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LET HOPE ARISE

My heart goes out those who are ill and or have lost loved ones due to corona virus. We continue to pray, and I know that God has already given us the breakthrough. We declare healing and restoration in all nations.

This crisis has affected many; but I would like to encourage all to HOPE IN GOD. Adversities bring the best and worst of us. Adversity also helps build our resilience; we also learn from them. For many who may questioning why and when, please be assured that

  • God has not changed His position about us, He is still merciful to forgive, heal and restore. As the Alpha and Omega, God saw the beginning of this crisis and He saw its end too before it started. We can hasten its end though through prayers of humility, repentance and recommitment to Him; but assured that our God sees all, and He sets boundaries on things!
  • Let’s not judge, criticize or blame others for this crisis- Let LOVE be the lens we use to respond to this crisis and to related with one another, LOVE Instead Additionally let us use this time for self-examination; are we in right standing with God? Is there something in us that we need to address with God. I believe this crisis has stirred a wake-up call for believers and the church worldwide. Lamentations 3:40-let us examine our ways and test them and let us return to the Lord.
  • Take the shield of faith– In Ephesians 6, the shield of faith is what deters the darts of darkness and oh how we need that now. The reports on the crisis are discouraging; but let us believe the report of the Lord. God never changes, He is still protecting, preserving, healing and saving. Put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation (1 Thessalonians 5:8) Refuse to be led and fed by fear. The world needs the church now, so the church cannot be afraid, each believer is the church (fyi- fear is faith in the wrong god) It is time to walk by faith towards God and love towards one another
  • Watch our Words- Words are creative and they create both good and bad. Life and death are in the power of the tongue. Believers are prophetic by nature, what we say matters. In a crisis that is marked with death, let be mindful of our words and actions, let us speak life and light into the darkness. The same Spirit that raised Jesus out of grave is alive and active in us; the Word of God is alive and active; Angels of God are active let’s give them some work to do by the declarations of life we should be making!
  •  Do not allow this virus crisis to distract you from your vision or goals– I think this is most critical takeaway in any crisis. Never allow a crisis or any challenge to distract you from your goals. You may not accomplish your goals to the extent you wanted to but consider using this time to re-evaluate your objectives; and identity small objectives that you can do while you wait for things to clear up. The objective can be as a small as reading book you bought 2 years ago. I believe that God will still hold us accountable for what He gave us, and we cannot use a crisis as an excuse to relax. So, find that little thing you can invest in. Do your best to keep the momentum!

Lastly, stay prayed up! Increase your prayer time and devotion this year. Pray as a family since most families together right now. LET HOPE ARISE! This morning, I was encouraged by Lamentations 3:25-26. The Lord is good to those who wait for Him to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. LET HOPE ARISE!

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GOD HAS ALREADY PREQUALIFIED YOU FOR THE TASK

I have heard it said that if you can handle the vision independently, then the vision is too small. Often when Gd calls or assigns us something it may look too grand to handle . My encouragement to you this week is to keep your eyes solely on God- God has already prequalified you for that task

When the vision is too grand; you may feel unqualified for the task. King Saul; Gideon and Moses felt the same . Both Gideon and Moses gave excuses as to why they could not live up to the task; King Saul went into hiding see 1 Samuel 10:20-24. Can you believe that an already confirmed king went hiding on the day of his inauguration? The Lord had to reveal to prophet Samuel where Saul was hiding! 

Do you have a dream; vision; goal or project that you are running away from or avoiding because of its magnitude? I’ve learnt that God prequalifies you before assigning you something .In fact He addresses you by the qualifications of that assignment! Gideon was a mighty man of valor at the time of his appointment; Moses was the deliverer; Abraham a father of nations; Jesus as savior of the earth, also God with us as Emmanuel.Similarly;  God has already prequalified you for what He wants you to do. He will not give you an idea; dream; calling or assignment without preparing you . Endure the preparation process but it’s more important that you accept the call and get it started.

Romans 4:17 God calls those things that are not as though they are– We can run from the vision by looking up to others to direct us or there could be people who think you are not qualified for the task. Do not be intimidated by such people and do not OVERLY rely on people to steward what God has given you . When we do that we disqualify ourself; we loose our creativity and ability to hear from God. We can easily resort to human idolatry( which is sadly loathed after in form of followers; mentoring or  spiritual parenting). Engage God in the vision. Partner with the Holy Spirit for guidance. God is able to make what you think is impossible now possible; He is able to strengthen your weak areas; He is capable of amplifying your voice ; He is capable of making you bold and strong to speak in public. God is capable of giving you wisdom; knowledge, revelation and understanding despite your educational level or experience Acts 4:13- The testimony of Jesus Christ will manifest through you by the Holy Spirit Zechariah 4:6 

My encouragement to you this week is that you stop disqualifying yourself . No matter where you are in life; you already have what it takes to pursue the dream; vision; objective or calling God has placed in your heart. God predestined you and prequalified you already for your destiny , Pursue the vision with total confidence in God.He who has begun a good work in you will see to it that you finish it Philippians 1:6 

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WALKING IN LOVE IN THE MIDST OF AN OFFENSE

After forgiving your offender, the challenge often comes in how to relate with the person after reconciliation. This can be tough based on the nature of the offense and the damage it caused. Among the areas I’ve asked God to help develop is how to relate with the person lovingly through God’s agape love after the offense.

This blog is specific to relationships fostered among friends, associates or acquittances, Loving the offender does not mean agreeing with what they did. Walking in Love does not require reinstitution of the relationship to the level that it was before. There could be a need to set healthy boundaries or to permanently end such relationships.  At times God allows people in our lives to accomplish specific tasks within a given period. Wisdom calls for us to know when seasons with such people have ended. Overstaying a relationship result in hurts and disappointments simply because the person was not meant to stay long-term.

Walking in love towards a person who has offended you requires a level of humility and determination to still love God despite what happened. Jesus taught that if we love Him, we must follow His commandments (John 14:15). Among His commandments is to love on another as we love ourselves and to love the Lord my God with all our hearts, minds and soul (Mark 12:30-31). This means that if we say we love Jesus, we will love our offender. If we say we Love God, we will love our offender. Love is generous, trust is earned.

So, what does love look like amidst the offense? It is viewing the offender from Jesus’s perspective, ministering and serving the person in love, not being defensive, rude short or abrupt in your relationship with the person; responding to their texts, call and emails in love, not blustering them on Facebook and WhatsApp chat groups; not reminding the person of the offense, not being vindictive, praying for the person, blessing the person; it is being the light in the midst of darkness (Romans 12:20; Proverbs 25:21-22).  Even a little dim light overpowers darkness!

Walking in love in the midst of an offense is a test of faith! As you pass each “love test” every time you relate with your offender, you will be maturing concurrently with each test. Continue to do this even when your offender does not recognize your efforts. I must warn that it can be painful to do good to someone who does not acknowledge or recognize the good being done; it hurts when the offender refuses to admit the offense; but continue to do good, God will reward you-Galatians 6:9

Forgive, then keep walking in love!

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TRUTH-SHIELD-BUCKLER

Often after prolonged periods of waiting for answers to prayers, we give up praying and lose hope for the answer. However, there is a powerful tool that can be used beyond, and this is the Word of God.

Believe you me, waiting for answer or breakthrough is an aspect of spiritual warfare because we have to fight all other voices and options if we want to stay true to God and wait for His best. Psalm 91 comes to mind. I recommend reading the entire chapter, but a few months ago, verse 4 caught my attention. It says He (God) shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

What does it mean then to have God’s truth as a shield and buckler? God’s truth is the Word of God, (2) Jesus is the truth; see John 1:1 and John 14:6.  A shield is a piece of personal armour held in the hand or mounted on the wrist or forearm. Shields are used to intercept specific attacks, whether from close-ranged weaponry or projectiles such as arrows, by means of active blocks, as well as to provide passive protection by closing one or more lines of engagement during combat OR a person or thing providing protection.

A buckler is most useful for deflecting the blow of an opponent’s weapons by binding his arms or hindering his movements. A buckler was mostly worn on the forearm. In Ephesians 6, we are encouraged to put on the full armour of God with righteousness as our shield.

If at all you are in warfare of “waiting” or trusting God for an answer, engage these tools this week. There is spiritual warfare beyond prayer, and this is it. When you can no longer pray, find the Scripture promise that applies to your petition, then continually engage by confessing that Scripture whenever you are reminded of that petition.

That Word of God, which is the truth will be the shield that intercept those frequent attacks of anxiety and worry related to your petition. The Word of God will deflect any camouflage and alternate answer from coming through. Continue to focus on Jesus, the ultimate truth, way and life as you wait for the best outcome from God. When doubt, fear, anxiety or worry comes occupy yourself with the TRUTH-SHIELD AND BUCKLER

See the how the shield and buckler work from the definition in the Blog. Like you, understanding their use gave me courage to continually apply the Word of God while waiting for answers. This week’s blog, can’t wait to hear from you so BLOG BACK PLEASE

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GOD WANTS YOU TO SUCCEED

Often when met with life’s challenges or obstacles, we may conclude that God is orchestrating our demise. This is far from the truth. The truth is that God has an outstanding plan for each of us. He devised this plan way in advance before we were born. Psalm 139 :16 says that God has book in which He outlined everything about you!

You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed (Psalm 139:16). Hey, you have a manufacturer’s manual- God has already outlined everything about your life in this book. I believe among the prayers we should be praying is “Lord cause me to walk in the plans you have outlined in my book”. We should also pray daily for the Holy Spirit to help us align and execute what God has for us in that manual!

Above all though, God wants us to succeed in life. That is why He says in Jeremiah 29:11 that the plans He has for us are not to harm us, but to give us hope and future. Furthermore; God says that He will guide us with His eye upon us(Psalm 32:8). I also love that fact that our steps are ordered by God; and that God delights in the steps (goals, ambitions, dreams, visions) of a good person (Psalm 37: 23).

So, think about it, would God design a plan for you to frustrate you and make you miserable? Would God outline a plan that results in failure? No way Jose (pronounce Jose in Spanish). No way! In verse 24 of Psalm 37, the Bible says that “though you fall, you shall not be utterly cast down because the Lord will uphold you with His hand”. 1 Samuel 2:9 says the Lord guards the steps of His faithful ones. Psalm 66:9 says the Lord preserves our lives and keeps our feet from slipping.

As you write and plan your goals for 2019, do this confidently before the Lord (Hebrews 4:16). Commit your ways to the Lord and He will establish. Step out in action and execute your goals with courageous faith.  If you feel you have missed the mark; no worries there is fix for this too; Psalm 103:10-13 says God does not deal with us according to our sins nor does He reward us according to our iniquities. Instead God completely removes our iniquities and He pities us as a father would do. Out of His mercies, God will still uphold you and redirect you to the path of the original plan He had for you.  So, don’t feel left out. Make 2019 different. God ALWAYS wants you to succeed. God rejoices over us with singing- He rejoices over your success too. God is for you! Romans 8:31-39

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MOVE IN FAITH then WAR IN PERSEVERANCE

In this fast-paced life, at times it may feel like things are not moving fast enough. With Apps and touch screens, I often catch myself trying to click something repeatedly because it is not opening fast enough for me. While I still have a regular door knob, occasionally I have pushed the car keys projecting it towards the front door of my house, pushing the button to open the door. Why- I want the door open now! I want the solution now!

As I journey with the Lord, I’ve come to learn that faith is important, but the real test is whether we can wait and persevere patiently for the correct outcome from God. I am learning this right now, as recent as 2 weeks ago, the importance of believing in what God has promised then persevering through the promise until it manifests. It’s been a lesson alright!

A practical way of this perseverance involves learning to rest in the Lord, avoiding seeking alternative solutions to the problem, trusting the counsel of the Lord, asking the Holy Spirit to help you not revert to your former ways or solicit past relationships; it involves self-control and self-discipline. Persevering through the promise requires taking time to be still to listen to the Lord and wait for instructions on what to do next about the promise. Perseverance involves continuing to pray, to dig deep, to seek deep, constant fellowship with the Holy Spirit while waiting for the promise to manifest.

Lastly perseverance through faith means KEEPING THE MOMENTUM and STAYING CONSITENT AND FAITHFUL in your communion, prayer life, in worship, in thanksgiving, in reading the Bible, in meditation and in doing what God called you to do until the answer comes. Easier said than done, right? But you have great examples in Joseph, in Daniel, in Joshua and in Jesus Christ himself.

This week believe God, walk in faith but war in perseverance. Do not rush to make decisions, do not settle for the alternative. He has spoken, will God not do it! God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? (Numbers 23:19)