30. November 2015 · Comments Off on GET RID OF THAT DEEP ROOTED MIND-SET · Categories: Action, Agreement, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Mind, Promise, Spiritual Growth, Thoughts, Trusting God, Truth, Words

We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 NLT).

Recently, I was reminded of how a family friend was playing a game with my brother. He kept on losing and back then, if there was anything my brother was good at, it was rubbing it in. He went on and on until this family friend provoked. He got up, scattered the game and then began to lament about how he had bad luck… how he was a failure… how anything he touched didn’t succeed… how his dad left…

My brother was shocked and quickly had to stop what he was doing… “but it’s only a game”, he said, However, to this young man, it was more than that. It was a deep rooted mind-set… a stronghold that had held on tightly and would not let him go… a typical Mephibosheth story who felt like he was a dead dog (2 Samuel 9:8)

Unfortunately, regardless of how much is taught on the battle of the mind, many still struggle with this deep rooted mind-set and the problem is that if you see yourself as a dead dog, you will continue hanging out where dead dogs lie.

Beloved, please know that the first step in turning your life around is by changing the way you think… For as he thinks in his heart, so is he… (Proverbs 23:7)

The Bible gives a prescription for this deep rooted mind-set… be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you] (Romans 12:2 AMP).

This daily prescription should be taken more than once daily. In fact, throughout the course of the day, it should be taken as often as needed. Many of the battles you face in life would be won if you can just do what this verse says… renew your mind to see yourself how the Lord sees you.

Beloved, regardless of whatever happened in your past, you have a choice. Be like… Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful. HE WAS THE ONE WHO PRAYED TO THE GOD OF ISRAEL, “OH, THAT YOU WOULD BLESS ME and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request (1 Chronicles 4:9-10 NLT).

To expand your territory would also involve expanding your mind to think right. Isn’t it time to start dealing with that defeating mind-set?

God bless you
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29. November 2015 · Comments Off on TESTING THE AUTHENTICITY OF YOUR FAITH‏ · Categories: Faith, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Joy, Perseverance, Praise, Relationship, Spiritual Growth, Suffering, Trusting God

These troubles [trials; testings] come to prove that your faith is pure [to test and prove the authenticity of your faith; a test that proves the genuineness of a valuable metal]. This purity of faith… is worth more… than gold, which can be proved to be pure… by fire but can… be destroyed. But the purity [tested and proven authenticity] of your faith will bring you praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is shown to you [at the revelation of Jesus Christ] (1 Peter 1:7 EXB).

Reflecting on this text, the amount of trials I’ve had to face and not given up has given me the assurance that my faith is solid. Hmmm… I’m talking of the kind of shaking so that only unshakable things will remain (Hebrews 12:27). The kind of shaking that will cause you to look back and ask yourself, “how am I still standing?”

Do you know that a way to know if you are on the right track with the Lord is by the trials that you face? I was listening to a pastor say that when he opened their church building, the witches in that area came together and started to encircle the church. I was thinking he was going to say that it scared him but he said it made him happy and he took to dancing because it confirmed that what he was doing was the right thing. He said the same thing happened to his spiritual father. That when he too first planted his church building, some strange people put a snake in the offering basket. Hmmm… Now, that’s freaky and let me just add that this was in America and not Africa.

If you ever want to know if the move you are taking is the right one, then don’t be surprised that all hell would break loose. Depending on the impact of what it is, trials would come from every direction. Like it is often said… “HIGHER LEVEL… HIGHER DEVIL” but I recently heard someone say it should be “HIGHER DEVIL… HIGHER LEVEL” because the enemy is your stepping stool to your next level.

Also, as you move ahead walking the Christian journey, you are definitely bound to bump into the devil with his many trials and temptations and if you never bump into him, it could be an indication that you are both going in the same direction.

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test you [that is, to test the quality of your faith], as though something strange or unusual were happening to you. But insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, keep on rejoicing, so that when His glory [filled with His radiance and splendor] is revealed, you may rejoice with great joy (1 Peter 4:12-13 AMP).

Keep on rejoicing… Take to dancing… and… Above all, lift up the [protective] shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one (Ephesians 6:16 AMP).

God bless you
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28. November 2015 · Comments Off on DIVIDED LOYALTY · Categories: Blessing, Choices, Jesus Christ, Marriage, Praise, Relationship, Worship

Once again Leah became pregnant and gave birth to another son. She named him Judah, for she said, “NOW I WILL PRAISE THE LORD!” And then she stopped having children (Genesis 29:35 NLT).

Studying this story again of how Leah struggled to win her husband’s love, I can’t help but highlight the struggles that many people have in juggling their relationship between God and man.

Let’s backtrack a bit… When God realized that Leah was unloved, He opened her womb. But Rachel was barren. Leah became pregnant and had a son. She named him Reuben (Look-It’s-a-Boy!). “This is a sign,” she said, “that God has seen my misery; and a sign that now my husband will love me.” She became pregnant again and had another son. “God heard,” she said, “that I was unloved and so he gave me this son also.” She named this one Simeon (God-Heard). She became pregnant yet again—another son. She said, “Now maybe my husband will connect with me—I’ve given him three sons!” That’s why she named him Levi (Connect) (Genesis 29:31-34 MSG).

Here, we see that Leah was battling between God and her husband; juggling between both relationships. Every time the Lord blessed her with a son, her focus went from “God” to “her man”. Until she finally said enough is enough… THIS TIME, I’LL FOCUS ON GOD… THIS TIME, I WILL PRAISE GOD”…

Unfortunately, it’s the same thing with many today and while it isn’t my intention to focus on marital relationships, Apostle Paul said… a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. HIS INTERESTS ARE DIVIDED… a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband (1 Corinthians 7:33-34 NLT).

My focus is on you that’s dating that’s finding yourself battling between your relationship with God and your partner. “Who should I really be loyal to?” You love God and want to please Him but you also love this person and want to please them too so you find that you are compromising because you don’t want to lose them. You find yourself juggling between both relationships… but it’s so important that you know which relationship is the most important.

Leah got to the point where she said… “NOW I WILL PRAISE THE LORD!” And then she stopped having children. But why did the Lord keep blessing her with more children? I believe that it’s because at times He allows us to get to the end of our road – that place where we finally conclude that this thing isn’t working. I’m not deriving any real fulfilment from it. My relationship with the Lord who has been blessing me is more important.

Beloved, are you in any kind of relationship where you are struggling with divided loyalty? I pray today that you choose wisely where your loyalty lies… You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God… (Exodus 20:5 NLT)

God bless you
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27. November 2015 · Comments Off on WHAT IS YOUR ‘ONLY GOD KNOWS’ SITUATION? · Categories: God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Prayer, Victory, Words

Then He asked me, “Human [Son of man], can these bones live?” I answered, “Lord God, only You know.” He said to me, “Prophesy to [over] these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD. THIS IS WHAT THE LORD GOD SAYS to the bones: I will cause breath to enter you so you will come to life (Ezekiel 37:3-5 EXB).

Have you got an ‘ONLY GOD KNOWS’ situation‏? By this I mean, from the way things are going, you don’t have the confidence to say this is how this thing is going to turn out because in your eyes, it is more or less a dead situation.

Beloved, don’t just sit there and watch things die. You should respond by prophesying life into that situation. If you know the mind of Christ then you know what He desires. Jesus said… I came to give life [that they might have life]—life in all its fullness [abundance] (John 10:10 EXB). His word also says… Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually] (3 John 2 AMP). So, instead of sitting there wondering whether you would ever get well… whether you are ever going to succeed, why not prophecy and say “I’m going to get well… I’m going to succeed”. Locate what the word of God says and don’t stop speaking it.

Ezekiel said… So, I prophesied as I was commanded. While I prophesied, there was a noise and a rattling. The bones came together, bone to bone (Ezekiel 37:7 EXB).

So ‘I’ not the Lord, ‘I’ prophesied and something happened. I like how this version says ‘human’ rather than just ‘Son of man’ because when it says ‘son of man’, there’s the tendency to attach something deep to the name but the Lord is simply referring to a human being just like you and I with the word of God in his mouth.

It may be a progressive thing where you don’t see all the results at once but that’s okay. Just keep prophesying… Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the wind [breath; Spirit]. Prophesy, human [son of man], and say to the wind [breath; Spirit], ‘This is what the Lord God says: Wind [Breath; Spirit], come from the four winds, and breathe on these people who were killed [slain] so they can come back to life.’” So I prophesied as the Lord commanded me. And the breath [wind; Spirit] came into them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, a very large army (Ezekiel 37:9-10 EXB).

This is what the Lord God says… So I prophesied… and they came to life and stood on their feet… What you say can mean [In the power of the tongue are] life or death. Those who speak with care [love it] will be rewarded [eat its fruit] (Proverbs 18:21 EXB). Why not start speaking life to that your ‘ONLY GOD KNOWS’ situation?

God bless you
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26. November 2015 · Comments Off on PAY DUE ATTENTION TO PRAYER · Categories: God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Perseverance, Prayer

Elijah was a man with a nature like ours [with the same physical, mental, and spiritual limitations and shortcomings], and HE PRAYED intensely for it not to rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months (James 5:17 AMP).

Don’t you find it interesting that ‎of all the great things Prophet Elijah did, his prayer is what’s highlighted, letting us know how important the role of prayer is. Elijah is someone that was recorded for doing many remarkable things and while there’s the tendency to focus on the things he did, lets realise that he couldn’t do any of it without the basic essential and that’s why the Bible tells us that HE PRAYED and there are times when we just need to put a full stop there. ‘ELIJAH PRAYED’.

We are given a very good picture of how Elijah prevailed in prayer to birth things. We are told that… Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bowed deeply in prayer, his face between his knees. Then he said to his young servant, “On your feet now! Look toward the sea.” He went, looked, and reported back, “I don’t see a thing.” “Keep looking,” said Elijah, “seven times if necessary.” And sure enough, the seventh time he said, “Oh yes, a cloud! But very small, no bigger than someone’s hand, rising out of the sea.” “Quickly then, on your way. Tell Ahab, ‘Saddle up and get down from the mountain before the rain stops you.’” (1 Kings 18:42-44 MSG)

Elijah took the birthing position and began to PUSH which has been turned into an acronym for Pray Until Something Happens.

Jesus also spent a considerable amount of time praying. On one occasion, Jesus… insisted that His disciples get into the boat and go ahead [of Him] to the other side to Bethsaida, while He was dismissing the crowd. And after He said goodbye to them, He went to the mountain to pray. Now when evening had come, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and Jesus was alone on the land… At about the fourth watch of the night (3:00-6:00 a.m) He came to them, walking on the sea… (Mark 6:45-48 AMP).

Jesus obviously knew the importance of prayer and I’m wondering how many of us have reached that place where you feel you ought to start rescheduling things in your life to give more room to prayer? Most times, we try to fit prayer into our busy schedule but there’s a stage you get to where you finally see the wisdom of doing it the other way round. That stage where you realise “Lord, I definitely cannot do this without You”.

Beloved, you cannot be a powerful Christian if you have a poor prayer life so it’s time to pay due attention to prayer… be unceasing and persistent in prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17 AMP) …The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results (James 5:16 NLT).

God bless you
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25. November 2015 · Comments Off on ATTAINING THE THINGS OF SPIRIT‏ · Categories: Fruit of the Spirit, God's Plan, Grace, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Prayer, Relationship, Revelation, Spiritual Growth, Wisdom

Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not (1 Samuel 1:2 NLT).

I remember someone saying that Hannah’s story can only be preached at woman’s conferences and not men’s and I’m thinking “yes you can” because deeper insight would reveal that Elkanah’s two wives represent two aspects of man: NATURAL versus SPIRITUAL; FLESH versus SPIRIT. Peninnah represents the things we attain in the flesh while Hannah represents the things we attain from God through His Spirit… It is not by force nor by strength, but by My Spirit, says the Lord… (Zechariah 4:6 NLT)

The flesh is always in a constant battle with the Spirit. Peninnah which means ‘pearl’, ‘jewel’ or ‘coral’ represents our carnal nature with all its attractive physical traits. She likes to attain things in her strength alone and that’s why you’ll later hear Hannah say… by strength shall no man prevail (1 Samuel 2:9 KJV).

On the other hand, Hannah is from the Hebrew word (Channah) meaning ‘favour’ or ‘grace’. Now, because of Hannah’s situation, you would think otherwise. She told Eli… let your maidservant find grace and favor in your sight (1 Samuel 1:18 AMP). However, Hannah’s a woman FULL OF GRACE. She may have been unfruitfulness but the Bible is clear to tell us not just once but twice (1 Samuel 1:5-6) that it was the Lord’s doing. However, it was so she could arise and come up higher to receive what He had in stock for her.

For us, it’s that higher spiritual dimension that the Lord is calling for so He can reveal deep and secret things about His plans. For the Bible says… “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has REVEALED THEM TO US THROUGH HIS SPIRIT. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, THE DEEP THINGS OF GOD (1 Corinthians 2:9-10 NKJV).

Paul goes on to say… the NATURAL man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God… nor can he know them, because they are SPIRITUALLY DISCERNED (1 Corinthians 2:14 NKJV).

And then Paul also says… Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another… Now the works of the flesh are evident, …hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions… envy…and the like… (Galatians 5:16-21 NKJV).

You would find that Peninnah displayed most of these works of the flesh towards Hannah and they are definitely evidence that one is still very carnal. However, in the times that we are in now, there’s a call to live by the Spirit… a call to attain to the things of the Spirit… a call to work in a spirit of wisdom and revelation (Ephesians 1:17)… else you might be left out of what God is up to.

God bless you
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24. November 2015 · Comments Off on DON’T LET PRAISE GET TO YOUR HEAD · Categories: Discipline, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Praise, Pride

A hot furnace tests silver and gold… and people are tested by the praise they receive [in the presence of those who praise them]. (Proverbs 27:21 EXB)‎.

Last week, feeling very proud of how I was progressing with my ‘To Do’ list, I sent a message to a friend to inform them of my progress. I was expecting them to say “very well done” but they replied back by saying “shall not praise you till you attain consistency… Good for today but we hope for that consistency… Little clap”.

Little clap? LOL… do you know how much discipline it took for me to keep going and not get distracted by messages, emails, social media and everything else that’s thrown our way to distract us?

Anyway, I just laughed because somehow it had to be the Lord speaking in that still small voice. My reply back was… LOL… I read that today in Proverbs (our feature text) and was immediately inspired with this title… ‘DON’T LET PRAISE GET TO YOUR HEAD’.

They laughed and asked if I had any Bible story for it. “Well, it will come to me but there are many kings that fell for it”, I said. However, before I could even finished my sentence, the Holy Spirit reminded me of King Herod who was meant to resolve a dispute amongst his people… and an appointment with Herod was granted. When the day arrived, Herod put on his royal robes, sat on his throne, and made a speech to them. The people gave him a great ovation, shouting, “It’s the voice of a god, not of a man!” Instantly, an angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people’s worship instead of giving the glory to God. So he was consumed with worms and died (Acts 12:21-23 NLT)

Hmmm… The Amplified Bible says… each is tested by the praise given to him [and his response to it, whether humble or proud]. Unfortunately, Herod did not respond well. He allowed the praises of his people get to his head and that led to his downfall.

So back to my story. I said earlier on that it had to be the Lord speaking. Well, it sure was. My conversation with my friend was on Monday but lo and behold, by Friday, I went for an event where I was a guest speaker and by the time I finished speaking, I got the greatest standing and clapping ovation of my life and I’m thinking oh no… please don’t. This isn’t about me but about Jesus. I don’t want no slap from above. LOL. I had even forgotten about Herod’s incident but reflecting back now, it definitely was a warning from the Lord.

The Message Translation says…The purity of silver and gold is tested by putting them in the fire; The purity of human hearts is tested by giving them a LITTLE FAME.

Hmmm… How do you respond when praised? Do you need to pray for humility?

God bless you
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23. November 2015 · Comments Off on FIX YOUR EYES ON THE PRICE‏ · Categories: God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Joy, Pain, Patience, Suffering, Victory

Let us look only to [keep our eyes on] Jesus, the One who began [Pioneer/Founder of…] our faith and who makes it perfect [completes it]. He suffered death on [endured] the cross, accepting the shame as if it were nothing [disregarding/despising the shame] because of the joy that God put before [lay ahead for] Him. And now He is sitting at the right side [hand] of God’s throne. Think about Jesus, who endured such hostility [opposition] from sinful people, so that you will not get tired [grow weary; get discouraged] and stop trying [give up] (Hebrews 12:1-3 EXB).

I remember when a young guy came to me for counselling wanting to deal with his anger and rage issues. I was impressed by the step he took because he said one of the things that prompted him to seek help was because he didn’t want his temper to affect his marriage when he eventually decides to settle down. He already had a picture of what he wants that family to be like and right from the first time we met, he had already started talking of how he would love to come and drop his two daughters with me so that I can play with them, plait their hair and sing to them. LOL. He said this every time we met and it was interesting to see how his countenance changed to joy when he talked about his ‘to be family’.

The first day we met, we talked about some of the necessary steps he could take to avoid lashing out when angry. However, the next time we met, when I asked how things went, he told me of an incident he had during the past week. That was when I told him to think of the lovely picture of his ‘to be family’ that he had painted in his mind of what he would want that family to look like. I then told him that he should always have that picture before him so that anytime he’s tempted to burst out in rage, he should see what he is at risk of losing. Kind of like saying… “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it (Habakkuk 2:2 NKJV).

Regardless of how hard it may be, every positive decision and step you take now is helping you actualise that picture so it would pay you to FIX YOUR EYES ON THE PRICE‏. Because of the joy that was set before Jesus Christ, He humbled Him Himself, endured and suffered a lot, and is now sitting at the right hand side of God’s throne.

Beloved, have you got a PRICE before you? When you FIX YOUR EYES ON THE PRICE, that is, if you actually know the value of the PRICE, then you would know that you are wise to walk away from certain things even when people think you are stupid.

SELAH!

God bless you
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22. November 2015 · Comments Off on STOP THINKING ABOUT IT‏ · Categories: Choices, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Mind, Thoughts

If they had been thinking with [homesick] remembrance of that country from which they were emigrants, they would have found constant opportunity to return to it (Hebrews 11.15 AMP).

Have you ever found yourself thinking about your past? Well, if you have, then the instruction today is to stop it‏. Stop thinking about where you came from. We ought to know by now that our thoughts are powerful. Like someone else said, if you find yourself thinking of MacDonald’s all day long, then be rest assured that before the end of the day, you’ll find yourself at MacDonald’s.

Our imagination is very powerful. It consist of the word ‘image’ and if there’s anything the enemy is excellent at is flashing images through our minds. All throughout the day, images of all sorts from your past starts flashing in your mind. Images of that old girlfriend or boyfriend, images of how they treated you… images of how you used to dance in those your night club days, images of how your dressing used to get you the wrong kind of attention, images of how you used to be able to walk into any shop and pay cash for whatever you desired with the quick cash that you made from dubious means… Should I keep going? I bet some images have started popping up so I better stop.

Lot’s wife looked back and look what happened to her… Lot’s wife… [foolishly, longingly] looked [back toward Sodom in an act of disobedience], and she became a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26 AMP).

The Hebrews where advised to imitate the elders of faith who were not thinking about where they came from but… were waiting [desiring; longing] for a better country—a heavenly one… (Hebrews 11:16 EXB). Apart from our heavenly country which we all look forward to, when the Lord brings you out of somewhere or something, it’s because He has something better in mind for you that your mind can’t even comprehend because… as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NKJV)

Beloved, it’s in your best interest that you stop thinking about the past. Whenever those images pop up in your mind, just shake it off and say “get behind me satan”.

Remember… if you find yourself thinking of MacDonald’s all day long, then there’s every possibility that before the end of the day, you will find yourself at MacDonald’s.

Rather… whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart] (Philippians 4:8 AMP).

God bless you
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21. November 2015 · Comments Off on GET RID OF THE WEIGHT‏ · Categories: Action, Change, Choices, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Relationship

…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1 KJV).

Okay, so using yesterday’s post as backdrop, yours might not be a besetting sin but our feature text doesn’t just talk about the sin which so easily beset us, it also advises us to lay aside every weight that slows us down from running the race set before us and this is one that affects a lot more of us.

I like that the text says ‘every weight’. The Expanded Translation says… We should [Let us] remove from our lives [get rid of; cast aside] anything that would get in the way [impedes/hinders us] while the Amplified Bible Translation says… stripping off every unnecessary weight… and then the Message translation says… No extra spiritual fat.

Hmmm… have a think of all the junk you consume that causes you to put on extra pounds and then try and relate that to your spiritual life.

I remember listening to someone preach a sermon titled ‘Live your life on purpose’. That means getting rid of things in your life that does not contribute to your purpose here on earth. I think they gave a very simple tip where you evaluate everything you are involved with by asking yourself this honest question; what contribution is this thing making to my purpose here on earth? This thing includes your relationships, your conversations, your daily activities… everything…

I tell you… my TV went off, my contact list reduced to less than half, I reduced the number of events I attended and even stopped arguing unnecessarily with people. Like Apostle Paul told Timothy… Continue teaching [Remind them of] these things, warning people… in God’s presence not to argue [quarrel] about words. It does not help anyone [is good for nothing], and it ruins those who listen (2 Timothy 2:14 EXB). Apostle Paul also said… No soldier in active service gets entangled in the [ordinary business] affairs of civilian life; [he avoids them] so that he may please the one who enlisted him to serve (2 Timothy 2:4 AMP).

Hmmm… in order words, stay out of peoples business and focus on what you’ve been called to do.

You would be surprised how much free time you have to do the things that are really important and are in line with the race that you are running. Like I said, I dropped a number of things and in under three years, I was able to complete a Master’s degree programme, a 9 month counselling course, start a ministry and write and publish a book, and then write ‘What is God up to?’ daily; all these while I was still working full time.

Like I said, you would be surprised how much free time you have to do the things that are really important.

So, do you need to get rid of any weight?

God bless you
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