Wednesday, 4 April 2018

THE DAY OF SILENCE


The Easter weekend has come and gone and for many it marked the remembrance of Christ and what His death and resurrection signifies for us as the body of Christ.

I do not assume that this is same for everyone as it only provided another opportunity for some to either rest, hangout with friends and family or make more sales depending on which category one chooses to fall into.

For me, it was another opportunity to reflect. I sat there thinking about the silent day…

Good Friday is celebrated as the day Jesus was crucified on the cross. That was the day He was nailed for a crime He never committed. Easter Sunday is celebrated as the day Jesus rose from amongst the dead and handed us the keys and power over death. However, not much is celebrated about the day in between.

As I sat meditating, I could see the disciples in the upper room mourning the loss of their Master. I could hear the anguish in their voice. Most of them had even forgotten the promise that He will rise again on the third day. Some of them were wondering how such a thing could be. They had witnessed Him raise the dead, even remembered the case of Lazarus who was brought back to life after four days but the question kept playing in their minds; ‘how can these things be?’. Some of them strongly believed that something would happen, but they just kept trying to play out several scenarios in their minds about how the resurrection was going to happen.

And then I saw Jesus doing battle. It was a serious heated battle but He was fighting it alone and He was winning. He was winning in grand style, sweat dropping off His face, arm and shoulders. The sheer strength with which He fought was just lovely to behold.

It then appeared like the screen split and I could see both pictures at the same time. The screen on top had the disciples in the upper room silently mourning the loss of their Master with their heads cast down in sorrow and anguish while the screen below had Jesus winning the battle over sin and death for as many that will accept and acknowledge Him.

I could hear the Lord say to me; the silent day in between was when the battle was fought and won. He said to me; imagine if the disciples had spent that whole day in thanksgiving remembering that their Master had promised to return on the third day…

He said to me; same thing still happens today. I have made numerous promises to My children, they hear it, receive it, but during the silent day, while I work, instead of them staying thankful in anticipation of what I am doing and await my promise to them, they worry and complain and murmur amongst themselves completely ignorant of what I am doing.

The silent day is a day of rejoicing in thanksgiving and anticipation of the victory of the promise. It may not look like it on the outside, but the Lord is working out a great victory on your behalf. Stay expectant and hold fast unto the Promise. It may tarry, but it will surely come to pass.


Amen!

Monday, 26 March 2018

CHRIST OR YOUR LIFE?


About two weeks ago, the Lord asked me a question which I didn’t answer at the time and as days passed by, it became more difficult to actually answer that question and I want to throw the same question to you.

The Lord asked me; “Obinnaya, are you willing to give your life for Me?”

You would think that the answer to that question should be a swift YES in caps. But being that it was my Father who was asking, I knew He was not just asking another question.

In response, I said; Lord, You see my heart and you know what I can and cannot do for You Lord.

A few days later, someone sent me a post on WhatsApp, an excerpt from God’s Generals. The excerpt was on how most of the martyrs died. Now if I had not had the conversation with the Lord a few days earlier, this would have been another very good read, but that conversation had me woke and alert. As I read those stories, I kept putting the scenarios side by side by what is obtainable with the church of today and we fell short by a very wide margin. I don’t know how many pastors now that are willing to be stoned to death for Christ. I’m not sure how many pastors are willing to be boiled in hot oil. I don’t know how many pastors that will choose to be hung upside down rather than be nailed to a cross in the exact same position as Christ. I am not even sure how many pastors are willing to be tazzed for Jesus.

And I am careful to use “pastors” cos we are the ones that are supposed to be equipping the saints and I am convinced that the Lord is saying something.

I read the stories of these martyrs and a burden came upon me.

As if that was not enough, someone sent me a message saying that one of the Dachi girls that were kidnapped in Nigeria refused to deny Jesus. The moment I heard that story, I leaped for joy in my heart. Don’t get me wrong, I was not happy the girls were kidnapped (whether or not it was a real kidnap is a deliberation for another day) I was excited that what the Lord was speaking to me about, He had gone a step further to get my attention and someone was proving that some people are still standing for Christ.

As Easter draws nearer, I want to ask you child of God; are you willing to lay your life for your belief in Christ? When the chips are down, will you deny Christ or stand for Him? Are you going to compromise or stand for Christ? Are you going to sleep with him/her or stand with Christ? Are you going to alter that document or stand with Christ? Are you going to tell that lie or stand with Christ? Are you going to keep that malice or stand with Christ? Are you going to take/give that bribe or stand with Christ?

Jesus left all His divinity just to come lay down His life to reconcile us to Himself, yet we are quick to deny Him both in our words and most times by our actions. Most of us don’t even wait to resist talk less of to the shedding of blood and we are very willing to give in rather than stand for Christ.

The days ahead are going to be demanding for true sons of God as He will be passing His own through an alignment test. There is a separation going on for the advancement of the Kingdom. The men who shook the world as stated in scriptures were not in the multitude.

Will you stand for Christ? 

Will you give your life for Him? 

Can He find you worthy?


I eventually answered Him...

But what is your own answer to that question?

Are you willing to lay down your life for Christ?

Selah!

Sunday, 4 March 2018

WORKER OR FOLLOWER?

The general idea I used to have about walking with God was that if I wanted to follow Him, I must serve Him. Now based on this ideology, the moment I came to Christ, I quickly started the new believer’s class and upon graduating from that class I quickly started the workers training in order to join the church workforce.

Anyone who can still remember how they felt when they came to Jesus can attest to the zeal and fire to just do any work that is available in the house of God.

My dad was a pastor in a Pentecostal church in Nigeria and this resulted in us being the first to arrive church and often last to leave. This for me was so much fun, it gave me an opportunity to do so much work for my Father (both heavenly and biological).

As I grew in the faith, whenever I lead people to Christ, I also encourage them to join a foundation class to grow them in the knowledge of Christ and introduce them to the workforce. The idea for me was that proximity to “church” is a great elixir to building a lasting relationship with God and the level of commitment to working in church a pointer to one’s level of commitment to God. This ideology however has birthed so many church workers who in reality are no different from unbelievers…

Then recently, the Lord caused me to stumble on a scripture that has turned everything right side up for me;

John 12:23-26
23But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.”

This passage literally left me shook especially verse 26.

Let us read the portion in bold highlight again; Vs 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

Apparently all this while, I had it backwards. My love for Jesus had driven me to work for Him and was the basis for me driving others to work within the workforce. And I must state it categorically at this point that your love for Christ will propel you to action. However, Jesus was saying that if anyone will serve Him, they fellow must ‘FOLLOW’ Him.

And as I spent time meditating on the implication of this, then I understood why Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen the more important thing.

Please permit me to liken the “activities” of working for God in church to the busyness Martha was burdening herself with whereas the desire in the heart of the Father is that we follow Him just like Mary did by seating at the feet of Jesus. Jesus said; “where I am, there my servant will be also”. Remember Mary sat with Jesus while Martha busied herself in the kitchen with 'seemingly' important hosting activities. It is interesting to note Jesus' comments that Mary had chosen the important thing. 

Please may I ask you child of God, right now as you read this, where is Jesus and what is He doing/saying right now? Do you know? If you don’t, may I admonish that you check your followership status.

It is when you follow Him that you will know what He requires to be done. He will instruct you Himself and when He instructs you, He is counting on you to execute to the letter every instruction you receive. I love the way verse 26 ended. It says; ‘if anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor’.
This means that God the Father will honor you only if you serve Christ Jesus. And the only way to serve Christ is to follow Him. I pray God that He will expand this insight for you.

As if the flogging above was not enough, He then said to me; Son, Disciples aren’t formed from crowds.


Selah!!!

Sunday, 18 February 2018

THE FIRST COMMANDMENT


Over the last week, people all over the world celebrated St Valentine’s day and there was a lot of “love” in the air.

For most people, it was another regular day either by choice of election or by situational circumstances but all in all, February 14 is a day that most people (females mostly J) look forward to with much gusto.

A passage of scripture occupied my heart for most of that week and formed the basis for my meditations for the period and I would like to share some portion of that passage with you.

Matthew 22:35-38 (NLT)
35One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36"Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?" 37Jesus replied, "'You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' 38This is the first and greatest commandment.

For the sake of this write up, I will stop at 38.

Most of us are conversant with the “ten commandments” but is it not rather interesting that Jesus when asked which commandment was the greatest, responded with an answer that is not captured in what we all grew up to know as the ‘ten commandments of Moses’? an in-depth review of this will make a great topic for another day. But for today, let us stay on the subject matter; Love.

Love according to Jesus is a commandment. According to the Oxford dictionary, a commandment is a rule to be observed strictly. Meaning that going by Jesus’ words, we are under a strict mandate to love God with ALL our hearts, ALL our soul and ALL our mind.

Permit me to ask you to pause at this point and read Matthew 22:37 again but please do so in slow motion with a 3D view of yourself.

While you are digesting that passage, I would like you to ask yourself; do I love God with ALL my heart, ALL my soul and ALL my mind?

When you love someone or something, the thought of the person/thing consumes you. The thought of a loved one literally consumes you. You go to bed thinking about the person, wake up thinking about the person, you even see this person in your dreams and most times, spend a very good part of your day daydreaming about this person. Every person that has ever had a huge crush on someone would understand what I am saying. And this doesn’t come near to describing the expectations of the feeling of love.

How much of you has God consumed? Does He have ALL your heart, your soul and your mind or have you allocated just some part to Him? As a child of God, the commandment is to ensure that all of us is geared towards loving God. We must be lost in Him.

February 14 has come and gone, but the question that still lingers in my heart is this; based on my evaluation of myself, can I really say that I have loved the Lord my God with all my heart, all my soul and all my mind? Everything I am doing currently, every thought in my heart, every action that I have taken and will take, are they all geared towards expressing my love for my Father? Can I truly say that I have strictly observed the rule to love my Lord my God?

I have spent some time answering these questions for myself but I want to pose the same questions to you; have you really obeyed the first commandment?


Selah!

Sunday, 4 February 2018

CHOOSE JOY


I had the opportunity to teach last week and I shared from a hymn in the book of Habakkuk and for some reason even after that meeting, the word kept growing in my heart and is still doing so. I thought to share some part of that message with you.

Habakkuk 3:17-18

17 Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls… 18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

I know most of us grew up in the name it and claim it era of Christianity and financial prosperity is a major sign of a thriving relationship with God in our times. Unfortunately what this has resulted in is a breed of Christians who have little or no tolerance for adversity. So at the slightest emergence of anything that may seem like an adversity, the response of many is to seek the easiest route out which most times is one of compromise.

The scripture reference above from the book of Habakkuk depicts a man in an agrarian society. The cycle explained in verse 17 of chapter 3 of that book speaks to a year of absolutely no harvest. His fields did not yield, his trees did not blossom, there were no fruits from his vine and to crown it off there was no flock in his fold. Now let me paint this picture in the light of our current day reality; imagine going to work every day for a year and not receiving a single wage/salary in that year despite all your effort/input/transportation to and fro work and you don’t get paid at the end of the year.

I don’t know how Habakkuk did it in his day, but I can tell you that the default reaction of most people will be severe rage. Actually, I doubt the individual will still be coming to work after 6 months of no pay.

However, look at Habakkuk’s response in verse 18; he said; Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. I think it is the NIV version of verse 18 that says Yet, I choose to rejoice… the prophet Habakkuk CHOSE to rejoice. He chose to joy in the God of his salvation.

I underline the word CHOOSE because this means that circumstances were demanding a different response from him, but his reaction to the circumstances on ground was a conscious one from his end, he chose to respond in joy.

I don’t know what situation you may currently find yourself in, I don’t know how grave that situation is, no matter how bad it is, I call on you today to choose joy. Look that problem in the face and consciously laugh out loud at it in joy. Let your joy be born out of the knowledge of the salvation you were saved with in Christ. God saved you, you are His and He is yours. He has promised that He will never leave nor forsake you. The psalmist puts it this way; he said though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for You God are with me. Let your joy be in God, He is with you watching over and keeping you.

So I compel you to choose joy today. The word choose presupposes that you have an option how to respond to your situation. You either respond in fear which in turn leads to depression et al or you can choose to respond in JOY.


I choose JOY, what about you?

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

HE IS PRUNING YOU


John 15:1-2
I am the true vine and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

I believe that The Lord will have me instruct someone and correct a notion that has been brewing in your mind.

He said that every branch that bears fruit, The Father prunes. A number of believers are going through situations that has them both confused and in battle mode. For some, you have embarked on major fasting and prayer to “sort out” the issues you are currently going through.

But The Father will have me tell you that He is the one that is pruning you so that you can bear more fruit. He is cutting out some things which were hitherto relevant and important and played a major part in your life. You are not under any attack, I am the One pruning you that you may bear more fruit.

Allow Me to finish and perfect My work in you and you will yet rejoice says The Lord.


Selah!

Thursday, 4 January 2018

2018 IN FOCUS


This morning, I had a stirring in my spirit and the Father began to talk to me on some matters some of which I will share with you in this post.

Being my first article in 2018, I want to welcome you to this new calendar year and pray that Christ will be formed in you more and more this year, Amen & Amen!!!

A major characteristics of the beginning of every year is that people are more willing to make life adjustments and set goals/directions for their lives in the coming year. And as I observe this phenomenon over the years, I see that most of these actions are geared towards knowing who we are and finding one’s self and as such living the best possible life that one can within the context of what the world’s systems define as a good life.

All around us, the world is teaching us to know who we are. So there are self-discovery, self-mastery, self-definition, self-evaluation etc tools, books, conferences, sermons everywhere and all of that brings a scripture to mind 2Timothy 3:1-5

1But know this, that In the last days terrible times will come.  2For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, blasphemers, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unthankful, unholy, 3unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having a form of godliness but denying its power and from such people turn away!

All this self-education and self-equipment will in addition to its many benefits lead to the type of person described above or a hybrid version with some varieties (more or less) than described in the scripture above.

And I know that there are so many people who have innocently walked into this error in their quest for God. People who have been led astray by business schools, psychology houses and motivational centers. If you fall into such a category, I want to encourage you with a scripture from the book of Acts 17:22-31

22Then Paul stood in the midst of Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an alter with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: 24”God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25Nor is He worshipped with men’s hands as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring’. 29Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

The desire of the Father for His own is that we know Him as He is known. His desire is to lead His own to know Him. To know that it is in Him that we live, move and have our being. There is literally no way you will not be able to discover your true self if you seek Him to know Him and grow in Him and draw closer to Him.

I challenge you therefore to seek God this year like you have never done before in your entire life and press into deep realities in Him. And I can assure you of this; as you seek Him, you will definitely find Him and so much more.


Shalom!