Who told you that?

Photo by Evan Dennis @ Unsplash

‘And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”’ Genesis 3:11 

Hello,

I hope you have been well.

Today, I experienced my ‘who-told-you-that’ moment.

I had been going on and on for a while about an issue. I asked God when and how to execute on my plan, and till today, there was no word on it. Today, I was talking to myself and Him and made a statement to which I got an instant response, “Who told you that?”

I heard that and backed up a little, to examine the statement I had made and realized that though it was a generally accepted statement, before God, it wasn’t. There are certain philosophies and ways of life, scripts, if you may, that we all learn early and live by. Statements passed down from generations, school teachers, and even mentors at work. These statements seem to be facts and we translate them as truth because everybody lives by them.

As I backed up on the statement I made, the truth dawned on me. It was a philosophy I had grown up with, I had been trained by it, and I lived by it. It had governed most of my adult life because I believed it was true. Most of these philosophies are mostly human wisdom that seem right, but are they? If we assess how we live, work, and train our children, will we find that we are living as approved by the world or as approved by God?

Adam had come up with wisdom that seemed right about how to live and survive in the garden; however, in doing so, he had made himself god. Now, I don’t see anything wrong in making clothes to cover yourself from the weather, etc., but did God tell you to? Eve saw a way to get by on her own, tend to her family and ensure they didn’t go hungry, sounds excellent, but did God ask her to do it?

As I take a step back to examine my own philosophies, I ask that you do so too. May God open our eyes to the truth, so that we may walk righteously in Christ Jesus.

Till next time, be transformed!!

Our Redeemer

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“But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine.” Isaiah‬ ‭43:1‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Hello,

Welcome to another blessed week.

I was alerted to the burning land behind my house today. At first, It seemed like it was a way off, not near the house at all. On further inspection, we found that the fire was right behind the house and coming closer. There are plantain trees planted right by my house, and the next thing we knew, the plantain leaves caught fire and were burning on my fence. We started pouring water from both sides of the wall, and it was gone as fast as it started.

I saw the fire and felt its heat. I also saw particles from the fire burn in the air, blown about by the harmattan wind, the smoke seemed to cover the bright afternoon sky with its darkness. I saw it threaten to enter my compound and watched as it tried, failed, and died out. This is the same thing with the problems we encounter. We feel the heat; they blow about with all sorts of threats, darkening our vision and making us cower in fear of their ’seeming’ greatness.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:2‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

No matter the size of the water or how high the river, He is with us, and they will not overflow us. Neither will the fire burn, no matter how much it threatens or rages. With Him, we are okay. It may be hard to believe when the problems or the people that threaten or rage against us seem loud and unstoppable, too powerful for us, but they are. I have been in situations, and I am in one now that seems to rage against me as if it’s asking who I am and what I can do? Well, now I know that no matter the size of the waters or how high the rivers, no matter how hot the fire, I will walk through unharmed because the Lord has redeemed me, and I am His. I don’t know how He is going to do it, but He is.

So, in quietness and confidence, I wait to see the manifestation of the truth in my heart. This is where the story starts and ends, the heart. Waters, rivers, and fires will come in different shapes and sizes, to threaten to take our peace and to shake us up. I feel it’s good for us so that we can continually assess in whom we trust and where we find rest. It takes experience to go through problems and to stand in peace, knowing that He has already redeemed us, and the issues haven’t caught on yet, lol…

As we start this week, let us remember who our redeemer is and who we are, and to stand.

Till next time, be transformed!!

Not as the World Gives

Picture from YouVersion Bible App

‘Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.’ Luke 8:43-44 

Hello,

It’s the end of the week. My week went well, I hope yours did too.

There is a scene in my book where the protagonist steps up and hugs Jesus Christ’s retreating figure. As she hugs him, she feels overwhelming peace. Peace that disregards her situation, which seems dire. It ignored everything in her environment, not as though they didn’t exist, but as the calm in the storm. She held on to Him, knowing that in doing so, she could scale through her problems, and find rest.

I wonder if that was how the woman with the flow of blood felt. A twelve-year problem, with no solution anywhere, even money had not helped. The Lord seemed to be her only hope, her healing, her peace, her well-being. She had tried everything else and failed, so why not? What was there to lose? She didn’t pick up His garment, she just touched it, and instantly healing came. Peace and well-being were hers the instant she touched Him in faith. Not as the world gives or does.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27 

Did you notice that others were touching Him too, praying, and asking for help? She touched, and she went away healed. Peter looked at him and walked on water. It took faith, lack of doubt, and no fear, till he looked down. 

As we retire for the weekend, may we find rest in Him like the faith-filled woman. His light will continue to shine, and the darkness will never comprehend or stop it. His peace is not like the world’s, neither are His grace and mercy; His ways are not our ways, they are higher. So, I will not try to analyze or debate it, I accept it wholeheartedly. I intend to crawl into the cleft of the rock that is higher than I am, His rest is what I seek. 

In my book, Jesus asked the protagonist a question, “Are you not tired?”

Word of advice: don’t look down.

Till next time, be transformed!!

The Reality of Salvation (Continued)

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“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:13-17 NKJV

Hello,

In the verses above from Matthew 3, I saw something today. John was ready to do the right thing, honor Jesus. However, Jesus was doing the righteous thing, honoring God. Jesus was righteousness, John was doing right. Later on, John, still not understanding, asked from his cell if they were expecting another messiah? He didn’t understand how he could be in a prison cell, and the one he had been waiting all his life for, seemed to have left him there. I understand better what Jesus was saying in Matthew 11:11, that John was a profound man, but he was nowhere on the hierarchy of the kingdom.

“For my eyes have seen Your salvation Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.” Luke 2:30-32 NKJV

Simeon said that he was ready to die since he had seen the salvation of the Lord. He wasn’t just talking about the baby Jesus. I believe that God had opened his eyes to plans laid out in scripture, and Jesus was the fulfillment of those plans. 

  • Salvation made available for all peoples
  • Light to bring revelation to the gentiles – (spiritual enlightenment)
  • The glory of Israel

Simeon was ready to go home, happily, because he knew that God’s plans would be fulfilled. It wasn’t about him, it was about the fulfillment of God’s promises, which he was sure Jesus had been born for. This understanding does take revelation.

I dare say that until God opens our eyes to the reality of our salvation, we will continue to be tossed and turned by life and etc. The spiritual blessings bestowed upon us in Christ have made us sons of God, and the grace and mercy that comes with being in God’s presence cannot be defined by the physical mind. It sets us up and above in life. I believe that there is much for each individual in Christ to access. Gifts in each name, to help with calling and the life here on earth. How many of us seek to obtain, to understand, and know, to live the righteous life in Christ?

Jesus died to save me so that I can thrive, not just survive. However, to succeed, I need to understand the hope of my calling. God forbid that I live on earth and die without accessing the riches of His grace stored up for me; without knowing the power that was always available to me. What a waste.

He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. II Corinthians 6:2 NKJV 

If the above verse is true, are we living out the reality of our salvation?

Till next time, be transformed!!

The Father's Business

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“So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” Luke 2:48-49 

Hello,

I pray that you thrive this week by faith in God’s grace.

I woke up this morning to daylight, it was 7:10am, and I jumped out of bed. My alarm wakes me up at 6am every weekday, to start my day. Today, the bell didn’t ring, I had tampered with it the day before. So, I jumped out of bed, checked my daughter’s school day preparations with her nanny, and went to take a bath. I was walking with time because for me, work starts at 8am. However, as I prepared myself, a nagging thought kept tugging at me. What was God’s place in my day?

I know that God is with me throughout the day, but I have benefitted from my quiet times in His presence early in the morning. I get up from there energized and ready. My inner turmoil is calmed, and I can lay down problems and wait for His response. This morning, I missed that place. It got me thinking about my priorities, and who I was preparing to work for, God or myself? 

So, I started asking God how I can hear and walk in His will in every situation? Our lives are about the Father’s business. If we can’t listen to Him, we can’t do His will, and If we can’t do His will, we are working for ourselves.

Coincidentally, my bible plan for the day was listing scripture verses that are in line with my question. These are some of the answers I got:

  1. The presence of God has to be our dwelling place, our place of rest throughout the day. Until we can find rest there, how can we have peace that will enable us to do His will? If our minds are wrapped up with the problems of life, how can we see the light? (Ps 84: 1-4). The place of rest is the place of no distractions, where we can always hear from God.
  2. Our strength has to be drawn solely from Him so that our minds can be set on doing His will regardless of what it takes (Ps 85:5-7). Only then can we bear fruit as we live out His will. Most people are doing the work I do without help from God, but the essence of mine is to glorify Him and live His will. Knowing that it is paramount that I surrender to Him and draw all I need from, trusting that His strength alone will see me through.
  3. Who is God to us? The psalmist in Ps 84:10-12, had a clear understanding of who and what God was to him. There was no confusion there. God was his sun and shield, He was all he required. He understood the blessedness of living in God’s presence, in trust that the Father had only good intentions for His own. 

From an early age, Jesus understood His priorities in life, and He lived only to do God’s will. In John 5, He said he judged as God instructed, and in John 8, He spoke as God gave Him utterance. As we start this new week, may we walk in understanding of our priorities in life, draw strength, and find rest in who our Father is.

Till next time, be transformed!!

The Choice

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‘But Ruth said: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And where ever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God.’ Ruth 1:16

Hello,

As I read about Ruth recently, there was a picture painted in my mind, about our choices and God’s grace. God’s all-encompassing grace can change a life forever, keeping one’s name for always written on the tablets of history. As I read the first chapter of Ruth and came to the verse above, I imagined the heavens opening and God leaning down. He heard her that day. He saw her heart and smiling, He withdrew. I feel that His thoughts would have been, “This one, I can use.”

Later on in Matthew 1:5-6, I saw where God’s grace brought her to.

‘Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab,  Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David, the king. David, the king, begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. ‘Matthew 1:5-6

I have no idea what persuaded Ruth to make such a life-changing decision. To leave her father’s house, land, culture, gods, and all she had known, for what? Naomi did not give her hope of a better future; in fact, she reminded her that there was none where she was going. Was it love for Naomi, or a yearning for a God that felt real? A God that could not be made with hands, who she was told listened and of whom she had heard numerous stories during her marriage to Mahlon? I have no idea, but when she made her choice, God took notice. Unknown to Naomi and Ruth, He activated and set into motion the plan for her life.

Since we are sons, then our choices matter. I am not talking about just the big ones like the one Ruth made, but even the small ones are important. I realized that like Ruth and Naomi, who didn’t know that God had heard, we tend to forget that He is Jehovah Shammah, the ever-present one. He sees He hears, speaks, and He knows. We must stay alert not only when we speak, but when we think and judge situations. We make decisions in our hearts all the time, and even without speaking them out, act on them. Decisions on how to live, work, and deal with other people or situations.

The trip for me is not that Ruth became the great grand-mother of King David, or that she went further to become the ancestor of Jesus Christ, our lord. The trip is that by making that single choice, her destiny was activated. The cover of grace provided to see her through every step of the way. In Christ, we have been enabled, and divine favor provided to see us through. So, the ability to make the right choices before Him is guaranteed by faith.

Take the step, make the right choice, and let God write your story.

Till next time, be transformed!!

Who Are You?

By Smit Patel @ Unsplash

‘But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.’ John 1:12-13 

What a blessed new year!

Hello,

I hope your Christmas holiday was enjoyable, fun-filled, or quiet? Mine was quiet but filled with family warmth and comfort.

I finished a Korean series last night, called Mr. Sunshine. I believe in South-Korea’s movie industry, they try. This series is a Korean historical piece set in the late 18th and early 19th century, in Korea. I try my best to avoid movies with any sadness in them, but I found myself watching this series and finishing it. The series is about the Joseon nation, now South Korea, and the battle for its domination by more powerful countries. It is the story of a small nation of people who never gave up the fight for their freedom. The movie showed that till the very end, having lost to Japan, these people kept fighting and dying for their nation. Losing lives, families, and friends, they died for the belief in their cause. I watched as children went hungry, patriots stood facing death afraid, but unwilling to run, they fought till the very end.  The enemy interrogated and tortured them, but they still stood, with faith that one day their country would be free. These patriots died not seeing the fulfillment of what they believed, but hopeful that the ones they left behind would keep up the struggle; that they would keep fighting until Joseon was free. Interestingly, the rebelling patriots in the series were called the Righteous Army, and Joseon is also called Chosen.

‘And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, ‘ Hebrews 11:32-39 

With the new year comes promises of newness, the old is out, but I ask, now what? What does the year mean to you? I hear people say that last year has gone with its problems and afflictions and the new year has come with blessings, amen to that. I pray we speak out of faith in God’s word for us in the year. I hope we stand when that word comes to test, knowing that we are sons of God, not of mere men.

As life comes with its problems in 2020, I am asking myself, who am I? I may have lost to life’s pressure last year, but this year, I pray to stand as a patriot of the kingdom of heaven. That by faith, regardless of the situation I encounter, hunger, lack, sorrow, that I may know that I am a son of the Most High and that He is within me. We are all made for signs and wonders in righteousness, may our eyes be opened to the truth as we seek our Father’s kingdom and His glory.

My prayer for us is that we stand. May we stand in the truth, in faith, in righteousness and, most of all, in love. May God open the eyes of our understanding, teach and instruct us in the way that we should go in Jesus’ name.

Have a blessed week, and till next time, be transformed!