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WHAT GRIEVES THE HOLY SPIRIT

If you have been brought up in church, you may be familiar with the statement “do not grieve the Holy Spirit”. Whereas we strive for fellowship and intimacy with the Holy Spirit, we should also be aware of what saddens Him. The Holy Spirit has a personality. In previous blogs I shared my experience in walking in the Spirit, today I would like to share what grieves the Spirit according to the  Bible; from personal experiences and observations and from, convictions of the Holy Spirit. This is not the complete list; there could be more. We grieve the Holy Spirit when:

  1.   When we cut Him short in worship, during prayer or during ministration
  2. When we abruptly change His flow through the songs we sing in worship-true worshippers and ministers can attest that the Holy Spirit will rest strongly on particular songs. When our agenda is to sing all the songs listed, or when the worship leader is tempted to put a show of skills, we quench the Holy Spirit

3)         When the church’s agenda or programs supersede the Agenda of the Holy Spirit

4)        When we insist on praying our own prayers whilst suppressing what the Holy Spirit wants us to pray for- This happens a lot during intercession. We can easily pray in the flesh – such prayers are amiss. We grieve Him when we leave Him out of prayer

5)         When the sanctuary of God, the meeting place, home or church is not honored or respected. The house that you live in and your body are also temples of God. The Holy Spirit is grieved when they are not honored

6)         The way we dress or present ourselves can grieve the Holy Spirit-This has nothing to do with wearing pants (trousers) or sleeveless clothes to church. whatever we do in action, dressing or presentation should not draw attention to us but should instead bring glory to God. Generally, worship and ministry should draw people to God and not to an individual. The Holy Spirit does not give glory to Himself but Jesus (John 15:26)

7)         When Spiritual gifts are used to manipulate or control others and or used to draw attention to skills and gifts of the presenter (same as the #6)

8)         When we ignore the instructions of the Holy Spirit when we take Him for granted. Ignoring the Holy Spirit is outright disastrous. Basically, you are on your own at that time; the absence of the Holy Spirit results in fleshly activities. Often that is when people start mimicking the Holy Spirit, fabricating or manufacturing outcomes.

9)         When we talk carelessly and construe Scriptures to meet our needs or when gifts and talents are selfishly -solely used for personal gain .

10)       When we do not use our time wisely; when we procrastinate or delay in implementing what the Holy Spirit has instructed us to do

11)       Unforgiveness, bitterness, jealousy, covetousness, malice, gossip, anger or rage that leads to sin, speaking evil or others, slander, unconfessed sin, among others also grieve the Holy Spirit

12) When we neglect His advice and seek counsel from people or other sources such us the occult, divination, palm reading, shaman, astrologers and other forms of witchcraft

My encouragement to you this week is ; respond quickly at the conviction of the Holy Spirit even if when it seems illogical. The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity. We should relate to Him and reverence Him they way we treat Jesus and God our Father. Purpose to honor the Holy Spirit completely in life.

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MAKE THIS A THURSDAY AND A WEEKEND OF THANKSGIVING

Thanksgiving is often associated with heavy meals and gatherings. However, it should be incorporated in prayer daily and even practiced as a lifestyle. The prayer of thanksgiving is a powerful prayer that in my opinion draws God’s attention faster and results to a quicker release of breakthrough. Intercessors can attest that thanksgiving prayers usher them faster into the realms of the Spirit. This prayer though can be very difficult to utter especially when the answer is nowhere near. I believe being thankful to God amidst uncertainty is what makes in a sacrifice.

Most of us are familiar with the song; I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart… Or the we give sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord… and we offer unto Him the sacrifices of thanksgiving. Being thankful is more powerful when you don’t see the answer. It is faith in practice, thanking God in advance of what He is about to do or what He is has already done,

As I engaged the Holy Spirit in devotion this morning, He advised me to pray the prayer of thanksgiving. I resisted initially because “Thursdays are not my scheduled days for thanksgiving prayers”. Afterwards I complied realizing that God must have a good reason to direct me to pray this way.

You see, normally we barrage God with REPEATED PRAYERS OF PETITIONS. We forget that He heard us the first time. Isaiah 65:24 says that before they call, I will answer; while they are still speaking, I will hear. It could be that God’s directive to thank Him is because He already answered you and It’s just matter of the manifestation of the answer! Remember Daniel’s story in Daniel 10:12-13?

Make this Thursday, tomorrow and the weekend, thanksgiving weekend. Thank God for the petitions you submitted to Him with fasting at the beginning of the year. Thank God for the petitions you have made from January to June 2019. Thank God for where you are now and where He is taking you. Thank God for the past, present and the future.  Thank those around you; who have stood with you and supported you. Thank God for your family, kids, spouses, jobs, businesses and ministries. Whenever you struggle with praying or you feel resistance during prayer, switch the prayer to a prayer of thanksgiving.

Wishing you a joyful weekend, graced with gratitude and thanksgiving!

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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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BELIEVE GOD FROM START TO FINISH

The conception of every new thing comes with much excitement and energy. The new thing could be an idea, vision, dream, goal month, baby, business; a new job, car, ministry, a new exercise routine; name it; any new thing! As you progress in the new thing though, you may experience challenges, twists and turns and or even growth spurts (the teenage stage of anything)! I encourage you this week to trust God in every stage of it.

He who begun a new thing in you will bring it to completion (Philipians1:6). As child of God, His plans for you are orchestrated by Him. Like a symphony conductor, allow God to walk you through the symphony of your life. Partner with Him in each stage of the process; in the exciting times and through the challenging period. I believe God likes to show Himself strong on your behalf through those twists and turns, that’s when we see His mighty hand of salvation, deliverance healing and restoration. We get to experience God as the chief conductor bringing the ensemble of the new things to high climax-all things working for our good (Romans 8:28). By consistently involving and trusting God, when you meet your goal you can testify to “thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1Corinthians 15:57)! Yeaaah! Kudos to you!

Commit your ways to the Lord and He will establish them. No matter where you are with your goals right now, commit that stage to the Lord right now. Engage God in it. God rejoices at your success. He celebrates with you (Zephaniah 3:17), believe God for every area of your life. Have faith in God. He will see you through to the end.

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LET GOD DO WHAT HE WANTS TO DO

Soooo I am learning, that frequently, God partners with men and women to accomplish His will on earth but yet there are times when God intervenes independently.

Now that can be very troubling for those of us who are analytical planners and want to know the whys, hows and whats. Speaking from experience, it’s frustrating when you really want to understand what God is doing and He hides it from you. You can be tempted to put your hand on it or your “two-cent opinion”. Oh how tempting it is to want help or figure God out!

In such times, trust, faith and surrender become paramount. This is where the rubber meets the road; you are left only but to trust and believe that nevertheless, God is up to something good!

Romans 3:4 (a).. Let God be true and everything else a lie (paraphrased). If you are going through transition right now, or are exhausted from trying so hard to fix the issue or you cannot control what is going on. Take the issue at the cross, let God do what He wants to do… nicely said, “back off.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, “declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9)

My encouragement to you this week is to let God be God in the things you don’t understand. Let Him be God when you cannot control it any longer. Flow with God’s flow… I believe this is the “next level of surrender”

Let us pray for continuing discernment- that God will show us when He wants our partnership, and when we should let God be!

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ACTION PACKED SIGN LANGUAGE

While  reflecting on the Gospel of Jesus, I noticed that the evidence of Jesus ministry were action packed. Jesus not only taught but He lived what He taught; See all Gospels from Matthew to Acts. If Jesus taught about prayer- He is recorded to be secluding Himself to pray. If He taught about obedience- He is recorded to have done only what He saw His Father do. If He taught about mercy and compassion, He, fed, healed and delivered many.

Then I thought, as believers, what is our sign language. Commonly sign language is associated with motion and action. Speaking and acting out often concurrently What if each believer took that approach? That we read the Word, speak or teach it but also act it out.

Loving God would then mean loving one another through our actions i.e., respect, honor, truthfulness, accountability, authenticity, being genuine. It would mean tolerating one’s weakness while lovingly supporting them. It would mean taking time to understand one another instead of being quick to judge or criticize. Our sign language as believers would mean, willing to stay unrecognized while we advance another. Our Sign language will include supporting a difficult person even when we know that their success will be in bits; while staying committed to seeing them through. It would include obeying and trusting God even when you do not understand; but just doing because He said so.

Acts 11:26- The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch. This is the early church. Were their actions so Christ like? Was there life so action-packed so much so like the Christ beyond just confessed that they were labelled Christians? They must have been doers of the Word.

This week, purpose to have an action-packed Christ language. Consider the application of sign-language which is motion or action. Let us act Christ out, Let us act the Word out. Let us be the Christ people can see and point to – THEY MUST BE CHRISTIANS!

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NURTURE THE “ONE SEED” –GOD WILL MULTIPLY IT

I am rubbing my palms with excitement as I write this today. Studying this subject has been fun. Anyways, let’s get back on track. The “seed” that you have could be the idea, the job, the skill, the ministry, the church, the family, the business; collectively whatever you have right now in your possession.

Humanly, it may not be sufficient, it may not make sense, and maybe you are questioning whether it’s really from God because “it is not what you expected. My encouragement to you this week, nurture it, steward it well, continue to pray over it. Stay faithful in it. Take good care of the apartment, soon you will own homes!

What you currently have is a seed from God; He will increase it. 2Corinthians 2:10 says Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. Multiplications or Harvests come much later, endure, stay persistently faithful, eventually, you will reap much more!

The Scripture that led to this study is Genesis22 15-18. In it God blesses Abraham for being faithful with the one son Isaac. Abraham was so faithful to God to the extent of losing that one seed. Can we be faithful to this extent? If God says let go, can we still trust that He will replenish and multiply,

Meditate on these Scriptures this week. May God increase you as you nurture what you currently have faithfully.

Genesis 22:15-18The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

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FOLKS, JESUS IS ON HIS WAY BACK

Scriptures Matthew 24:16-18- then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak.

Revelation 22:11 -Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy.”

While cleaning the house last week, I had an impression that was later followed by the Scriptures in Matthew 24:16-18. The impression was forceful and with such urgency warning that Jesus Christ is coming soon.

The emphasis of this impression were the Scriptures. Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. Immediately I felt a surge of urgency that we are seriously on the verge of His return and that I should focus on my assignment on earth and execute it effectively before His return.

I had forgotten about this encounter until this past Saturday. Over the Christmas dinner while fellowshipping with my Mom, she brought up the subject again citing Revelation 22:11. Mom shared that she senses the same too-Jesus is coming. Then it dawned on me that God was emphasizing a point and I needed to take this serious.

Folks, Jesus is on His way back. Encouraging all to evaluate our position in Him and our commitment to Him. Encouraging all to stay focused on the assignment you were given. Distractions may be there, but let’s not lose track and miss the mark. We are in race, let’s focus on the finish line to win the price. Let us not run aimlessly.

This applies to everyone, wherever you are whether in the workforce, business, school, ministry, live your life knowing Jesus can show up anytime now-will He find you ready? To those called in ministry, all spiritual leaders, let us focus on getting the Bride Ready. He is coming for a spotless Bride and we are privileged to co-labor with the Holy Spirit and Jesus in this preparation – Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. Jesus is on His way back seriously!

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BEHIND THE SCENES GOD IS NOT SILENT

“Journeys with God”; that should have been the befitting title for this blog, LOL. But seriously, there are times in our walk with God when we feel that God is silent. You may be there right now. God is not mad at you. You have done “nothing wrong”. Take courage God has already responded to your need behind the scenes.

Isaiah 46:10-I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’

Why should I be convinced of this? Because as the Alpha and Omega God, He normally sees the end from the beginning. In fact, He says, before you were born, He knew you and had plans lined out for you including the plan for what you think He is in silent about!

TIMING- Since He knows the end from the time you asked Him, God may be waiting for the right timing to release the answer to you. The Bible has multiple accounts that say “at the appointed time” or “when the time came”. At the appointed time, He will release the answer

FAITH-I believe we are or have been in a prolonged season of FAITH DEVELOPMENT. In fact, I would call it STRETCHED faith development. Where God wants us to TRUST HIM FOR AND IN EVERYTHING. This involves staying in sustained faith, constantly believing the promises related to the answer you are waiting for. I may also call it CONTENTIOUS FAITH, where you are not backing down no matter the contrary around you. In contentious faith, you know and are firm that God will deliver. With that your mind, soul emotions and spirit must align to that promise.

PROMOTION- God may delay the answer to mature you for the next level of promotion. This comes with internal searching of motives and intents of that prayer request. It also comes with character development; being sharpened by the Lord.

This week, wipe your tears. Let go your frustrations. God sees your tears, He sees the sincerity of your heart. God is not mad at you. Endure the process. Stand on these two promises; (1) The One Who can turn 1000 years in one day has heard your prayers. 2 Peter 3:8 (2) The God sees the end from the beginning has already released your answer behind the scenes.

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FAITH IS THE AUTHORITY

Quite often we generally take part and adopt “Christian behaviors” that we have seen commonly practiced. For instance, it common to see multiple commentaries with instructions to say or type Amen., share with 12 other people etc., etc. It is also very common to practice quoting scripture or promises; but it’s also very rare to see people receive those promises. That can lead to frustration, doubt in God and more disturbing religious acts that produce nothing. Rehearsing and quoting scriptures, proclaiming and declaring, extended fastings and self-denials and even giving, when done without love and faith are so pointless!

Without Faith, we cannot please God. Hebrews 11:6. Pleasing God means living and functioning in the will of God; Matthew 12:50. Not forgetting, God also checks the intents of the heart when quote, fast, decree these promises.

Faith is the authority we must activate and exercise to receive our breakthroughs. The Bible says through faith and patience/endurance we attain the promise Hebrews 6:12. Jesus frequently rebuked His disciples for the lack of faith. The Israelites perished in the desert because of unbelief. It is their unbelief that led to rebellion. Coming to think of it, I’m now convinced that to a believer, the lack of faith is what causes us to turn away from God for other alternatives.

Jesus taught that it only takes the faith of a mustard seed. Are you waiting for an answer to a prayer? This week do a faith assessment, what rating can you give it. If you lack faith, ask God to give it to you or to enhance that which you have. The Holy Spirit has many gifts, among them is the Spirit of Faith! 2 Corinthians 4 :13. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;
•Before you prophesy, have faith
.Before you rebuke the devil, have faith that all authority has been given to you
•Before you declare, have faith
•Believe first then quote the Scripture/promise
•Have faith first, then say Amen
•Before you shout “fire”, be very careful what type/source of fire you are calling for. Have faith instead and ask God to fill you with the Spirit of fire (Matthew 3:11)
•Believe first, ask the Holy Spirit when and how long you should fast, then keep believing throughout your fast and after your fast.
•Have faith first before you pray, approach prayer believing God in advance

It is faith that says to this mountain move and it moves. It is faith that produces signs, miracles and wonders, Faith is the conduit through which the power of God flows. The power God is in the Word of God (each Bible verse). Faith is the conduit through which the Spirit of God moves, the Name of Jesus authorizes and the Blood of Jesus testifies. Faith is the authority we need for the fullness of the Holy Spirit to manifest.