Monday, 9 July 2018

DO YOU BELIEVE?


A few weeks ago, I was at an event and kolanut was broken and shared by one of the elders present at the event. It wasn’t a huge crowd so the elder broke the kola and went round serving everyone. I collected a piece of the kola and took a huge bite out of (as Nwafor lolz).

An uncle sitting close to me looked at me with dismay and utter shock on his face and asked; ‘and you say you are an Igbo boy and even grew up in the east?’ He shook his head in disappointment.

I genuinely was in shock as I had no clue what he was on about. The harder I tried to figure out what he was talking about, the more confused I became. After a little while, I gave up on wondering what just transpired. And in a bid not to further aggravate my Igbo brother, I decided not to ask him what I did wrong as that may just worsen the situation.

Somewhere in between the party, I sensed the Lord laughing at me. When I paused to check what that was about, He said to me; “and you claim to be born, bread and buttered in Aba” and He laughed again.

At this point, my curiosity was completely aroused as I just needed to figure out what was going on.
The Lord said to me; a stranger gave you kola and you accepted it and took a bite just like that? He said this but I could still hear the stifled chuckle in His voice like He was taunting me.

Then it hit me. You see, growing up, we were warned against accepting things from strangers and as one began to attend functions with elders and learn the way of the elders, one of the things I also learnt was that it was very risky to go to any meeting of any sort both family meetings and otherwise and just eat kola anyhow or leave your drink open without close observation and still drink it afterwards. People have died for less.

As the realization hit me, I turned to the uncle and smiled a big smile. I wanted to walk over to him and tell him that I was a different specie, a new breed, that I am a new creature.

The Lord reminded me of this incidence a couple of nights ago. He was sharing with me how His children have more trust in tradition and customs much more than they trust in Him. And this breaks His heart. Some people have even taken it a step further and brought in their traditions into the church such that some do not even see the lines anymore as tradition has been properly mixed with worship of our Father.

Scripture tells me that I shall trample on snakes and scorpions, and they will not hurt me and I believe it completely. I don’t operate from a position of fear, I am not even conscious of it.

So the question was; when My children read the scriptures, do they actual believe that I can do what the scripture tells them that I can do?

Do you actually believe God?

Do you actually believe that He’s got you?

Do you actually believe the things written in His Word?

I need you to pause and reflect on this.


Selah!

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

UNSUCCESSFUL SUCCESS


“What will Success look like?”

This is a question that is often always asked by coaches or instructors while setting goals. Some call it the big picture but this usually describes what the end should look like.

Unfortunately for those who do not have a strong imagination or are yet to train themselves to visualize and see beyond what the physical eyes can see, describing the big picture can be some sort of a struggle.

A few weeks ago, my wife sat beside me and asked me a question that birthed this post. Her question was; ‘what does success mean to you and what would it look like for us?’

She usually doesn’t ask these sort of questions (that’s my forte) so coming from her, I knew there was more to it. So instead of giving her a normal general definition of what I thought success was, I paused and reflected on it for a very long time (and she didn’t move an inch which confirmed to me it was serious business) before responding.

To help me gain some more insight, I consulted the Webster dictionary and it gave me two interesting definitions for the word success:
  1. the gaining of wealth, respect, or fame
  2. satisfactory completion of something

Now the unfortunate thing is that the first definition is what a large majority of people have adopted as the only definition of success.

The more I stayed on the first definition, the more convinced I was that this wasn’t what the Lord needed me to see. This was also coupled with the fact that my wife was demanding to know what SUCCESS meant for us.

2 Timothy 4:7
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

This was Apostle Paul’s success story and it did not comprise of the things he has (possessions). Unfortunately, we live in a world today where even believers measure success by the possessions they have. Where success in ministry is measured by the size of the congregation. Where your packaging and bank account balance means much more among believers than your character and the fruits of the spirit.

And the Lord began to open my eyes to see so many people going about doing things and “prospering” in those things but the things they were doing was not what He has apportioned for them to do and the score sheet in His hands showed they were failing.

I then remembered the vision a sister once shared with me how she was driving out in the morning and she saw droves of people trooping out in a hurry heading out to their various “places of work” and the Lord was showing her that He did not send these people on the vocations they were pursuing and how most of them have never even asked Him what He apportioned to them.

We prayerfully did a check and confirmed that we were exactly where God needed us to be, more responsibility was coming and we are currently being positioned for it and we gladly accepted the responsibilities in faith trusting Him to provide all that we need to execute all He commands us to.

So my question to you reading this post today is; Are you doing what God created you for? Are you fulfilling purpose? Can you really say with no iota of doubt that you are running your race and you are right on course?


Food for thought…

Sunday, 29 April 2018

GUARD YOUR HEART AGAINST TOXIC WORDS


Words are powerful, they are so powerful that they frame the world we live in. wars are started by words and nations are built by words.

Some folks have mastered the art of using words to frame their world while others are still learners in school of using the word.

I have also learnt that the company one keeps to a large extent influence the words that the say.

You may have total control over the words that you say, but it is difficult almost impossible to have control over what people will say to you. My background growing up did not expose me to the use of vile hurtful words, so I used to think that people generally should use words that sooth as against toxic words. But adulthood and interacting with all manner of people has since changed that orientation for me. I have witnessed tears as a result of spoken words. I have had to talk people (more than one person) out of committing suicide rising from words that were spoken to them by someone.

The unfortunate thing is that some people who are Christians do not have Colossians 4:6 in them.

Col 4:6
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man.

When you hear some believers talk to other people even sometimes to their children, I can’t help but wonder what or rather who really lives on their inside because if Jesus was the one living on their inside, I am certain He wouldn’t spit out such venom.

So, if I cannot control what you say, I can control how I choose to respond to what you say. We must master the art of dealing with the toxic words that others speak to us.

How do we do this you may ask? By following what the Word has instructed us to do which is guarding our hearts against them.

Prov 4:20-25

My son, attend to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not depart from your eyes; keep them in the middle of your heart. For they are life to those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from you a fraudulent mouth, and perverse lips put far from you. Let your eyes look right on, and let your eyelids look straight before you.

So for every time someone tells you or calls you something that does not align with what the Word of God has said concerning you, just shut the gates of your heart and remind yourself who you are in Christ Jesus. Keep your eyes looking straight on at what God has said about you, completely ignoring they have said. 

And I beg you not to be angry at or mad at people who use vile words at you, people can only give what they have. You can pray for them but always ensure that you guard your heart against their toxic words by standing on God’s word about your life.


God Bless You!

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!