31. December 2015 · Comments Off on THE WEAPON DID NOT PROSPER‏ · Categories: Choices, God's Plan, Hope, Jesus Christ, Pain, Suffering, Thanks giving

No weapon formed against you shall prosper… (Isaiah 54:17 NKJV).

“Many of us are nursing wounds from weapons that did not prosper”. When I heard these words recently, I couldn’t shake it off. What this means is that we didn’t get to experience anything near what the enemy intended for us but yet can’t get over whatever discomfort we had to face. However, if the Lord should really open our eyes to see what the enemy planned for us, we would be speechless. The truth is that the Lord diverted many things because He still has plans for our future and that’s something to be grateful about.

I’m thinking of Joseph… When Joseph’s brothers saw him coming… they made plans to kill him (Genesis 37:18 NLT). That was their plan but if God didn’t have His own plan for Joseph’s future, he would have been killed. Rather, they changed their mind and threw him into a pit (Genesis 37:21-24). That weapon did not proper. Can you imagine what would have happened if Joseph got stuck in that moment of his life, nursing wounds saying “I can’t move on because my brothers threw me into a bit and then sold me into slavery. Don’t you think the Lord would have said “common, Joseph, but for my intervention, you would have been dead”.

Beloved, think back over the last 12 months, are you nursing wounds from weapons that didn’t prosper? Don’t you think that if those weapons had really prospered, you won’t be alive today? But the fact that you’re reading this today means that the Lord stopped the enemy’s plans concerning you.

I personally know someone that the Lord miraculously intervened when they were about to be involved in a car accident. A few weeks later, this same person was almost molested but the molester immediately stopped and later apologised, admitting that they saw a bright light shine from her. Hmmm… a few weeks after that, this same person unknowingly found herself on the scene of a gang crime and as she stopped to help the victim, the gang members drove off. Little did she know that they were waiting for her somewhere and as she drove off, they started chasing her. She got to a point where she couldn’t escape anymore but when one of the guys came out of their car and pointed a gun at her face, he couldn’t shoot. He just walked away.

None of those weapons prospered but you can only imagine how such incidents can keep one traumatised but she has to realise that those weapons didn’t prosper and move on.

Beloved, I’m not sure what your year has been like but you have to decide to stop nursing wounds from weapons that did not prosper, let go and move on to what the Lord has for you.

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT).

God bless you
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30. December 2015 · Comments Off on WHEN YOU GET TO THAT LEVEL WHERE YOU FEEL YOU DON’T KNOW ANYTHING‏ · Categories: Action, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Prayer, Spiritual Growth

Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved… (2 Timothy 2:15 AMP).

“Make sure you don’t display false humility. When you go for any meeting and they call out pastors to come out and pray or perform any similar function, make sure you come out”.

These were the words of my spiritual father to me. However, have you ever received a promotion and felt so unworthy and inadequate?

‎I remember going for a meeting and as already warned, when they did call for prayers, I came out. However, looking at the people standing with me, I’ve never felt so out of place. “What am I doing here?”, I said to myself. So, the second time they called for pastors, I stayed in my seat. LOL.

In the same meeting, someone was sharing that before she became a pastor, she felt like she knew a lot and felt that being a pastor would be a breeze‎. However, she said when she became one, she found out that she didn’t know anything at all. She wandered why it felt like she knew more before her new position but later released that the knowledge she had was for the level she was on.

She then went on to use this illustration where you are in kindergarten and you get to the highest level of that stage and then feel you’ve acquired knowledge but then when you leave kindergarten and enter primary school, you find out that you are right back at the beginning and you have to work hard to acquire the knowledge for that level. You do this until you get to the highest level of primary school and just when you think you’ve arrived, you find yourself right back at beginner’s class in secondary school and feel like you haven’t even started.

Somehow, this cycle continues the higher you go, with each new level getting more difficult and demanding. But does this mean you don’t know anything? Not really. It just means that you are growing and need to acquire more knowledge.

Same thing happens as you start to go higher in your walk with the Lord and one thing I’ve found out is that as you start to go deeper, except that demon called pride has really taken over, you start to get humbled because people may see something else on the outside, but within, you know without a doubt that you need the Lord now more than ever? Nobody has to tell you that you need to increase your study time and prayer life because you know you need to depend on your Lifeline… for without Me you can do nothing (John 15:5 NKJV).

Beloved, is this describing you? Please don’t feel overwhelmed. Just keep pressing on. Apostle Paul said… I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on… No…, I have not achieved it, but… I press on…(Philippians 3:12-14 NLT).

God bless you
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29. December 2015 · Comments Off on ARE YOU DISPLAYING JUST GIFTS OR ARE YOU PRODUCING FRUITS? · Categories: Action, Change, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Relationship, Spiritual Growth

Early the next morning Jesus was returning to the city. He was hungry. Seeing a lone fig tree alongside the road, He approached it anticipating a breakfast of figs. When He got to the tree, there was nothing but fig leaves. He said, “No more figs from this tree—ever!” The fig tree withered on the spot, a dry stick (Matthew 21:18-19 MSG)

So, Jesus was anticipating FIGS, the real purpose for which it was created and not just leaves…

Hmmm… Biology students know that leaves are meant to capture sunlight for the tree (photosynthesis), allowing it to produce food in order to survive. So, in the case, the leaves were meant to supply the energy it needed to grow and then produce fruits. That’s the purpose of the leaves. However, instead of it displaying its fruits, it was only displaying the thing that was meant to sustain it.

Same thing with many of God’s gifted children. Instead of being fruitful in the purpose for which we are created, we are only displaying our gifts and talents but unfortunately, when Jesus comes, He will say; “Yes! I know you can sing… Yes! I know you can write… Yes! I know you can…??? I gave you the gift, but what have you done with it? Where are the fruits?”

I’m reminded of the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-35). Jesus was explaining that the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country. He left talents with his servants but one of them hid his talent in the ground. That’s the same with some of us. We were created for a purpose but instead of displaying that purpose, we’ve buried it underground and are only displaying leaves, the thing meant to sustain or enhance our calling. But when the Master returns to settle accounts, will you give Him back His talent or would you say “here’s what I did with what You gave me”?

The sad thing with this tree is the deception. Mark’s Gospel tells us that, Jesus… seeing in the distance a fig tree [covered] with leaves, He went to see if He could find any [fruit] on it [FOR IN THE FIG TREE THE FRUIT APPEARS AT THE SAME TIME AS THE LEAVES]. But when He came up to it, He found nothing but leaves… (Mark 11:13 AMPC).

Jesus knew that if I see a display of leaves, I should also see a display of fruits and from afar, that might have been the impression it gave but closer examination revealed nothing. One possible explanation is that we trust in our gift and talent alone but Jesus said… “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; FOR WITHOUT ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING (John 15:5 NKJV).

Beloved, it’s not just enough to be known for our gifts alone. Jesus expects us to be fruitful. What do you need to do to become fruitful?

SELAH!

God bless you
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28. December 2015 · Comments Off on WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH ANOTHER CHANCE? · Categories: Action, Anger, Change, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Relationship, Repentance, Self Control, Sin, Spiritual Growth

Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’ “The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’” (Luke 13:6-9 NLT)

What would you do if given one last chance to make things right and become productive? And I’m talking about every aspect of your life that seems unproductive. It could be your spiritual life, ministry, marriage, relationships, career, education, health… whatever…

The gardener asked for one more year to take some drastic steps. After that, the owner could do whatever he liked because at least then he would have been satisfied that he had done all he could to save the situation. Please take some time to think about this. If given one more year to save your situation, what drastic steps would you take?

The gardener said, I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer and I like how the Expanded Bible puts it… Let me dig up the dirt around it and put on some fertilizer [manure]. If the tree produces fruit next year, good. But if not, you can cut it down.’”

Will you ask the Lord to dig deep into your foundation to uproot anything that’s not from Him so you can be productive and increase? Perhaps you can start from there but you can also do some dirt digging… strip off every weight that slows you down, especially the sin that so easily trips you up and run with endurance the race God has set before you? (Hebrews 12:1 NLT); get rid of toxic relationships, time wasters…

Fertilizer is any material that is added to the soil to supply the nutrients essential to plant growth so what are the nutrients essential to the positive growth of your situation? Perhaps… A change in your character? To stop being too laid back or lazy? To stop procrastinating? To stop spending your resources (time, money and energy) on things that are clearly unproductive? To spend more (quality) time with your loved ones? Being slow to anger and being more tolerant with people? To seek help? To get training? To study your Bible, pray and fast more?

I could go on forever but I’m sure you have enough to work with.

We are almost in 2016 and I like that… the faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning (Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT).

His mercies begin afresh each morning! Beloved, its morning time! What’s it to be?

God bless you
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27. December 2015 · Comments Off on HAS THE LORD MADE YOU LOOK LIKE A FOOL? · Categories: God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Promise

You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name Him Jesus… Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you… (Luke 1:31-35 NLT).

Beloved, has the Lord ever put you in a position where He makes you sound or look like a fool? Please put yourself in Mary’s position and first imagine how this sounds to you and then imagine how you are to communicate it to others. It’s one thing if something like this has happened before but it’s another thing if it’s never been heard of before.

Have you ever received a word from the Lord that you can’t even or don’t want to tell people because the more you recount what you heard, you begin to sound like a fool even to yourself? This is when you feel it’s better not to explain yourself so you start running away from people or if you have to speak to them at all, you pray that they don’t start asking you questions that you don’t have answers to. Probably the reason why Mary went to hideout at Elizabeth’s house. The Bible says she hurried to go and find Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-40). She must have said at least we both share unusual stories.

Can you really imagine how Mary must have felt? This is the kind of news that the Lord ‎may have to confirm with someone else, if not, you’re just going to sound like a complete fool. We are told that… Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph…,” the angel said, “…THE CHILD WITHIN HER WAS CONCEIVED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.”‎ (Matthew 1:18-20 NLT)

The Lord knew what was really going on in Joseph’s mind so had to confirm Mary’s story before her life was to be torn apart by this inconceivable news. ‎

Beloved, you’re not ready to be used mightily by God if you’re not prepared to look like a fool for Him. However, if you have any idea how He works, then you should know that… God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise… (1 Corinthians 1:27 NLT)‎.

Yes, you may look like you are indeed foolish for a while but with the kind of word the Lord has given you, it would take its fulfilment for people to understand what God is up to so please hold on to your word and just hang in there.

God bless you
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26. December 2015 · Comments Off on WHAT’S THE SIGN? · Categories: God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Pain, Praise, Promise, Suffering

For a Child is born to us, a Son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And He will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end… (Isaiah 9:6-7 NLT)

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, government … After reading this, I’m sure you would expect to see royalty treatment. Drum roll… earthquakes or everything spectacular that you can ever imagine but if you understand how the Lord works then you should know that you are in for a surprise… For to you is born this day in the town of David a Savior, Who is Christ (the Messiah) the Lord! AND THIS WILL BE A SIGN FOR YOU [by which you will recognize Him]: you will find [after searching] A BABY WRAPPED IN SWADDLING CLOTHES AND LYING IN A MANGER (Luke 2:11-12 AMP).

A BABY WRAPPED IN SWADDLING CLOTHES AND LYING IN A MANGER???? Are you sure you are not mistaking this baby for someone us? How can this be a Saviour… Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace???

Most times when the Lord makes us great promises, we tend to look out for great signs but I wish I could say He works like that. Here you go; here’s what I said would happen all wrapped up in gold and silver. Wouldn’t that be great? Well, our God doesn’t always work like that. He sometimes takes you on a journey which doesn’t look anything like it would land you at His promised destination and if you’re not careful, you would miss out on what He’s doing because you’ve allowed your life to be filled with so much pain and disappointment.

Instead of questioning the way the Lord chose to introduce Jesus, the angels were joined by a vast host of the armies of heaven who then burst into praise (Luke 2:13-14). And the shepherds too; they went in search of Jesus and found Him based on the sign they were given… After seeing Him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished… The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them (Luke 2:17-20 NLT). They disregarded the surrounding situation and were full of praise.

Beloved, what signs are you looking out for? Don’t you know that the Lord uses…things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And He chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful (1 Corinthians 1:27 NLT). Why not be like the angels, the Shepherds and the people and rejoice and praise God despite the signs you can see right now?

God bless you
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25. December 2015 · Comments Off on MERRY CHRISTMAS… · Categories: Healing, Jesus Christ, Peace, Restoration

MERRY CHRISTMAS

… and a new year of wholeness – completeness, safety, soundness, welfare, health, prosperity, peace…

God bless you
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24. December 2015 · Comments Off on LIVING ABOVE THE SNAKE LINE · Categories: God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Offense, Peace, Spiritual Growth, Worship

Then a loud voice from heaven called to the two prophets, “Come up here!” And they rose… as their enemies watched (Revelation 11:12 NLT).

So, I was pondering all day yesterday about what to share today; “Lord, please give me a Christmas message” but I wasn’t getting anything. However, just about a few minutes to midnight, someone sent me a short video clip about a story of a flight attendant who informed the pilot that they found a snake on the plane. They had just taken off and the flight attendant wanted the pilot to go back down but instead, the pilot smiled at this flight attendant and continued to go higher. The flight attendant left but noticed that the snake was still moving so went back to tell the pilot but the pilot smiled and climbed up even higher. This happened for a while with the flight attendant going back and forth to the pilot; “didn’t you hear what I said? We need to land. There’s a snake on the plane” but the pilot just kept going higher and higher.

They eventually got up to 30 feet in the air and finally made it to their destination but by this time, the snake was no longer active. When they eventually landed, the pilot found the flight attendant, smiled and said “don’t you know that when you reach a certain altitude, snakes loose oxygen and die?”

I watched this clip and sent a message back to the sender saying “wow, the Lord has been putting this message in my heart for a few days now – LIVING ABOVE THE SNAKE LINE”.

Beloved, are you aware that snakes can’t go above a certain elevation? I read that there’s a height on the mountain called the snake line that snakes can’t climb above. What this means is that anything below the snake line is prone to the snake’s attack but once you cross that line, its “bye snakes – try and see if you can come up to my level”.

Hmmm… I can’t begin to tell you how many times this year the Lord told me to ‘come up higher’. Regardless of whatever I was going through, that was always the word He had for me and amongst other things like praying and devotion, it has involved dying to self in areas I didn’t think possible; overlooking and letting things go, getting rid of offences and being the one to make peace (Romans 12:18) which sometimes takes huge doses of humility. However, its only in the past few days that I realised that the Lord was calling me to ‘live above the snake line’ because at this level, hardly anything people do affects you. They can’t get to you.

So what’s the message? Don’t focus on people, the enemy or his cohorts. Rather, focus on climbing higher to a place in the Lord where they can only watch you but no longer reach you. Then you won’t have to worry about them.

God bless you
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23. December 2015 · Comments Off on WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT THIS SEASON? · Categories: Deliverance, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Salvation, Sin, Trusting God

This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all (1 Timothy 1:15 NLT).

Someone was telling of how it’s against their work policy to preach to anyone about Jesus. However, they had an office Christmas party and as they were socialising, everyone was asked to talk about what they love to do most and why. Well, as it happens, this person is an evangelist so when it got to his turn, he told them what he loves to do most; “I love to talk about Jesus and the reason I love to do this is because He saved me and delivered me from a life of womanising, drugs, drinking, gambling and the like…

He said there was complete silence in the room. Everyone’s eyes were fixed on him as he continued to talk about Jesus and no one said anything to him afterwards. However, a few days later, his boss called him to his office and I bet you are probably thinking he got into trouble. Well, not really. As he went to see his boss, his boss broke down and said “please tell me more about this Jesus you talked about the other day”. Apparently, he too needed to be delivered from some things on the above list.

Isn’t that amazing? Mr Evangelist reminds me of Daniel. A law was passed out that prohibited anyone from praying to anyone else except the king else they will be thrown into the den of lions … but when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God (Daniel 6:10 NLT).

Daniel ignored the law and as a result, he was thrown into the den of lions but the Lord protected him from harm. He told the king… my God sent His angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me… The king was overjoyed and ordered that Daniel be lifted from the den. Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God (Daniel 6:22-23 NLT).

Hmmm… in the same way, the Lord shut the lion’s mouth in this evangelists’ office so that they couldn’t harm him.

I know what it’s like to work for an organisation that prohibits spreading the gospel but the Lord would always give us such unique opportunities to talk about Him and He assures us that… when you are brought… before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourself or what to say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said.” (Luke 12:11-12 NLT)

Beloved, as you go about celebrating with friends and colleagues in this season, what are you talking about?

God bless you
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22. December 2015 · Comments Off on GROWING IN PLACES YOU CAN’T SEE · Categories: Endurance, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Obedience, Patience, Spiritual Growth, Trusting God

Some other seed fell on good ground where it GREW… (Matthew 13:8 EXB).

The parable of the sower and the seed is well known but I chose this translation because of the word ‘GREW’.

That’s a word many don’t like but here’s the story of the popular Chinese Bamboo tree; it springs forth and grows 80 feet in just 6 weeks! But wait! Before you say “that’s very quick”, I read that it only springs up in the 5th year. So, for the other 4 years, what was happening to this tree?

Though not visible, underneath the soil, the tree had been silently developing, spreading its roots, ensuring it had a firm grip on the ground; a solid foundation that can sustain it so that when it finally stands tall for people to see, it can actually remain standing. The funny thing is that it doesn’t matter how much prayer and fasting the tree does, it still has to complete its 5 years of growing underneath the ground.

Year 1, 2, 3 goes by and with no visible sign, it seems like nothing is happening. Can you imagine how we are feeling by now? This is when we start to doubt. Our PATIENCE is really tested and we become desperate to see any visible sign to comfort us.

Year 4… nothing; Year 4 and a half … nothing. By this time, frustration sets in and many give up. They stop caring, nurturing, feeding and watering the soil. But finally, for those that manage to hang in there, in the 5th year, it starts to spring forth. We start to see it grow rapidly and in a very short time, you see an 80 feet tree standing strong.

Now, people are wondering where did you come from? And if the tree could talk it would ask, “how long have you got? Like Joseph, the dreamer, I was thrown into the ground and for many dark years, I was underground. Nobody knew I was there. People thought I was dead. They walked all over me. Like David, nobody knew of those silent years when I was ignored and left alone in the fields until it was time and the Lord sent for me.

GROWING IN PLACES YOU CAN’T SEE can be frustrating but like this great bamboo tree, it is necessary for your spiritual growth & development. During this period, your obedience, patience, perseverance, faith and everything else that is needed is developed. And don’t forget… death is experienced. Jesus said… unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over (John 12:24 MSG).

Beloved, is this your current situation? If so, I pray for grace and strength for you to hang in there until it’s your appointed time to spring forth.

God bless you
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