Sometime ago, I was trusting God for direction in a certain area of my life. I prayed about it every time I got the chance because I just wanted a clearer picture. I was reading my bible one morning and I came to a verse that is all too familiar to a lot of people and to me.
“Trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
I love the way the message translation puts it: “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.”
After reading that verse for the umpteenth time, it dawned on me that if I wanted God’s leading and direction, I had to trust him with “all” my heart; not holding anything back. The message translation says “from the bottom” of your heart. This means surrendering everything, not holding anything back. I realized that even though I sincerely wanted God to lead and direct me, I had not let go completely; I was still holding on to some things, I still had a picture of how I thought things should be.
Human understanding says that you know where you are going before you set out but when you put your complete trust in God, you do not need to know; just follow his leading. This is not as easy as it sounds because our minds have not been trained in this way; we like to have everything all planned and figured out before setting out but with God, it is one step at a time .
The only way God can give you direction is if you to submit to him. Let go of the captain position in your life and trust him to captain your boat. Give him that little thing you are holding on to and watch him turn it into something infinitely greater.
At the beginning of every year, we all expect to have a better year than the previous. We make resolutions and we are full of so much enthusiasm for the New Year. We are so confident that we are going to follow through with all our plans. However, so many people do not end the year with the same drive that they started with.
Some people are happy with the way 2017 went for them while some are not happy with the way things turned out. Whether last year ended well or not does not matter anymore because it is now in the past. What we have to do now is focus on the present and make use of every opportunity to make it a better year than 2017.
We might not have what we want or be where we want to be but we are not where we used to be and the good news is that there are better days ahead. So let us dust off all disappointments and look forward to the New Year and all the good it has to offer.
One more thing, life is never fair so stop thinking that life is favoring some people more than you. Whatever you get out of this year is your responsibility so brace yourself and work at making the most of every situation you find yourself and coming out stronger in the face of every challenge. Get ready for your best days so far.
The past couple of weeks have been really busy for me. However, in the midst of all the activity I learnt a couple of things and I would like to share one of them with you. It is a lesson that a lot of people have not learnt and most people only realize it when it’s too late.
In a bid to fulfill purpose and in your pursuit of excellence in what you do, never neglect other areas of your life. A lot of people are so busy pursuing fulfillment in their careers and businesses that they completely forget about all other areas of their lives. They are doing exploits in their businesses and careers but wreaking havoc in everything else. They have put all of their energy into that one thing and as a result, they do not have time for important things like family and even themselves.
There is a story my pastor has told so many times about a man who God gave a message and a horse. He killed the horse but still had the message. The horse was given to him to help him deliver the message but he dedicated all of his time and attention to the message he was to deliver and didn’t remember the horse needed to be cared for too. The life we have been given is meant to be used to fulfill our purpose but if we do not take care of that life, how would we be able to do what we are meant to do? I always tell people that nobody is indispensable. That job or project that you are working so hard on and pouring your entire life into is not something no other person can do. If something happens to you, a replacement would be found sooner than even you can imagine.
Another thing that a lot of people seem to neglect is family. There are so many men out there and sadly even women who hardly have time for their families. They spend more time at work than at home and this is the reason there are so many dysfunctional homes today. It is breaking so many homes and producing a lot of children who are starved of love and attention. Look what those children are growing into today. The sad thing is that when these people are confronted, they say they are working so hard so that their family can be comfortable and so they shouldn’t complain.
Fulfillment of purpose is important and the whole essence of life is to affect other lives, however, the first set of people we should seek to impact first are the family and friends God has given to us. They are the ones that would be there when no one else is. They are the ones that truly care for us with no strings attached. Every other person probably likes you because of what they can get from you so don’t starve the people who care about you of love and attention.
Furthermore, you can’t care for others if you are not well taken care of yourself because you can’t give what you don’t have neither can you be effective in what you do if you are not fit physically and emotionally so I urge you to please take some time out to rest. You will be glad you did.
Recently, while reading the story of Job, I took some time to ponder on the extent of his faithfulness to God. Rather than feel bad and downcast, the first thing Job did was to worship God. Despite all that Job passed through, he did not curse God like his wife suggested. Job never doubted the faithfulness of God. After Job was informed about the destruction of everything he had, including his children, he fell down and worshiped God. He got news that some raiders came and carried away all his earthly possessions, the ones that were not carried away were destroyed by fire. As if that wasn’t enough,a house collapsed on all his children and they all died. He lost everything in one day and his response was worship;can you imagine that?
Sometimes in life, we find ourselves in really dark and low points. During such times it looks as if we have been forsaken and the world would fall on us. It is okay to feel bad during difficult and challenging times, but dwelling too much on our down moments is not what God expects from us. How we respond during such times is a reflection of our character.
During your last downtime how did you react? What was your response like the last time you failed? Did you throw a pity party or blame God for your misfortune? Or did you do what Job did; worship God? I know how difficult it can be to praise when you are in pain but you know what, that is the deepest form of worship. The worship that costs you something is the real deal. Everybody can sing praises to God and thank God when things are rosy and sweet but how many people can truly say God still deserves the worship when times are hard?
We need to realize something which perhaps will change our attitude towards worship. Irrespective of what happens to us, God remains a good God. Even if you say He isn’t, it doesn’t change the fact that He is God. God is not God because we say so; He is God because He is God. As a matter of fact, He does not need us to be God. So why not quit blaming God for your problems and start giving him praise in spite of them because whether you think he deserves it or not does not change anything about Him. He is still God and He is the only one that can bring you out of whatever situation you are. Cultivate the habit of surrendering all to God through worship, and He’ll lift you.
One Saturday evening, while a young man, Tola, was returning home from work, he saw Sharon coming out of the motel beside his house. On that evening, Sharon was dressed in a very revealing outfit. Known to be a very dedicated Christian and committed member of the choir in the church Tola attends but lately, Sharon has become a shadow of what she’s known for.
Sharon had tried to get a job but most of them wanted her to “do something” before getting the job. It was really frustrating for Sharon because she had all that was required to get the job, except for the daunting request for her body.
After numerous trials Sharon got a call for another interview. This time she made up her mind to do whatever she was asked to do as it seemed her “holiness” was not getting her anywhere. It was when Tola saw her that he realized he had not been seeing her in church. He felt like walking up to her and talking to her but then he thought she might just embarrass him besides, it was none of his business so he decided to mind his’.
The decision to give your life to Christ made you become a part of God’s family: you became a son or a daughter of God. Therefore, other believers became your brothers and sisters. As human beings, we love our natural family and always put them first before other people but unfortunately we do not apply this to our spiritual family; other Christians. We do not act like the one body that 1Corinthians 12 says we are.
God has given each of us the responsibility to look out for one another. Our commitment should not just be to God but to other Christians; our spiritual brothers and sisters. This is why it is unfair for you to refuse to correct someone doing something wrong.
We should not detach ourselves from people who we feel are wavering in their faith. We need to go after such people; get them back because they are more vulnerable when they are isolated. The devil likes to isolate people before attacking them because he knows that they are defenseless; they have nobody around to help them.
The kind of church God wants to build is that which is made up of a group of people; a group of people living as one. That implies that there is no such thing as minding your own business; everybody’s business is your business. We are stronger together than on our own.
There are various ideologies about prosperity. Someone once said that prosperity is not for the children of God alone, but for anybody who obeys its principles and laws. For instance, principles such as hard work and giving are very vital to prosperity. The bible says “give and it shall be given to you”. It does not say be born again and it shall be given unto you. Once you give, whether you are a child of God or not, you will receive. This explains why people who do not know God are actually rich.
The pattern of thought of some Christians is so unbelievable at times. I find it funny and disappointing: they see someone who is very successful and conclude that he got his wealth through crooked means. Some people will see a rich man and assume that he did rituals. I see such thoughts as a way of justifying personal laziness and mediocrity.
Don’t get me wrong; I am not saying that everybody we see as successful got there through legitimate means. Though there are some people who cut corners to get rich, but not everyone does. I wonder if it has ever occurred to those people who criticize successful people that there is such a thing as hard work. Hard work births results; and one of such is prosperity. You can’t compare someone who stays up all night with someone who sleeps for 8 hours or even more. They can never be on the same level. Success is not magic; it does not just happen. Success is a result.
Just imagine what will happen if hard work (which is what people who don’t know God do because that’s all they have) is combined with the God factor. The ease with which success will be attained and the measure of the success would be mind-blowing. Christians are meant to dominate and rule this world-being the representatives of God. It is however sad that most of us are not making use of what we have. Let’s stop folding our hands and allowing the people of the world to run things. We need to pack up our beds and get to work!