Friday, 6 October 2017

DO YOU STILL BELIEVE?

Now more than ever before it has become a great necessity to check over and over again that one is still on that right path to life. There are indeed many paths that appear to end in life but end in death instead. Believers must be circumspect in the times that we are in. Some years ago, I wrote a blog similar to this and at the time I thought a number of us were mixed up about our faith. In my opinion, we had gotten so mixed up with the world that we were almost a high breed (neither believers nor unbelievers): I guess that should have made us “carnal believers” but we definitely didn’t see ourselves as “such” and if we go by scriptures, even “such” have, in reality, lost access to eternal life which is the knowledge of Christ. I recall that I mentioned, in that blog, that I had just listened to a sermon by Billy Graham and I wept through it all at the end of which I could not help but pray the sinner’s prayer along with those who yielded to Jesus Christ on the day he preached the sermon. Little did I know then, that it could get as bad as it is today when we are so lost we have lost our identity completely and even now deliberately misinterpret scriptures to make them useful for our purpose albeit, evil purpose.
 
John 17: 3 “And this is the way to have eternal life-to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.”

Proverbs 16: 25 “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.”

There is no doubt that the scriptures have always been misinterpreted but it used to be because people were deceived and/or deluded or even possessed by satan more than anything else; it was hardly deliberate. Today however, the story is different. People who once loved and made Jesus Christ Lord over their lives, willfully interpret scriptures wrongly for their own selfish purpose. They know what they teach is wrong but they feel the need to deceive; luring people away from the true faith and largely because they want to meet their own self-imposed goals which often sound godly but are demonic because of the underlying wickedness. Some only want to start or even grow their churches to mega church status so they prey on unsuspecting believers, wickedly using them as tools for accomplishing their personal goals; damaging them with lies and then argue that it was their responsibility to seek out the truth for themselves. Yes it is indeed their responsibility to do so; but it is also every believer’s responsibility to tell truth to each other and present The Truth just as He is. Jesus is Truth and so is His word. The Word of God can never be shrouded in lies and remain truth. The pulpit belongs to God and most be used to push His agenda only – Jesus Christ the son of God who is The Word made flesh.

John 1: 1 & 14 “In the beginning, the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the word was God … So the Word became human and made his home among us.”

Galatians 1: 8 & 9 “Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you. I say again what we have said before: if anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed.”

There is no doubt that these are “perilous times” and walking with God today is tougher than it has ever been but it is not the job of believers to mislead others; that is satan’s job and anyone who does it long enough is bound to become possessed with his spirit. Warfare is at a heightened level and so many soldiers are dying in the battle field. Evil is stirring us right in the face now and we have lost strength. A lot of us have gone to sleep – the sleep of death. That deceitful and destructive sleep which makes you think you are doing great as a believer when indeed, you have lost your salvation. I used to think warfare has become really subtle in the current days but it hasn’t. The enemy has infiltrated our ranks and unlike Jesus our Master, we have fallen for every one of his temptations. Many of us like to argue that it is tough because we fight “new demons” today. I beg to disagree. It’s the same demons despite the different manifestations.

2 Corinthians 10: 3-5 “we are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle the keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. And after you have become fully obedient, we will punish all disobedience.”

It is not possible to be “in the flesh” and perceive or identify our common enemy and his works. Yet we are comfortable remaining there not mindful of the fact that he wants us there anyway, to weaken us knowing that we are ill equipped to war at this level because the weapons of our warfare are spiritual and spiritually empowered. If we allow ourselves to be led by the Holy Ghost, no enemy will successfully attack us. The devil ought to flee from us as we resist him and not the other way round. Our faith is not powerless but our lies and lifestyle have made it so. We can’t continue with this powerless gospel. We can’t continue to make the Word of God of no effect. It is time to start again. Jesu Christ is coming soon.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Let Us Draw Near To God

It is definitely not news to most believers that we are in the “end times” since this is one of those things that we talk about often; but, do we really believe it? It seems like the more we say it, the more lightly we take it. I guess we have heard it so much it sounds like a cliché because a lot of us carry on with such a lazy disposition toward God and the things that pertain to Him, that it is obvious we don’t really believe it and largely, because we have not thought on it enough. The relationship such persons have with God is so dry and lacking in luster that they make God appear boring when the real problem is the fact that they barely engage Him and as such are unable to glean from Him and radiate His glory. A believer’s relationship with God only thrives to the extent that one is ready to make the effort. Most of us only engage God, when we are overwhelmingly burdened and as soon as our issues are resolved, we return to status quo; it ought not to be so. Engaging or cultivating a vibrant relationship with God takes a deliberateness on our part. Unless and until we make the effort to work at this relationship, it remains boring or even dead which said state is often reflected in the believer’s life.

Luke 18: 1 “One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.”

Ephesians 6: 18 “Praying always”

Proverbs 3: 6 “Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”

God desires to have a vibrant relationship with us which is why He is open to communicating with us always and everywhere. He makes it clear that He desires to be a part of our everyday life and even our decision making.  Never mind those who think we disturb God when we commune with Him; God is so interested in our lives that He takes the time to show us which path is fit when we seek His will. The onus is on every believer to either accept to have that relationship with God that He so desires or to reject His outstretched arm. Whilst it is true that God hides Himself, it is our honor to search for and find Him and as we do that, we are cultivating a beautiful relationship with Him. He makes it easy for us to find Him by giving every one of us the Holy Spirit who knows all there is to know about Him. The challenge for a number of us is the fact that we don’t even care enough about the depth of our relationship to even need The Help He provides so that the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives is just to facilitate our speaking in tongues. We must remember that uncultivated relationships gradually die despite that we may be unaware of its death and still carry on just like Samson who shook himself not knowing that his strength had left him because is head was shaved. A bad relationship is bad despite what we may like to think or believe. It is always what it is. We always get back from a relationship what we invest in it. What are you investing in your relationship with God?

Proverbs 25: 2 “It is God’s privilege to conceal things and the king’s privilege to discover them.”

Luke 6: 38 “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full-pressed down. Shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”

If indeed these are the end times as we believe they are, then it is time to work on our relationship with God. It takes some form of “pressing” to go forward in any God related thing including even our relationship with God. When Paul says “I press on to reach the end of the race” it included even working at his relationship with God. We need to “press” that we might go forward. Of course, pressing is not passive so a lazy person will struggle with their relationship with God but it starts with a decision and grace is available. We have to wake up from a life of ease and get into serious business with God. We have to work at leaving behind us any weight that might make it difficult to enter His presence thereby stemming our maturity. Every weight should be cast aside whether they be failures, success, un-forgiveness and whatever else there is, they must be put aside that we may enjoy our relationship with God and the benefits. It is worthy of note that when we work to cultivate our walk with God, we enter into that rest can one can only have in Him. It is time to push the limits of our relationship with Him and the benefits will no doubt be immense.

Hebrews 4: 3 “For only we who believe can enter his rest.”

Philippians 3: 13 “No dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus is calling us.”

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Unless A kernal….

I definitely believe that change is a constant factor in a believer’s life. If we want to live successful Christian lives, we must yield to God and allow Him change us because He will not force the change on anyone. The change that takes place at the point of salvation is only the first of several other changes. As we go on in our walk with God, we are changed from glory to glory in our bid to be like Christ which is God’s desire for us. These series of changes that take place in our lives, are interesting because not one of them is meant to leave us worse off. It is always change that makes us better no matter how difficult the process may seem. It is therefore safe to assume that the process is not over while it is yet “ugly and difficult” because every time God is done with a particular level of glory, everything is beautiful. It is as beautiful on the inside, or even more so, as it is on the outside because God who Himself sees all things, including the  things hidden from all eyes, always works to ensure that what we see on the outside is a reflection of all that is on the inside.

Ecclesiastes 3: 11 “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from the beginning to the end.”

2 Corinthians 3: 18 “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

At some point in our walk with God, every committed believer comes to the realization that change is imminent. Yet, it isn’t something we look forward to because of the discomfort and pain it comes with. From one level to the other, depending on the level of one’s commitment, the process can be really painful. I have many wishes concerning how God should go about this process and would have been willing to counsel Him as to how to deal but He has not asked nor does He ask our opinion as to how to go about His business in the life of any man. Indeed, we are too unqualified to counsel from our very myopic view, a God who sits in the heaven of heavens and sees further and clearer than we can ever see and has our best interest at heart. All our experiences, I have found, are also based on the different paths to and various expressions of success that have been mapped out for us as well as the extent to which we respond to His love. I can confirm that no experience permitted by God in the believer’s life, is meant to destroy them: and even when we walk into experiences, by reason of our wrong doing, that should destroy us our God is working to ensure that at the end of it all, it works good for us.

John 12: 24 “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels – a plentiful harvest of new lives.”

So, to get to the next level of glory, one must yield to the extent that one dies to who they are. It takes one becoming as dead to successfully go through the experiences God allows to bring us to the next level of glory. Hence, the process is likened to the planting and death of a kernel of wheat which eventually gives a great harvest.  The level of humility that is required to go through each experience successfully, demands that one die to themselves. The seed falls and is buried in earth, hidden from all eyes; and in that dirt, it begins to increase until its expansion can no longer be hidden and it is the same process that takes us higher. God works far away from prying eyes to increase us and in such a way that one barely has enough strength to “keep it together” and as such is left with no strength to explain to anyone what is going even if they understand it: but when God is done, the evidence of His goodness will not be hidden.  God’s goodness in a life don’t need to be announced; they announce themselves when God is done. If they have to be announced, then you are moving ahead of yourself because God is not done yet.   

Hebrews 12: 5b – 6 “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”

Mark 10: 29 “Jesus replied, and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or property, for my sake and for the Good news, will receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and property-along with persecution.”

It is sad that a number of us do not accept that this process of transformation also comes with some painful experiences and so, some such persons have aborted the process over and over again whilst others are backslidden. Such believers are convinced that life should be a smooth ride from the point of salvation which Jesus never promised us. All the good things we expect will surely come to pass but He did say that they would come alongside persecution. Persecution that Jesus spoke of is not just murdering believers for their faith, it is harassment, mental and physical torture and all other bad things done to believers just for our faith. Moreover, satan is the prince of the power of the air and his thoughts are never good; even when they seem good, his ultimate goal is to wreak havoc.  So evil will happen to all alike in a world where he is in control but God who made us more than conquerors through Christ, delivers us from all attempts of the enemy to steal, kill and destroy believers. So as we go through these difficult experiences, let us set our eyes on Jesus Christ who has successfully come through. It will end well.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Just Like Cain - Life’s Lessons PT 1

I used to think Cain is one of the worst persons who ever lived on earth. I mean, really, what sin could a brother commit that would be so terrible that you had to kill him? I thought he must have been a very wicked and evil person naturally and killing his brother was just one other thing an evil person did. Interestingly, in more recent years of my life, I have found that he didn’t have to be wicked to have done that. I have found that even the nicest of persons can do the most shocking of things when under the influence of jealousy and envy and without the strength to control themselves. Yes, it is true, these things happen even between the closest of persons if jealousy and envy are left to have free reign in any life.  They can be so blinding that they can make an otherwise sweet human being, very twisted and vile. They completely disfigure God’s beautiful creation (i.e. man) thereby attempting, albeit unsuccessfully, to discredit His craftsmanship.   No wonder God hates them both.  Cain totally took on another nature when he allowed jealousy to reign in his body lending himself to use by satan who never thinks to do good but always evil. It has become clear to me, that anyone controlled by those two evil emotions will do things even they will regret later or be ashamed of. The sad thing is they may have destroyed something God sent to them to bless them.

Proverbs 27: 4 “Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but jealousy is even more dangerous.”

1 Peter 5: 8 “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to deour”

After we get born again, a battle that didn’t exist in our lives prior to our salvation begins. The new nature which is the nature of Christ enters our spirit by impartation from the Holy Spirit, but the old nature does not give up easily. He consistently fights to take back the lost territory of our souls. This is a recurring battle in the life of every believer. This old nature, often referred to as the Adamic nature, is often controlled by satan. The evil is not the fact that the battle rages in anyone, but that one allows themselves side with the devil. For every, individual is the determinant of which side wins that battle in their own life. It is indeed our responsibility to resist the devil. God will not do that for us and neither will the devil who is very engaged in this battle. However, God ensures that all we need to win the battle is available to us so that if we have any need for any form of help as we are faced with ensuring that the new nature takes preeminence, we can be confident that God already met the need even before we knew we have the need. It is therefore not okay to make excuses for yourself blaming other people like Cain, for your own wrongdoing. If one does not accept responsibility for their wrongdoing, they may end up just like Cain – murdering their brother. It is the height of selfishness to assume that one’s selfish and vile heart is excusable because of a vile nature which God would rather that we did not have. The heart of the undegenerated man is so vile that God says even the man that carries it, is unaware of the extent of its’ capacity for evil. A number of us have been like Cain several times over though we castigate him because unfortunately for him, we do not physically murder our victims.

Jeremiah 17: 9 “The human hearts is the most deceitful of all things and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is.”

Interestingly, just like it was with Cain, God would keep warning and encouraging us to do what is right. The love of God for us is such that He exhausts every available option to facilitate our doing right always; and even when we do wrong, He is unrelenting in His effort to ensure that we repent Unfortunately, God is unable to do right for us; but He has left us, the right of choice so that it is always our decision what we choose to do. Even satan does not make our evil decisions for us. Our evil decisions are tied to the extent that we are enticed by what satan pretends to offer us. God is definitely not interested in our wrong; He is not looking to building a case round it; He is instead, interested in building a case round the fact that our wrong has been made right which was the thrust of His discussion with Cain before he murdered his brother. God, like He does with us, was trying to make Cain see that He still had an opportunity to make things right. He reminded him that he didn’t have to be jealous of his brother when he could still do right. Yet, he still left him the right to make the decision and Cain chose to align with his Adamic nature or satan which is the option we often choose despite that we are born again. Our enemy uses everything available to him including emotions. God gave us a brain and wants us to use it so He works with truth which He puts before us that we may then make the right decision. Decisions made on His truth are enduring and will stand the test of time because they are based on God’s truth which is unchanging reality.  It is wise to side with Truth always.

Psalms 119: Your eternal word, O Lord stands firm in heaven.”

Saturday, 2 September 2017

He Knows Best – Jesus Christ The Son of God

It just seems so right now with all the pain expressed by believers; pain from disappointment. Never in my entire life have I met disappointed believers like I do today; and all because of unmet expectations? So many people complaining against God because they have waited too long for the manifestation of His promises to them, yet nothing is happening and their hearts are getting weary. It almost seems like God wickedly withholds, just to inflict pain on all waiting. It is time to remind ourselves that our God is good and working all the time we are complaining and/or worrying.  I heard Bishop Jakes say "God orders steps and not elevators", based on the scripture that says “the steps of a righteous man are ordered by God”. He further explains that God is a God of process and as such would often not be in a hurry. I couldn’t agree more. I believe God takes all the time needed to ensure that whatever He does is beautiful. Painfully slow as He may sometimes appear to be, it is all for our good. God would not take so much time just to cause us pain. I won’t pretend like I don’t often wish He could be much faster, but I have learnt over time, that His ways are very different from ours and His thoughts far from ours. For our God loves process; He also works to improve us through the process. We must learn to take solace in the fact that His thoughts toward us are thoughts of good. No wonder His blessings make rich. They are carefully crafted by God who would look it over again to ensure that it is well suited to be a blessing in our lives at the right time. Whatever God does in a life, He ensures that it is truly beautiful and permanent.

Ecclesiastes 3: 14 "And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him."

There is no doubt that God has a purpose to the way He works. In the way God worked during creation, He reaffirmed His love for process and excellence. He definitely pays attention to details. God is Almighty Creator and He could have spoken everything into existence in one day. He is the biggest boss and has all the materials required for the work yet He crafted everything so carefully it took Him one week to put it all together and then He rested on the seventh day after working really hard. One of the most interesting things for me was how God always checked His work Himself to see if it could have been done better. He did not assume that it was perfect because He made it. All we see is the end product (manifestation of promise), we often don’t get to see all the work that goes into making the promise because God hides it from us. After we have long received the promise, God would then sometimes, let us see a glimpse of what went into the making of the promise. The wait is always for good. Our God is not a time waster neither would He steal our time; He came that we may have abundant life.

Genesis 1: 31 "And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day."

To work in the fullness of that which God ordained for us, patience is required. The decision as to the timing is His. I wish patience was a course or lesson in school, something learnt through study; but it isn’t, it is learnt in the school of life. Even people naturally gifted with patience find themselves in pain when they have to wait on the Lord. Our God does as He please; but, He will surely “do”.  I often wonder why God took so long to dry the waters so Noah and his family could come out. My very human mind tells me that He could have done it much faster. I imagine Noah and his family must have been very glad when the waters stopped pouring hoping to get out of the ark shortly but it didn’t happen. Noah kept sending out birds and they kept returning until after a while when the dove no longer returned home signifying to Noah that the water had dried. With God, it is not unusual to wait for the next level so long one gets tired of waiting and can't help but wonder if God has forgotten that He left someone in the middle of a process He started. One thing I can say for certain at this point in my life is that God never starts something He does not intend to finish; will you let Him?

Luke 21: 19KJV “In your patience possess your souls.

Hebrews 6: 12KJV "That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises."

Of course, process takes time and waiting can be painful. I really don't know which one is worse, whether it is the waiting and not seeing any signs or waiting even after one has started seeing signs of God working to fulfill the promise. The second scenario can be really tricky because it’s easy for people like that to fall into the temptation of wanting to help God. It almost feels like God must be stuck, having set the process in motion, He is needing some help completing it alone. He is at work and is just ensuring that it is as it should be. We indeed have need of patience that we may enjoy the fullness of that which He has ordained for us. Though patience may not be one of the easiest things, it is a virtue which we ought to cultivate. As you wait, everything may seem contrary, please wait and that includes when you don’t understand where He is going or you think He is wrong. Times like these are the times when the accuser of the brethren gets really busy trying different options all geared at taking us away from God. Ignore him, and fill yourself with the word of God. Remember that God is definitely working out something. He always has a purpose to all that He does.

Remember how He took the Israelites through the longer route on their way to the Promised Land. Though He did not tell them that there was a shorter route nor did He explain why He did that but He had a good reason. He knew Israel would not be in that Promised ever if they went through the shorter route because the battles they would have faced would have been too fierce for them. Even in the matter of taking over the land when they got there, in His usual way, He gave them the land piece by piece. He drove out the enemy systematically. The more land they took, they more land He made available for them to take. He could have just driven out all their enemies as they approached the Promised but He did not. He did it procedurally. Do not give up on God. If your eyes are on Him, you will not be ashamed. The ultimate victory will be yours.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Please Permit Me…

Please permit me to celebrate The Godhead. This blog is all about celebrating Jesus Christ the Son of God, God The Father and the Holy Spirit. All Three been wonderful to me and that is inspite of my several wrongdoings. They found me in my own sin, though I thought I was good, and made me realize that I could be the “good person” that I should be. They opened my eyes, by enlightening my understanding, to see that all I had to do to be good was become the child of the only One who is truly good. That was the beginning of a new life for me. That realization that I remained nothing but sinner except and until I allowed myself to be washed in Christ Jesus blood following heaven’s due process for conversion, was the best thing that happened to me because it facilitated my making the right decision – accept salvation that God offers without charging a fee. This is where it all started; when He clothe me with beauty so deep and powerful, it changes the inside as well as the outside; and filled me with indescribable joy that enables one laugh even in pain.

Ezekiel 16: 6 & 8b “But I came by and saw you there, helplessly kicking about in your own blood. As you lay there, I said, ‘live!’ And I helped you to thrive like a plant in the field. You grew up and became a beautiful jewel… So I wrapped my cloak around you to cover your nakedness and declared my marriage vows. I made a covenant with you, says the Sovereign Lord, and you became mine.”

As soon as this happened, He went to work on my inside bringing about changes in my life that became visible externally. I could not help but allow Him make the changes that transformed me so much and so fast, I almost didn’t recognize myself anymore and He would not stop or even let go. Oh my goodness, I hate to even remember that at some point, I chose to do my own thing. A terrible idea which I knew He wouldn’t go along with so I thought it best to put some distance between us. Would you believe that He waited patiently, reminding me from time to time that He was waiting despite the pain He must have felt. He just would not let go. For such is the power of the love of He who has to look away from our sin whilst not losing interest in us? Just when I thought I had succeeded in my plan, He pulled me into His already outstretched arm enfolding me yet again with His love. This time, even more glorious. So I can testify that love always hopes and never gives up. Our God is indeed, love. Hence the song writer says in our pidgin English dialect “I never see this kind love before o – wonder 4x. Jesus na wa o”

Ezekiel 16: 60 & 62 - 63 “yet I will remember the covenant I made with you …and establish an everlasting covenant with you. And I will reaffirm my covenant with you, and you will know that I am The Lord. You will remember your sins and cover your mouth in silent shame when I forgive you all that you have done. I, The Sovereign Lord, have spoken.”

God must be celebrated. He loves so much He gives all He has just to ensure that we ultimately share His place of abode in eternity. When I think of how much I enjoy having “my space” I wonder what He is doing ensuring and/or enabling us live that life here on earth that facilitates our making heaven - a grace walk enabled by The Holy Ghost who is a part of This Godhead that I celebrate today. What is most interesting about His help is the fact that it is so unobtrusive that one almost forgets that they are actually helped and would fail without the help. This is why it is so easy to get carried away and become proud. It is easy to think one is “self- made” become your own idol and attracting God’s wrath; but my goodness! I love the way He improves our self-worth with this help that makes us feel important even seeming to draw men to us though they actually seek our Father. Though He loves us to shine and is great at celebrating us, He doesn’t want us to forget that the stage is His. This must be one of the many reasons Nathaniel Bassey says “take your glory King of Kings, take your glory Lord of lords; Take your glory King of Kings, It belongs to you alone.” He is The Original Celebrity: The only one that truly walks on a natural red carpet – the blood of those trampled when His right arm brought Him victory.

Isaiah 63: 3 “I have been treading the winepress alone; no one was there to help me. In my anger, I have trampled my enemies as if they were grapes. In fury I have trampled my foes.”

Unquestionably, He is The Lord. I celebrate my maker; He who paid the price for me which should ordinarily make me His slave but He set me free instead and just left me with pre-defined limits for my liberty. I celebrate the one who paid for me with His own blood. I celebrate He without whom I can do nothing. Please let me borrow the words of another song by Nathaniel as I sing “Take the stage Lord; have your way. I’m just a vessel and nothing more; and when you are done, please take the glory. I am satisfied just to see you glorified.” For every one whose story is similar to mine, please join me as that together, we can celebrate our God.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Musings Of A Believer

I write today with a heart full of thanks to God. My heart rejoices in the goodness of God who has been and still is, “my glory and the lifter up of mine head”. I have always known that God is great and mighty but as I get older, I find that God is even more great and mighty. Just when you think you know a whole lot about Him, you find there is much more to know. The knowledge of God keeps unfolding so that there is always something new to know about Him. I learn about Him from studying and He makes the knowledge more real by permitting experiences that test the knowledge and I am glad to let you know that He goes through every test with us ensuring that we are never alone and also, that we come through gloriously. Today, I am sharing some of my thoughts as I reflect on the past with a view to strengthening my resolve to go forward. I am sharing some of the things I always remind myself of, that my path may be straight. I am convinced that the seemingly little things matter the most in determining who we are and whether we end up failures or great. So here are some of my thoughts.

Proverbs 4: 13ampc “Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.”

One of the realities of today’s world is that we resist instructions. We often only take in instructions when we are in deep trouble and need the instructions to get out. Even then, as soon as we are delivered, we revert to detesting instructions. Maybe all the new ideologies have something to do with it, we just all seem to know what to do; everyone is now in a way, his own god and so, doesn’t need any instructions/counsel, not even godly instruction/counsel? We resist instructions so much we don’t even listen or read long enough to hear/understand what we have to do; and even when we do, we don’t accept it. Sadly, even in the church, the flesh is so strong that accepting instructions is a major weight. This challenge with taking hold of instructions has made the fulfilment of certain promises difficult in some lives because they resist the instructions that precede the fulfillment of the promise. Yet the bible admonishes that we hold on to instructions because it is our life. Life’s instructions are laid out and no one is compelled to accept or reject them; God leaves that decision to us but He hopes we accept. Of course ungodly instructions (any instruction that contradicts the word of God) must be rejected but there are instructions we must accept inspite of the way we feel about them.

Hebrews 4: 12 “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.”

I have in the past few days, read articles where Nathaniel Bassey has spoken greatly of the way his life has been impacted by our relationship as a result of which people have prayed that God would give them such impactful relationships which is really great. What he left out and many have also missed, is the fact that he listens to and accepts godly counsel; he is obedient. I wonder if people would still desire such relationships if they also have to take hold of the same set of instruction he had to hold on to. It is one thing to have “that parent” but another to be “that child”; you also have to be “that child” for the instructions to be translated so powerfully. Taking hold of instructions is always easy when the instructions are for another; wait until you have to comply. Godly counsel is not the easiest to accept because The Word of God cuts, as the sword that it is, always seeking to destroy the flesh; however, it is necessary even if just for the purpose of discipline. God is well aware of our struggles with instructions so He encourages us to take hold of them because they are life. The truth of life is given as instructions and if we must succeed we have to accept and/or take hold of them.

Proverbs 4: 25 – 27 “Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.”

We have to look straight as much as lies within us; and within us is all the strength we need to look straight. It is true that we as mere mortals are often distracted but we must do all we can to remain focused; our gaze has to be fixed and that starts with a decision. It takes a deliberateness to remain focused; it doesn’t just happen as we live. Distractions are a normal part of life, a reality allowed by God so that distractions would always be all around us. These seek to make us look anywhere but ahead so we must insist on looking forward if we must make a straight path for our feet, which is our responsibility. Never make excuses for yourself that absolve you of responsibility for your “zig zag path”; the responsibility is yours and no one else. You can resist the distractions. Even athletes who intend to win train to resist distractions. If you allow yourself to be instructed by every voice, you will not go forward in life.

Proverbs 4: 23 “Guard your life above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

We protect so many things and that is understandable. We guard our wealth, reputation, and several other things and then leave the one thing we ought to guard, unguarded. We are so busy guarding those things that our hearts are left very vulnerable to attacks. We must be very careful to ensure that we tend our hearts. It has to be fed God’s word, protected from certain environments so it does not take in useless information and become unhealthy. We are our hearts. If for example, there is envy and jealousy in our hearts that is who we are notwithstanding who we may think we are or hope to be. It doesn’t matter the state of your heart as you read, if your heart has been left unguarded, you can begin to tend it today. God bless you.