Friday, 24 July 2015

Worry Ends When Faith Begins

Tonight I had to remind myself that it makes no sense to worry and stress over a situation I had no control over. There I was doing it again. I was working the problem in my mind. I was trying to come up with a number of scenarios that I could use to fix the problem. I felt confident that if I had a plan it would all work out; so, faithfully I worked on my plans. However, every scenario I ran in my mind did not work. The problem was still there. I then realized that there was nothing I could do. It was out of my control. I panicked. The mini control freak in me sank deeper into a pit of despair as I allowed the problem to wash over me.

I smile now as I type these lines because at the moment of despair it hit me that worry ends when faith begins. I realized that I was not using the greatest power I had, my faith. Yes, I was using my intelligence in trying to reason my way into a solution to my problem. Weird has it might sound; intelligence often does not conquer problems in the life of a Christian. Most times it leads to more problems because in using intelligence you are not allowing God to lead. In fact, it is like you are showing God that you do not need Him.

 So my friend, I just wanted to encourage you to use your faith to overcome your situation. Worry does not help. It just stops you from drawing closer to our ultimate problem solver (God). 

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.                                    Romans 15:13 

I wanted to share this picture because I placed one like it in my car to remind me to use my faith.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

When God Speaks

As we walk with God, we should endeavour to have an encounter with God everyday; so I wanted to share an encounter I had with God today. When I started my walk with God I did not understand what it meant to be faithful to him. To be honest before then, God was an idea that I believed in; however, I did not know Him. I also did not try to understand Him. This began to change once I made the decision to walk in God's will; I tried to understand exactly what walking in His will meant.

One thing I understood and believe is that it was important to me that I showed my love and faithfulness to God. One way I did this was by tithing. At church, I was taught the importance of tithing from a Biblical perspective. I also began to understand the importance of tithing from a personal perspective; I also saw how tithing began to change my life. For me, tithing is an important part of my relationship with God. So, every month before I did anything else I would take my tithe and set it aside.

Back to today, as I went to the machine to withdraw from my monthly salary, the thought came to me to just withdraw only what I needed to conduct business for today. This is totally out of character for me but I decided to just withdraw not my tithes, but instead the money I needed to conduct my business transaction. Quickly, I punched in the amount (not giving my tithe a second thought). Nothing came out of the machine. There was nothing to withdraw. At that moment, I did not register what happened. I just left the machine and decided to take a walk. Yes, it was odd, but at that time I was not making any connection.  
After fifteen minutes, I joined the line for the machine once again. I had a nagging feeling. As I stepped into the machine, I prayed Lord I am going to put in the amount that will withdraw my tithes. I finished the praying by saying I am sorry. I placed the card into the machine punched in the amount that I withdrew every month (this amount was more than the previous amount I had entered) and there it was the sweet sound of cash being dispensed from the machine. In that moment, I was truly thankful that I had not broken my unfaithfulness with God. I also realized that God was speaking to me in the only way i would be able to hear him.

So, today I chose to think that God stopped me from committing a mistake that I would have lived to regret. So my friends, when God speaks, just listen.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

When You Leave Him Behind

After my prayers this morning I was reminded about this story. Let me say that I am nobody. I do not see myself as someone who is a spiritual leader or anyone significant. I am just here to share my journey. Whenever, I feel like I am not doing what God requires I remember this scripture below:

Luke 2:43-45 New International Version (NIV)
43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him.

 In my head, I always see Mary and Joseph starting their journey with Jesus (or so they thought). I also see them probably being happy and anxious to arrive at their destination. I also imagine the shock they must of had when they realized that Jesus was not with them. I can imagine the panic, worry and how they probably blamed themselves because they should have ensure that he was safely with then on their journey.

This scripture is a scripture that is very dear and important to me. It reminds me that daily that I must always be careful not to leave Jesus behind on my journey. It reminds me that I must always check and search to see if Jesus is with me; because, just like Mary and Joseph it is quite easy to leave Jesus behind without realizing it. When I speak about leaving Jesus behind, I speak about not praying, not seeking, not consulting God when making major life decisions, not doing God's well but your own. These are some of the ways we as Christians leave Jesus behind.

In this situation, leaving Jesus behind is a problem. It is, but what do you do when you discover that you have left him behind. Do you continue on your journey or do you turn back like Mary and Joseph? The problem is not making the mistake. The problem is what do you do when you have discovered you have made the mistake.

So everyday, let us check to see if Jesus is on the journey with us.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

From a Place of Truth

I woke up this morning, after a long night, feeling cranky. Yes, I said it!! It is okay to wake up feeling crappy. But, it is not okay to go through the day with the same spirit. So, I went to God and I spoke with sincerity, read my bible and released my day into his hands. Following this, i meditate on what to share today. I had no idea what to write and I prayed for direction from the Holy Spirit. It might sound cliche but that is exactly what i did.  In doing so, I thought about my journey so far with God.

I keep talking about my walk with God as a journey because I am learning that my life will not just change overnight. Sometimes we forget that things do not just change in us or in our lives just because we are in the presence of God. Those roots from our past that caused pain; that affected our lives in a negative way are not completely washed way when we get baptized.

Therefore, It takes a journey of learning, of trusting, of being renewed, of praying, of overcoming, of seeking just to get to a few of the steps that God wants to take us. This journey is therefore a life long journey of change, growth and development.

My walk with God started two years ago. When I just started I expected everything in my life to go at Fast Food speed. I thought because I was filled with the Holy Spirit; I was transformed and that was it. I operated like that and pretty soon everyone expected so much from me. Through their expectations I started to push even more to mold myself into who they wanted me to be and who I wanted to be but in all of that I lost sight of who God wanted me to be.

Even as i type these words, God is revealing things that I did not consciously see or thought about.

So what I am saying is that, it is okay to have bad days on your journey. Don't feel guilty about it. Don't judge yourself because of it. Just don't let those bad days become your permanent reality. Always fill God in, always allow God to be your ground, always take it to him first. He will transform that day into a renewed spirit and mind.  

 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discourage”. -Deuteronomy 31: 8

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

When We are Angry with God

I remember shouting at God with what I thought was righteous anger. "God you Promised!!" I yelled, "You promised!! This is not what you promised!!."

I was upset. I was hurt. It seemed that God had broken his promise. He had let me down like all the other people in my life. 

"Why?" I asked.

 I knew He is prefect. I knew He does not made mistakes. My brain knew that. My intelligence knew that. However, my emotions would have none of it. My emotions wanted to wage war. My emotions wanted to give God the silent treatment. So I did. I did not talk to Him. I filled my time with everything else expect for Him. I wanted to punish Him for letting me down. I wanted God to feel like how I did, sad and brokenhearted. 

Clearly, this course of action made no sense. But my emotions assured me it did. My emotions laid the plans and carried out the actions.

This is why as Christians, we live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). I am only just realizing to what extent this verse means. Our emotions react to sight; so we see, we react and we believe. That is how we are programmed to function. But, as children of Christ our communion with God teaches us that sight is relative. Sight does not explain things of the spirit. If we use sight when it comes to our relationship with God, we will find that we will become bitter and give up on God.

Faith is what gives us that assurance. Our assurance comes from God. A pastor said once, faith is the power of God inside us. We cannot touch it, we cann0t see it but it is one of the most powerful tools we have. Without it we will lose our way.

So, I was not using my faith above. I allowed my emotions to rule my communion with God. How many times do you make that mistake?

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

At the Edge of Giving Up

There was no light. His mind was made up. Enough was enough. David told himself that this was it. He was tired of this Godly walk. He was tired of fighting to save his soul because of a comic battle between God and the Devil. He told himself that this had nothing to do with him. But in his soul, he was afraid of losing his salvation. He wanted grace. He wanted to be in the bosom of God. The thought of eternal damnation did not sit right in his spirit. How could he walk out on the Holy Spirit? How could he give up on God; when God did not give up on him.

David sighed.  In truth, he knew there was no point in turning back. What was he going back to? However, the thought of living up to perfection was too much. Everyone's expectations was just too much. What did God expect? He expected too much. David was at the edge of giving up. But what David did not know was; that God was right there with him.

The truth is that God does not place any expectations on us. He does not place any demands. He knows that once His spirit is in us we will automatically be His witness. We are the ones who place expectations, barriers and impossible tasks on ourselves and others. Sometimes,  we expect to be and do more than Jesus. In doing so, we don't allow God to mold us, we don't allow ourselves to be clays that are made of fire. We try to mold ourselves by being prefect; by creating a persona in us of who we think God wants us to be; instead of letting God create us. 

David's story  reminds us that it is easy to give up on our beliefs and on God. We will give up if we try to do it all by ourselves. I have learnt that faith is a journey. No two journeys  are alike. What might be easy for your brother and sister in faith might take you years to conquer. That does not mean that their is something wrong with you. It just means that based on who you are God is preparing you differently. 

I have also learnt that there is no such thing as human perfection in Christ. God is prefect because He is not human . He loves us because we are human. 

Thank you for sharing.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Picking Up the Pieces

  Standing in the middle of an empty room that once was my everything. This room held my life. Everything that was near and dear to me once covered the walls; these things once created a beautiful maze of love and faith. Now, it was empty. Everything that was once dear to me was gone. I did not realize that slowly and surely my life was changing. My vision was shifting. My life was moving, not into truth but into darkness and dead. Once the reality of the situation hit. The room was suddenly transformed into its true image. A place of wilderness and despair. It was a void of nothingness. It was a picture of my soul.

The story above reminds us that as people of God we cannot take anything for granted. Salvation is a journey that is daily taken when we have an encounter with God. These encounters with the Holy Spirit comes through communion. If there is no communion our souls will be the empty room mentioned above.

Today, I want to share a journey that the Lord has been speaking to me about. Today I started a new journey of 100 days of prayer with God.  

It makes no sense right? 

It goes without saying that we should pray every day. 

This is different. This is 100 days of purposeful prayer and meditation. It is about focusing on an area of my life in Christ and working on building, overcoming, developing and being grounded in Christ. For me, this journey is about deepening my relationship with my God. 

  I could quote a scripture right now to re-enforce my point but  I am not going to. The truth is this journey is about being obedient to the word of God. I know that by being obedient I will see that God does nothing by chance. I will learn to draw closer to God and to be stronger in God. I know this will not be easy. I know their will be days I will be sick, days I will not want to pray, days I will be tired. In those days I pray that God will water my soul and renew a right spirit in me. 

So, today I got up and I started my journey with a fast for purification and I prayed. Not a righteous prayer. I prayed and poured out my thought, my feelings and I asked for God's renewal.

The scripture I meditated on this morning is Psalms 1 and the highlighted portion is what spoke to my soul.

    Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
    or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
2   but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
3   That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
    and whose leaf does not wither
    whatever they do prospers.
4   Not so the wicked!
    They are like chaff
    that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Thank You for sharing my journey. 

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Is My Faith Dead?

"Is my faith dead?'' Jane asked herself as a wealth of stress washed over her.  

She was once again out of money; her car ( had broken down the umpteenth time) was a heap of junk in her drive way. Of course, she had no money to repair the car; which equally meant that there was no money to buy food. To add to that, her spring relationship withered and died by the beginning of summer.

As the thoughts about the reality of her situation rolled around in her head; self pity and doubt rolled into a deep set sorrow that released itself as wordless tears. There was not even a mutter as the tears roll down her cheeks and anchor themselves at the bottom of her chin after which they dripped one by one into her laps.

In a moment of self pity Jane whispered again, ‘My Faith must be dead’.

There was no possible way out of the mountain of stress, debt, loneliness, sadness and any other terrible thing you can think of. The thought echoed in her head, someone with faith would not be in this situation.  With the last ounce of faith she had left; she wiped her tears, closed her eyes, placed her hands together and bowed her head to pray.

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