Monday, December 21, 2015

It's Personal.

It's crazy how OUR personal experiences make up our world. The world is bigger than your circle, it's beyond your perception, and life goes on outside of your view. So unless we are actively learning, growing and keeping our hearts soft we can fall prey to being negative, narrow-minded and ignorant. It's an easy trap to fall into and not always due to arrogance or pride, but often pain and hopelessness. Don't be disillusioned. When you're in a dark place you may assume that's all there is, even more so when you're coming from a dark place that you haven't yet found a way out of. It does get better, everything changes, your key is to stay OPEN to the possibility of an alternative ending. 



Your obedience is tied to your faith. When we think faith we often think big, but can you have faith in the small things, such as small beginnings (Zechariah 4:10)? We like to think we would but imagine the frustration. It's like a master gatekeeper who makes all these claims of being able to take you anywhere, leading you to a little shack. It's like Joseph knowing one day he will be given the keys to the palace but for a season not having the keys to get out of prison (Genesis 37-50). It's like knowing God could multiply inns like a hotel chain but led you to a manger instead (Luke 2:7). Why would God lead you here? Are there not better places?

You have provision, yes, you should be thankful, surely, and yet you find yourself disappointed because you still have a promise. When you internalise that promise you have an expectation. The Bible says 'Hope does not disappoint' (Romans 5:5) because of the LOVE of God poured in our hearts. Perfect love casts out fear because fear is torment (1 John 4:17-19), he who fears has not been made perfect in love. When you are secure in His love you know that His plans for you are good, that He has thoughts of peace towards you and not evil to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). But Lord this wasn't what I asked for? Isn't it? What man among you would give his son a stone if he asked for bread, or a serpent if he asked for fish? If you then being evil know how to give good gifts, how much more will your Father in heaven (Matthew 7:7-12). Every good and perfect gift is from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning (James 1:17).
Sometimes we come across as entitled because we're holding on to a promise, not the simple promise itself but our interpretation. We had a promise because we had an expectation; we had an expectation because we have a need. Despite his desperate need, Naaman was reluctant to follow a simple instruction; he turned and went away in a rage because he felt dismissed (2 Kings 5:1-19). It wasn't what he 'asked for', he expected to be greeted by the prophet, and I would too. He wasn't being completely unreasonable, I think he expected the expected, for the prophet to “…stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal..." [Sounds like Church to me]. 
Unconventional does not mean wrong and small does not mean unimportant. God will use the simple things to confound the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27). Naaman's servant said to him "If a prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, 'Wash, and be clean.'" What is so offensive about a simple thing? Well it's not always glamorous and we associate sparkle with glory. Your pride may be bruised, you may feel that you're too good for this and I see what you're saying because Jesus was perfect, surely He was too good for the lifestyle He lived? Surely He was too good to subject Himself to our sin that nailed Him to the cross (Isaiah 53)? I'm sure it looked unlikely that His enemies would be His footstool when He was being persecuted by them (Psalm 110:1).
To get what you were promised, you will have to cross through some waters like Naaman, you will have to walk through some fire like Shadrach & co (Daniel 3:8-30), but when you pass through God will be with you (Isaiah 43:2). Have faith in the big and in the small. Obey in the big and in the small. He may not manifest how you expect Him to; you might not find Him in the earthquake (1 Kings 19:11-18) He could be in that still small voice. Your ability to hear Him is one thing; your willingness to listen is another. Remember that your obedience, which is linked to your faith, is the pathway to your promise. In Deuteronomy 28 we are taught the blessings that come with obedience, don't rob yourself of what God wants to give you. Examine what the application of faith and the manifestation of God's goodness means to you xx

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Keep Your Standard

"If you can't handle me now..." My, my, my, there are exits all around us, because where I'm headed is a place called purpose and I'm taking my peace with me (Matthew 10:11-15). One thing is clear to me having a standard has NEVER hurt me but dropping it has always allowed foolishness to enter. Sometimes you have to be separate (2 Corinthians 6:17). Now if you're too addicted to people pleasing you will forfeit your blessing worrying about what people think of you. I have closed my ears to so many clueless opinions and for the better. The peace of God was a compass. Even temporary separation, like Jesus going away to pray (Luke 5:16), can bring much needed clarity. There are too many strange voices, get quiet and listen then you will see.

We can bind and loose (Matthew 16:18-19). You can declare and decree (Job 22:28). You gotta wonder when certain things are comfortable around you, there are some spirits you shouldn't accommodate. This is my house and you will not enter. So when your presence upsets the atmosphere realise that not everyone appreciates light, truth or even your love (John 15:18-25). Proverbs told me many times that fools despise wisdom (Proverbs 23:9), in fact someone who hates instruction will hate you for trying to help them. You're coming to bless them but not everybody has the same intention for you. Jealousy, competition, narcissism, strife, division, ignorance, pride, lust for the superficial, some people are comfortable in it and no they can't go with you (Romans 16:17). If it's irritating them now, if you're 'too deep' if you're aiming 'too high', dreaming 'too big', doing 'too much' stop settling! Do yourself a favour and find your standard. Go where you're received (Matthew 10:40-42). 

Jesus in his own country could not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief (Matthew 13:58). If they don't believe in your dream, they're not your dream team. Keep moving and you'll  begin to recognise those who are moving in the same direction as you. God will do miracles but what He won't do is force you to receive them. Help yourself. Keep your standard. 

As God Intended

So many things only feel right/make sense/fall into place in the context of purpose. 

Purpose - it's not chasing titles, it's being and doing as God intended.

Let the examples begin: 

- You're not fussing over words & images etc because you're picky you're a communicator an artist/writer ohh I get you now (or maybe not since they say artsy 'fartsy' people are different).
- So you love to laugh and sour faced people call you inappropriate? You're not a clown, you're a comedian. You have a gift of making people happy, making them laugh and forget their sorrows. 
- You're not hyperactive or useless academically, you're full of life and energy. Education is a necessary pathway but sport is your field *lightning Bolt pose* 
- You're not being petty, I honestly believe your ears were twitching because you're an excellent musician and that was PITCHY (tell the truth and shame the devil).

Let's discern.

- It's not always crazy attracting crazy! Are you a counsellor at heart? Are you called to teach or shepherd people, to listen to them and help them recover? Is this why you're drawn to broken people?
- They called you a wishful thinker and it hurt when they rubbished your dreams. Maybe you're a visionary, if you're an innovator then you are living ahead of your own time. Set the trend. Are you prophetic? What do you see? Declare it.
- You're not bossy you're a natural coach. Do you love telling people what to do for the sake of it or are you trying to help them? You'll learn how to harness your passion. As you mature you'll realise there's a difference between nagging and motivating, between bullying and pushing.

I could go on but this can easily be mistaken for justification of major character flaws, lack of discipline or bad habits, for instance "You're not greedy, you just have a passion for food" *chuckles* (still, it could be true). Either way some critic will always say you're too much of OR not enough of something. You're a chatterbox? You're too quiet? You're a people person? You're considered 'anti-social'? You're too blunt? You're too nice? You dress weird? You're 'plain' vanilla. Listen, there's a place for you where you fit just fine. There are some people that 'only' you can reach because I don't know maybe you're 'ghetto' like them, maybe you're 'posh' like them? You can relate. What one person rejects in you another will gladly accept. I'm not living the chameleon life trying to be accepted by people who don't even know themselves. Just think until you find your purpose you will continue to accept people's mislabelling of you. *singing but not singing* "That's not my name". You are perfect for YOUR purpose. Walk in the shoes that fit you. Have the courage to be who you really are. You feel out of place because you're out of 'context'. Redefine yourself and live as God intended.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

I Always Win (Said She)

Hear me, it may be deferred but it's all adding up to another win! Though seemingly delayed, this win can't be denied. This is why I was STILL smiling when at 'that' present time there was nothing (manifest) to smile about - by FAITH I saw the ending - I win. According to God's purpose, ALL things work to your good (Romans 8:28). Perspective. Prophetic. 

When Jesus died His family, His friends and His followers were bawling their eyes out because they thought it was over *sad face* He tried to tell them before: If I be lifted up from the earth I will draw all men unto me << John 12:32. Verse 33 >> This He said, signifying by what death He would die. >> John 12:24 Most 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.

So I have one question: Why are you weeping? (
John 20:13). Okay two questions, "Who are you seeking?" (John 20:15). Stop looking in dead places crying over what you lost, because even when you lose you win!! You're getting beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61:1-3��  YOU WIN *touch and agree IJN* Amen

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Get Wisdom.

Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. Proverbs 1:7 says "The fear of The Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction."
King Solomon must've been wise before he asked for wisdom (Daniel 2:21) because he was wise enough to ask for it (2 Chronicles 1). By wisdom kings reign and rulers decree justice (Proverbs 8:15). Pray for more wisdom (James 1:5) and pray our leaders develop a heart for it, they need it (1 Timothy 2:1-4) the right decisions can create a quiet and peaceable life for all of us. Even in the midst of trouble God gives a peace that surpasses understanding as it guards your heart and mind (Philippians 4:7). Just like this peace His strategy is not as the world gives (Isaiah 55:8-9) His wisdom may seem like foolishness, but it's only foolishness to those who don't understand (1 Corinthians 1:18). Just like higher level Maths is gibberish if you haven't been taught the formula; just because I don't understand it doesn't mean it doesn't make sense - to assume so would be pride and arrogance.
Go higher. Truth is revealed and wisdom is like someone turning the lights on (Daniel 2:22). The Angel that was sent to Daniel said "From the FIRST day you set your HEART to UNDERSTAND and to HUMBLE yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words" (Daniel 10:12) << One of my favourite verses. Don't feign understanding or put on wisdom like a cloak to impress men (Matthew 23:5) that has no root and soon the curtain will fall. Pray for wisdom, your walk will change. Matthew 23:34 (a) Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes". To crucify those who are willing to teach you is to hate yourself, for He who gets wisdom loves his own soul and He who keeps understanding will find good (Proverbs 19:8).
Happy Sunday xx

Monday, August 31, 2015

Say Your Name, Say Your Name

A few days ago, Nan had been giving me Yoruba lessons - a proper Yoruba lesson - but it fell out of my head already as always. She's persistent, I think partly because she is amused by my pronunciation and lack of concern for intonation (this really matters apparently, it changes the meaning) 
 but mainly because she is a natural teach
She had me read Psalm 100 and told me that joy is interpreted as 'Ayo'. Brilliant she said, when the word 'Oluwa' rolled off my tongue, I replied "Well it is my (middle) name" - Oluwatayo. What does that name mean? Maybe I forgot but it feels like I only just discovered that it means "God gives me joy". The meaning this simple word "joy" carries for me is personally felt and known - it's a testimony (*cue music* 'You Give Me Joy').
Jacob came to mind (Genesis 35:10) and what a coincidence one of the books I have borrowed from her is called 'All's Well That Ends Well - The Life of Jacob'. Question x3: What have you been named? What are you calling yourself? And what do you respond to? It ties in with identity. There's power in a name.