? Like I grumbled at mummy, do we grumble for the little sacrifice He gently pleads with us for? Like a few minutes of prayer and worship, or giving an offering or when he nudges us to give out from something He blessed us with, to be a blessing to someone else… or volunteer your time or something little compared to what He’s done and willing to keep doing for us? Sacrifices for God takes nothing out of you even though your flesh may hurt at that moment, rather, it increases you in more ways than you can ever imagine. Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full--pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap...” Luke 6:38 Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. Psalm 126:5 and so much more promises for those that yield and do not hold back from God.

Ask when you’re in need of the littlest thing and watch Him respond… Same time, don’t be so spoilt that you can’t sacrifice a pinch of love for the one who loves you wholly as you are.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Past The Past...

The past is what it is because it is what it is… past, gone, done with. As long as we can’t go back in time, then those things should be left where they are. Stop beating yourself up about the mistakes, hurts and failures of the past… The past ten years or past ten minutes. You can’t go back to change it, but you can face the future and make things right, better than what it was. Sometimes the past holds great memories… but they are gone, just a picture in our minds, create better ones for the future… move on.

In the new, don’t be so tormented and broken by your past that you shut up. Don’t let your past judge you, don’t let your past silence you; don’t let your past put you in a cage, in a cell of guilt and condemnation. It’s called your past because you moved away from it. Its called your past life because you made a conscious effort to change, to be better. You made a decision, that decision creates a blank canvas for you to explore and make beautiful. This post on instagram inspired my post.
"If you have been made a new creature in Christ your past is just a testimony to God's transforming power. Don't ever think that you're not good enough to spread the gospel... even when people try to throw your past in your face." @thatdarndave
Sometimes we’re comfortable in the pain of the present because we feel like we have to pay a price for the past… we’re comfortable in that life that is less than satisfying because we were such horrible beings in the past, we did such horrible things and that's the price we pay… But haven’t you heard? God so loved the world…. He gave us His only son to die for us, to pay the price for our foolishness. Meaning, He loved us even when we were yet sinners, even when we were yet horrible, even when we were yet drunks and robbers and liars and thieves and murderers and prostitutes and fraudsters and cheats. It’s hard to believe… it’s hard to understand a love so strong, a love that looks beyond us, and our filth.
As long as you are now in Christ your past doesn’t matter. He’s wiped it clean with His blood. In the natural, blood only leaves more hideous stains, but in the spiritual, the blood cleanses and makes as white as snow.
If you are in Christ, you don’t have to pay any price with God… saying you have to pay the price of suffering in your present because of your past is making null and void the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. That sacrifice was the price paid. We are debt free as long as we are in Christ.

“Our God who is not limited by time can heal your past hurts and lead you into the bright future He has prepared for you.“ Joseph Prince.
"Come now, let's settle this," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool. Isaiah 1:18

Paul was Saul, the one who persecuted the Christians, he was there as a participating witness when Steven was stoned to death, and probably involved in so much more. He had every reason to cower in shame and shy away from being bold for Christ after his shameful acts “…but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,” Philippians 3:13 He chose to forget the past and move forward in boldness preaching and winning souls clothed in grace and God's love and forgiveness.

Let go of the past; make a conscious effort to enjoy the beauty of the present in the New Year. Ignore the voice of judgment, shut out the voice of condemnation and preach your heart out, and enjoy life, and believe God is speaking to you when you read His words of love, saying He loves you, you are His righteousness in Christ, and you are seated at His right hand in the heavenly places, and you are more than a conqueror. Be expectant, be ready to receive an overflow of His blessings and His goodness in the new, despite your past.
"Stop allowing what happened to you to control what’s left of you." Bishop TD Jakes.

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