WAILER? TRY PREVAILING…

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…Life is not characterized by any challenges, no battles, it is totally amazing,  — I am sure this very moment you’re wondering “what could she possibly be taking about? Of course life is challenging and I am currently fighting some battles”. Well you’re right, I am not about to lie or create the impression that life is all rosy without battles. Challenges are inevitable in life,  fact established and mind you battles are a feature of a every believer’s life — meaning the very day you decided to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour you signed on for the battles as well — it’s a full package. 

I’d like to share some lessons I learnt from a book I read a couple of months ago authored by Rev. Eastwood Anaba titled “WAILERS And PREVAILERS”

Perhaps you and I have some thing in common — you’ve been hit left right and center by so many challenges or maybe you’re still fighting some of these battles ( from the chapter one of this book, Rev. Eastwood calls these challenges and battles “The Amalekites”). The bible refers to David as “a man after God’s own heart” but in this same bible has records of the battles and wars that King David had to fight — one of these challenges times, while David and his men were at war, The Amalekites invaded his camp at Ziklag, burned it with fire and took people and wealth away…(1 Samuel 30:1-6)

 When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. David’s two wives had been captured—Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God. (1Samuel 30:3-6)

Sometimes we may be going about our normal businesses then “the Amalekites” invade our territories uninvited (sickness, sin, failure, poverty, demonic attacks, death etc). Maybe you are like David’s men who only weeps aloud until you have no strength to weep rather than being like David who found strength in the Lord. David wept with his men but after a while the prevailers among them stirred themselves up and pursued the enemy whiles the wailers continued licking their wounds. The prevailers followed David’s leadership and courageously went on to recover everything they had lost…(1 Samuel 30:6-10 17,18)

“What if we all prevailed from life’s battles instead of wailing? I’m guessing we will be surrounded by so many strong men and women. Do you watch cartoons? if yes then I’m sure you’ve seen superman, captain planet, spider man and and other super hero movies. I realized they all have one thing in common — they are prevailers, in the sense that no matter the challenge or villain they were faced with, there was a side to them that wanted to prevail rather than wail about attacks.

Here are a few tips to help you become a prevailer and not a wailer

Lets see the definition of a wailer and a prevailer.

  1. WAILER – to wail is to make a prolonged high-pitch cry of pain, grief and anger. Those who wail are wailers.
  2.  PREVAILER – to prevail is to prove more powerful than an opposing force. those who prevail are prevailers. (both definitions from Rev. Eastwood)
  •  Prevailers are strong on their knees, while wailers are loudly vocal. So weeping during a challenge isn’t wrong but the prevailer weeps differently by adding prayer where as the wailer just wail, and complain about their situation . If you’ve read my previous post I’m sure you know by now that I am a cry baby but here’s what I do when a challenge overwhelms me, I weep and worship at the same time. I remember one incident back in school in a friend’s room I hid behind the curtains in my friend’s room and wept and while I did that I whispered “It hurts. Nevertheless You are my God, please help me Lord”. It takes time to pray before you act but you gain this time by prevailing over your situation quickly. Those who fail to pray, fail to prevail. Enquire from God through prayer.

 

  • Prevailers encourage themselves — Hope. They find motivation within themselves. Remember David encouraged himself in the Lord instead playing the blame game that his men enjoyed. Encouragement is not external but internal grace. Prevailers don’t leave the responsibility of recovering from a setback to others. They have a strong relationship with God and in times of affliction, He is the closest source of strength to them. (Psalm 34:19,20) You don’t need people to stand by you when God stands by you. A crowd is not always advantageous in warfare.

 

  • Prevailers are not stationary, neither do they retreat, unlike wailers who tend to be stagnant and give up after one setback. They advanced towards the opposition and demand what’s theirs. David pursued the Amalekites after inquiring  and getting direction from God. David was used to pursuing assailants and demanding what was his. He demonstrated this attribute when he pursued the lion and bear and took his sheep from them (1 Samuel 17:34-36). “The Amalekites” (enemy) will not voluntarily bring back what they steal from you — you have to pursue, attack them and take back what they have stolen from you.

 

  • Prevailers have an overtaking strength. If you don’t give up and quit like a timid wailer God will empower you to overtake your “Amalekites” just like He did for David. David started from behind but he caught up with the Amalekites. You must destroy the enemy before recovering what is yours — if not he will come back and steal again. Prevailers always recover everything they lost just like David did — Prevailers don’t consider losses to be permanent — they believe in restoration.

To bring some clarity, let’s do the math, because apparently Heaven and Earth balance their equations differently.

  • By the Rules of Earth (Human and satanic) Equation;

Weeping + Complaining + Give Up + blaming others + Suicide = Wailer (Powerless Defeated)

  • By the rules of Heaven ( Jesus and God) Equation;

Faith + Prayer + Enquire of The Lord + Press On + Hope + Recovery = Prevailer (Unlimited Power and Victory)

A prevailer is known by the outcome of His or Her challenges, not by what happens during the process. The Psalmist said the end of the upright person is peace. Mark the perfect man and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace (Psalm 37:37)

If you dwell on the righteousness of Christ, you will prevail. Wailers are defeated partly because of the guilt they bear. The devil accuses them of wrongdoing and weakens their confidence. without confidence no one can become a prevailer. You are a prevailer. No matter what you are going through right now, the end of your story is predictable — You will Prevail. – Rev. Eastwood Anaba

 

It is my prayer that our Lord Jesus will continue to grant us grace and strength to become prevailers and not wailers… Amen.

Stay Blessed Always!

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“Is Your Heart The Leader You Want To Follow?”

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I realized we can not always follow our hearts from an advice I gave to a friend — “follow your heart and I’m sure everything will be alright” only for her to end up brokenhearted. Well isn’t it the same “follow your heart” everyone believes in? How come my advise left her hurt instead of bringing her happiness. Out of curiosity I went back to the Bible for answers. I hope this blesses you as it did me.

When it comes to our hearts, there are two feelings we can experience after we’ve sinned. One is conviction and the other is condemnation. Conviction is from the Holy Spirit, prompting us to confess and be restored to fellowship so God can continue to bless us and work through us. Its purpose is to draw us closer to God. Condemnation is from Satan, trying to convince us that we’re no good, and that God will never forgive us. It’s aim is to keep us away from God by making us feel guilty.

“As soon as we confess our sins, we’re forgiven and the sin is forgotten as God immediately purifies us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Any bad feelings we have after that are feelings of guilt that come from Satan.

“So if you’re being drawn closer to God, you’re feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit. But if you feel like hiding from God and begin to doubt His love for you, you’re feeling condemnation from the devil. Rebuke those feelings in the name of Jesus. Resist the devil and he’ll flee from you” (James 4:7-10). 

Essentially, it’s a belief that your heart is “a compass inside of you that will direct you to your own true north if you just have the courage to follow it“. It says that your heart is a true guide that will lead you to true happiness if you just have the courage to listen to it. This notion can sound so simple and beautiful and liberating. For broken people it’s a tempting gospel to believe. 

Until you consider that your heart has “sociopath” tendencies. Think about it for a moment. What does your heart tell you? Please don’t answer.

Your heart has likely said things in the past — even today — that you would wish not to repeat. I know mine has. My heart tells me that all of reality ought to serve my desires. My heart likes to think if others happen to think well of me; then they are nice people. But if they don’t think well of me, or even if they just disagree with me, well then, something is wrong with them. And while my heart is pondering my virtues and others’ errors, it can suddenly find some immoral or horribly angry thoughts very attractive.

No, our hearts will not save us. We need to be saved from our hearts.”

“Follow your heart” certainly isn’t found in the Bible. The Bible actually thinks our hearts have a disease: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Jesus, the Great Physician, lists the symptoms of this disease: “out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander” (Matthew 15:19). Well, obviously not leadership material.

Truth is, no one lies to us more than our hearts. No one. They don’t tell us the truth; they just tell us what we want. If our hearts are guides, then they are misleading, not considerate; they are selfish. In fact, if we do what our hearts tell us to do, we will pervert and covert every desire, every beauty, every person, every wonder, and joy. Our hearts want to consume these things for our own self-glory and self-indulgence.

Who then should we follow if our hearts are not right?

Our hearts were never designed to be followed, but to be led. Our hearts were never designed to be gods in whom we believe; they were designed to believe in God. If we make our hearts gods and ask them to lead us, they will lead us to narcissistic misery and ultimately damnation. They cannot save us, because what’s wrong with our hearts is the heart of our problem. But if our hearts believe in God, as they are designed to, then God saves us (Hebrews 7:25) and leads our hearts to exceeding joy  (Psalm 43:4).

Therefore, don’t believe in your heart; direct your heart to believe in God.  Note that Jesus did not say to His disciples, “Let not your hearts be troubled, just believe in your hearts.” He said, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me” (John 14:1).

So, though your heart will try to shepherd you today, do not follow it. It is not a shepherd. It is a pompous sheep that, due to remaining sin, has some wolf-like qualities. Don’t follow it, and be careful even listening to it. Remember, your heart only tells you what you want, not where you should go. So, only listen to it to note what it’s telling you about what you want, and then take your wants, both good and evil, to Jesus as requests and confessions. 

Prayer

Dear Jesus, thank You for Your unending mercies towards me every now and then. Your word makes me understand that my heart is sick and I must admit mine has all the symptoms of a sick one. I humbly ask that You step in as the Greatest physician and heal my heart, Help me to always remember that You are my shepherd, Cover me with the gift of Your wisdom. Amen  

“God can do anything but fail, so don’t follow your heart; follow Jesus.” 

Stay blessed!

 

STRENGTH IN BEING AUTHENTIC 

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I came across the trunk I used in senior high school a while back —  It didn’t take long for me to discover a box from my childhood, and there on the top was my little, pink diary. It felt like I was going on an adventure(my little excursion) to the past. Surprisingly I was excited about going through the pages filled with —  naive, painful, confusing, childish and happy memories.

Did you have a secret diary growing up? If so, I’m a bit curious about what you kept in yours — if you’d find in yours what I found in mine: a girl struggling not to worry about what others thought of her.

Here are some of my swirling thoughts:

October 26: Right now, I don’t like boys! I don’t think much about boys. I may act like it, but I don’t. Boys are bad news…

November 15: Why did those girls from the other class give me that look when I entered the dinning hall. Perhaps there was something wrong with my uniform. Should I confront them? What if they deny it?

March 27: I missed class today I just didn’t want to leave the dormitory. 

April 9Today, nothing much happened. I don’t know how my friend got me in this mess ( paring me up with a guy I don’t even know saying you need to act like a big girl else you’ll end up alone).  I don’t know what to do. Lord, please get me out of this mess! 

April 12: I broke up with Him. Gosh I don’t know if I should be sad or glad I did. Well I feel better, now that I don’t have to pretend to like someone I was paired up with.

What a struggle! Although that trouble seemed trivial, there were other times I wrote about frustrated feelings with friends and family, and confusion about what to do. 

Do you know what the real issue was with many of my problems? I was fearful of people. With little or no confidence at all — Sigh.

I wasn’t sure of the girl I was, or the girl I wanted to be. I often found myself acting all sorts of ways so I could be the person I thought my friends and family wanted, instead of being aunthentic – true to myself. Growing up, I’ve come to understand more of the truth in God’s Word. He has shown me I don’t have to spin like the Tilt O’ Whirl at an amusement park — trying to be everything to everybody. I don’t have to get on that emotional and exhausting ride. Gradually becoming more and more brave every day to be the one He’s created me to be.

Ephesians 4:14 tells us: Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth” 

Paul is teaching us that we don’t have to believe all the things people say about God. We need to believe what God says about Himself in His Word. That is where truth can be found.

The same is true when we spin this way and that, believing things that aren’t true about ourselves, then trying to be someone we’re not. It makes us shaky inside — insecure. God can give us the strength, bravery and confidence we need to believe who He says we are. And as we become mature in our faith and self-worth, we can then help others, such as our friends, colleagues and even our children (someday), as they grow into adulthood. God can help them, too, so their lives don’t feel constantly pushed one way and then the other. He has the power to make us all brave. God can give you the courage to be the true you if you keep trusting in Him.

Dear Jesus, I don’t want to do what I think is right; I want to do what You say is right. Help me learn to be stable and true to myself most importantly You. Help me to be brave and ask You for wisdom instead of feeling like I’m constantly being pushed around by people and by my ever-changing emotions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

But he must ask in faith, without doubting, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:6)— We must have faith and believe in who God says we are unlike the chameleon who ends up taking so many different skin colors in a day just to feel accepted by the environment.

Be Authentic. There’s strength in being you.

Stay blessed!

 

TILL I ALIGN – ORDER

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I didn’t think I’d be back here this soon —  considering the fact that I wanted to continue hiding my posts under my pillow — well let’s do this. This — blogging, writing… is personal. It puts me out there as an open book (Which I don’t enjoy, still trying to get used to), then the aspect where what I write are direct messages to myself, but also allows me to have a voice in different spaces and I love that — a lot.

I was doing a flashback a couple of months ago, on quite a number of events, especially the ones I talked myself into believing I would never overcome. I was wondering and asking why they happened? Guess what the Holy Spirit did — He whispered “For Order“. Why did Jesus come as the bleeding Lamb even though He had the power to come as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah? The Lamb redeems (He had to follow an order for our redemption) 

Whiles reading, I recently came across an article online about how the designs we see architects put up go through series of strategies and a planning phase of alignment which is one of the most important phase of their designs. This alignment process is what determines how that house or design is going to look, if the pillars of a building aren’t aligned then it will only be a matter of time before the building collapses. How would you feel living in a crooked house? I don’t know about you but personally I wouldn’t invite any friend to that house. 

Usually we have this long list coming to ask God for A-Z simply because the Bible says “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you(Matthew 7:7) yet there’s no order and probably behind closed doors there are still things you are struggling with. He is the only gap filler, I don’t know what challenges you may be facing currently (look God cares about all the wounds and scars you are hiding) tell Him about the wounds. Trust me everything you are experiencing now is for order — He is a God of order, look at the creation story for instance. God is bringing you to a place of alignment. Mind you the same bible says “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). So keep seeking even when it hurts, even when you don’t understand, keep pressing on and asking God to align you because once He aligns you every other thing will fall into place.

Truth is, this is the best prayer any Christian can be praying. I don’t see what else we can be praying for as Christians. If our lives are not in alignment with His will. Jeremiah 29:11 says For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Tell yourself the truth, I am telling myself the truth that if God should come today I am not aligned, I am still figuring out this walk of faith. I need God to align me. Be encouraged knowing that The steps of a good (righteous) man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.” (Psalm 37 : 23) He is ordering your steps to a perfect end.

For as long as the Holy Spirit is inside of you and brooding — There will be light

Prayer
Precious Holy Spirit, thank you for being so merciful to me. I am in need of you, I realize my life is not in order, please keep brooding inside of me till there’s light. I admit that I am confused about a lot of things. I may not understand everything going on in my life right now but I believe you will perfect all that concerns me. I humbly ask that you keep arranging every phase of my life, Invade my heart till I align with your will and purpose for my life in Jesus Name I pray. Amen.

Stay Blessed!

PURITY IS POSSIBLE

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So this phrasePurity is Possible has been on my heart and mind for quite sometime now (since second year I used to begin the semester by saying CHASTE2014) that doesn’t mean I am pure far from that. I am gradually and daily working towards it — But how do we tackle the issue of Purity in such a time as this? When this generation believes it is okay to tell a little lie, picking that is not really stealing, flirting is not really a sin, when sex has become a prerequisite of showing affection, a little fornication won’t kill you, fear of being tagged as the inexperienced one by your peers because you haven’t tried sex before and so on. How do we fight this?

How do we stay Pure in a generation with all these godless cultures?

First off, we must come to the terms with the fact that every sin is SIN so far as it contradicts with God’s ways, laws and commandments. Truth is our entire existence is challenged by the odd’s of wholeness — just being idle can’t make you pure or whole. A consistent working out of purity is necessary. Perhaps if we carry the thought of God in our minds then we will tremble at staining our purity and work towards being Holy.

Taking sexual sins for instance; Sex is about the Gospel, that is why sexual sin is frowned upon.“Sex is Holy” I don’t want to overstate it. This is an analogy, not an equation. But it’s a good, biblical analogy. There was something Holy taking place between husband and wife. It was sacred, special, unique. “Holy” has often been defined as “being set apart for special use.” Sex certainly fits that description. It is not for everybody. It is set aside for special use in marriage. Even though sex is about the physical touch, to be sure, but it is about far more than physical touch. It is about what is going on inside us. Which is why when there’s disobedience there are consequences (Open ourselves up for the devil to manipulate us, ungodly soul ties, unhealthy sexually transmitted diseases, getting pregnant and having to abort in cases of unwanted pregnancy).

Have you ever witnessed a repented thief or prostitute (sinner), hands lifted up in worship? Ever meditated on just how big of a deal it is that while you were at your worst, Jesus still loved you?

If you don’t understand Christianity, you may get really confused as to why people become emotional when it comes to the thought of God. What’s going on inside of them that thinking about some God up in heaven would make them weep?  I learned over time by God’s grace working in my life;  what people are celebrating is that while we were at our worst, Jesus still loved us. Being aware of how much you’ve been FORGIVEN

So this is to say that; If we become aware of how much we’ve been forgiven; won’t there be desperation for Purity? 

Intimacy is hard for broken people. We need Jesus. We need his help. But when you’ve gotten closer and closer to the incredible reality that God chose you, forgave you, and approved of you despite your sin, all because of Jesus Christ, that grace is satisfying and empowering, and it can be carried over into the need for Purity. It can be carried over in the way you respond to every area of your life, confident and free because of Christ’s work in your life. It can be carried over in the way you forgive offense, sins and overlook his or her imperfections, as a way of sharing what God has given you.

As Christian’s  we need to follow every earthly pleasure back to its source in the God who is the giver of every good thing ( James 1:17), that he might get the glory. And that is why sex is holy—it is meant to remind us of the God who gave it to us, who takes joy in union with his people. We don’t need to over spiritualize sex to see it this way; we just need to approach it the way the Bible ordained and be grateful for it. So then we will discipline ourselves to obey with regards to every form of sin and work towards Purity. (1 john 3:3)

The bible says that “It is with the mind that we serve the Lord” So my question is; 

Do you ever think of your  body as a holy temple of God? 

Prayer

Father, you tell me that I can and must glorify you in my body and every area of my life meaning my obedience counts. I believe that you have given sexuality to me as a gift. I may not always understand why you have done this because it does not always feel like a gift, it gets tough choosing to stay and remain pure. But I do understand that you are good and kind and that you love me. I pray that I would be a faithful steward of this gift, that in that final day you would look at how I have stewarded this gift and say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Hope of a Life Spent With You

“Purity Is Possible”

Do You Feel Forsaken By God?

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And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46)

I was reading a blog post about how we sometimes feel forsaken by God and I could relate to it so much. From the above scripture, we can hear the anguish in Christ’s cry from the cross. Are you at that point where you feel God is far from your situation?

I have felt that kind of despair in my own life. Though God will never literally forsake me, I have felt forsaken, abandoned, betrayed by those I loved. I have questioned where God was in my pain — I have wondered what good could ever come from my suffering. Because of the cross, we who have felt that pain, who live with unanswered questions and sleepless nights, can unreservedly rejoice at Easter. Out of the worst evil imaginable, the sinless Son of God on the cross, God brought about the greatest good ever known.

FEELING FORSAKEN

Easter is a stunning reminder of Genesis 50:20, that what man means for evil, God means for good. In my own life, through the lens of Scripture, I can see that God has brought the greatest good out of the hardest events. But I say that in retrospect. At the time, none of my suffering felt even vaguely positive.

Sobbing by my dad’s casket was devastating. Suffering from my first heartbreak, dealing with abuse, getting rejected, trailing that paper,not getting that scholarship, not getting that admission, hearing the doctor give that diagnoses about my back, and then watching it happen, was agonizing I could go on and on but…

None of those trials felt redemptive. None of them could be celebrated. None of them even made sense. I never could have imagined that God would bring something beautiful out of my pain. I felt that my pain was deforming me. That I would forever be marred by it. I was sure my best years were behind me — before “this” happened. When I laughed easily and often. When I wasn’t burdened with the memories of all that had gone before.

PAIN DEEPENS US

And yet somehow, even in those horrifying trials, God was doing something. Something extraordinary. Something I could not have planned or foreseen. He was doing something in me that could not have happened any other way. It was strange and beautiful — wonderful and unexpected — the handiwork of God.

Out of the most crushing pain and terrible despair, God was bringing glorious triumph.

Instead of deforming me, my pain strangely deepened me. It increased my capacity for God. And for joy. It made me see the world through different eyes. Eyes of faith and not eyes of hopelessness. It helped me recognize that what I was going through was just a snapshot in time. One day my life will be totally transformed.

DOES EVIL WIN?

While my circumstances will undoubtedly change one day, what changes most profoundly in my suffering is me. The very struggles that I thought would break me are what God used to purposefully shape me.

That shaping did not happen instantaneously. It took time and trust. At first it seemed like nothing was happening — nothing but disillusionment and defeat. It honestly felt like Satan was wrecking my life.

Similarly, to the disciples on that terrifying Friday, it must have seemed like Satan was victorious. Their Savior was crucified. Their dreams were dead. Their hopes had unraveled. Maybe evil really had won.

And then everything was silent for two long days. It may have seemed like nothing was happening — nothing but disillusionment and defeat. But in the wisdom of God, when life looked darkest, it gave way to the dawning of the purest, most brilliant light.

GOD MEANT IT FOR GOOD

Easter Sunday reminds me that God’s perspective is infinitely greater than mine. Much of what is really happening is unseen. While it may look otherwise in the moment, Satan will never be victorious and evil cannot win. God always has the last word.

What Satan means for evil, God means for good. Always.

So if you feel forsaken and have no idea where to turn or what to do, trust that God is using that very struggle. If life looks like a hopeless mess and every day is a fight to survive, trust that God will one day gloriously prevail. And when he has, when you are on the other side, trust that God will have done an incomparable work in your soul.

Then you will have learned how to rely, truly rely, on God who brings beauty from ashes — brokenness. Your life and walk with him will be more beautiful than you ever imagined. And somehow, through your pain, you will be transformed. And when you are, when you see how God has changed you, you will never want to go back to the way you were before.

Take comfort in your pain that the Father did not exempt Jesus from the test of being allowed to “feel” forsaken. It’s key to understand that God didn’t cause it – God allowed it — for our redemption (our good)

Yes – there may be some “questionable times” where you may have quit … but jump back in the battle of trust and keep on fighting!  Jesus will never quit helping you fight your cross battle.  He didn’t die for you to lose.  He died to make certain you would stay enlisted in His army of overcomers. 

You will understand that nothing can thwart God’s plans for you. What now appears to be evil will result in your eternal joy. 

I pray the staggering triumph of Easter falls afresh on you in Jesus Name. Amen

He is RISEN henceArise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1)

Stay Blessed!

 

CALLED OUT

Image result for set apart for GodDuring my first time at outreach(2013) I was paired up with a friend Kobby (Now Ps. Kobby Obeng by God’s grace, God Bless this Gentleman). I believe God really set that up because every conversation I have had with him has been very enlightening. Out of these conversations one of them (outreach 2015) was a very defining moment for me. He said “Elinam whenever God wants to transform a generation (people, a bloodline, a family, a community ) He usually uses one person — you are that one person, you are chosen and He will equip you to get this done” He reminded me of this same word during our prayer time this dawn, I’ve heard this a couple of times, I remember back in senior high one of our pastors said something similar during S.U. but this time around when Kobby said those words to me it made sense, it struck a nerve. Honestly I don’t enjoy hearing things like this, that’s because it simply means… Responsibility and Difference. 

What does it mean to be Chosen? To be set apart? To be Called out?

To be set apart means that God has His hand on you for a specific(unique) purpose. He’ll use other people to get you on track, in addition to dreams, visions, and that “still small voice” of God. A scripture that would fit nicely with this is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” He guides our lives differently than it might have been had we not submitted to His call. And even though it may appear that we are not in ministry, we are marked by God to minister in the day to day living. Because He has set us apart, we are already walking into our destinies.

Have you ever found yourself among a group of friends, and with every conversation and activity you have with them, you keep feeling on the inside that you are different? — Personally I’ve lost a number of friends due to this difference.

You will feel a pull away from people and things that distract you. Even though you may feel as if you are put on a shelf and forgotten, you have been set apart for the call of God on your life. It is during these times that we will find ourselves spending quality time with God as He molds and makes us into His image. He will build a character in us so that when it is time to go on the frontlines, He knows we will be ready. He will be able to trust us with what has been appointed for us to do. Jesus said, “Come out from among them and be ye separate.” (2 Corinthians 6:17)

Matthew 22:14 says, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” It is as if we can picture Jesus standing in the middle of a very busy, dusty, marketplace like malata market, not even aware of all the disruption going on around Him. Instead He is intently holding up and examining select pieces of fruit. After deciding on His choice, He gently places them one by one in a basket cradled in the crook of His arm, close to His side. You could say that we are separated from worldliness and given new purpose in Jesus to be used by God.

I don’t know if you’ve experienced this before — recently I paid my mum a visit — I was hungry so I chose a tuber of yam out of a lot, peeling it just to find out that it was totally rotten on the inside. Then the Holy Spirit spoke to me saying; that this fruit is symbolic to what some Christians are like. They are beautiful on the outside but the inside tells a different story. This got me deep in thought, I felt the need to check myself to make sure that I was clean before the Lord. God has chosen us to do a work for Him and we need to be “set apart”, chosen to do a work for the King. He has anointed us and equipped us to be used for the advancement of His kingdom.

I have felt called to be separated unto God. My desires to please God. I did not always succeed, but my heart has always been for God. If I get off track, God always gently guides me back onto the path He has chosen for me. 1 Thessalonians 4 tells us that we should live a life pleasing to the Lord. Paul is encouraging us to live it even more than before. 1 Thessalonians 4:9 instructs us to love our Christian families and Christians around us. He exhorts us to love them even more.

God’s Word is clear on our call to be completely set-apart for Him: “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17). Of course, this doesn’t mean that we hibernate away in a cave or that we barricade from the world in a nunnery somewhere. In fact, God commands us to go into all the world and make disciples in His name; to seek and save the lost just as Jesus did (Mark 16:15).

But how? By engaging in the same behavior and lifestyle as everyone else, so that we can be accepted by secular society? No. Rather, the Bible says that we should expect to look strange to the world because of our set-apartness, when we do “not live the rest of this earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do – living in debauchery, lust, addictions, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you” (1 Peter 4:2-4).

God says that our lives will give off an appealing fragrance to those who are ready to receive Christ – but to those enslaved by sin, our separation from the world will cause great offense everywhere we go (2 Cor. 2:14-16). Though it is not easy to walk the narrow way that God has called us to, we must understand that being set-apart for Him is not a hamper to our Christian witness. Being set-apart is our Christian witness. 1 Thessalonians 5:6 says, “So we should not be like other people who are sleeping, but we should be alert and have self-control.” 1 Thessalonians 5:8 says, “We should wear faith and love to protect us, and the hope of salvation should be our helmet.

Do you get the point by now? If we are set apart to do the work of the Lord, then we will not have time to get into trouble; especially if our hearts are set on pleasing God. We should be working on being full of the fruit of the Spirit and telling people about the message of the Gospel of peace. That alone is a full-time job.

And as Paul ends 2 Thessalonians, “Now may the Lord of peace give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”

Don’t expect a round of human applause when you choose the set-apart life. But remember that in its place you will gain something far better – a standing ovation from Jesus Christ. Take the story of Abraham, Moses even Jesus was set apart. I love the story of Stephen heroically giving his life for the sake of the Gospel. Just before he died, he saw heaven opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of the Father (Acts 7:56). Stephen’s willing sacrifice brought such delight to the heart of Christ that the King of all kings actually stood to welcome him into eternity. I don’t know about you, but that’s all the applause I could ever want or need. I don’t want to meet Him with my head hanged down.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, first of all, I thank you today that you have set me apart on the basis of your sovereign grace, not because of anything I have done. In no way am I godly enough to earn your favor. But I am a glad recipient of your grace which binds me to you and helps me to be more like you. My godliness is borrowed, completely borrowed. Thank you, dear Lord, for being such a generous lender. And thank you as well for setting me apart for you, not just for your work, but first of all for relationship with you. What an incredible privilege it is to know you, to have freedom to speak to you, to rely upon you, and to call you Father. Lord, even as I seek to serve you with my life, may my service be an outgrowth of my intimate relationship with you. Amen.

Set yourself apart for God’s Glory! You’re Chosen. Stay Blessed!

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