Category Archives: Monday Message

No Ordinary Love

No Ordinary Love

I have a friend who was never keen on having children, she was not the mummy type and I never heard her express any interest in having a child. One day she found out she was pregnant and decided to keep the child because she didn’t have a reason not to. She was at the right age with a thriving career and she thought: “I might not get another opportunity like this and I don’t want to regret it in future”. So she decided to have the baby. She had the most gorgeous baby and I saw her change completely. She immediately became this loving, protective mother and to be honest a major Momzilla which was a shock to me considering her history. One day God was talking to me and he reminded me of this lady and her baby and he said something that flawed me.

 

He said “look at how much this lady loves a baby she didn’t even know she wanted”. I want you, I planned for you, I planned everything about you. As he mentioned in Jeremiah 29:11: “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.” “So can you imagine how much I love you? If a woman who didn’t plan to have a child can love her child so much, how much more do you think I love you? That made me so overwhelmed because I realised how cherished and loved I am by my father.

 

God said to me: “Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. “Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands” (Isaiah 49:15) And then He also reminded me that: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”(Jeremiah 1:5).

Do know you know amazing it is to be inscribed on the palms of God’s hands? Take a look at your hands, you see those lines, they are a part of you, you can’t ignore them. That is how we are with God.

I see this woman organize her entire life, finances and time around this child making sure her child has EVERYTHING she needs. And it made me remember what Christ said; that if we who are with sin can love our children and give good gifts to them, how much more can our father in heaven with unlimited resources and unlimited love care for us his children who ask him? (Matthew 7:11 NLT).

 

The love God has for us is no ordinary love (cue in; Sade’s ‘No Ordinary love), it is a love that transcends time and our imagination. God loves us with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3). Even if your parents have hurt you or disappointed you, God would never leave you. He is the epitome of love. For he so loved the world that he sent his only son to die for us (John 3:16). If God did not spare his own son for our sake, how much more would he give us everything that we ask for? (Romans 8:32). And beyond that he gave us a new inheritance in Christ Jesus that gives us the ability to do the same incredible things Jesus Christ did. The bible is a true account of the power of God and Christ said that greater things than he would we do. The issue is that we seem to forget who we are and who our Father is. We limit God’s love for us and that is why Paul in Ephesians 3:18-19 said:

 

“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”

 

My friend would not hesitate to hurt someone if she thinks they are trying to hurt her child. She is incredibly protective and would do ANYTHING for her child. God then told me that: “how far do you think I will go to protect you from harm? If this lady can be so protective, I will not hesitate to use all the resources of heaven to protect you. I was so focused on protecting Moses that I kept him in the home of those who could have hurt him for 40 years, Daniel was in the Lion’s den and came out unscathed. I have given angels charge over you in case you dash your foot against a stone. These are all the things I have given you as a father but the problem is that you don’t believe it and you let the Liar steal from you all that I have legitimately given you as my heir. I can only do as much as you let me and trust me to do.”

 

As I read Matthew 7:11 again I noticed that Christ said the Father in heaven can give us from his unlimited resources only if we ask. In this case, asking is not “begging”. It is simply asking. Joshua only needs to say “Food” and I am already giving him food. And this is me o. So imagine the GOD OF ALL CREATION being your father? Our part is to trust him as innocently as my friend’s daughter trusts her mum.

 

The way my friend’s baby looks at her is amazing. There is this complete trust and knowledge that even if everyone else in the room was unreliable, she knows her mummy is different. When she is crying, she immediately looks to her mummy for comfort and her mum immediately picks her up. Even as a baby she already has that trust and knowledge in her mother and that is what we need as well. Knowing who is the one who cares about us the most. The one who has our best interest at heart. The one that would do ANYTHING for us if we just ask. He is also the one who created us in his image and we are his heirs so it means everything he created belongs to us. I REPEAT: If GOD did not spare his only son for us, WHAT ELSE won’t he give to us?

 

Our part is to trust and KNOW that our Father is willing and able to do above and beyond what we can ever hope for or imagine.

 

TRUST

My 6 month old baby has this thing he does where he rolls off my chest whenever I put him on it for a cuddle or whatever.  The very first time he did it was when he was about 6 weeks old, I thought it was my imagination but it became a regular occurrence and I couldn’t help but marvel at his fearlessness. He really doesn’t care where he is rolling off to, it can be the bed or the floor, it doesn’t matter to him. All he knows is that he wants to roll and he does. Luckily for him, I am always there to catch him so he has never had to find out how painful falling on the floor can get. It has now become a game that we play when we are on the bed and he loves it. Every time we play this game I always think about our relationship with God, mine to be precise. My son doesn’t just roll off anyone’s chest, he seems to know in whose arms he is safest and he seems to know that mama won’t let ANYTHING happen to him so he can take that risk.

 I am reminded of the scripture that says: “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him”. I wonder why I am always so scared to trust God if I truly believe he is a father that loves me. My son never hesitates to jump out of my arms or roll off my chest. HE JUST MOVES. There is no doubt, no hesitation no confusion. HE JUST MOVES.

 It makes me wonder why we are not the same in our relationship with our heavenly Father who created the heavens and the earth. The ALPHA AND THE OMEGA. Our healer, our comforter and provider. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. The one who parted the seas so his children could walk through it. THIS IS WHO WE CALL ABBA, FATHER. Why then do we have so much doubt and fear and worry even after we call on him.  Even when we pray, we won’t RISK making any moves at all JUST INCASE we fall or fail. We forget that our FAITH requires us to take action before we can see God at work.

 It is even more interesting when we ask God for certain things but we have no expectations. In a previous post, I wrote about finding atheists interesting because they don’t believe there is a God and they think EVERYTHING depends on them. As I mused about this, the Holy Spirit said to me: “what actually makes you different? You claim to have a God that you trust but after you pray, you continue to worry and fret and look for all your own solutions. So why do you think you are different from an atheist”.

 And I guess because I am struggling with this truth, I am sharing it with you too. It is pretty simple: “do we believe God is our Father or not?’ Do we believe he is able to do the impossible or not? Do we believe he is able to do abundantly more than we can ever hope for or not? Do we believe he loves us with an unfailingly love or not? 

 If your answers is “YES” then we should act like it. We should face that situation that has us up at night, laugh in its face and go to bed because: “I told my Daddy about it and he is going to handle it”. We shouldn’t pray and then continue to stay up for hours wondering: “who can I call ooooo”.

 A friend of mine once said something very profound to me, she said: “our prayers should really be prayers of thanksgiving”. She said if we truly believe that God answers prayers, we should spend more time in thanksgiving than in asking for things. We should believe that as soon as we prayed we received an answer and make our moves based on that. There should be no second guessing, hesitating, doubting, worrying or anxiety. And that’s the truth. It shouldn’t matter how long it might take for us to see the response to our prayer, we should keep thanking God regardless. If we TRULY believe in God and KNOW him, we should know that this principle applies to us: “whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

 A major challenge for us is that we can’t control when or how the answers will come as God still has complete sovereignty over that but we can control how we respond while we wait. One scripture that I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS Confess no matter my situation is that: “I know everything will work out for my good” regardless of the detours and seeming disappointments. I just know how powerful my God is and how he is able to turn it all around into a testimony.

 On the other hand, there is the person whose answer to my previous questions about believing in God as our loving Father might be “NO” and I will tell you a secret; that is fine too. You might not believe these things about God simply because you don’t know him and the mission for you is to get to KNOW HIM. Invest time, energy, even money into knowing this your INCREDIBLE Father. Get a bible or two with different versions, get some books, some dvds and LEARN about this incredible Father that we have. You can’t trust someone that you do not know so that should be our focus, getting to know this Father of ours.

 I remember I was once in this situation where I said I was a Christian but knew VERY LITTLE and although I am STILL learning everyday, I had to take some steps to build a relationship with our beautiful Father. I did the Masterlife course at Guiding Light assembly. 24 WEEKS of learning and learning and learning. I went for Sorting Out. I listened to John Bevere’s teaching on the Holy Spirit everyday for about a month. I played the cds every single time I was in a car. I bought Kenneth Hagin’s: Prayer, Faith and Holy Spirit study courses. And most importantly I READ my bible, STUDIED it and MEDITATED on the word of God and the Holy Spirit made it ALIVE for me. I was just at a point of desperation. I wondered why some people seemed to have such a strong level of faith in God and I couldn’t even get an answered prayer. So I decided to dedicate as much of myself to knowing God intimately. Now it doesn’t mean I have it all figured out but it does mean that I TRULY TRULY believe in God the Father, Christ the son and the Holy Spirit: The Trinity of God. And the more I know, the more my faith grows.  So if you aren’t sure, invest in this relationship.

 I want to challenge myself (and you too) to REALLY TRUST GOD as innocently as my son trusts me. I want to be like my son and do things WITHOUT FEAR because I know I am secure in the arms of my father and he has told me: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:8)

Monday Message: Rest (Written by Naa)

When I read this post by Naa, it spoke to my Heart in ways I can’t express. We are always struggling, trying to do it all, praying over and over again that we simply forget to REST.

I was on the phone with my dad a few days ago and I was telling him how big my son had grown and how day in, day out I never notice him grow till something that used to fit him suddenly stops fitting. He laughed and his response has been something the Holy Spirit has had me pondering on ever since. He said, “babies grow whilst they sleep”.

Ever, since he made that statement, my mind has been drawn to several scriptures on rest in the Bible and I am beginning to understand why God asks us to rest in Him. I have even learnt that, resting in the Lord is not just an earthly thing, it is in heaven as well. As a woman who is always on the move, trying to do a zillion things at once and worrying my little heart about everything,  it is amazing to understand that God actually want to give us rest. Matthew 11:28 says we “should come to him all ye who are burdened and he will give us rest”. Burdened here, talks about physical weariness and emotional stress as well.

I had never thought about how important rest was, I thought sleep came to everyone at some point.  But watching my son,who can fight sleep with all his might struggle to stay awake even though he is obviously tired, I have come to realise that rest requires making a conscious effort to actually put mind and body to ease. So per the scripture above, God is telling us to first of all realise that we are weary, secondly, we should realise that our weariness will not go away till we make an effort by COMING TO HIM. And when we do,he will give us the needed rest. After my son spends hours fighting sleep, he usually just gets knocked out and that is what God wants to give us. When we come to him, he eventually just puts us in a state where the raging battles do not matter to us anymore. And that is the beauty of resting, not only do we grow whilst we rest, nothing else matters anymore whilst we are in a state of rest!

“rest requires making a conscious effort to actually put mind and body to ease”

Rest is needed for growth. At my son’s last weigh in, he had not gained as much weight as I was expecting him to. The nurse in charge asked me, Is he eating well? I said yes. She then looked at me with a knowing smile on her face and said, he fights sleep and he is really active too. I replied yes to that as well. She playfully told my son, how will you grow big if you will not sleep? For us to grow in the Lord, you have to know when to move and when to rest. Knowing these will make a vast difference in our Christian life. Some battles are won by our efforts; others are won by our rest. When the Israelites were going to war, Gideon thought he needed the numbers to beat the enemy but God made him realise that he only needed to show up knowing whose he was. Often, we think we have to do so many things for us to qualify to be heard by God but sometimes, He only wants us to come to him and say, “Daddy, I am worn out”

“Some battles are won by our efforts; others are won by our rest

Resting is holiness. I recently had a conversation with an Adventist who was telling me why they celebrate the Sabbath. I told him, it’s not important which day you choose to fellowship with other believers. He then made a profound statement. He said, “The Sabbath is not just about going to church. It is God’s desired principle that governs existence-Rest,Reverence and Revelation that brings us Restitution and Revival”. You see, resting is so important to God that He made it part of human existence and even made it Holy. “By the seventh day, God had finished the work He was doing so He rested on the seventh day. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy “ Genesis 2:2-3.

God created us with rest in mind. If even, the creator of the world needed to rest then what exactly is our excuse?

In heaven, the saints who have gone ahead of us are resting and waiting for us.”Then each of them was given awhite robe, and they were told to wait a little longer until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers were killed just as they had been” Revelations 6:11.  If we don’t learn the art of restingon earth, how do we rest in eternity? Think about it.

purify my heart

Monday Message: Purify My Heart Lord

Last night I was a bit disappointed about certain things. Someone I am close to had unknowingly upset me. I can’t even pinpoint what they did exactly but I felt myself grow bitter in my spirit. Various thoughts kept building and I was fueling them. I imagined “pay back” scenarios just to SHOW this person how it felt to be in my shoes.

BUT….Thank God for the Holy Spirit who is always speaking. As I kept building layer upon layer of negative thoughts, the Holy Spirit interrupted me with a painful truth: I was the author and finisher of these thoughts in my head and I was not guarding my heart (proverbs 4:23). I was creating the perfect opportunity to destroy a relationship that was of great importance to me. Immediately the Holy Spirit reminded me that “The joy of the Lord is my strength” and that Christ has given me peace beyond human comprehension and not as the world gives. With these verses I started to take back my emotions and take back control and find my joy. I started to thank God for my friend, I thanked God for all that the person means to me, I thanked God for blessing me with such an awesome relationship. I just kept on thanking God.

Then I started singing: “great are you Lord” and before I knew it I was praying in the spirit. As I prayed, the words that came tumbling from my lips were: “change me Lord, make me a better person, make me the person that really represents you in every way”. I started to ask God to let me embody what true love REALLY is. Through this experience, God chose to illuminate my Character and showed me that I HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO.

This is a very hard truth to accept but a lot of conflict can be avoided if we are humble and honest enough to accept our own weaknesses and the part we play. If we surrender our minds, spirit and soul to the power of the Holy Spirit so that we can genuinely represent Christ, we won’t easily succumb to so many of the negative emotions that seem to rule our lives. We will also be quick to forgive and let go of offences that people did not apologise for and it won’t matter whether or not they ask for forgiveness because we will love with the love of Christ.

I remember meeting someone who wanted a favor from me. It was in the first trimester of my pregnancy and what she was asking for was REALLY inconvenient, especially for a hormonal pregnant woman. I hate to admit it but I was completely ungracious and to some extent I can try to justify my bad behaviour. She had made certain statements that rubbed me the wrong way and if you know me, you’ll know I don’t have time for NONSENSE (lol).

Hindsight is a powerful thing though, because I can now see the impression of myself that I painted. I clearly wasn’t emulating the Christ I always seemed to talk about. I can also imagine that my attitude destroyed a potential friendship before it even started. Unfortunately I can’t go back now and explain that I was pregnant and cranky so her opinion about me isn’t going to change unless I am given another opportunity to change it. Not only that, I am pretty sure she would have shared with others how horrible her experience with me was and I won’t be there to defend myself.

So today, I am reflecting on my Character. Am I REALLY representing God? God is love but If you took the definition of love in 1 Cor 13: 4-7) and replaced the word love with MY name, will I be able to say I truly express the love of Christ? Am I always Patient and Kind? Can I say I am not a jealous, boastful and proud person? I know I can be rude sometimes, so once again; epic fail. I get irritated often and in terms of not keeping record of being wronged, I hang my face in shame as I still remember things people did to me when I was 5 years old. Clearly I have a long way to go.

The truth is that before I can achieve certain things in my life, before God can project me to greater heights, I need to GROW in character.  I also know that this is not something I can do by my power but I have to surrender all that I am to the Holy Spirit so I can FULLY live in the greatness that God has called me to. I am also aware that I have to truly guard my heart because EVERYTHING flows from it (prov 4:23) so what I meditate on has a strong correlation with my character.

Today, I am surrendering myself to the holy spirit so that I can genuinely live as Christ would want. I am also going to work on guarding my heart by focusing on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable (phil 4:8).  What about you? What do you think you can do better? What do you need to change about yourself? Join me by asking the Holy Spirit to reveal the flaws in your character that could be creating limitations in your life and then invite him to change you. 

This song comes to mind: “Purify my heart, let me be as gold and precious silver”

 Have a great day.

 

Love you. 

endless wait

Monday Message. The Endless WAIT.

In 2009, one of my best friends called me sobbing. She had recently lost her part scholarship to go to Oxford University for an MSc due to lack of funds. She had also been applying for jobs and was getting rejections from EVERYWHERE!!! Ironically we expected her to have it easy; She finished undergrad with a distinction and won the tutor’s prize so she was literally the best in her class. By the time she called me, she was at her wit’s end. She could not understand why she was dealing with all these challenges and she was EXHAUSTED. The loss of her scholarship happened at the same period she received a rejection from a company in South Africa that she thought was going to make her an offer. I remember saying to her that it’ll all work out and something great will happen. I wasn’t even sure if I made any sense because quite frankly the situation was pretty confusing to me as well.

Fast forward to 2011/2012, my friend had moved back to Nigeria, did NYSC, random jobs and applied for a job with an international consulting firm that was opening a Lagos Office. The company was only going to recruit two people, one of which They had already found
in England so there was only space for one person. Thousands of people applied for the job but guess what my friend got the offer. You can’t begin to understand our excitement. The salary package was ridiculous. They were paying the same amount they paid staff in the States and they were going to be paying in dollars by the way. I was so happy for her, you would have thought I was the one with the job.


After working with the firm for 2 years, she decided she wanted to go for an MBA at
Harvard and The company offered to pay. Not only that, she also applied for a scholarship sponsored by another multinational and guess what she won the scholarship too.  So my friend had two firms paying for her MBA AT HARVARD.
This is the same girl that lost a part scholarship for a Masters degree at Oxford.

 Around the time she was preparing to leave for her MBA, she was watching the news and apparently the South African firm that rejected her, (the same one she called me crying about) had just filed for bankruptcy and collapsed. My friend called me and began to praise God that they rejected her 3 years ago. She would have had to start looking for a job from scratch and I’m sure they won’t have paid for her MBA at Harvard. Today, my friend has an MBA from HARVARD and was on the Dean’s list. She is back at work and was recently promoted to Manager.

A lot of times when I’m dealing with disappointment or rejection after putting in my best effort, I remember my friend’s journey and I just start to thank God because I KNOW that he has greater plans for me. I also learnt the power of excellence from this friend of mine as well as the fact that God really blesses the works of our hands. My friend won’t have had the opportunities, scholarships and promotions she eventually had if she exhibit a spirit of excellence just like Daniel did.

If we remain diligent where we are, we will definitely enjoy the fruit of out labour even if we suffer multiple rejections and disappointments.  I have learnt that through disappointments there is so much to learn. You learn to REALLY depend on only God because you get to a point of complete helplessness. After you have done your best, worked at your highest capacity and you still get rejections, you have to know when to just rest in the peace of God. My friend said to me that the verse that kept coming to her in hindsight was Psalm 138:8 : “The Lord will perfect all that concerns me” and that is what I want us to believe as well regardless of what the current situation looks like.  

“The Lord will perfect that which concerns me”

I always marvel at people who don’t believe in God. I have so many questions for them: Who do you take your burdens and worries and fears to? How do you go through life completely and totally dependent on yourself when you can hold on to God who created this world? How do you find peace in the midst of the chaos that life often throws at us?

I know as the year is coming to an end you might be tired of the rejections and disappointments. You might want to give up hope on those dreams and prayers being answered but please stay faithful in prayer and praise. Trust me that what is ahead of you is so much greater than any rejection you have faced.  That man who broke your heart wasn’t for you, you’ll thank God for that heartbreak. Same with that job that you believed you were the perfect candidate for. Your perfect healthy baby is on the way. Your pain will create your purpose. Don’t give in to depression, lay it all at the feet of our God, he has written your life’s plan perfectly. Though it tarries, wait on the LORD.

 Stop counting the days, the hours and the minutes, God’s ways won’t always work in the way we want it to because his plans are beyond our imagination. It might not look like something is happening regarding those difficult situations but stay faithful and one day you’ll see a clear path in front of you on the same road that was filled with road blocks.

I haven’t written in a while but I just wanted to send love and encouragement to you this morning. We all need it sometime. I pray you experience the peace of God that surpasses our understanding and that you find strength in the joy of the Lord. 

Love you!

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