RSS

Archives

Aside

There is an interesting event that happened to Paul and Silas in the Bible which is really worthy of note as it holds a lot for the times we are in. On a particular day, Paul and Silas were on their way to the place of prayer as it was their usual custom, a slave girl ran into them. She was a psychic and, with her fortunetelling, made a lot of money for the people who owned her. She started following Paul around, calling everyone’s attention to them by yelling, “These men are working for the Most High God. They’re laying out the road of salvation for you!” She did this for a number of days until Paul, finally fed up of the daily yelling, turned to her and commanded the spirit that possessed her, “In the name of Jesus Christ, get out of her!” And instantly, the spirit left her.

When her owners saw that their lucrative little business was suddenly bankrupt, they went after Paul and Silas, roughed them up and dragged them into the market square. Then the police arrested them and pulled them into a court with the accusation, “These men are disturbing the peace of the land–dangerous Jewish agitators subverting our Roman law and order.”

By this time the crowd had turned into a restless mob out for blood. The judges went along with the mob, had Paul and Silas’s clothes ripped off and ordered a public beating. After beating them black and blue, they threw them into jail, telling the jailkeeper to put them under heavy guard so there would be no chance of escape. The jailer did just that–threw them into the maximum security cell in the jail and clamped leg irons on them.

Have you ever been in a situation where it seemed like you were getting less than you deserved or in a scenario where you are being persecuted for doing good all because some people are feeding fat on the products of a corrupt system? Paul and Silas should have been given National Honours for casting a devil out of the nation but what they got was the treatment a public enemy deserved. The whole world was against them for fighting a just cause and that earned them a place not in the Presidential villa but in the maximum prison meant for hardened criminals.

Along about midnight, Paul and Silas were at prayer and singing a robust hymn to God. The other prisoners couldn’t believe their ears. Acts 16:25 MSG

But, despite the treatment these men received, Paul and Silas were not bitter about their circumstances. They were fully aware of what they were up against yet they weren’t too bitter to praise. Their legs and feet were bound but their mouth wasn’t. They kept on praising despite the fact that they were on a seemingly dead end. The chains and fetters were real, the brass of Iron Gate was not imaginary but they held on to the truth that is greater than their reality – not even their condition could stop their praise.

#1 Your Praise is doing more than you think

When Life hits hard and it looks like hell is let loose on you; when you are faced with questions of Life that you don’t really have a grip on and when the challenges you are going through are too much for your age and experience. If there is anything you must not lose in times like this, it’s your praise.

There is no mountain too big for you to move and no trials too difficult to overcome if you will keep your praise switch ON. Your praise in the midst of grievous oppositions, bitter hostility, and stormy times is faith in action. Your praise is a declaration of God’s rule and reign in your affairs.

Your praise is an affirmation that God is working it out for your good – making a masterpiece out of the broken pieces. Your praise releases the ability and energy of God in you and propels you out of a place of defeat and depression into complete victory. Your praise releases your authority and proclaims your superiority and dominance over the enemy. Your praise makes the triumph of Christ real to principalities and power. Your praise strikes fear in every enemy of God and sends confusion to the camp of the enemies. Your praise is an affirmation that your trust and hope is in God. Your praise is a testimony of your faith in God’s promise and thankfulness for his glorious mercy.

#2 God is in your praise

Let’s take our place outside with Jesus, no longer pouring out the sacrificial blood of animals but pouring OUT SACRIFICIAL PRAISES FROM OUR LIPS TO GOD IN JESUS’ NAME. Heb.13:15 MSG

Sometimes your praise is a sacrifice. It is not something convenient for you, it’s costing you something. It’s a thanksgiving that takes the spotlight off your prevailing trials and travails of life and magnifies the Lord’s faithfulness. When Life hits you hard and all you can say is “Thank You Jesus”, Life hits you again and your response remains the same. Suddenly, you begin to see God at work in your life, working behind the scenes and turning your storms into divine orchestrations leading to his eternal plan and purpose for your life.

Instead of whining and getting frustrated about life, let the praise on your lips burst forth. Even in the night and midnight hours of your life, there is praise on your inside like streams of water locked up. In the midst of Apostle Paul’s many beatings and multiple shipwrecks, he also learned to rejoice. In Php.4:4, he said “Rejoice in the Lord always. And again I say Rejoice”. Life’s trials will seem so small when the high praise of God is in your mouth.

#3 Don’t be too bitter to praise

Don’t be too bitter or disappointed about life not to always have a praise break. A praise break could be as simple as just lifting your hands to heaven and saying, “Father, thank You because you are at work in me! Thank you because your thoughts towards me are of good and not of evil! Thank you Father because you are good and your mercy endures forever! I will bless you at all times with everything in me! You Oh Lord are my source and sustainer”. There is no chain that can bind up the spirit of a person who is full of praise.

Probably you are recounting the events that have occurred in your life and you really do not see why you should praise God because previous happenings in your life have been marked by hurts, pains, disappointments, heartbreaks, failures, betrayals and every heart-rending events you can think of. But the truth is God’s best is never in your past. God’s best is never in who left you but in who you are still going to meet. Think of everything seemingly terrible that has ever happened to you and you would realize it wasn’t the worst. The worst did not happen to you; not because the Devil was mild or played fair, but because of God’s mercy and faithfulness. Here you are still standing, the devil meant it for your end but God said NO. You have a hand to lift, a foot to dance, a mouth to praise. Why not just take a praise break and just give a shout of praise to God.

Instead of sulking around about the insecurity of the nation and the emergence of the deadly Ebola virus, why not thank him because you are in the secret place of the most high and all your sicknesses and diseases have been taken away. If you can’t thank him for who left you, why not thank him for whom He is bringing your way. If you can’t thank him for your present unemployed status, why not thank Him for the dream job coming your way. If you can’t thank him for anything, why not praise him for the gift of Life. If you can’t thank him for what you lost, why not thank him for the restoration he’s working out for you. If you can’t thank him for the stages of your life you seem not to understand, why not thank him because all things are working together for your good and your steps are ordered. Praise him because you are wonderfully and fearfully made. Praise him because after the storm, there is going to be calmness where He wraps everything up.

Paul had been snake bit, beat in the head and left for dead, suffered multiple shipwrecks, was imprisoned on numerous occasions, yet he could still stand up and say, “I am more than conqueror”. Even when he was forced to spend the end of his life in chains, Paul still wrote the book of Philippians – a short letter that mentions joy and rejoicing 16times. His praise was always conditioning his attitude and response to life.

Praise is vocal. It can be seen and heard by others. We see a great example of this in Acts 16, Paul and Silas were imprisoned, their hands and feet in stocks, but the authorities forgot to tape their mouths shut! I like to say that as long as you have your voice, there is no prison that can hold you. Your voice is your address in the realm of the Spirit.

Just believe what the Word says Jesus has done for you. Think about it, talk about it, sing about it, and shout it at the rooftop. And do these continually, do it every day. Make it a lifestyle. No matter what challenges you might be facing today, the divine strategy is to send praise ahead of you.

Have a great weekend!

@simokool

SEND PRAISE AHEAD

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , ,

Aside

But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them Mark 15:11
Mark 15:6-15 portrays a scenario which I believe it’s very profound to the work of redemption. The Chief Priests with the religious leaders and scholars arranged a congress with the entire Jewish Council where Jesus was tried and was later presented to Pilate. It was a custom at the feast of Passover to release a prisoner, anyone the people asked for.
There was one prisoner called Barabbas. He and some others had been arrested for murder during a riot. As a usual custom, Pilate asked the people who they wanted to be freed. Pilate expected them to support the releasing of Jesus because he didn’t find any fault in him but he was appalled when the crowd gave their unflinching support for Barabbas to be released. And Pilate desiring to do what was pleasing to the people let Barabbas go free and gave up Jesus to be crucified according to their wish.
Barabbas had committed insurrection against the government and a murderer too. Barabbas was a threat to national peace and security. The presence of Barabbas alone is a threat to the security of lives and property. Barabbas had masterminded a lot of terrorism attacks with series of bomb blasts that claimed thousands of innocent souls and massive destruction of properties and amenities. Barabbas is a number one public enemy. Any Government would give half of its annual budget to anyone with useful information on how to arrest Barabbas. Now that the Roman Government had arrested the public enemy that troubled the peace of Rome, as a result of envy the Chief priest incited the mob to release the most-wanted person in Rome.
Jesus, on the other hand had been giving life everywhere he went. He was setting the captives free, healing the broken hearted, proclaiming liberty to them that are in bondage, healing all forms of sicknesses and diseases, raising the dead, giving recovery of sight to them that are blind. He was giving a higher and better life to the people than they ever dreamed of…preaching the good news. Jesus wasn’t a threat to the security of lives and property; rather he went about giving life and undoing all the works of the enemy.
Barabbas was released and set free but Jesus was crucified. The innocent went in guilty and was crucified. The guilty one became innocent because the innocent one became guilty. The one who deserved nothing was crucified and the one that deserved every judgement and punishment could go free because of what Jesus did. Barabbas was given a clean slate. He was granted Presidential pardon as though he had never done any wrong all because the sinless man became guilty. It was a beautiful exchange. The guilty became righteous because the innocent one was crucified and punished for the crime he didn’t commit.
Every Barabbas should go free because Jesus went to the cross. Jesus took our punishment and God gave us credit for Jesus’ perfection. The reason we can’t be punished was because someone innocent went in and received the punishment on our behalf. The Incarnation of Deity and humanity in the babe of Bethlehem solved the problem and agony of mankind. We became justified simply because of Jesus’ perfect substitutionary sacrifice on the cross. We became “JUST-IF-WE’D-NEVER-SINNED”.
Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ took our place and fro every sin you and I have committed and will ever commit, He bore it at the tree and He was punished so that we will not be punished. He was condemned. He took our place, so that we might take his place – a position of power, dominion and authority. He became sin that we might become the righteousness of God. He became our curse that we might be blessed. He cried, “My God, My God! Why have you forsaken me?” so that our cry might be, “My Father, My Father! Why have you so loved me this much?”
If the greatest need of humanity was food, God would have sent an Agriculturist with vast experience and skills in Commercial farming. If our greatest need was information, God would have sent an educationist. If the greatest need of mankind were to be condemnation and criticism, I guess the Devil was already doing a good job with that so God wouldn’t have intervened. Our greatest need is not technology, if it had been, God would have sent a Scientist with so much technological innovations. If the greatest need of mankind was pleasure, God would have sent an entertainer. The greatest need of mankind was redemption and forgiveness of sins, so God sent a Saviour.
The gospel is the good news about Christ. The centrality of the gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The gospel is the power of God at work saving everyone who believes. The good news is about the beautiful exchange, the sinless man punished that the guilty one might become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. What a beautiful exchange!
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 2Cor.5:19
God has given us the ministry of reconciliation and has entrusted to us the ministry of reconciliation – bringing others back to him. The ministry of reconciliation is simply proclaiming that the sin problem has been settled in the body of Christ because God is not putting their sins into their account as Christ paid it all. The enmity between man and God has been abolished. Man has been redeemed and freely forgiven.
We’ve been given the responsibility of bringing the world back to him. It is not the era of a sinner in the hand of an angry God; it’s the dawn of a sinner in the hands of a loving God. God wants us to shout it at the top of the mountains and hills that every Barabbas should go free because Jesus went to the cross. The message of reconciliation is telling every Barabbas that there is no more enmity between him and God. The message is proclaiming to every Barabbas of the better and abundant life that is in Christ Jesus. It’s no longer the ministry of condemnation; it’s the ministry of reconciliation.
It would interest you to know that Jesus didn’t die with a pointing finger. He died with his arms wide open and it was deliberate. His loving arms are ever wide open to receive every Barabbas. There’s a home in Jesus. God gave Jesus up to rescue every Barabbas. Every Barabbas needs to hear about the love of the Father. It will never be about our love for him, but His love for us (1 John 4:10). That’s our message!
The cross was heavy, the blood was real, and the price was extravagant. It would have bankrupted you or me, so He paid it for us – Max Lucado

@simokool

BEAUTIFUL EXCHANGE

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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

Whether or not it admits it, the world is looking for God. The natural man is God hungry. He is Eternal Life hungry. He may not know it, he may not understand himself, but when he hears the gospel, it stirs him to the very depths of his being. Revealing God is an answer to the heart cry of man. The world is looking for God.
The wise men from the east of Jerusalem sought for Jesus [Mat.2:1-11]. They have access to Herod. They have treasures (wealth). They have a name that is recognized throughout the nations – wise men from the East. They are close friends of the President of the United States of America. These guys are billionaires in dollars. They have connections in the White House and United Nations. They have a name the world respects; their name opens doors, associating with them alone is a plus to your Curriculum Vitae. Presidents of nations are competing to have these guys visit them. Any multinational that sees their name as one of your referees automatically gives you the job. They have strings of companies that contribute to world economic growth. You can’t have a world economic forum without inviting them. The high and mighty in the society wants to ‘famz’ them. Getting their business card is like getting a green card in America. Their pictures have been the cover picture of Forbes’ magazine on numerous occasions and they are always on TIME’s list of influential people in the world. These men have everything.
Theologians have proven that when they came to Jesus, they came with truck load of gold. They have everything, yet they sought Jesus to worship him. It means that the best the world can offer [riches, wealth, possessions, societal status…] can’t be compared to seeking and finding Jesus. Jesus had not done any miracle then, he was just a little boy of about 2years old. He had not raised the dead or cleansed the lepers. A voice had not yet come from Heaven saying “this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased”. John the Baptist had not proclaimed him as the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. He had not yet turned water into wine or made five loaves of bread and two fishes feed a population of 5,000, yet they sought the baby Jesus. It means that God at his weakest [just a baby then] is more powerful, potent and able than the best the world can offer.
Don’t be deceived by the fleet of plush cars, luxury of the buildings, the fat bank account or the reserves in the Swiss bank. There is a longing in the heart of man that can’t be met by all these things. There is a void in the heart of man that shaking hands with the President of World Powers can’t solve. Don’t be carried away by the poise of the blazers, the eloquence, or the awesome display of the sensual wisdom. Beyond all these, the world is asking, where can we find Jesus? Would you take me to Jesus? They may wear a straight face and seem to play an ‘i-don’t-care’ attitude but deep down in them, they are yearning for God.
When I arrived here the other day, I was fascinated with all the shrines I came across. And then I found one inscribed, TO THE GOD NOBODY KNOWS. I’m here to introduce you to this God so you can worship intelligently, know who you’re dealing with. Acts 17:23(MSG)
We are here on earth to draw the world to Jesus. We are here to reveal the answers about the ‘unknown God’ in the heart of men, making the ‘unknown’ in their heart become ‘known’. Man knows that God exists but all the expressions and presentations of Him that he has seen does not corroborate with his ‘knowing’. Then he turns to other sources of seeking out this ‘unknown God’, he turns to science and nature to seek this.
The Body of Christ (the true church of God) remains the only station with the perfect expression of God. The Body of Christ is the loudest voice of Divinity on earth. God is in his church. God is in the body of believers.
I remember ‘New General Mathematics’ was the recommended textbook for Mathematics during my high school days. What strikes me most about the textbook are some of the exercises that comes under the heading ‘Finding the Unknown’. Most of the time, the unknown we are always finding are ‘x, y, or z’ and till today, our younger brothers and sisters are still looking for ‘x’.
There was a man there, his name Zacchaeus, THE HEAD TAX MAN AND QUITE RICH. He wanted DESPERATELY TO SEE JESUS, BUT THE CROWD WAS IN HIS WAY–he was a short man and couldn’t see over the crowd. Luke 19:2-3

Just like Zacchaeus, the world is desperately seeking Jesus but the crowd of religion, man-made ideas, traditions, pseudo ambassadors of Christ, pseudo ministers of the Gospel, false doctrines are in their way. They can’t see over the crowd of people misrepresenting Jesus – making Jesus impossible to see. The Pharisees and teachers of religious law are teaching as doctrines the commandment of men and making the good news look like Gospel of Bondage and Slavery and making light of the finished work of Christ [propagating the good news as though Christ never died, buried and resurrected]. But I see the true body of Christ standing tall and firmly fixed as the Sycamore tree which when Zacchaeus climbed saw Jesus.

In like manner as the Ethiopian Eunuch who was a minister in charge of all the finances of Candace; Queen of Ethiopia reading the book of Isaiah but couldn’t understand until Philip joined his chariot and explained what it meant [Acts 8:30-38]. The world is faced with so many mysteries that can’t be fathomed and they are asking, ‘Where is God’? They need someone to explain the mysteries to them. I see the Body of Christ displaying the multifarious wisdom of God, demystifying mysteries and making light of the sensual wisdom. I see the body of Christ taking its proper place as the most important force in the world.

There are unknowns in the equations of life. There are ‘x,y,z’ in our day to day activities. There are a lot of happenings and the world does not seem to understand. The scenarios simply opt not to respect the wisdom of man. When they see acts beyond what their five senses could fathom or what their imaginations simply has no room for, they tag them ‘acts of God’. But are they really acts of God? The world is seeking answers; there are a lot of questions begging for answers that religion and traditions does not seem to have a grip on. But in the midst of all these, I see the body of Christ towering above surrounding hills (ideologies, concepts, philosophies of men, man-made ideas), revealing Jesus in his true form and pure expression.
Man cannot discover God, He reveals himself. God is not bitumen or coal that can be discovered by Geoscientists. We are Christ’s representatives – revealing him and drawing the world to him.
There is a desperate yearning in the hearts of men for God. My heart cry is that the body of Christ be properly positioned for what is coming next. I see many ‘impossible’ people drawn to the faith. There is a hunger in the heart of our young men. They don’t want to play games or do tradition anymore. They have had enough of religion and want something real. So where traditional church and religion expected them to stay religious, they could not take it. They didn’t want a fake life devoid of power. God is empowering his church all over the world with the reality of God encounters, the power like never before and the altar of religion being shattered.
We are set for a mighty move of God in our generation. When the earth is giving away, it is the birthing of a new plant. When nations are groaning, there is about to be a revealing of the sons.
I will end on this prophecy for our generation as seen by a man that dwelt in the past.
Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the Lord’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And peoples shall flow to it.
Many nations shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion the law shall go forth, And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. Micah 4:1-2

I love that!
The church of God will be the most important place on earth. It will reach above the hills and every nation will rush to it. And nations will come in haste to Zion to learn how to live God’s way. True teaching and God’s revelation will issue from Zion.

My prayer is that we will see beyond the smallness of our minds and walk in the reality that we are fellow labourers with God. God has given us the task of representing him well and telling everyone of what He is doing. We are channels of Grace and God’s Love.

Out Of Zion, The Perfection Of Beauty, God Shines Forth.Ps.50:2 (Amp)

@simokool

REVEALING THE UNKNOWN GOD

 
1 Comment

Posted by on June 7, 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: , ,