Thursday, 25 February 2016

You are not your need!

You my friend are not your need but rather you are God's gift for this hour! Something needs to break in your mentality so that this can sink in. I ask The Lord to touch you now as you read this and speak to your soul.

"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us" 2 Corinthians 4:7

You my friend are that earthen vessel where God has placed His treasure - His Holy Spirit. God has chosen to dwell in you not just with you but IN you. Therefore I submit to you today that you can not be reduced to a need.

I once said I would share a little bit about my getting married if I felt it would bless someone, well this is probably going to be it! I got married at ~39. 

I remember years before, hearing Rev Patrick preach a message about the Shunammite woman, the Word of God hit me - Jesus said the words that I speak THEY ARE SPIRIT AND THEY ARE LIFE. I had never heard the Shunammitte woman taught like that before. The message he preached was simple: this woman didn't focus on her need - pls read the passage (2 Kings 4: 8-37), Elisha had been passing through and she perceived that he was a prophet,she decided to do something to make him comfortable, in deciding to do that she was in essence making a contribution to God's kingdom - God's agenda, not only did she do that, when Elisha asked her if she needed anything - she said she needed nothing, this woman was definitely NOT her need, it was Gehazi who jumped in and said to Elisha that she had no son and that her husband had gotten on in age.  

Here I was over 30 and still single and I was not being told there was something wrong with my faith, that I was not believing hard enough that's why I didn't have what I wanted, this was new to me! That day God unlocked something in my thinking, He began a process...

I remember some time after that lying on my bed, I had been reading the parable of the sower, some things had just happened that had shaken the body of Christ and whilst I lay there meditating on those things and the parable I had just read (Matthew 13), I felt like I heard The Lord say to me: if you keep focusing on your need, you will just perish!

Previously the order of the day for me was: moan and moan, chat with other friends - even christian friends - moping around discussing how difficult it was to meet good men, the right kind of guy, failed attempts, we rarely even thought about standing together to pray about it, we just moaned most of the time. 

I realized that God wanted to take me beyond my need, He needed me to see myself beyond that and any other need. He reordered my life and placed valuable mentor-ship in my life and started me on a journey of discovery. He had need for me in His house, in His presence, in simply getting lost in  the passion of Him, serving Him, chasing Him, following His agenda, so much so that I often forgot that I had a need. I learnt that I could triumph in my singleness and live a life filled with pure joy from the greatest pleasure which is just belonging to Him - the pleasure of being His. 

He started to show me and to teach me to pursue instead intimacy with Him; not just good works, my focus became finding out what was on God's heart, listening for his heartbeat and making it mine, letting Him show me what HIS Kingdom agenda was and running with it (Thine Kingdom come, Thine will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven) and in that place I found my freedom! You can be a christian who pays their tithes, serves in a ministry in church but still so bogged down by the cares of this life - so much that your capacity to love on Him has been eroded because you have learnt erroneously to make your problem your focus just like I did.

Revelations 2: 2-5
I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. 

Did I meet up with friends and sometimes talk about botched introductions to guys who just weren't ready or just not right for me - yes I did but this time I could truly in my heart laugh it off. Every introduction or blind date I was set up on did not all start working out just like that but it didn't really matter, I could truly say so, they didn't have the power to slow me down - I just kept moving because His truth had set me free! I also learnt that it was okay to go out and have a pizza or some fillet mignon or good jollof rice & dodo (whatever rocks your boat) in between doing that thing called life and let my hair down and just relax, alongside with prayer and hiding in God's presence.

It was in the middle of doing all this, that the Lord came to me at the ripe old age of 36 and told me in a dream that He would visit me at 38! I thought to myself did He really say 38, maybe He meant I would meet the guy now at 36 or at 37, give us some time to date and then we would get married at 38! Surely! I am sure He was smiling up there knowing His daughter's planning and analysis mind at the time. 

Anyways time passed, I continued trusting Him, I hit 38 and lo and behold I met my husband :-) And to show how considerate God is, things didn't take that long, we were married within a year, in fact a month short of my 39th Birthday we were married on my Rev Patrick - my small papa's front porch in the USA before 5 witnesses before the big bang wedding celebration which followed some months into my 39th year. 

What am I really trying to say here: keep going for Jesus! Make Him your focus, your goal, as long as you can still sit up or breathe - worship Him, press hard after Him, follow the path of intimacy with Him. Don't just become a church freak - become a JESUS freak! Go out and preach the gospel, go out there and minister to others, let God use you to pray with others, be a vessel of a word of knowledge for somebody, pray for the body of Christ, pray for revival - just by listening to His heartbeat, spending time in His presence - you will begin to know where He needs you to add value, because you are the value that He has prepared for this hour!

2nd Corinthians 4:7-12
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

Paul had gone through a lot of challenges. He went further to say to the Corinthians death is working in me so that life can work through you - he died to his own needs so that God could be glorified through him for the benefit of the Corinthians, he died to his own agenda so that he could live out Christ's agenda.

And you will also find that when you seek out God's kingdom and righteousness, He will NOT forget you. But you have to seek His kingdom and righteousness FIRST (FOREMOST) and THEN all things shall be truly added on to you. (see Matthew 6:33).

I remember going to prayer meeting because I wanted to join in praying for nations - I had heard about this particular group who were hungry for God and seeking His plans and purposes so I joined their prayer meetings, there God met me in so many ways on a personal level related to my needs even though that was not why I went there. I just wanted to experience more of Him and align myself with what He was doing. I wanted the fire of His presence! Some months before I met my husband, three women at the meeting saw a vision of angels coming into the meeting room with wedding rings and saw me go up and pick one, (3 people saw the same thing) not long after that my husband arrived into my life and we were making wedding plans! I didn't go there because I wanted to get married, I went there because I wanted more of Jesus and Jesus met me there with messages confirming what He had already told me before that He would visit me at 38, releasing me into my marriage and giving much needed 
additional wisdom and direction.

Am I saying, not to pray at all about your needs - No, that's not what I am saying but I am telling you today that you are bigger than your need. I am simply just sharing my experiences with you in the light of His word to give you some useful nuggets which have done me well and I trust will do you well if you apply them.

You will have less stress in life when you pass your burden to Jesus in exchange for His yoke - He said Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 

Exchange your singular burden to include His agenda at the fore front, stop letting your need dominate you, your thoughts, your life or the way that you see yourself. To carry a burden is singular - something you carry on your back or head or hands, to yoke is different - a yoke is plural in the sense that it holds two. Oxen are yoked in twos to plough the field. Jesus is saying come and join your neck with mine!

Picture of a yoke

You can not function properly from a position of need/weakness but rather from a position of strength which is Jesus.

After the Lord opened my eyes and I started to learn to yoke myself with Him, He taught me how to fight better and I am still learning all the time, but this time - I am not the captain, my need is not the captain - He is and I follow His command and lessons.

This means that I am not saying you will stop praying for your needs entirely but He will teach you and lead you how best to pray and go about things, He will even send messengers to you in due season as you continue alongside Him. Some may be messengers with gifts of healing, some may be sent to help you to address certain strong holds in your life, some may come with words of wisdom or correction on why you are failing at certain things etc and sometimes the Holy Spirit will speak to you directly on these things. When you and I are rightly positioned with Him, a lot of these things will happen easily.

I still prayed about my needs. I still went to prayer meetings where singles were being prayed for if God led me to, I still came out when singles were asked to come out for prayers during church/fellowship and I did still pray in my personal time, but better still I had learnt that there were things that God had designed me to do which needed doing so much that they were not to wait until I got out of singleness!

Next I think we will share on learning to multi task - like the children of God when they rebuild the walls in the book of Nehemiah, as I think it ties in nicely into this.

Love & Freewill - Dr Ravi Zacharias - why does God let bad things happen?

Many ask this question often: why does a good God allow bad things to happen?
Dr Ravi gives an excellent answer here!

Without free will, there is no true love, that is what makes us humans & why we have the freedom to ask such questions. God in His infinite wisdom allows certain things to happen, part of loving Him is also trusting Him and we will understand better His wisdom when we stand before Him and some events are best understood backwards and because He can see the end from the beginning, He allows them. If we walk with Him we will come to have a better understanding about certain things and if we wait till we stand before Him, all things will become clear.

In this simple answer Dr Ravi gives a most profound answer...

Friday, 19 February 2016

Interview of witnesses from the Azusa Street Revival

Pls watch and enjoy! I think we can learn a thing or two & also be encouraged...

They testify that they could not control the Holy Spirit and they didn't try...
They prayed as the Spirit gave utterance and ceased only when He wanted...
They all prayed...
There was love, race was erased...
Healing... both witnesses received life long healing
Tarrying - they had a room where they tarried before The Lord...
Words of knowledge, Prophecy, Speaking in languages not learnt (Americans speaking Japanese type of thing) were the order of the day
They were not ashamed of their faith - they carried their Bible everywhere...

The move of God was quenched because man got in the way as these witnesses testify - man got proud and felt they could do things instead of the Holy Spirit.

1 Thessalonians 5:19 Do NOT quench The Spirit.

Friday, 5 February 2016

A Call To Worship

I felt The Holy Spirit tell me this morning to tell The bride of Christ to cry out for more of God until He can hide Himself no more.

God is asking us to press on in worship until we feel His tangible presence. The aspect of worship in question is worship in song and adulation.

Yes, God is always with us in the sense that He is everywhere and many of us reading this I believe are sealed with His Holy Spirit, not with standing there is a level of worship, a tempo of worship that attracts the manifest presence of GOD, where He chooses to reveal Himself more tangibly - in essence "spread His skirt over us".

In John 20: we see Mary, the Bible records that Mary rose up very early in the morning and went to the tomb where The Lord was buried, the Bible records that it was on a Sunday morning, the next day after Saturday - the Jewish Sabbath where nearly everything is restricted which I would imagine back in those days would include a much more restricted movement than nowadays in Jewish culture. She must have just been itching for the next day to come, immediately she got a chance - she was off to the tomb! She got there, saw that it was empty and ran to get Simon Peter & another disciple whom we believe is John, they came back with her to the tomb but left when they saw an empty tomb - the bible records in verse 8 "Then the disciple who had reached the tomb first also went in, and he saw and believed - for until then they still hadn't understood the Scriptures that said Jesus must rise from the dead" Not sure if they remembered to explain this to Mary before they left.

Mary who didn't know theology, simple Mary - all she had was her worship, her heart, her love. A love which God honored. The Lord didn't show up before the apostles left but He showed up before Mary left. Mary knew how to love God and she triggered what made Him tick. When I read this scripture I had tears in my eyes  - the bible describes how she wept, how she stooped low to check the tomb a second time - Oh what passion! All she wanted was to pay her respects...

Then she saw the angels, she told them someone had taken her Lord away and she did not know where they had put Him, Mary was a seeker... All through this exchange The Lord must have been observing keenly to the point which He could not take it anymore, He just had to make Himself visible for her to see, He didn't even do it when the apostles came but when He saw Mary's persistence, her passion, He was moved. He asked why are you crying, again hear her answer, Sir if you have carried Him away, just tell me where I will go and get Him. Mary - despite being a woman, was ready to use her might to lift His body! At this point He called her name - that way which only He can and her eyes and her mind opened and she knew it was Him!

He was quick to say don't reach for me yet because He knew the kind of worshiper Mary was - she was an all or nothing kinda gal just like Him her Papa...

For it is written that you shall love the Lord your God with all of your might, all of your heart and soul! And one of the ways we express this to him is in song worship, proclamation of who He is before Him. The Lord taught us to pray Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name - we must learn how to hallow His name.

God is not looking for a tokenistic kind of worship,

Songs of Solomon 3 vs 1-5
One night as I lay in bed, I yearned for my lover. I yearned for him, but he did not come. So I said to myself, “I will get up and roam the city, searching in all its streets and squares. I will search for the one I love.” So I searched everywhere but did not find him. The watchmen stopped me as they made their rounds, and I asked, “Have you seen the one I love?” Then scarcely had I left them when I found my love! I caught and held him tightly, then I brought him to my mother’s house, into my mother’s bed, where I had been conceived. Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and wild deer, not to awaken love until the time is right.

He is looking for a lover who will search till they find Him, who will hold on to Him tightly and say do not disturb us until the time is right. The Holy Spirit has asked me today to ask His bride to learn to tarry in worship until He gives the signal the time is right you can break off now, till she experiences His tangible presence.

Songs of Solomon 5 vs 4 - 6
I slept, but my heart was awake, when I heard my lover knocking and calling: “Open to me, my treasure, my darling, my dove, my perfect one. My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night.” But I responded, “I have taken off my robe. Should I get dressed again? I have washed my feet. Should I get them soiled?”My lover tried to unlatch the door, and my heart thrilled within me. I jumped up to open the door for my love, and my hands dripped with perfume.
My fingers dripped with lovely myrrh as I pulled back the bolt. I opened to my lover, but he was gone! My heart sank. I searched for him but could not find him anywhere. I called to him, but there was no reply.

When we hesitate like she did above, He will withdraw and the consequences are not pleasant. She said she had taken off her robe, washed her feet... she felt it was not convenient and so He withdrew...

Songs of Solomon 5 vs 7
The night watchmen found me as they made their rounds. They beat and bruised me and stripped off my veil, those watchmen on the walls.

When I talk about knowing how to steward the presence of The Lord - this is one of the things I mean. I Thessalonians 5:19 tells us not to quench The Spirit and one of the ways we can quench is not letting Him through in our worship sessions or yielding when He calls us to worship.

There are some practical steps I have come to learn about worship in song, they are in no way meant to be restrictive but I believe they are helpful.

Sometimes there are specific songs that The Lord wants to hear, sometimes He may choose to do something through that specific song or minister to you through that song. Therefore it is important to listen out for what He wants to hear and then sing it. It is important even when you practice ahead peradventure somebody reading this leads worship in a choir - that you ask for His guidance on your song selections and that you are open when you hear a song through the ears of your spirit that the Holy Spirit is bringing up to your consciousness. Don't restrict God into a time box - give Him quality worship - make time for worship, allow the Holy Spirit to take The Lead and allow Him the middle and the end... I see often when we end too quickly and God is not done yet - Songs of Solomon verse 5 in chapter 3 says don't awaken us till the time is right - don't interrupt our romance until we tell you we are ready. Often times The Lord wants to romance us - His Bride but we cut Him short because we have so many other things to do and get on with. We need to learn how to make time for God adequately.

John 4 vs 23 & 24
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Romance Him till He can hide no more - that's the message He asked me to take to His bride. Romance Him till you feel Him. A kind of romance that wants Him! Him! Him! A romance that will not settle just for a pat on the back or blessings only but one that says it is You I want! Just like Moses asked for God's presence - he resisted when The Lord proposed an angel only going up with them, the angel could still have gotten them to the land flowing with milk and honey but Moses said No, it's You that I want! How will anyone know that You are pleased with me? How will I know that You are pleased with me? If You don't kiss me, if You don't spread Your skirt over me, if You don't show me Your glory?

Worship Him till He is so attracted to you that He can Hide no more!