30. May 2014 · Comments Off on LORD PLEASE SHOW ME WHAT IS IN MY HAND · Categories: Action, God's Plan, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Revelation, Talents, Wilderness

I’ve found that after experiencing the downside of life, it’s hard to sometimes make sense of your experience. However, experience has taught me that rather than remain the victim, if only you pay attention to what God is up to, you would be surprised at how much He has equipped you. Somehow through adversity, God takes what the enemy plans for evil and uses it to equip us with great and mighty tools which unfortunately we tend not to notice because we are busy crying out “why me?”

Moses protested when God told him what He wanted him to accomplish. I can’t do that! There’s no way I’m equipped to do that but “then the Lord asked him, “What is that in your hand?” “A shepherd’s staff,” Moses replied. “Throw it down on the ground,” the Lord told him. So Moses threw down the staff, and it turned into a snake! Moses jumped back” (Exodus 4:2-3 (NLT).

Wow! I had no idea my staff could do that! But do you know God did not just put that staff in Moses hands at that moment. Moses already had it in his hands when God called Him. It represents all his 40 years’ experience in the wilderness with all the training that came with it.

Recently, I’ve found myself having to ask the Lord to show me what He has equipped me with because honestly, the path I’m treading on is quite overwhelming. However, ‎when I think of it, it’s funny that I’m yet to see a case where someone comes to me about an issue that I’ve not been through myself in some sort of way. I’ve noticed that I tend to find myself saying I know what you’re talking about… I’ve been there before. Hence, I’m able to give advice from experience; with the help of the Holy Spirit of course.

It’s at times like this that you look back and say Lord thank You. I had no idea I could do that. I had no idea I could talk about that. I had no idea I could write about that.

It has not always being like that though because when the enemy tries to steal from you, he tends to make you feel like you’ve nothing left. But like the story of the poor widow who thought she only had very little oil (2 Kings 4:1-7), it’s only when you start pouring out the oil into vessels that you realise how much God has been filling you up and as far as there are many empty vessels around to pour into, the oil will never run dry.

Do you really know what you’ve been equipped with? Why not ask the Lord to open the eyes of your understanding so that you become enlightened and as you do so, I pray… that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe Him… (Ephesians 1:19 NLT)

God bless you
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05. March 2014 · Comments Off on WHEN WHAT YOU GET DOES NOT LOOK LIKE WHAT YOU PRAYED FOR · Categories: God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Obedience, Relationship, Revelation, Spiritual Growth, Wilderness

While in the wilderness, the Israelites were hungry and prayed for food. Did God hear their prayers? OH YES. Did He answer their prayers? OH YES but… When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “WHAT IS IT?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “IT IS THE BREAD THE LORD HAS GIVEN YOU TO EAT (Exodus 16:15 NIV).

From personal experience, when going through a wilderness experience, don’t expect to get exactly what you are praying for… WHAT IS IT?… IT IS THE BREAD THE LORD HAS GIVEN YOU TO EAT… The Israelites expected to receive something to satisfy their fleshly desires. They said… in Egypt There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted…” (Exodus 16:3 NIV). But you’re no longer in Egypt dear. Spiritual training has begun.

Later on, we find Moses telling them … Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, TO HUMBLE AND TEST YOU IN ORDER TO KNOW WHAT WAS IN YOUR HEART, whether or not you would keep His commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that MAN DOES NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord (Deuteronomy 8:2-3 NIV).

The whole point of taking you through the wilderness is to train and test you. Jesus went through this same process when He… was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. The tempter came to Him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:1-4 NIV)

The devil tempted Jesus with worldly things to satisfy His flesh but… MAN DOES NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE… Man does not live by houses, cars, money, fashion etc… alone. Hmmm… everything I now know about God and His word was learnt in my wilderness experience where I was forced to open my Bible and start to study what it really has to say. At the end of the day, His Living Word is what really sustains you (Joshua 1:8). It helps you build a solid foundation on which to stand on.

You may think you know what you want but the Lord knows what you need for every season that you find yourself in. Again, here’s where you have to trust that He knows what’s best for you. Embrace what He has for you now, learn from it and prove that you can handle what’s ahead (Joshua 5:11-12).

God bless you
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03. February 2014 · Comments Off on WHY DOES IT SEEM LIKE I AM GOING BACKWARDS? · Categories: God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Victory, Wilderness

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to TURN BACK and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea… PHARAOH WILL THINK, ‘THE ISRAELITES ARE WANDERING AROUND THE LAND IN CONFUSION, HEMMED IN BY THE DESERT.’ And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for Myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and THE EGYPTIANS WILL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD”… (Exodus 14:1-4 NIV).

Reading this I’m thinking… OK Lord, You really know how to look for trouble! After the last thing You did to Pharaoh and his people, surely they already know You are Lord. But I’m sure the Lord would reply back saying… No, I really, really want to show them that I am Lord… the One not to be messed with. How dare they mess with My children?

For the Israelites to see the final end of their enemies, they had to take a step backward and that must have been confusing. Hmmm… I remember a few years back, a young lady told me she had to bring this to the Lord’s attention. She said… Lord, just in case You haven’t noticed, I am actually going backwards instead of forward. She said this after realising that she was in a worse state than the previous year despite all the promises the Lord made. Sometimes, we’ve just got to get real with God but we must also always remember that His ways are not our ways. When the Lord told Moses to tell the Israelites to TURN BACK, it probably made no sense to them. Why are we going backward? Moses… are you sure you heard correctly? There’s confusion alright… but the confusion is meant for the enemy and not you. The Lord is setting a big trap for them.

This tells me that when you find yourself hemmed in in the desert or wilderness and you can’t understand why you are not moving forward because you have checked that it’s not due to your disobedience, laziness or anything like that, don’t be confused, the Lord is up to something. He is always up to something.

Just when the enemy thought that they had the Israelites where they wanted them, they were taken by surprise. They soon realised it was a set up… and the Egyptians said, “LET’S GET AWAY FROM THE ISRAELITES! THE LORD IS FIGHTING FOR THEM AGAINST EGYPT.” (Exodus 14:25 NIV) Sorry… too late. We know how the story ends.

You may look at your life and in confusion think… surely this is a backward step. It may seem that way but also know that… the steps of a [GOOD] man are directed and established by the Lord WHEN HE DELIGHTS IN HIS WAY [and He busies Himself with his every step] (Psalm 37:23 AMP).

Chill… the Lord is busy plotting on your behalf.

God bless you
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29. September 2013 · Comments Off on WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? · Categories: Fear, Jesus Christ, Wilderness

Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I HAVE HAD ENOUGH, LORD,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.” (1 Kings 19:4 NLT)

These are the words of Prophet Elijah who had just finished calling down fire from heaven to consume a very wet sacrifice, humiliated Baal, the people’s god and killed 450 of its prophets and then called down rain after three and a half years of no rain. He had just finished doing great things for God but then here comes the enemy with what he knows how to do best; intimidation, frustration, depression, weariness… Jezebel threatened to kill him so he ran away as fast as he could to find a place to hide.

Are you feeling like Elijah felt? Feeling down? Is the enemy bombarding your mind with rubbish, trying to get you to focus on the negative rather than on the great things God is doing in your life? Have you had enough and just want to give up? Have you withdrawn in to your shell? Well… thank God that He is Omnipresence and He knows where you are hiding. The Lord found Elijah in the cave where he was hiding and… said to him, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE, ELIJAH?” (1 king 19:9)

Could the Lord be asking you the same question today? I know we are getting to the end of the year and that’s when anxiety sets in. You might be feeling down because you think that all your efforts have come to nothing but God is asking, “What are you doing in this lonely place after all you’ve achieved?” Several times the Lord asked Elijah the same question (See 1 king 19:9-14).

Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” (1 Kings 19:10 NLT)

Elijah was about to give up based on the lie of the enemy. The Lord told Elijah, you’re not the only one… I will preserve 7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!” (1 Kings 19:18 NLT)

By now you should know how the enemy works. Know that there are great things ahead. What you need is for Jesus to energise you… Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched him and said, “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.” (1 Kings 19:7 NLT).

Maybe it’s time to go on a retreat with Jesus.

God bless you
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28. August 2013 · Comments Off on JOSEPH’S CV (RESUME) · Categories: Action, Forgive, God's Plan, Humility, Jesus Christ, Pain, Rejection, Reward, Suffering, Talents, Wilderness

Over the weekend, I was invited to an event to speak about stepping out into your God-given purpose. They wanted me to share my experience and provide tips for people like me just stepping out. I thought about it for a while… Where do I start?

Normally when you want to step out into a new career, you may visit companies that offer career advices services. They talk you through how to prepare your CV or go about setting up a business. Well… Joseph specialises in helping people like us trying to step out into their God-given purpose prepare their much needed CV. He’s got loads of advice and tips and He helped me produce a CV using his own template. Here’s what he showed me;

Pharaoh put out a vacancy for a Personal Adviser and Governor of all Egypt and Joseph submitted the following CV:

PROFILE – A successful, gifted and humble young man with a God-given dream

SPECIAL QUALITIES – God fearing, BROKEN ENOUGH TO BE USED BY GOD, Self Control, Ability to interpret dreams, Ability to forgive, and the much needed ability to determine the difference between the enemy’s reason for pain and God’s purpose; qualities gained through the things he suffered.

SKILLS – Excellent Administrative and Project management skills with the ability to work under varied conditions and manage any size of projects from small to major projects:

  • skills to manage 7 years of abundance gained from managing and supervising Potiphar’s household
  • skills to manage 7 years of scarcity/famine gained from managing and supervising other prisoners in prison
QUALIFICATIONS AND WORK EXPERIENCE – 
  • Mother died early (PAIN)
  • Misunderstood by family (REJECTION)
  • Thrown into pit by brothers (PAIN, BETRAYAL, LONELINESS)
  • Sold into slavery by brothers (PAIN, BETRAYAL)
  • Living in a strange country far from home (LONELINESS)
  • Supervisor and person in charge of Potiphar’s household (WORK PLACEMENT)
  • Wrongly accused by Potiphar’s wife (PAIN, BETRAYAL)
  • Thrown in prison (PAIN, BETRAYAL)
  • Prisoner-in-charge of all the prisoners in prison (WORK EXPERIENCE)
  • Forgotten by the chief butler (PAIN, BETRAYAL, REJECTION)
  • Remained in prison for 2 more years (PAIN, BETRAYAL)
ACHIEVEMENTS
  • Interpreted Pharaoh’s dream
  • Personal Adviser to Pharaoh
  • Manager of Pharaoh’s entire palace
  • Governor of all Egypt

Jacob sent Joseph on an errand…“Your brothers are pasturing the sheep at Shechem. Get ready, and I will send you to them.” “I’M READY TO GO,” Joseph replied. “Go and see how your brothers and the flocks are getting along,” Jacob said. “THEN COME BACK AND BRING ME A REPORT.” So Jacob sent him on his way… (Genesis 37:13-14 NLT). A while later, Joseph sends his brothers to give his dad his report. He said…“hurry back to my father and tell him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me master over all the land of Egypt… (Genesis 45:9 NLT).

Do you know one day you would have to give a report back to your Father in heaven? Stepping out into your purpose??? Pain… wilderness experience… and GOD’s Purpose go together. The things you experience leave some clues to your purpose. Have you got a CV?

God bless you
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09. August 2013 · Comments Off on WHAT HAPPENS IN THE WILDERNESS? · Categories: Fruit of the Spirit, Jesus Christ, Relationship, Revelation, Self Control, Spiritual Growth, Wilderness, Words

Then Jesus was LED BY THE SPIRIT INTO THE WILDERNESS to be tempted by the devil (Matthew 4:1 NIV).

If Jesus was LED INTO THE WILDERNESS, then the wilderness must be a path recommended by God because something obviously happens there.

I looked up the definition of a physical wilderness and this caught my attention… “A natural environment on Earth that HAS NOT been significantly modified by HUMAN ACTIVITY”. Applying this to a spiritual wilderness, I see it as a time in one’s spiritual journey where HUMAN ACTIVITY is cut out and it’s just you and God. It’s normally characterised by turmoil, loneliness, separation, brokenness and involves long periods of waiting on God. But it’s not just for ‘waiting’ sake.

In a physical wilderness, survival is an extreme challenge. People experience ‘hunger and thirst’ because there’s shortage of food and water so when a supply is found, they desperately go after it. A spiritual wilderness is also characterised by ‘hunger and thirst’ but that’s when Jesus, who happens to be the bread of life (John 6:30-35), positions Himself, waiting for you to locate His supply.

One of my favourite verses says… Remember how the LORD YOUR GOD LED YOU THROUGH THE WILDERNESS for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey His commands. Yes, He humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with MANNA… He did it to teach you that PEOPLE DO NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE; RATHER, WE LIVE BY EVERY WORD THAT COMES FROM THE MOUTH OF THE LORD (Deuteronomy 8:2-3 NLT).

Again, we see that it’s a GOD ACTIVITY just like Jesus’ case and we know that He defeated every temptation with this classic line… IT IS WRITTEN… The New Living Translation says… THE SCRIPTURES SAY…

That’s what happens in the wilderness… You’re hungry so SCRIPTURE become your food… You feed on God’s word to get a specific truth that God wants you to grasp before the experience ends. You’re also thirsty so need a stream of water… that’s the Holy Spirit who helps you take the word you’ve digested and goes to work on transforming your character. Satan will tempt you but it’s part of the process. How else will you know you’re no longer that angry, lustful, jealous, unforgiving?

Paul said that after he became a Christian, he went to Arabia where he spent some years in the wilderness getting to know Christ (Galatians 1:15-18). By the time He came out, he had emptied himself of himself. You would hear him say… My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me… (Galatians 2:20 NLT)

When hungry and without the supply of physical food, you lose weight. Spiritually, I would like to think that all that excess flesh (carnality) has to drop off to fully embrace Christ. Beloved, after the wilderness experience there’s usually an explosion of God’s power so embrace your wilderness. I pray for grace for you to hang in there knowing that you are about to experience God’s power in your life like never before.

God bless you
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