RSS

Tag Archives: Hope

On The Bills of Grace

“No chance at all, if you think you can pull it off by yourself, but we have every chance in the world if we let God do it” Mark 10:27 (MSG)
“And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace” (John 1:16 NKJV)

When making it over the long haul seems impossible
When chaos, uncertainty, doubt and fear seems to be the order of the day
When the voice of reality presents pitched compositions of depression, frustration and confusion
When the rubber meets the road and push comes to shove
When the heats get turned up and the fight of faith looks dead on arrival
When lamentations seems to be in a heated battle with your praise on my lips
May my focus remain fixated on you
May the Father’s love always lead my life
May I always remain careless in the care of God
May I always walk in the reality that I have a heavenly Father that cares for me
May I always remember that I have a present help even before the need arises.
May my heart be filled with the revelation of your ever-abiding presence whispering You are not alone.
I ask this in Jesus’ Name
Amen.

This piece is so personal and means a lot to me (*So, I agree, it may not be relevant to you. But thank you for reading it anyway *big smile*). The everyday travails of life are real. I have been drenched and wet by the torrent of the craziness of life. I have been discouraged, distracted and sometimes frustrated with happenings around me. I have made mistakes, called the wrong shots in grief and desperation. People have been disappointed at me over my decisions and actions. I have made career decisions that almost put my entire ambition on the edge of a cliff and I slacked in God’s assignment for my life. At that point in my life, nowhere looked like a head way – my ‘world’ stood still with nothing tangible to show for it. I was practically living on the edge – was between two extremes, just a little push would make me take a side. Life became a dichotomy between “what is probable” and “what is possible” – permutations and combinations took over trusting in the invisible. At those times, I also realise that Life should be lived on the bills of God’s overwhelming goodness and grace.

In the heat of the fire, people want you to be proactive. By being proactive, they want you to pace more, worry more, call SOS, sweat it out, complain more and move about in circus. People could become so vested in “movement”, that they don’t even mind if “progress” is being made or not. Most times, in order not to appear careless, we are tempted to join the worry gang. But, like a popular cliché on social media, I dare say “who worry don epp?”. Worry is a negative energy, saps you of your strength and changes your focus from “what is true” to “what is real”.

In the face of the storm, I started wallowing in my fears and anxieties, my memories became filled with regretting the past and fearing the future. I made a strong resolve not to repeat the mistake of the past, but on the bill of my effort and strength. I stood up, staggered, walked and made the same mistake over again. I found it difficult to trust God in the moment, while my heart could not fathom the real-time, present-day God. My focus shifted from “who God is” to “who I was” at the moment. I was blinded by my weakness…I schemed, strategized and designed framework to set me back on course, but the output had no “master” in the “piece”, so it wasn’t a masterpiece. (*Haha! I just felt like a wordsmith with that punchline). My life became about what should have happened, what might have happened and what hopefully will happen, not realising that God is in my every moment.

I ‘disconnected’ from every support system – friends, pastors, family, mentors etc. I just wanted to be alone…alone time with me in the murky waters of the travails. Disappointments and Rejections became so overwhelming that the sun that rises each morning became more real than the word of Him that causes the sun to rise. My email box was full with messages starting with “We regret to…, I am afraid, we cannot…, However, I am sorry…, We are sorry…, However, We regret that…” On the outside, I looked all fly like a diamond in the sky, but on the inside, I was falling like a pack of cards. At those times, a lot of voices came to me like the words of the chief priest to Jesus when He was being crucified “He saved others, He cannot save Himself…(Matt.27:41-42)”. I heard words in the same similitude “You know a lotta stuffs about God and His word, let your knowledge save you fah…na head knowledge baba get, baba no get fruits”. I heard so much of such words both implied and direct. I wonder the kind of comments Peter would have been burdened with in my generation when he denied Jesus, but still stood up to preach about that same man he betrayed on the day of Pentecost (Luke 22:54-62, John 18:15-27, Acts 2:14-42). I still get subliminal messages on social media and other platforms because of some mistakes I made but then, I’ve realised there is peace and contentment in finding and owning your ‘subs’ (Another One! Another punchline! *punchlines ti take over*). If I have not made sense or whatever to you, I’m sorry but take this line with you, GOD IS IN YOUR EVERY MOMENT.

I learnt three vital points I’d like to share with you when life hits hard and it seems your head is below water and getting drowned.

1. Focus on Who God Is.
One of the major things, season of travails tends to do is to make you doubt the character of God. It wants to undermine your perspective of God’s character. God is a good and gracious father. God has your best interest at heart and He is more interested in your well-being than you are. God is not just a God of the past or the future; He is God of the present. He is not bounded by time and space. God is present and active on the timeline of humanity.
Moses was interested in knowing why the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. God was more interested in reminding Moses who He is – I AM THAT I AM (Exodus 3:1-14). Martha needed Jesus to come in time to heal his brother Lazarus of his sickness, but was very perplexed when Jesus came at the late hour. Jesus seemed no longer needed as Lazarus has been dead for days. Mary and Martha needed a Jesus that would heal the sick but Jesus was more interested in revealing who He is, I AM THE RESURRECTION AND LIFE (John 11:17-44). The answer to our travails is not first and foremost focusing on who we are, but focusing on who God is. His “I am” is always greater and more than enough for our “I need”. Relate with God like a friend. He listens. He cares. So, if you are looking for any ‘major key’ in troubled times, grow in your revelation of Jesus (2Pet.1:2-3, 2Pet.3:18).

2. God loves you. And it probably does not matter what you say or do.
I know, right? The second point sounded ridiculous, common knowledge and simple enough, you do not need to be reminded? But then, embedded in those three simple words is all the assurance you need. Each day should be lived with fresh revelations of the Love of God for you. I believe life is a journey of continuous discovery of God’s love.
We think the answer to frustration is more efforts…not more efforts, but the revelation of His abundant grace (Rom.5:17). Your flesh wants to exert more to face frustration. In His love, you find peace and freedom, where you become persuaded of the outcome in God irrespective of the circumstances. In the knowledge of His love for you, you find ammunitions to keep fighting the good fight of faith. One of the most dangerous locations for a believer is not an ISIS infested territory, but anywhere you find yourself doubting the love of God and losing faith in God. I feel there are no deep stuffs in this second point right? (*smiles*).
Always remember, it’s a lie from the pit of hell to believe YOU ARE ALL ALONE or YOU ARE IN THE TRAVAIL ALONE (Heb.13:5). At those moments in life, when you just want to throw in the towel and give up on anything that’s overwhelming at the moment making you feel drained and alone, YOU ARE NEVER ALONE (Rev.3:20, Joshua 1:9). On the timeline of humanity, God is always posting, liking and commenting on your status with full assurance. When you shut the door on everyone and they give up on you, He is still at the door knocking. I may not know how you have started, but one thing I’m persuaded of is this: Keeping ourselves in the love of God is the way to end well. And in the knowledge of His love, we find true life. With His love, he calms all our fears (Zeph.3:16-17). Our lives must start and end with a dependence on God. With Faith and the knowledge of His great love in our hearts, we win always. In His loving arms, you find rest. He has made us accepted in the beloved (Eph. 1:6). That’s the greatest validation and acceptance – approval of the father.

3. Stay Grateful.
At those times, you may want to pray and not find words to utter. You just want to lie in your bed all day and think of how your life has gone from ‘100’ to ‘0’ real quick. One sure thing to do is: remember His faithfulness in some seemingly hopeless situations He has showed up in times past. Let His past faithfulness dominate your mind. Someone once said “If you want to get out of the pit you are in, Start thinking about the goodness of the Lord. Good news has a way of replicating itself”. God still does things that do not add up. Live life on the bill of overwhelming goodness of God.

And if you are thinking, you’ve ‘lost’ things or it’s a little too late, I’d like you to know that God’s best is never in the past (Prov.4:18). Ruth probably thought Mahlon’s death was the final blow, but there was a Boaz in the future.

Back to my story! God is faithful regardless. He will never lie. God’s mercy is greater than my mistakes and He sure fixes situations better than ‘Olivier Pope’. In my dealings, I find myself a toolkit for the journey of life: Life is to be lived on the bills of God’s overwhelming grace and goodness. Stay on course! Know who is in your boat and you aren’t going down. You are called by His Name, It’s on His Bill.

The Infallibility of God’s Word
The dependability of His Faithfulness
The consistency of His Character and Nature
My Sure Anchor

Judah Smith in his book “LIFE IS___” gave four blueprints about life: 1. Life is to be loved and to love 2. Life is to trust God in every moment 3. Life is to be at peace with God and yourself 4. Life is to enjoy God. I think I want to add a fifth blueprint, 5. Life is to be lived on the bill of God’s overwhelming grace and goodness

“Jerusalem will be told:
“Don’t be afraid.
Dear Zion,
don’t despair.
Your God is present among you,
a strong Warrior there to save you.
Happy to have you back, he’ll calm you with his love
and delight you with his songs.” (Zeph.3:16-17 MSG)

For every ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘Zion’, I hope this piece ministers hope and faith to you.

Oluwafemi Olukoya
simokool@yahoo.com
@simokool.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on April 1, 2016 in Love

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Aside

The day GOD gave the Amorites up to Israel, Joshua spoke to GOD, with all Israel listening: “Stop, Sun, over Gibeon; Halt, Moon, over Aijalon Valley.” (Josh.10:12 MSG)

Joshua, Moses’ Personal Assistant and successor who led the children of Israel into the Promised Land was someone who dared to ask big. When Joshua was caught in the thick of the battle with his enemies and the sun was about to set, he cried out and ask for something that has never been done before and that looked seemingly impossible. Joshua asked God for more daylight because the sun was about to set and the momentum of the battle was to their advantage. Joshua wanted both the sun and the moon to stand still. Joshua seemingly wanted an abrupt halt in the Solar System so that there won’t be movement of both the sun and the moon.

Joshua asked a request that was audacious. Science has it that the earth rotates around the sun, and not the sun around the earth. So technically, when Joshua called for the sun and moon to stand still, God made the earth stand still instead. Joshua’s request is scientifically and logically inaccurate, but nevertheless God honoured Joshua’s faith.

I thought God would have corrected Joshua and written him a note on the principle of operation of the solar system explaining how it is built and functions. I was thinking God would have written Joshua a piece, saying;

Dear Joshua! I salute your doggedness and resilience and it’s worthy of commendation. I must also commend your leadership skills and abilities in leading my people but one thing is not right. The request you made is impossible as you want to alter my creation. The Solar System is built to function by the earth moving around the sun and not the other way round. Your request has been declined as it is illogical and out of this world. Feel free to contact me if there is anything else I can do to help you. Have a great day Joshua!

It gives me great encouragement to know that God honours our faith and hope in him. It is worthy of note that Joshua’s faith said ‘Yes’ and God couldn’t say ‘No’ to his request. Even though in the natural realm, it was impossible for what Joshua said to come to pass, Joshua believed God anyway. Joshua had not seen or read about anyone that altered the mode of operation of the Solar System but He believed in his heart and spoke what he wanted. He wasn’t trying or attempting to see if the sun and moon would stand still. He spoke the word in faith and received his request. Faith moves God. Faith moves mountains.

And since we have the SAME SPIRIT OF FAITH, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,”* WE ALSO BELIEVE AND THEREFORE SPEAK, (2Cor.4:13 NKJV)

ACCESS#1 (We Believe)

Faith has to be in two places – in your heart (believe) and in your mouth (speak). The spirit of faith has an attitude and an action. Believing is the attitude and speaking is the action. The first and the most fundamental truth about the spirit of faith is that it believes. It believes the word of God whether natural circumstances agree with it or not.

Find out from the Scriptures what you are trusting God for and what God has said about it and receive the word as the truth. Then keep putting the word in your heart day after day and night after night until faith rises up within you. You already have faith within because your being born again was by faith and God had given to every man the measure of faith. You may not be acting on it. You may not be speaking it. But it’s in there and the more you hear the word of God and act on it, the more it will grow and develop.

ACCESS#2 (Therefore We Speak)

The reason majority of believers appear weak is because they have never dared to make a confession of what they believe. Your mountain needs to hear your voice and it will obey you. The first part of you that faith moves is your mouth. Any faith that can’t move your mouth can never move a mountain. The word of God you believe must be spoken through you. God’s word in your mouth is just as powerful as God’s word in his mouth. God is holding you responsible to frame your world with his word. Confession is a spiritual law that few people recognize. Nothing will establish you and build your faith as quickly as confession.

The spirit of faith stands in the midst of the most impossible circumstances and believes God anyway, and then it begins to speak. The spirit of faith causes you to shout while the walls are still standing. The spirit of faith causes you to speak to the mountains despite its magnanimity. The spirit of faith speaks life to dead situations. The spirit of faith speaks God’s word. When headache attacks, faith doesn’t say, “This headache is killing me” Faith says, “I’m healed by the stripes of Jesus. He took my sicknesses and infirmities away so I don’t bear them anymore”

There is nothing like believing God quietly. You can’t believe God and not speak. Faith has a voice. If you are not speaking yet, it means you don’t believe it yet. Kenneth Hagin of blessed memory said, “If your faith isn’t talking, it isn’t working. Faith always has a voice”.

ACCESS#3 (My Reality…My Mountain or God’s Word)

Jesus said for you to speak to the mountain, not deny its existence. Faith is not denial of situations and circumstances; it is elevating the unseen over the seen. The truth of God’s word is our reality. The facts you have are not superior to the truth of God’s word. Of course, I agree that our challenges are real but according to God’s word, they are temporal. The spirit of faith calls the things which are seen as temporal (2Cor.4:18). The seen are subject to change, the unseen is eternal and the ‘change agent’ is God’s word.

Faith for the impossible is changing natural circumstances by calling those things that are not as though they were. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham (father of many nations) when he was still a childless old man with dead sperm cells married to a barren old woman that has passed menopause. But it is God who quickens the dead, and calls those things that be not as though they are (Rom.4:17).

In Genesis 1, we see God creating by speaking his word. Over and Over again, it says, God said…God saw…and it was good. That’s how we operate too because we have the same spirit of faith. We say God’s word…we see the result…and it is good.

We have to be consistent with our confessions of faith. Not just once or twice but speaking the word of faith consistently. Your confession must be in line with God’s word not according to your circumstances. Your confessions should stem out of the truth of God’s word in your heart and not out of prevailing situations and circumstances.

Faith for the impossible doesn’t consider the natural impossibilities of the situation. It does not focus on our own limitations because within our reach are unlimited possibilities with God. Live life fully assured and confident. Don’t live life with fear of the unknown, rather live life by faith in the unseen.

Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. HE ALWAYS KEEPS HIS WORD. Heb.10:23MSG
So DON’T LOSE YOUR CONFIDENCE. It will bring you a great reward. (Heb.10:35 GW)

Don’t lose confidence in God’s faithfulness and ability because He always keeps his word.

@simokool

FAITH FOR THE IMPOSSIBLE

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

Aside

Sometime later the Moabites and Ammonites, accompanied by Meunites, joined forces to make war on Jehoshaphat. 2Ch.20:1 (MSG)
The blood-thirsty and marauding armies of Moab, Ammon together with the Meunites joined forces to make war on Jehoshaphat, the King of Judah. King Jehoshaphat received this intelligence report and called for a state of emergency and gathered all of Judah to seek help from the Lord. All the men of Judah, with their wives and their kids, stood before the house of the Lord with gloomy faces, waiting anxiously to hear from their King. They were quite aware of the fact that they can never match the fire power of these three great nations. Their enemies outnumbered them many times over and they stand to lose everything they have. Most of the women cried uncontrollably, fearing for the lives of their husbands in the ensuing battle. The ladies wallowed in deep groaning, being tormented by the fact that they might end up as sex slaves in the hands of the captors. The young men were heaving a deep sigh and the fear of becoming bond servants all the days of their lives crushed their spirits. The children in their midst were wailing, seeing the fear in the faces of their parents and relatives left them downcast and dumbfounded. In the midst of all the aching groans and wordless sighs, everybody just waited with uncharacteristic quietness for King Jehoshaphat to speak.
Have you ever been in a situation like this, where your circumstances seem to be completely hopeless? Where challenges come at you from all sides and you are enveloped in trials of all sorts. Where you are so much under pressure to act but still overwhelmed by the challenges surrounding. Where it looks like you are too young for the kind of challenges you are facing.
This is exactly what happened to the small tribe of Judah when they were besieged on all fronts by three powerful marauding armies forcefully advancing towards them. They knew that their enemies outnumbered them many times over and were hell bent on annihilating them, it was a forlorn and hopeless situation, and it looked like they were bound for a tragic end. The circumstances looked like the end has come for the tribe of Judah and nothing will ever be heard of that tribe again.
There may be seasons in our lives where it seems like our challenges are coming at us in quick successions from all directions and we are completely overwhelmed by the different stages at which they surface. Perhaps the hassles caused by unemployment led to cracks in your relationship as well as the development of a mental oppression. Maybe you even have a demanding job which has been causing some hitches in your home and in a bid to salvage your home and family; you are also at the end of losing a high-paying job coupled with the development of a medical condition as a result of the stress. Perhaps you are very close to being on probation in school, coupled with problems at home and also kissed by the strain of financial challenge. Under the accumulated weight of all of these coming at you, you feel your world is spinning out of control. And if the story of your circumstances can be made into a movie, the title will be ‘Things are falling apart’. Day by Day, your circumstances appear to be progressively worse despite your efforts in trying to hold everything together. It appears as if life is hitting hard with some heavy blow and knock-out punches.
In such times of despair, what do you do? At such desperate times, when you honestly don’t know the next step to take.
And Jehoshaphat FEARED, and set himself to SEEK THE LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 2Ch.20:3 (KJV)

Something very profound happened when Jehoshaphat received the intelligence report that a huge force is on its way to fight him. He feared. King Jehoshaphat’s first reaction was fear. This tells us a lot about his personality. He was a regular guy with blood and water running through his veins. He was not a valiant warrior king whose dexterity at fighting wars is second to none. He was just like us. When he received the bad report that three blood-thirsty nations were teaming us against him, he did what you and I would have done – he panicked!
I want to draw your attention to the fact that even in his fears he sought the Lord. Troubled times are not the times you should run away from God or get bitter, angry, frustrated or waiver in your faith. Challenging times are opportunities to prove that the word works. Even in your fears, don’t take away your gaze from Jesus, and bask in his love because His perfect love casts out all fear.
Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the LORD in the front of the new courtyard and said: “O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. POWER AND MIGHT ARE IN YOUR HAND, AND NO ONE CAN WITHSTAND YOU. (2Ch.20:5-6)

Instead of telling God about his fears, King Jehoshaphat was telling his fears about God. Instead of relaying his fears to the Lord and lamenting about how their enemies outnumbered them, Jehoshaphat centered his prayer and petitions on how big and powerful his God is. He proclaimed that no one is able to withstand the Lord not even the forces of Moab, Ammon and the Meunites put together. In hopeless situation, Jehoshaphat hoped in the Lord.

You won’t have to lift a hand in this battle; JUST STAND FIRM, Judah and Jerusalem, and watch GOD’s saving work for you take shape. Don’t be afraid, don’t waver. March out boldly tomorrow–GOD is with you.” 2Ch.20:17 (MSG)

The best thing to do when you don’t know what to do is to stand firm – stand your ground. Standing firm does not connote inactivity or doing nothing. It is a position of hope anchored on Jesus and a confident expectation that everything is turning around for good. It is a position of unwavering faith declaring boldly that, ‘Faithful is He that has promised, faithful is He who will also do it.’ It is a position where you are established in the faithfulness and ability of God. When the armies of Pharaoh were chasing the Israelites, Moses simply declared to the terrified Israelites, “”Don’t be afraid. Stand firm and watch GOD do his work of salvation for you today. Take a good look at the Egyptians today for you’re never going to see them again. (Exo.14:13 MSG)”

When you are caught in a seemingly hopeless situation, learn to position yourself – stand firm and see the saving power of Jesus at work on your behalf. He will never leave you nor forsake you. And as you center yourself, your thoughts, your beliefs and your hopes on him; He will lead you concerning what to do, just as He led Jehoshaphat to a triumphant victory over his enemies.

No one can withstand our God…not even your medical report, financial strain, family issues, insecurity, fears etc. God, who rebuked the wind and turned a raging storm to a great calm. God, who raised the dead and conquered the grave. God, who made the lame walk, the blind see, and the deaf hear. God, who turned bland water into the finest wine. God, who suspended the heavens above the earth without concrete pillars. God, who multiplied five loaves of bread and two fishes to feed a population of 5000. God, who rained manna from heaven and brought forth water out of dry rock. God, who helped Judah to overcome her enemies without even lifting a finger in the battle. God, who helped the Israelites bring down the walls of Jericho without bulldozers and caterpillars. God, who led His people in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Nothing can withstand our God.

There will be challenges, troubles, trials and issues to deal with in this world. But you can rest in Jesus, be encouraged in Him, continue to hope in Him, and know beyond the shadow of a doubt that He will see you through your adversities. He always leads us in triumph. With Him, it is always a perpetual victory parade. He has already overcome the world! On your part, determine to be of good cheer, rejoice in the Lord always and keep having a confident expectation of good.

Greater years are still ahead!

@simokool

FINDING HOPE WHEN ALL SEEMS HOPELESS

 
1 Comment

Posted by on July 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , ,

Aside

And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years…Mark 5:25
Let’s take a quick walk into the life of the woman with hemorrhage for twelve years
She was a high profile career woman who had everything at her beck and call. In her garage were fleet of posh cars; her mansion is such an architectural masterpiece that the Society of Engineers had to use it to grace their annual Engineering Innovations’ magazine cover; the exquisite furniture in her living room is second to none. The clothes and jewelries in her wardrobe were always having a ‘confab’ fighting for her attention to be picked. She is well respected by all and sundry. Her husband walks in the streets with his shoulders high for being the hubby of such a successful woman. Her children are known all over the city because of their mother’s profile of upper-class elite. She has so much reserve in foreign bank accounts and every indigenous bank have been looking for that rare privilege to have her bank with them. She seems to have everything all together.
Like every other woman, she had her monthly menstrual cycle which normally lasts for three days. But this particular one had stayed on through the fifth day. She was scared. She immediately picked her phone to call a female family doctor who told her there is no ‘biggie’ about the unusual variation, as hers lasts for seven days. Waoh! What a soothing comfort to her misery! The Doctor convinced her that it must just be one of those unusual variations. But alas! The story is still unfolding. The flow of blood didn’t stop on the seventh day; it became a fountain pumping out ceaseless flow of blood.
Let me take you back to the Law of Moses because that was their operating rule as Christ had not yet died and the law held sway.

The Law of Moses states that, “If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, but not at the time of her monthly period, or has a discharge that continues beyond the time of her period, she is unclean the same as during the time of her period. Every bed on which she lies during the time of the discharge and everything on which she sits becomes unclean the same as in her monthly period. Anyone who touches these things becomes unclean and must wash his clothes and bathe in water; he remains unclean until evening (Lev.15:25-27 MSG).

Since the flow of blood remained continuous, it means she can never be clean. She remains ceremonially unclean. If you touch the same door knob she has touched you become unclean too. You must not have any contact with whatever she has come in contact with lest you become unclean. What a dilemma!

She had to resign from her workplace as the Chairman, Board of Directors left her with no choice because nobody wants to relate with an unclean woman. The company was losing clients solely because of her. Her husband can no longer share the same bed with her let alone allow her prepare dinner for the kids. She was in isolation. Her very own immediate family was avoiding having contact with her. The husband could no longer bear it as its obvious she may never be out of the dilemma. The husband vacated the house for her, and took the kids to Granny’s house. The mansion that was the cynosure of all eyes had become the island of desolation. The cooks, cleaners, housemaid and everyone else working in the house had to leave.

She had not been negligent of herself; she had tried every means she had to get her wholeness but, all to no avail. She had sold the posh cars, mansions, jewelries, furniture, clothes and every other valuable she had left to service the best medical attention to herself but all was an effort in futility. She became a laboratory specimen. Respectable Doctors, Consultants and Specialists took all her money leaving her worse. She had exhausted the queue of long succession of Physicians waiting to treat her.

A woman that once had everything all together is now an object of public ridicule and shame. No taxi driver wanted to render their service to her because that’s bad business for them as their taxi becomes unclean till evening. She had to fall in love with a new means of transportation called ‘foot-wagen’. She was dejected, rejected and isolated. She had nothing left on her. She had lost all including relationships.

Then, she overheard neighbours relaying the track record of a new Physician who heals every diseased person that comes to him. But that news didn’t really excite her because of her past dealings with Physicians. Every Physician that had treated her had left an indelible memory on her mind as they caused her enough psychological traumas from the numerous haemostatis and Kleihauer test, the piercing surgical knives, infringements of the syringe and needles, and the uncountable pills consumed but, without a cure. However, she was snapped out of her thinking state when she heard from the ongoing discussions among her neighbours that this new Physician makes people whole without collecting a dime and since she had nothing to lose but everything to gain if the reports were true, she decided to harness this opportunity with every energy she’s got.

I’m sure you know the end of the story.

For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” Mark 5:28

Whatever you are going through, you will see God happening at the same time. At the same time, the dead son of the widow of Nain was being carried out through the city gates; a Jesus that could raise the dead was also passing. When a terrific storm came up suddenly on the lake and the ship was about to capsize, a Jesus that could rebuke the wind and raging waters was also present with the terrified disciples in the boat. While the first wine was running out at the wedding at Cana of Galilee, a Jesus that could produce the best wine was also present at the wedding. When Peter looked at the boisterous wind beneath his feet and started sinking, we saw a Jesus that can help Peter up available too. All you need is to make a choice of what gets your attention. If you look at your circumstances, you will be shut down, if you look at Jesus, you will have a reason to hope. As long as Peter kept his gaze on Jesus, he was walking on water; as soon as the boisterous wind got his attention, he started sinking. When we fix our eyes on Jesus and make him the center of our lives, we will definitely walk above the churning waters of our situations and circumstances. Fixing our gaze on the boisterous waves of our challenges can only make us to begin to sink into the raging tempest of despair.

The woman with the issue of blood was resolute on seeing Jesus. She was so sure that all she needed was to touch Jesus. For the first time, she silenced the voice of her circumstances. She didn’t care about what people would say. She didn’t even bother if her touching of Jesus would make him ‘unclean’. All she wanted was just to touch Jesus. The circumstances had been her master for twelve years, but at the instant she determined to see Jesus, she was full of hope again.

For whatever was thus written in former days was written for our instruction, that by [our steadfast and patient] endurance and the encouragement [drawn] from the Scriptures we might hold fast to and cherish hop Rom.15:4(AMP).

Friends! I know your situation and circumstances are very real. In fact as you are reading this, the thought of some of them is flashing across your mind. Storms are good at doing that. They overwhelm you. Wave after waves of relentless battering that knocks you off your feet till every ounce of energy is used up and you feel so weak, abandoned, lonely and dejected. But don’t go by those negative feelings and emotions. Feelings, circumstances and human conjectures can’t be compared to the Father’s goodness. Live by the truth of God’s word, which encourages you to be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid and do not panic.

Live life with confidence and assurance because the one who created the Universe is the shepherd of your life. He is not the Father that goes ahead of you in a separate boat and leaves you in your own sinking boat. He is the Father that comes to you in the midst of the storm and leads you to victory every time.

Things are getting better for you. If it is not good and perfect, then God is not through yet. He that created time isn’t bound by it. Anchor your thoughts and emotions on the unshakable word of God. Let the word of God have your focus and not your problems.

We win always!

@simokool

THE DOOR OF HOPE IN THE VALLEY OF TROUBLE

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Aside

Jericho was the first walled city the Israelites had ever encountered. Jericho was shut up with iron doors and bars of brass because of the children of Israel. Jericho resolved Israel shall not be her Master. It was shut up by the obstinacy and resolution of the inhabitants who agreed never to surrender. Their hearts were hardened in a way that no one could go out – probably to make peace or sign a treaty with the Israelites and no one could come in so the Israelites also would not be able to charge in or possess the land. It was more of an irrevocable decision by the inhabitants of Jericho.
God’s intention was that Israel conquers Jericho along with its King and warriors and He communicated to Joshua how the city should be besieged. God gave them his divine strategy – “March around the city, all your soldiers. Circle the city once. Do it for six days. Have seven priests carry seven ram’s horn trumpets in front of the Chest. On the seventh day march around the city seven times, the priests blowing away on the trumpets. And then, a long blast on the ram’s horn–when you hear that, all the people are to shout at the top of their lungs. The city wall will collapse at once. All the people are to enter, every man straight on in”. (Joshua 6:3-5 MSG)
Ordinarily, priests were excused from war. To the human mind, it may seem foolish to obey and believe a promise which in ordinary sense seemed impossible to be realized. They patiently bore the reproaches of their enemies and patiently waited for God. Thus, by faith not force, the walls of Jericho came down crumbling.
1. March!
Here’s what you are to do: March around the city, all your soldiers. Circle the city once. Repeat this for six days. Joshua 6:3
These were professional soldiers. They are skilled combatants. The only instruction they probably needed was for their leader, Joshua to strategically position them on how to demolish or bring down the wall, and then give the go ahead. They were all waiting for their commander to come out with a military winning strategy to achieve their aim. They were bewildered on hearing the Master say to them all they needed to do is march around the city once and repeat the cycle for 6days.
“Master Joshua, shall we be having a military parade round a city we need to conquer? This is a serious task that needs a winning strategy not a military procession. This is not a swearing-in ceremony or a passing-out ceremony of comrades”, a sergeant mutters. The entire army, which were literally hundreds of thousands of men, should walk around the city wall once a day for six-days – that’s a sheer waste of man-power and underutilization of resources, you may say.
The greatly fortified city of Jericho presented an impossible situation and God gave them winning formula that made light their skill.
God may have positioned you in a divine location and you honestly feel you could have been in a ‘better’ place; you have ‘better’ options. In many scenarios, we try to understand and reason out God’s instructions before carrying them out. They went around the city for six days; it looked like they were walking around in circles with no apparent progress and achievement. They would pass for a skillful boxer punching the air and missing his punches. In situations like this, when we get instructions that tweaks or disabuses our thinking, it’s imperative to just ‘March’ according to his bidding. When God asks you to take steps that makes little sense and seem unrelated to the victory you seek, just follow it through.
The progress may not be visible when carrying it out. Just stick with it. Does it look like a seemingly foolish plan? Just March! Act it out in faith!
2. Shut Up and March!
Joshua had given orders to the people, “Don’t shout. In fact, don’t even speak–not so much as a whisper until you hear me say, ‘Shout!’–then shout away!” Joshua 6:10

Sometimes the best way to carry out God’s instructions is to shut out your voice of reasoning and act it out. Stop whining and moaning around. The earlier you realized that, the better. You keep moaning about God’s instruction, wanting to create a ‘pity-party’ for yourself. Stop the lamentations; quit complaining and just march.
It would interest you to know that not everybody is interested in your convictions. They only want to see the results. So, why keep explaining your convictions to people that are only interested in the results. I feel that’s the number one source of discouragement. They were not there when you saw ‘Moses and Elijah’ on the mount of transfiguration, so you shouldn’t expect them to always gel with the instruction.
When you start hearing words like, “With your educational status, do you honestly feel there is any iota of intelligence in what you are doing? Are you sure this is a viable career path to follow? Those that have experience and are well-grounded in this market have done this business and failed, you honestly don’t have a chance. You are too big for what you are doing, you are under-utilising your skills and capacity”. It’s not the time to get discouraged, just keep marching with diligence
We might want to take a cue from the Shunamite woman, She didn’t speak to Gehazi but she spoke to Elisha. God’s got this!
3. Don’t stop on 6
When the seventh day came, they got up early and marched around the city this same way but seven times–yes, this day they circled the city seven times. Jos.6:15

The priests blew the trumpets. When the people heard the blast of the trumpets, they gave a thunderclap shout. The wall fell at once. The people rushed straight into the city and took it. Jos.6:20
They had gone round the city wall for six days and on the seventh day, they circled it seven times making thirteen times. They marched round the wall of Jericho thirteen times. They did it for six days and nothing visible happened but on the seventh day, the wall of Jericho fell down flat.
You are closer than you think you are. You have been persistent and diligent with the instruction and it all looks like an effort in futility and sheer waste of time; it’s not an excuse to give up, just hold your peace. Don’t stop on the sixth round, go the seventh round. Can you imagine a 600level student of Medicine wanting to quit because he’s spent quite a number of years when he has just one year left to becoming a full-fledge medical doctor? Remember what God told you when you started; reminiscence on why you started. There is more to come! There is a ‘hereafter’!
Don’t worry about how the wall of Jericho would fall flat. Your part of the bargain is to march around it. Leave the outcome to God. While you are working it out, God is working in you to make the victory manifest. It’s still a sure thing!
Just as He gave Joshua his word of assurance, God is saying the same to you; I have given Jericho, its king and mighty men of valor, into your hands.

So don’t throw it all away now. You were sure of yourselves then. It’s still a sure thing! Heb.10:35 (MSG)

No regrets! Stay assured, it’s an unsinkable ground wherein you stand. It’s still a sure thing!

@simokool

IT’S STILL A SURE THING

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , ,

Aside

There was a wedding at Cana of Galilee and Mary, the mother of Jesus was present at the wedding. Jesus and his disciples were also guests at the wedding. While the reception was on, they discovered they were running low on wine. Shortage of provisions when guests are invited to a wedding banquet is considered a sore humiliation. The mother of Jesus in a bid to salvage the situation and save the face of the celebrants came to Jesus for a solution.
The interest which Mary took in the feast and the way in which she addressed the servants, suggests that she was a close friend or a relative of the bridegrooms family. She narrated the unfortunate situation to Jesus and made a petition to him to remedy the situation. Mary could recall the circumstances that surrounded his birth, how that the shepherds were watching over their flock at night and the Angels appeared to them and told them that the Saviour was born. They came in haste and confirmed what the Angels had told them as they saw the babe lying in the manger with his Mother. Mary couldn’t have forgotten so soon how he dazed the teachers of the religious law at age 12. Mary must have heard of what happened at his baptism [where suddenly a voice came from Heaven saying, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased”] and of the proclamation which John the Baptist had made concerning him [Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world], and seeing a group of disciples gathered around him, it was very reasonable for her to expect him to do something which would reveal the purposes for which he had been born and manifest in the light of the prophecies and declarations that had gone ahead of him.
His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” John 2:5

The ‘whatever’ sounds more like, don’t question or try to reason out anything He asks you to do. Yours is not to consider the viability or feasibility of the instruction, just do it. ‘Whatever’ means no restriction to what He can ask you to do. His mother knew He was about to do something extraordinary, so she beckoned on the servants for instant execution.

God’s instructions are for compliance and not for deliberation or negotiation. Follow his instructions wholeheartedly. An instruction obeyed opens up his next move. We should not be too carried away with religious activities at the expense of his instructions. Joseph and Mary travelled 3days before they found out that Jesus wasn’t with them. You shouldn’t have gone too far before realizing you are running on assumptions. We should not trivialize his instructions; they are our guiding light. His instructions should set us on course. We should be sensitive to what new phase or level of instruction He will have us attain.

Jesus said to them, “Fill the water-pots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. John 2:7

Jesus didn’t ask them to go and borrow waterpots. The water pots He wanted them to use was specified and readily available. The content to fill the waterpots with was specified. And they obeyed by filling the water pots such that nothing else could be added. Everything they needed to carry out the instructions was readily available. Jesus could have asked them to use the empty vessels used to hold the previous wine that was running out, but rather he asked them to use the same set of waterpots that were used for ablution purposes. The waterpots never had wine in them.

God’s instructions are not mathematical methods comprising of real, imaginary or complex numbers. His instructions are express, no ambiguity in them. They are not burdensome, embedded in them are the capsules for its manifestation.

And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. John 2:8-9

The servants had tenable reasons for not obeying the instructions to the letter but these words kept ringing in their heart, “whatever He asks you to do, just do it”. When Jesus told them to fill the waterpots with water, they did it wholeheartedly because they had read that Wine contains 85 to 90% of water. They knew they were still on course. I could imagine them colliding with one another when trying to fill the waterpots with water. For the first time in their career, they have been afforded the opportunity to learn how to produce wine from the scratch. They are about to witness a wine manufacturing process without paying a dime. ‘This is a great entrepreneurial breakthrough for us’, they said to themselves. ‘It’s such a rare privilege to have a CEO of a wine manufacturing company as a guest at this wedding’, one of the servant muttered.

They were very attentive; they wanted to hear the next set of mineral component to be mixed with the water. Their papers and pen were ready to write ‘step 2’ as they already had ‘step 1’ on paper [Fill jars with water to the brim]. But alas! Step 1 alone was enough to make the Master’s wine ready. At the point of drawing out the water, it turned wine.

God is responsible for the outcome. How he does it is not yours to worry about. Don’t help him add ‘step 2’ to it when he only stopped at ‘step 1’. God cannot be put in a box. Even if he has to flout everything you have ever read about the outcome, just be still. That is why it is called a miracle – a supernatural intervention brought to bare by ‘seemingly’ ordinary human actions.

The widow of Zarephath had reasonable reasons not to heed to Elijah’s instructions of preparing his ration first. It was her last meal but she followed through with the word of the Lord. She enjoyed abundance in her jar of meal and bottle of oil. The walls of Jericho came down on the account of men heeding to God’s instructions of marching around the city. The best wine was produced not out of the finest mixtures of mineral compositions but out of simply following Jesus’ bidding to fill the water-pots with water and draw out a cup to the governor of the ceremony. Who would have thought that the net-breaking harvest of fishes that Peter enjoyed is impregnated on the sincere act of letting down his net into the deep at Jesus’ word.

The water turned to wine when the maid was carrying out the instructions from Jesus. Following through God’s instructions is key to enjoying the miraculous.
The 5loaves and 2fishes kept on multiplying in the hands of the disciples as they gave it to the congregation until they had 12 baskets left over. The miracle happened in the cause of carrying out the instruction. Get a word and follow through.

Write that proposal! Walk up to that person! Submit your CV to that particular company! Start that business! Take those professional certifications! Attend that seminar! Sow that seed! Propose to that sister! (winks)! Take that job offer! Relocate to that City! Start that ministry! Serve in that department! Release that ego, say Sorry! Heed that call to ministry! Say Yes to that Brother’s proposal!

Whatever the instruction is, just do it! Launch out into the deep, it’s a net-breaking harvest.

*While writing this article, some words were so strong in my heart and I believe it’s for someone.
1. The same waterpots that were used for ablutions brought forth the best wine. It’s not over till you win. Things are changing. Tides are turning. Everything is turning around for good.
2. Your world is waiting too but fear has taken over your soul. No limitations! Fear Not! Just Do It!*

@simokool

JUST DO IT!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , ,