Saturday, January 15, 2011
Satan is in trouble. That's the thought that crosses my mind as I sniff and sniff. It's the cold again accompanied with some kind of cough. (A friend of mine calls it the flu. I don't know what that is. The images that come to mind when I hear the flu are poultry birds struck dead and patients in some hospital in china who have been isolated. . . . trust me, I don't want any of that). Simply said, I have got a cold and a cough and I wish I don't cause right now I can't even sleep!
BLAME IT ON THE DEMONS
The funniest story I've heard about demons in the last one month came from someone I love and respect. This said person was telling me how he somehow agreed to a man of God's perspective whom he was listening to probably via CD. The man of God gave an illustration of a Christian who ate late into the night and woke up feeling so tired and weak and decided to blame it on the demons. The Christian began to bind and rebuke them. The man of God's point was that the body was actually working all through the night (breaking down food). A better eating habit would be better required than blaming it on the demons. I found myself laughing out loud. 'The things we Christians do' I said to myself as I rattled with laughter. But now, as I look back, I smile. A rethink makes me ask 'is our situation really funny?'
WHAT'S SO NOT FUNNY
I agree. Poor eating habits could make a person wake up tired, true so true. Learn to eat early enough (better before 7:00pm). If you eat late, stay awake for at least two and a half hours before going to bed. I have to call myself to remembrance that the topic of this blog post isn't '10 ways to eat better'.
For one who hears the story of the Christian with poor eating habits MIGHT just conclude while rolling his eyes 'Do we have to always blame it on demons?' no we don't, and not stop there but continue 'are there even demons?' yes they are. In fact some bent on not letting God's purposes for your life become a reality!
A WORLD AT WAR
It was the beginning of the New Year, the second day of the year to be precised and something happened to me. The type of thing that happens and we want to ask 'Why, God why?'. A disappointment that was shattering which in my own view I didn't just do anything to deserve. Behind closed doors that very night, I was about to start asking 'why God' when it came to me or should I say I came to my senses. 'This is not of God; this is a strategy of the evil one to get me off balance at the beginning of the year'. 'I Know what the devil wants ' I said to myself as I stood in the middle of the room. He wanted me to question the goodness of God; he wanted me to fall in to that pit of self pity again and ask 'why me'. 'You are having none of that devil' I said as I began to praise my father for the wonderful things he has done and would do, even for how he was going to come through in this situation.
Life is complex yet simple. No one principle fits all. But some things are as sure as the dawn. We live in a world at war. There are forces fighting for our every attention. To live without this awareness is like swimming smeared with fresh blood in shark infested waters.
I do not write these things to scare you or start you up to goggle the recipe for holy water. There are demons, there are angels, there is a God, there is a devil who disobeyed God full of his own pride and is set out to destroy the image bearers of this God body and soul. And less I forget . . . . there is a purpose, a mission for us to achieve for and with our God. The devil and his cohorts are hell bent on not seeing this accomplished. So what do we do? Live in ignorance of all these since it is said that what you don't know won't hurt you?' No, I don't think so.
Life would make more sense or should I say all that has been happening to you will make more sense in the light of the last paragraph. There's a resistance for sure to follow our true desire. It is sure not the lecturer who tells you, you can never amount to anything or the father who walks out on you early in life. Your friends walk out on you when you need them most. Your family members are the very ones who do not believe in your life dream; like Joseph's brothers they dismiss you to the Ishmaelites passing by and call you a bluff.
Our reaction is usually to harbor bitterness and a sense of resentment in our heart. Close the door on love. 'I will never let anyone into my life again' we say to ourselves in front of the bathroom mirror. But is that really the answer or solution to our situation? The one who has been rejected by family says to herself ' I can make it on my own, I will be more principled, focused and disciplined' but is that the answer. In a world at war, where the forces contending for our souls are forces we sure can't see, is that the answer?
OUR SOLUTION – THE ANSWER
There's a battle for our souls and that's even truer than the fact that water boils at one hundred degree Celsius. And like I said these things I write are in no way to put fear in us.
'You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free' these are the words of Yeshua found in the eight chapter of the book of John. It's freeing to know we live in a world at war. It's freeing to know that the real person who offends isn't the person who calls you a 'bastard' in class. It's freeing to know that the real person is Satan himself who laughs with glee when he sees you have responded back with evil. It's freeing to know that the weapons we need in a world at war aren't the same we see Chuck Norris handling in the opening scenes of 'Delta Force'. They are mightier than those, spiritual and more effective
OUR WEAPONS – THE TYPE OF GUNS WE NEED
Saint Paul speaks boldly of the type of ammunition we need for the battle we live our stories in his letter to the Ephesians. He talks of the protection of righteousness for our hearts (breastplate of righteousness) and the cover of salvation for our minds (helmet of salvation), the weapon of defense of faith (the shield of faith), the weapon of offense of the living word (the sword of the spirit which is the word of God), being firm in truth (the belt of truth) and the spread of the preparation of the gospel of peace (the shoes of the preparation of the gospel of peace). That is our armor which can only be secured in Christ. He even goes further describing them as the part of a soldier's armor to show their effectiveness. He also adds over all of how we are to draw close to the source of our strength for the battle in the place of communing with God through prayer.
Now these are all effective and violent weapons against the evil one if we just don't know them by the book. They are as practical as they can get
What am I trying to say? Like I said earlier on, I have a cold and cough. It's terrible and I can hardly breathe. I will like to first establish, God didn't bring this cold on me, it's sure from the pit of hell just like every other of its counterparts called illness and diseases. All I wanted to just do was to stay in my room all through yesterday. At least, I'm not feeling so good, I can just affect everyone with a not so good attitude, but no. I can ( as I chose yesterday) chose to have a good attitude, give compliments and even lend a kind hand to my housemates. Cause I do not feel so good doesn't mean my day has to be bad. That was an act of offense to the evil one. The bible tells me to overcome evil with good. What the devil wants is for me to complain, nag and go through my day with a bad attitude but by God's grace I didn't give him that.
Also I have been having this piercing thought of maybe something is wrong with me, my relationship with God is just off it that's why this has come upon me. Right there in my heart from the deepest part of me I heard God whisper 'I love you and there's nothing wrong with you. You are my righteousness'. There goes the breast plate of righteousness we have to guard our hearts with at all times.
OUR REALITY – WALKING WITH GOD
The world is a very hard place if we try to go through it on our own. You can be rest assured of that, I have tried.
Like the sheep Jesus talks about in the book of John chapter 10, we have a privilege (as Christians) to be guided through life by God through his Spirit. Life is much 'easier' from this reality. The war is more understood and we are more prepared for what is to come.
Walking with God and hearing his voice takes a conscious effort, it isn't something that falls on us. We have to continuously ask God about the path of life for our lives and the road he wants us to travel. The beautiful thing is He speaks! He is able to tell us if it's okay for us to go for that dinner/ eat out or not. Even to the little things like 'should I visit Sam today Lord?'.
He speaks, he leads us, and he guides us. 'And you will hear a voice behind you,' declares prophet Isaiah 'this is the way, walk in it'
Practice makes perfect. We do not arrive in a day. We get better at hearing his voice as we begin. We might miss him every now and then but the more we spend time with him, listen to his voice, and not just listen but follow his voice, the more discerning we become. The more armed we are for the battle ahead, the more we possess the victory already won in Christ our Lord.
If you are a Christian and you are reading this, this is a wakeup call. Let it pour a glass of cold water on your life (not just your spiritual life). We live in a world at war and that's what our stories have been telling, we have a God for us who is ready to lead us in the right path (the path of life).
In any situation, a good question to ask is, what is God trying to bring out of this? In what ways, is the age old enemy the devil trying to hinder his plan?
Be aware! Let it wake you up to walk with God every step of the way.
And if you aren't a Christian and you're reading this, I'm wondering why you aren't one yet after coming this far in this post. My question for you; in a world at war where the devil ( who exist whether or not you choose to believe his existence) and his cohorts are hell bent to kill, steal and destroy body and soul the image bearers of God, who will be your saving grace?
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless device from MTN
Posted by The King's Son at 7:12 AM
Monday, January 3, 2011
[Image by austie1 ]
BEFORE YOU READ. . .
Please bear in mind this was partly written last year (2010). The tenses might make you check your calendar a couple of times. Don't worry you are in 2011 and I am also in it too :)
HOLDING ON TO THE PHOTO IPOD
I remember so well. It was the summer of 2005 and Apple had just launched their one of a kind photo iPod. I had never seen anything like it. To make you know how much I remember, The black eyed peas ( including Fergie of course. . . . The big girl who believes big girls don't cry :)) were the artiste used for it's promotion. They even had a place on it's pack. The iPod mini had been released earlier and it blew people off their feet but when the photo came up, I for one was like there was nothing like it and I didn't stop there. I affirmed to myself that there would be nothing more than it. Silly me. I stood wide eyed two years later when a friend of mine showed me the exquisite iPod touch which he just bought. It blew my imagination away. What I thought would be the best (the photo) was nothing compared to the iTouch.
But isn't that what we do most of the time. We experience something (good or bad) and we are like it just can't get any better. Now note, 'better' is a strong word. It's a step beyond our current imagination, our current scope of things. So let's settle this first about the new year, no matter how good 2010 might have rolled out for us individually, 2011 can be far better and no matter how bad it might have turned out, 2011 doesn't have to be that bad.
Friends can we explode hope in our hearts for this coming year by stretching our imagination. It's never too late for you start the journey of success. God can do! And that's just a truth. 2011 doesn't have to be dependent on 2010 in anyway. Friends we better begin to hope ( expecting something good to happen. . .that's what hope simply means!)
YOU CANT BE ON YOUR OWN THIS YEAR
The secret of finishing the coming year with smiles and a sense of success is walking through it with God. We can't decide to just do it by ourselves and in our own strength. We need God and his grace friends. If we rely on our strength and proficiency, in the long run, we would surely fail!
A story in God's message to us comes to mind. The 32nd chapter of the second book of chronicles tells of Sennacherib, king of Assyria planning to invade Jerusalem. When Hezekiah, king of Jerusalem at that time learns of his plan, he gathers his men to block the flow of water out of the city. While his men are at work, he encourages his people with this words "Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid nor dismayed before the king of Assyria, nor before all the multitude that is with him; for there are more with us that with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is our LORD our God, to help us and to fight OUR battles". It's surprising how our 'arm of flesh' makes us more courageous. We rather believe our qualifications and talents would get us that job than to think we have God on our sides who can make all things work well in our favor not based on one thing we have done. Now note, qualifications and talent aren't bad, but to put our entire life weight on them could bring devastating results. Relying on God this coming year doesn't mean sloppiness. In fact we have an invitation to dream with the Maker of the universe.
WHAT DO YOU WANT?
I have come to realize that's it not really about what God can give that determines the reality we see in our lives, it more about what we can take and handle. For this coming year, what really are our hearts desire? What's that one thing that if we got to the end of 2011 we would be sad it hasn't happened. Some wouldn't want to take the risk of expecting because of the fear of disappointment. But can we dare to be bold by asking ourselves ' what do I really want from this coming year?'. Remember.. hope (the anticipation of something good) never disappoints!
WHAT DOES GOD WANTS
One truth amazes me, where our desires and wanting ends, is where God's takes off. God has a plan for us individually for this new year if we only knew that would blow our minds away.Question- How do we get to know this wonderful plan? Answer- by communicating with him. Speaking to him and hearing him speak. This is commonly known as prayer. To get to know God's heart concerning this coming, we need to spend time with him to know what He has to say to us.
The world we live in today is a fast world. Everyone is on the move. It's easy to get lost in this 'fastness'. But like Habakuk ( one of the prophets in the bible) we can make a deliberate choice to make a deliberate connection with God. " I WILL stand my watch " he proclaims in the second chapter of the book named after him in the bible. "I WILL wait to see what God says' another translation says. Friends, we need to set time aside to hear what God has to say concerning the year throughout the year.
AND IT'S A GOAL!
Imagine the popular game of football without goalposts. The players just pass the ball on a field . . . And that is all. Can we imagine such boredom and hopelessness. The hope of each team in football is to leave the field with the highest amount of goals. Without set out goals for the coming year, a type of aimless wandering on the football fields of our lives is sure to set in.
WRITE THE VISION
Let's see what happens when our friend Habakuk makes a deliberate choice to make a deliberate connection. God shows up telling him 'Grab your pen and write I'm about to show you something' (Habakuk 2:2). Isn't it questioning that God doesn't just say 'listen attentively son', no he says ' write the vision'. Guys, there's a power in writing and not just knowing what we can see concerning this coming year.
HOW TO WRITE
Habakuk isn't just instructed to write but on how to write. The bible tells us in the second chapter of Habakuk that he was instructed to
1. Make it plain (as simple as A,B,C, no ambiguity required)
That is in setting our goals and writing the things God has placed in our hearts we have to make it plain, be specific. No ambiguity. To say 'I want to be a better person this year' is quite ambiguous. It isn't as simple as A,B,C cause it gets one wondering ' In what areas do you want to be better, a better liar?'. It has to be simple (lacking ambiguity) friends. Think of you explaining it to a five year old and him understanding :)
2. Write it in such a way that it can be read by people running by fast.
Wow! This is interesting. If our goals would be easily read by people moving by us fast then it must be written in block letters. Remember we live in a fast world with so much unaimed motion. Unaimed motion is commotion. We need to have an aim before thinking of moving this year. How can we write our goals such that the people moving fast in our fast paced world get to read it? A billboard comes to mind!
Write the vision, make it plain In block letters, then what?. . . We have to live by the goals we have set this year. We can't just write them and dump them. The people around us have to know what we stand for this year. We have to not just make it plain but also make it known. Please note, it isn't everything God has shown us we can tell just anybody. We should be wise not to give our God given pearls to swines, we might just end up having it trampled on. Look for someone who has been a source of encouragement over the years and tell them about what God has set in your heart to do concerning this coming year. Be accountable to someone about your goals. It is always wonderful to have someone who believes in the vision alongside us.
Even to those who do not believe, we have to be bold about our God given goals. We have to write them boldly not just on paper but also on our hearts. And surely when the heart is on fire, sparks would sure fly out of the mouth.
The question that surfaces in our heart (in fact even surfaced as We discussed this in a bible class somedays back) is usually what 'if my goals for the year don't come true', 'What if the dream later becomes the nightmare I stare at at the end of the year'. But the question I always like to ask is what if not, what if our dreams come true?
A GREAT YEAR AHEAD
Before I end this post, I would like to outline again our discourse thus far
- we have to come to a conclusion in our minds that no matter how the former year has been, the coming year can be better
- we need God and his grace this coming year
- what do we want this coming year
- what does God want for us this coming year ( which we can find out via prayer)
- writing down our goals for the coming year
A great year is sure ahead of us. Be blessed. :)
The King's Son
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