Sunday, 25 October 2015

A Prayer

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

The Importance of Listening to God

An important part of walking with God is learning to listen and obey his words. If I am being truly honest, sometimes this is often easier said than done. In everyone's journey with God there comes a time when you have to make the decision to listen and submit to God's plans for our lives.  The scripture tells us about one such case. In Numbers 22: Verses 1-35 we see that Balaam had to listen to the voice of God. Now this scripture is a very powerful one and there are many lessons that we can learn from it. The lesson I want to share from this scripture is the lesson of submission. 

I am going to briefly explain context of the scripture: 

The Israelites were journeying to the promise land. As they moved through the desert they killed and displaced a number of other nations and their leaders-the Canaanites and the Amorites- by God's commands (Numbers 22). The Moabite and the Midianite leaders heard about what had happened to the Canaanites and the Amorites and they became worried that the same thing would happen to them. So, they sent for Balaam to pronounce a curse on the Israelites, so that the Israelites could not overthrow them (Numbers 22: 1-7). 

Now that we have looked at the context, let us look at what God said. The scripture tells us that when Balaam prayed the Lord told him not to go with the Canaanite and the Amorite representatives. 

Numbers 22: 12-  "But God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them. You must not put a curse on those people, because they are blessed.”"
At this point,  Balaam listened to God and he sent  the Canaanite and the Amorite representatives away. However, again the Moabite and the Midianite leaders sent more emissaries to persuade Balaam.  Once again God told Balaam to listen and follow his instructions.

Numbers 22: 20- "That night God came to Balaam and said, “Since these men have come to summon you, go with them, but do only what I tell you.”"

However, Balaam did not follow God's instructions. Needless to say, God was angry. God

sent His angel to block Balaam's path. However, Balaam was blind. He was not following the instructions he had been given; he was not relying on God.  In his spiritual blindness Balaam becomes angry and started to lash out at his donkey. It is important to note that the donkey was able to see what Balaam could not see. This shows us how far Balaam had gone from God.

If we stop and think, we would realize that we often become angry and frustrated when we do not listen to God's voice. It is important to note that often when we start our journey with God we listen and follow God's instructions just as Balaam did. However, as time passes we start to do our own thing and think we are following God's instructions when we are not.

 Another important point is God's voice often tries to prevent us from doing something that
will harm us whether it be physically or spiritually. Can you imagine if Balaam had gone and curse the Israelites, what would have happened to him? After all, the scripture tells us that the Israelites were blessed (Numbers 22: 12). So, instead of cursing the Israelites; Balaam would have cursed himself. We see that in the fact that the angel of God was prepared to kill Balaam if he had continued on his journey (Numbers 22: 32-33).

Some of the lessons we can take from this scripture are:

  • God's voice will never steers us wrong
  • If we do not follow God's voice we will become angry and frustrated
  • We cannot follow or hear God's voice if we are spiritually blind
  • If we do not listen to God's instructions and follows His voice we will be cursed
  • Those who do not follow God's voice will surely died

Friday, 9 October 2015

What is a Spiritual Desert?

Often we hear about the beauty, the joy, the peace, and love we experience on our spiritual journey with Christ. Sometimes, far too rarely do we honestly share and pour out about the other side of this journey, the desert.

What is a desert you might ask?  I found that this definition best describes the term:

"A desert is a barren area of land where little precipitation occurs and consequently living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to the processes of denudation."

The definition above explains what a desert is literally. Now, let us explore what a desert is spiritually.  A spiritual desert just like a literal desert is when our lives have become barren and desolate. This type of desert comes with a number of challenges. It comes with physical, spiritual, financial and emotional deficits, so the conditions in our lives are hostile. During this season, often nothing in our lives seems to bear.  It is also during the desert we often feel like we are disconnected from God. Most times, thoughts of giving up, turning back and leaving the presences of God plagues us.

In Matthew chapter 4: verse 1, we read: "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil."

The scripture shows us that it was the Holy Spirit that led Jesus into his desert. So, the question is why would the Holy Spirit lead Jesus into the desert? Simple, the desert is an essential part of our journey with God. The desert is what makes us stand firm in our commitment with God. If we are able to go through this desert; we then come out of the other side transformed.

I speak on this topic because I recently went through a brutal desert. I was spirituality, physically, mentally and emotionally wrecked. I was at my breaking point. No one could help me. No one understood what I was going through. No one's advice could work for me. I had to hit rock bottom. This is what I want you to understand, when you are in your desert you are alone just like how Jesus was alone. You will be tempted just like how Jesus was tempted and just like Jesus you will have to use the Word to get you through.

After hitting rock bottom I was faced with a decision, giving up or relying on God. Everything told me to give up. Everything in my life made it seem like giving up was the best option. Just like how the devil made it seem to Jesus that all his problems would be finish if he ate bread (Matt. 4: 3-4 ) or prove that God was with him (Matt. 4: 5-6 ). The question I had to ask myself was what am I giving up and going back to?

If you give up on Christ will your life be better?

Is it worth it to walk away from God?

Why are you giving up on God when he did not give up on you?

These were all questions I had to answer. I was tired. I was broken. I felt alone. I was trapped by my feelings and there was no where to turn, no one to turn to.  I had to stand and make a decision. Often, it is in standing and making a decision to surrender to God that the rain falls and our desert becomes an oasis. The scripture shows us that it is when Jesus decided to stand in his decision to serve God that we see that  the devil could not withstand and the devil had to flee (Matthew 4: 10-11).

So my friend, here are a few things I want to remain with you:

  • You must go through a desert
  • Your desert will be rigorous and overwhelming
  • You must make a decision to rely on God
  • Your desert will end when you have learnt the lessons that the Holy Spirit wants to teach you. 
  • Your desert will one day turn into an oasis
  • Your desert is designed to break you by building you

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