Archive for August, 2011

Reflection

Posted: August 29, 2011 in Uncategorized

Reflection

Knowing one’s self is a lifelong journey and a journey which should be embarked upon with total trust in your personal observations and personal experiences to date. Truth is only known in relation to an individual’s perception of reality. There is only one reality and your personal perception of it constitutes only one of many. However, who is the actual perceiver, “Who are you, really?”

Reflect upon the following considerations to gain an idea of how to view yourself holistically, as a part of reality, as well as to view your awareness as somewhat of a mirror of reality, such that to describe that of which you are aware equates to the truth about an aspect of reality. Knowing yourself means to be oriented in time and space to tap into an energy at the depth of your being which will equip you to fulfill your highest destiny.

Tips

  • Recognize that you are a part of reality (i.e. all that exists and happens), and recognize that your words are either true (i.e. an accurate representation of reality) or false (i.e. an inaccurate representation of reality).
  • View knowledge as your awareness of any aspect of reality. View ignorance as your non-awareness of any aspect of reality. View learning as any process which expands your awareness of reality.
  • Ask yourself, what is your presence here the result of, really? Ask yourself, what will be the result of your presence here, really? Aspire to grow physically and mentally to at least perhaps impress yourself, even if others decline to acknowledge your existence, or the virtues in your appearance and performance.
  • Realize that maturity entails knowing who you are, understanding what you want and having the courage to handle your business.
  • Be cognizant that a lot of work of various types is consistently necessary to facilitate the survival and comfort of humanity and allow this awareness to spur you on to be ready and willing to earn your place in the Universe.

Warnings

  • Never underestimate the importance of thoroughly contemplating the human condition. If you do, you might miss out on great opportunities or you might encounter hardship which you may have otherwise been able to avoid.
  • Do not panic when confronted with mystery or inescapable confusion about an aspect of reality. Rather calmly acknowledge that sometimes satisfactory answers are simply not available for some questions.
  • Continually reflect upon the human condition in an honest and objective frame of mind, but be careful not to allow such reflection to inhibit your ability to fully experience and appreciate your time to live.

 

I was suppose to start this post boosting about how my darling Arsenal team, handed me an unforgettable,wonderful  and endow birthday gift by trouncing Man U 2-8 at Old trafford. Scaring shei?…..hahahaha? I actually analyzed this “try and not ever remember game” weeks before the game. I told my colleague who are Man U crazy fans,that they were going to beat us,but creaming us up 8times?its a debacle.I keep asking myself when Mr Wenger will have the courage to stand up and, speak nothing but the whole truth about the Arsenal board.But if he feels he can’t do that,he should stop taking sticks for the board,do the honourable thing “RESIGN”.But as they say Arsene , knows best.A man shoots himself in the foot and still wants to do a sprint with an Hyana”very fuuny”,he would have to be at his very best  to beat a tortoise in a race.Mediocrity will always bring you mortification my dear Mr Knows best.

If Arsene Wenger had any honour, he would resign now. He’s been rewarded enough by the club over the years. If he really cares about Arsenal, he would not cost them any more money. The season might only be three league matches old, but am already looking at 2012-13 now. This one’s a write-off. There is no coming back from this. If a 2-1 defeat to Birmingham City is enough to cause the team to collapse completely, there is no way back for many of these players after this. At least not without a change of manager. And to think Wenger put Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain into the middle of this. Give the kid a break.

And if the manager hasn’t got the decency to step down, the board should use some of the money swilling around in the coffers to pay him off. Change is desperately, desperately needed. The players that are at the club need organising and coaching. A tactician, a motivator, a disciplinarian is needed and if Arsenal can afford to pay the manager £6.5 million a year, they can bet someone in who will do a decent job, even just for the course of this season, which is now about rebuilding confidence in the football team. The attacking side of the team’s game has kept them in the top four in recent seasons, but even that now looks like it’s on the wane. Against a very young United back line, it was actually fill your boots time, but a side concentrated on going forward rather than worrying about what the opposition might do struggled to convert their opportunities.

And remember, this was all without the traditional boo boys of Denilson, Almunia, Eboue, Bendtner and Diaby. Two have been moved on, although we’ve only received any money for one of them. If you are under any illusion Denilson’s coming back, remember his squad number has been given to a teenager. So the Brazilian in the end was not ‘killed’ by an experience signing but another young prospect. I’d rather have had Xabi Alonso three summers back thanks very much. No-one’s foolish enough to take Almunia so he’s on the wage bill for the duration of his contract, and no-one is going to match Bendtner’s wages in a month of Sundays. Diaby isn’t even for sale, as the manager still hasn’t twigged that one yet, although if he were he surely wouldn’t pass any medical worthy of the name.

“Akwa United my home town team from Akwa-Ibom state in Nigeria would have made it more difficult for Manchester United than this,” or words to that effect. And I tend to agree. United were not even actually that good. The point is they didn’t have to be.

We’ve come to the point that it’s like watching a terminally ill patient pass time waiting for the inevitable end. No-one knows when it will come, just that it will. And there’s a horrible atmosphere, knowing recovery is impossible. I do not care about the transfer market, this season is over in that it’s time to start re-building now. Since the Carling Cup Final Arsenal have now won two league matches out of their last 14. Some fans have a fear of relegation, although I can see Arsenal recovering to make the top six, if only because they will win enough games against lesser teams. There is not a cat in hell’s chance of them finishing in the top four with the current manager now that Liverpool have sorted themselves out and invested to shake things up.

Arsenal have been standing still for a long time, and are now in gradual decline. It’s not too late to arrest it, but the first thing that needs to happen is a complete change of manager and coaching staff. I hope the board have got the balls to do it, but I doubt it,the manager has made their accounts fatter . Still, self-sustainability eh? Shame they don’t give out trophies for prudency.

I truly hope our boys would pick themselves up again and come out stronger in our next game.

UP GUNNERS

 

 

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire.  1Peter1:6-7

 

Richard Stearns, the president of World Vision, reflected on his visit to a church in Port-au-Prince, Haiti nearly a year after the devastating earthquake. The church’s building consisted of a tent made from white tarps and duct tape, pitched in the midst of a sprawling camp for thousands of people still homeless from the earthquake. This is how he describes the church and the lesson he learned in Haiti:

In the front row sat six amputees ranging in age from 6 to 60. They were clapping and smiling as they sang song after song and lifted their prayers to God. The worship was full of hope … [and] with thanksgiving to the Lord.

No one was singing louder or praying more fervently than Demosi Louphine, a 32-year-old unemployed single mother of two. During the earthquake, a collapsed building crushed her right arm and left leg. After four days both limbs had to be amputated.

She was leading the choir, leading prayers, standing on her prosthesis and lifting her one hand high in praise to God .… Following the service, I met Demosi’s two daughters, ages eight and ten. The three of them now live in a tent five feet tall and perhaps eight feet wide. Despite losing her job, her home, and two limbs, she is deeply grateful because God spared her life on January 12th last year … “He brought me back like Lazarus, giving me the gift of life,” says Demosi … [who] believes she survived the devastating quake for two reasons: to raise her girls and to serve her Lord for a few more years.

It makes no sense to me as an “entitled American” who grouses at the smallest inconveniences—a clogged drain or a slow wi-fi connection in my home. Yet here in this place, many people who had lost everything … expressed nothing but praise.

I find my own sense of charity for people like Demosi inadequate. They have so much more to offer me than I to them. I feel pity and sadness for them, but it is they who might better pity me for the shallowness of my own walk with Christ.1

Though I have not personally visited the squalor and tragedy of a refugee camp; in my own way, I totally empathize with what Mr. Stearns is saying: How can I possibly preach on a text from the Bible where the author is encouraging his people not to give up when faced with persecution and possibly death.

Many a night before I finally close my eyes to sleep, I give thanks that I am so privileged to live in a country of peace, to have a secure home and a warm bed. And I reflect to my God that I know there are millions who do not. The fact of how my situation differs to starkly from theirs weighs on me as I remember the parable of Dives and Lazarus.
And I stand amazed in the faith of someone like this poor Haitian woman.

But the text this morning from Peter is part of scripture and just because it bothers me to presume to speak on it, I shall not simply ignore it. And frankly, I hope it bothers you as much as it does me–not my preaching, but the fact of our relative complacency in a world where so many face trials we can only imagine.

Peter is writing to his congregation, who are beginning to experience persecution at the hands their neighbors. This is perhaps in the beginning years of the emperor Nero’s horrific persecution of believers. Many trials lay before them, but Peter reminds them that something even more wonderful waits–the coming in glory of Jesus Christ and the salvation which He brings with Him.

The chapter begins with a beautiful passage. Some scholars believe that Peter is perhaps quoting from a baptismal liturgy which may have been in use in the early church:

In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you,  who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

What a beautiful thought, and I especially like the idea that people in Peter’s time used it as part of the baptismal service.
He speaks about the faith we have in God, and how through our faith we are shielded by God’s power.
I imagine God’s loving hands shielding our faith and life the way you shield a candle on a windy day. His shield does not keep us from experiencing pain or misfortune. It does shield us from having our light being blown out.
Yours and my faith in God will preserve our light until the time when we shall receive our eternal inheritance and be with God where there are no misfortunes, when He shall “wipe away every tear from every eye”.

So whether our sufferings are anything like the people who suffered under emperor Nero, or on a purely individual level of bodily or emotional suffering, our God knows our trials and will shield you from having your light go out.
And though it sounds like a cliche to say it, our trials have the potential of refining us into something better.

Say that you’re in the grocery store, walking down the cereal aisle. The next item on your list is pancake syrup. You glance up at the tiny $7 bottle of pure maple syrup on the top shelf. You pause—in this economy?—and with a sigh you grab the larger $3 bottle of Hungry Jack.

When it comes to syrup, there’s a reason the real stuff is pricy. Through a slow and painstaking process, the traditional Native American art of maple sugaring takes large quantities of an essentially useless substance and turns it into something worth stretching your grocery budget to buy.

First, the workers venture deep into the woods—called the “sugar bush”—and use hand drills to make small holes in the trunks of maple trees. A metal tube called a “spile” is tapped into each hole, and a bucket is hung on each spile. The sap that begins to drip into the buckets is thin and clear, like water, with only a hint of sweetness. On a good day, 50 trees will yield 30 – 40 gallons of sap.

As the buckets fill, they are emptied into large kettles that sit over an open fire. The sap comes to a slow boil. As it boils, its water content is reduced and its sugars are concentrated. Hours later, it has developed a rich flavor and golden-brown color. Then it must be strained several times to remove impurities before being reheated, bottled, and graded for quality. The end product of those 30 – 40 gallons of sap? One gallon of maple syrup. No wonder it’s so expensive!

When we came to Christ, like raw, unfinished sap, we could have been tossed aside as worthless. But God knew what he could make of us. He sought and found us, and his skillful hands are transforming us into something precious, sweet and useful. The long and often painful refining process brings forth a pure, genuine disciple easily distinguished from cheap imitations.2

Faith in God produces no cheap imitation, but Faith is a challenge. It brings both blessings and its struggles.
When life is difficult it is often a challenge to ask where God is in the process. And it is not always easy to see when you are just looking at your immediate circumstances.
But faith requires us to look more broadly, to see the finish line. I cannot imagine any marathon runner would endure the pain without a vision of the finish line.
As a teen ager, I was a sprinter. And I won more races than I lost.
What motivated me to put all I could into every stride was the finish line, which for sprinters, is tantalizingly close.
The other motivation was not to be overtaken. I wanted to keep all my competitors out of my peripheral vision.
If I could see them, I had to push harder.

Whether your challenge is a marathon or a sprint, run with both a vision of the finish line and a reminder of larger context in which we run–that by faith we are held and shielded by the love of God.

Theologian Jurgen Moltmann expresses the great span from Good Friday to Easter: “God weeps with us so that we may someday laugh with him.” 3

German pastor Martin Rinkart served in the walled town of Eilenburg during the horrors of the Thirty Years War of 1618-1648. Eilenburg became an overcrowded refuge for the surrounding area. The fugitives suffered from epidemic and famine. At the beginning of 1637, the year of the Great Pestilence, there were four ministers in Eilenburg. But one abandoned his post for healthier areas and could not be persuaded to return. Pastor Rinkhart officiated at the funerals of the other two. As the only pastor left, he often conducted services for as many as 40 to 50 persons a day—some 4,480 in all. In May of that year, his own wife died. By the end of the year, the refugees had to be buried in trenches without services.
Yet living in a world dominated by death, Pastor Rinkart wrote the following prayer for his children to offer to the Lord:4

Now thank we all our God
With hearts and hands and voices;
Who wondrous things hath done,
In whom this world rejoices.
Who, from our mother’s arms,
Hath led us on our way,
With countless gifts of love,
And still is ours today.

Praising God

Posted: August 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

If you’re like most people, praising God is the last thing you think to do when faced with challenges.  It’s easier to bicker and complain than to praise God.  However, I encourage you not to exalt the bad in your life, but to instead praise God who’s able to change that situation around.

Philippians 4:4 states, “rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”  Sometimes you have to push all the mess aside – all the hurt, pain and challenges of life and reflect on the goodness of Jesus Christ.

Think about what He’s done for you.  Surely God is worthy to be praised.  However, with the devil magnifying every bad and difficult thing in your life, you oftentimes must PUSH your way into a praise – even when your flesh is unwilling to lift one up.

Praising God – The How To

You want to know the “secret” behind getting through obstacles – pressing your way through with a praise offering.  Praising God is not difficult to do.  It’s simply giving reverence to God Almighty for all He’s done.  This can be done in the form of a dance, song/psalm, musical instrument, hand clap, hum or simply telling God how good and wonderful He is.

I’ll be honest, I’m not one to scream and shout (not that there’s anything wrong with it, it’s just not my style of praise unto the Lord) but I enjoy praising God by simply talking to God and telling Him thank you.

“Thank you God for your protection.  I praise you God for loving me past my mess, sinful habits and rebellious ways.  I thank you God for clothes, shelter, food and water.  Thank you for keeping and never neglecting me.  I praise your Holy Name God.”

See how simple that was?  Of course I have much more to praise God for, but this is just an illustration of how praising God is not limited to just one particular way.  Just praise God for what He’s done – in your own way.

Praising God through Difficult Times

“I will comfort those who mourn, bringing words of praise to their lips.  May they have abundant peace, both near and far,” says the Lord, who heals them.” Isaiah 57:19

I encourage you not only to praise God for the good He’s done but also for the difficult times He’s allowing you to go through as well.  YES! Praise God for the difficult times He’s allowing you to go through. Now before you think I’m crazy let me explain.

Realize you serve a God who is majestic and sovereign.  Nothing happening in your life now is ‘news’ or beyond His control.  With that being said, God has given you the end story to the situation you’re faced with.   He’s told you through scripture that all things work together for [the] good to them that love [Him] (Romans 8:28).  Surely you love God if you’re reading this.

Notice the bible verse declares, “all things work together for good to them that love God.”  It doesn’t say some things will work out or that it will work out for everyone except you; it says ALL THINGS work together for YOUR good.  Your situation may not be good but it WILL work out for your good.  Hallelujah! That’s a reason worth praising God for right there. \o/

Praising God – Final Words

In closing, there’s something to learn during the mist of a difficult situation – although we don’t see it that way.  Sometimes it’s during difficult times that we learn to praise God; how to draw near to God and how to trust God to be a provider.

The situation you’re faced with today was tagged with a solution over 2000 years ago before the foundations of the world.  The only thing I encourage you to do is to pray without ceasing, hold steadfast to the Word of God, His promises and to continuously praise God while on your way to victory.

When times are pleasant, praise God!  When times are rough, guess what?  Start praising God!  Your deliverance is in your praise!  It’s by praising God with the fruit of your lips will you get through this hurdle.

Now, with that being said give praise to God; for the scripture declares, “let everything that has breath praise the LORD” (Psalms 150:6).  God bless you and may you be encouraged in Jesus name; Amen!

God Will Make A Way

Posted: August 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

I am the Lord, your Holy One,
Israel’s Creator and King.
I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters,
making a dry path through the sea.
I called forth the mighty army of Egypt
with all its chariots and horses.
I drew them beneath the waves, and they drowned,
their lives snuffed out like a smoldering candlewick.

But forget all that—
it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

–          Isaiah 43:15-19

How many times have you looked to your left and right crying out to God because both ways appeared to be a dead end?  I come to tell you that you serve a God who is able to make a way out of no way!

Background Information

The scripture above makes reference to Moses, the children of Israel and the parting of the red sea.  According to scripture, as Pharaoh and his army encamped the children of Israel at the red sea, the children of Israel begin to cry unto the Lord and said to Moses:

“Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”

Following this, Moses, as instructed by the Lord, stretched out his hands over the red sea.  In obedience, the water was divided and the children of Israel went into the sea on dry ground with the waters being a wall to them on their left and right hand.

Long story short, they were able to cross the red sea while Pharaohs chariots and horsemen perished in it.  As a result, Israel saw the great power of the Lord.

God WILL Make a Way

As we look at Isaiah 43:15-19, we see God mentioning how He opened a way through the red sea for the children of Israel.  Though we get excited about the parting of the red sea…I encourage you to look at it from the children of Israel prospective.

Here you are at this sea.  You look ahead; all you see is a body of water.  You look behind; all you see is Pharaoh and his chariot coming after you.  You cry out to God as it appears as if He’s brought you here to die.  Your back is against the wall and you have nowhere to go.

For some of you, this passage explains your situation.  However, I encourage you today! God has not brought you this far just to leave you stranded.  He hasn’t brought you here just to abandon you.  God will make a way out of no way!

It wasn’t until Moses moved forward and used what he had (a staff) until God added his super to Moses natural and parted the sea.  I encourage you to use what God has given you and watch God add His super to your natural.  What has God given you?  His word that shall never fail; your mouth that shall declare the word of the Lord over your life; promises; visions; and a faith that shall move mountains!

So I say to you as God said to Moses, “why do you cry? Move forward”.  Move forward in your walk with God…move forward in your faith!

What God has in store for you doesn’t even compare to what we read God doing for the children of Israel here in Exodus 15.  For God says, “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”

Jesus, A Waymaker: Finial Words

God will do a new thing in your life NOW! Not next week, next month or next year…NOW! Now God will do a new thing!  The Lord will make a way in hard times, in the wilderness and in what appears to be thee impossible!

Be encouraged and trust God!  If God brought you to it, then He’ll bring you through it just as He did with the children of Israel!  He hasn’t brought you this far just to leave you.  God will make a way out of no way NOW!  Do you not see it?  Has it not already begun?

Be blessed and encouraged in Jesus name; Amen!

Forgiving yourself at times can be the hardest thing to do.  We walk around feeling horrible, bad and weary for our mistakes.  A few weeks ago I had a hard time forgiving myself.  I made the same mistakes over and over again; praying over and over again about the same thing asking God for his forgiveness.  God encouraged me and said He already forgave me, now it’s time to start forgiving myself.

Forgiving Yourself of the Past

Beating yourself up about what happened days, weeks, months or even years ago?  As much as we would like to, we cannot go in the past and correct those mistakes.  However, we can make a decision to learn from them and start forgiving ourselves.  One of the most important factors to realize is that you’re human; you will make mistakes.  However, this doesn’t mean that you have to live with the guilt’s of your past.

God desires for you to be free from guilt, free from depression, free from the past.  The scripture declares, “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

No matter what you’ve done (big or small), know that when Jesus died on the cross for you- your sins, mistakes, weaknesses and addictions went on the cross too.  God already knew before the foundations of the world what your mistakes and downfalls would be, so He took it to the cross with Him 2,000 years ago.

Once we repent, God forgives all our sins.  God doesn’t hold it against us, He doesn’t bring it up when we make mistakes, He doesn’t condemn us, He doesn’t even remember them no more.  God forgives us completely.  Our sins are cast into the sea of forgiveness.

No matter what your story is: rape, murder, theft, lying, cheating, adultery, addictions, etc; when you repented and asked for forgiveness the first time, God forgave you.  He now wants you to start forgiving yourself.

God Forgave You, Now Start Forgiving Yourself

Forgiving yourself starts with first receiving forgiveness from our graceful and merciful God.  Once you learn to receive God’s forgiveness, you’ll not only start forgiving others, but yourself too.

Want to know how to start forgiving yourself?  Here are 3 steps you can take towards self forgiveness:

  1. Confess all your sins to God:  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 john 1:9).  Confess your sins. Confess all the things you’ve done – even the things that preventing you from forgiving yourself now.  Confess sins, mistakes, weaknesses, addictions, lustful desires / thoughts, things of the past, everything.  This allows God to cleanse you and places you back in right standing with Him.
  2. Ask God for forgiveness.  This can be as simple as saying, “Lord, I ask for forgiveness of all things I’ve thought, said or done that were displeasing in your sight.”
  3. Receive God’s forgiveness in your heart.  One of the things I say is, “Lord, I thank you for your forgiveness.  Your grace is sufficient for me; I receive your forgiveness by faith in Jesus name.”

By confessing you’re sins, asking and receiving God’s forgiveness, you have been cleansed of all things of the past – addictions, mistakes, sins, whatever it was, God washed those burdens away.  God has forgiven you, now you must make a decision to start forgiving yourself.

Forgiving Yourself is a Decision

Forgiving yourself is a decision.  God doesn’t bring up the things of the past; He doesn’t condemn you, nor hold forgiven sins and mistakes against you.  If God does all of this, we must make a decision to do the same.  Make a decision to start forgiving yourself; right now.

When the devil comes and condemns, bind his mouth in Jesus name because there’s no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.  Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).  You are a new creature in Christ Jesus and because you’ve repented and confessed your mistakes, you’re made righteous before the eyes of the Lord.

Final Words regarding Self Forgiveness

There may be times when you don’t feel like you’re forgiven, causing you stop forgiving yourself, but don’t fall into this trap.  Our feelings are deceptive.  There’s peace and joy that comes with forgiving yourself.  Burdens are lifted up and chains are loose.

Forgiving yourself is a decision and a daily task; even if you were to mess up right now, know that God’s grace is sufficient.  He will wash away all sins, cleansing you and making you a new creature all over again.

Prayer: Forgiving Yourself

Father, I thank you for your forgiveness.  That there’s no sin to great or small that you won’t forgive us for.  Father I ask for the touch my brother/sister.  Touch them Lord and begin to cleanse them from the inside out.  Father I ask that you break away chains of burdens and despair.  Break chains of bondage and pain.  You said that if my brother/sister confesses their sins you’ll forgive their sins and cleanse them from all unrighteousness.

Father I thank you for your cleansing.  I thank you for making them a new creature through Christ Jesus.  I thank you for opening their hearts to receive your forgiveness.  Lord I ask that you now open this person’s heart to forgive themselves – of everything.  Of every mistake, sin, weakness, addiction, everything!

Bless my brother/sister.  Bring peace, joy and comfort into their heart and atmosphere. I thank you Lord for hearing our pray; I thank you Lord that it’s already done.  These things we ask in Jesus name, Amen.

Be blessed and encouraged.

God’s Ways Are Not Our Ways

Posted: August 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts (scripture: Isaiah 55:8-9; KJV).

The part I really want to focus on is where it says, “neither are your ways my ways.”  It wasn’t until I begin my Christian walk with God that I was able to realize the truth and reality of this bible verse; that in fact God’s ways are not our ways.

There are many times when I want to do things my way; because my way at the moment seems logical or appeases how I feel and/or what.  I remember last year when I had to learn the lesson of doing things God’s way…the hard way.

His Ways Are Not My Ways

It was right before the spring semester of college and God was transitioning my family physically and spiritually.  I believe God did not want me to enroll spring of 09, but because of the desire to do things my way, I enrolled anyway.

Long story short, the consequence of my disobedience resulted in me dropping and failing a course.  (Keep in mind that prior to this, I had a 3.8 GPA; maintaining all A’s and B’s; never failing a course).  Needless to say, I knew it was God speaking to me, showing me He had a different plan for my life.

God’s Ways Are Not Your Ways

As it may relate to you; there are going to be times when God does something in your life and you question His motives.  There will be times when you make plans to do something and God instructs you to ditch your plans and follow Him.

There will be times when you don’t understand why God is allowing certain things to happen in your life.  I want to encourage you to trust and be obedient to the Lord because the ways of God are not our ways.

It’s so easy to get caught up in what we want and how we want it done, but we must remember that we are here on earth to do God’s will; not ours.

Don’t stress yourself out on trying to understand the ways of God because His ways are past finding out; for the scripture declares it is impossible for us to understand His decisions and His ways! (Romans 11:33).

The ways of our God are mysterious, perfect, unfathomable, inscrutable and unexplainable.   They are higher than our ways.  If you’re going to have a relationship with God, you must realize that God’s ways are not man’s ways.  You must learn to trust His ways because He’s omniscient (all knowing) and knows what’s best for you.

Although doing things God’s way is hard at times, rest knowing when God ordains something to be so in your life, God will give you the tools and resources needed to do His instruct and provide the strength and provisions needed to guide you through.

Conclusion

Regardless of what happens as a result of your obedience, know that God’s way is still the best way and living God’s way is much more rewarding than living life the way we want or believe is right.

Remember, you serve a God who’s all knowing, who knows the beginning and thee end.  With that in mind, why would God, being so loving and all knowing, steer you the wrong way?

Be encouraged to start living according to God’s purpose for your life.  His ways are not our ways and His way is the best way for our lives.  God bless you in Jesus name.

It’s easy to say, “give your cares to the Lord and trust Him” when everything in life seems to be going well.  It’s easy to say, “I trust you Lord with everything I own” when bills are paid on time and when you just got a promotion at work.

However, if God striped you of everything you own; If God told you to leave the very job that’s paying your bills, will you trust the Lord enough to do it?  Will you trust God even when you don’t understand; even when life hurts?  If God told you to leave the familiar and enter the unfamiliar, will you trust Him?

For many of you, God has done just that.  He has taken you from what’s “oh so familiar” and redirected your paths into the unfamiliar.  You don’t understand what’s happening in your life; what to do or where to go.  The only thing you know is that the Lord gave you a word (instruction, a promise, vision, etc) and the only thing you have to hold on to is that word.

I understand the feeling; you’re not alone.  There is encouragement for you today.  Here are 4 things to remember whenever you feel as though you don’t understand what God is doing and/or allowing in your life.

Consider the Source

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last (Revelation 22:13).

Who else can say that but God?  No one, only God can say such a thing.  God knows everything: the past, current and future and our knowledge and understanding doesn’t even compare to the knowledge and understanding of God –  even when it applies to our own life.

Furthermore, when you don’t understand what God is doing in your life, consider the source – Who is it that you’re trusting; God or yourself?

Here is something to remember.  Man is fallible; we fall short and at times we’re unable to keep our promises.  Man can give you instructions that are misleading and imperfect.  With God, none of these things are possible.  God keeps His promises, God gives you right instructions according to His perfect will and He won’t mislead you.

No matter how much you don’t understand life as it is right now; no matter how uncomfortable it may seem or how hard it gets, don’t give up.  If God is with you –  the same God who spoke life into you, the same God who IS and knows the beginning and the end, the same God who knew you before the foundation of this world -is with you, then ask yourself who or WHAT can stand against you.

Consider the source and seek to be obedient to the Lord, even when you don t understand what God is doing in your life; don’t worry about “this or that” because God has provisions for you.

Trust the Lord

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).

When you learn to trust the Lord, you will begin to have a sense of rest in the Lord knowing that He has everything under control even when life seems to be out of control.  Trusting God will get you to the point where you make a decision to trust in Him and NOT in your own logic and understanding.

As Christians, we must make a decision to trust Him regardless of how scary the situation may seem.  Trusting God doesn’t prevent you from being in uncomfortable situations but it does allow you to be placed in a position where you seek the Lord’s presence, provisions, guidance and promises.

I encourage you to stop stressing yourself out- losing sleep, being weary, anxious, worried, depressed and sad.  Don’t try to understand the ways of God because it is impossible for you to understand His decisions and ways! (Romans 11:33). The natural man cannot understand the things of God.  For God’s ways are higher than mans, they are past finding out and this is why we must make a decision to trust our all knowing God.

Be Obedient

The bible states that “obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22)” which should tell you a lot about our God.  God places significance on obedience.  He’ll much rather you be obedient to His instruction than for you to give Him sacrificial praise, money offerings, fasting and etc.

Why do I bring obedience up?  Because when God gives you instruction and you’re in a situation where you don’t understand what’s going on in your life, you need to be reminded to be obedient and to trust in the one who does understand – Christ.   There are blessings that follow a person who is obedient just as there are curses that follows a person who is disobedient.

God Will Lead You

The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you” (Genesis 12:1).

God told Abraham to leave everything he knew; everything he was familiar with and to enter into the unfamiliar.  God told him to go into a land which he will show him which meant Abraham didn’t know where he was going; He only had the instruction of the Lord to depend on.  Abraham could have easily said, “God, where will I go; what will I eat and drink”, but he didn’t.  He chose to trust God and be obedient and as Christians we must learn to do the same.

“It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8).

As much as we would like God to give us “what where when and how” upfront all the time (all in one shot), God does not operate like that.  Sometimes, God will place you in a satiation where you have to trust Him and He’ll give you piece by piece as you obey and trust Him.

As a person who’s been in this situation, I will tell you that this only increases your faith as you learn to walk by faith and not by sight.

Trusting God When You Don’t Understand: Finial Words

I don’t know what your story is (your more than welcome to share it below), but I encourage you to trust God even when you don t understand what’s happening in your life.

You may not understand life and all that’s happening; but God will give you a piece to the puzzle as you learn to step out on faith, trust and obey him.

Don’t let the devil fool you into believing that you’re taking a step backwards in life or that you’ll never make it out of this situation; because you will.  What you’re going through is temporary.

Encourage yourself in the Lord daily; read His word; pray without ceasing and seek His face.  The next time you find yourself in a position where you are stressed and worried about what God is doing in your life remember to:

  1. Consider the Source
  2. Trust the Lord
  3. Be Obedient
  4. Trust God to Lead You

Prayer for Trusting God’s When You Don’t Understand Life

Heavenly Father,

I ask that you place within me your obedient spirit so that I may be obedient to your instruction.  Help me Lord to walk by faith and not by sight.  I don’t understand what you’re doing in my life, but I make a decision to trust you God.

In this season, I ask that you place within me your spirit of joy, peace and rest.  Give me joy; peace and rest to endure all that comes my way.  Right now, I make a decision to trust you Lord because I know that you’re in control of my life even when my life seems to be out of control.

Lord, I thank you for clarity, guidance, provision and strength.  I pray and ask for these things in Jesus name; Amen.

Pray and stay in the word of God.  There is strength for you in the word of God.  Trust the Lord and be obedient even when you don’t understand life and what God is doing.  Be blessed and encouraged in Jesus name.

Work and Its Rewards

Posted: August 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

Ecclesiastes 5:9-20

I wish that someone had explained these verses to me when I was younger. Perhaps I wouldn’t have been so driven in my work. Maybe I would have relaxed more and let myself enjoy life.

There is virtue in honest, hard work – no one would argue with that.

But some Christians have the idea that work is all there is to life. To relax, to enjoy life, to spend a little of their hard-earned money somehow makes them feel guilty and lazy. So they keep driving themselves till they are stopped – often for health reasons.

Author of Ecclesiastes tell us that it is “good and fitting” for us to enjoy the benefit of our work ( 5:18 ).
It’s about eating and drinking, and talking about a joyous feast – a banquet with plenty of good food available and all the family gathered around the festivities.

Bible clearly teaches that God expects us to work ( 2 Th.3:10 ). He also wants us to enjoy some of its rewards. Whether the Lord has blessed you with great riches or just enough to pay the bills, take time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

If you’re working hard to make a living, never taking time to smell the roses, now it’s the time to heed the Bible’s wisdom: Find some joy before your life’s day closes

My Help Comes From the Lord

Posted: August 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

How many times have you taken it upon yourself to get things done when you knew God was telling you to stand still and/or wait on something?

I’ll be the first to raise my hand in saying I’ve done so. Right now in my life, I’m in this place where every week my family and I are faced with the challenges of paying hotel rent. I’m in the process of looking for employment…but I’ve tried to take matters into my own hands, thinking that I’ll “help God” because I can’t figure out what He’s doing.

Today, the very thing I placed my trust in to make some extra money was cancelled out. My first reaction was to panic and get upset. But you know what, after I prayed I am reminded that my help does not comes from what I, Naquan can do, but from what God can do (and we know that God can do all things).

Why do I share this with you? Because I know I’m not the only person who’s been tempted to step outside of faith and take matters into their own hands. Now, I’m not saying that you’re not to do anything to make a living…however, in the situation that God has ME in, it’s a faith walk and sometimes the faith walk is not the most easiest walk.

Your Help Cometh From the Lord

So I share my story to encourage someone today. Your help does not come from what you have or don’t have nor what you know or don’t know. Your help comes from the Lord, the Lord which made Heaven and earth (scripture verse: Psalm 121:2). God said in His word that He will supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory and we know we serve a God who cannot lie.

It is by the grace and merciful hand of God that my family and I had the funds to pay rent each week with NO INCOME. Even if I wanted to, I could not take the credit for it because the little money I did make was no way near the money needed each week to pay the hotel fees. So I know it’s only God who has been sustaining my family and I.

So as I encourage myself, I encourage you. You may not know where the next dollar, meal, drink, or etc is coming from. You may want to panic and give up. You may be tempted to take matters into your own hands. However, I encourage you to stand on the word of God and His promises because your help comes from the Lord!

If God can send ravens to feed Elijah, then surely God can use anything to be a blessing to you. Remember, your help comes from the Lord (bible verse: Psalm 121:2). Obey God and leave the when, how and where to Him. Your Heavenly father is a present help in times of trouble and He will not leave you hanging.

Be encouraged in Jesus name; Amen!

P.S. If you’re a daily reader of 2PraiseGod, you know I typically don’t share personal information, but I had to get this off my chest. At the end of the day, God will be glorified!