Exceptional Affirmation.

🎷 Nimejipata ndani ya upendo wako,

Umekuwa kwangu, mapumziko.🎙

Neema yako🎤, yanitosha,

Nikiwa nawe, mimi niko 📯 huru. x2

.

🎶 Yale umetenda Baba, yote ni makuu,

Maana wayatenda kwa upendo 🥁.

Yale unasema Baba 🎹, yote ni kweli,

Maana pia wayasema kwa upendo🎸.

(Wewe ni Zaidi – Erick Smith).

This song was on solo rewind 🎧 last evening.

Remember the last time you put on music, just shut your eyes, adjusted some ‘good enough’ volume, sank back in your seat then simply basked in the awe of the message as the mélange of chords and notes, tune and beats, melody and harmony beautifully consumed you, ushering you into a whole new realm of perfect peace – an atmosphere you wished wouldn’t come to an end?

Yesterday evening the Lord kept whispering in my ears, “I love you, Irene.” This gotta be one of the whispers I’ve heard from Him the most. And usually whenever He whispers that, I normally simply reply, “Thank you, Daddy”, including even moments He whispers that when my current situation seem not to align with His words. Yesterevening was however an exceptional one. My Friend was just too ‘extra!’ 1st time it sounded normal and okay, 2nd time, still okay. 3rd time and I was getting jittery, like almost telling Him, “God, You know that I know this,” then it hit me that even if I hid it, held back the words, He could still see my heart. 4th time and I started to relax and let the message get in and find a firm footing in the very core of my soul. So here I was: walking along the way, at work – in the front desk, while walking around the garage, on the rooftop, and much as they were sporadic and within unexpected intervals, it all so served a very timely purpose. I learnt by this time not to push the message aside however many number of times He was gonna repeat it. And in a span of 4hrs, whispering the same message 5 times or slightly more, He ensured that He hammered it ’till it hit home. Never known so much peace that makes turbulence with immediate effect, quit the scene without having a second gaze at its back.

And with this, I similarly extend this message to you who is reading this right now – here’s to being loved with an everlasting love. Stop, slow down abit… please let that sink in.

We are loved…exceptionally loved and affirmed; never doubt that for even a single moment. Comes a time when He has to personally make His presence tangible so as to remind us of His greatest gift to mankind.

Jeremiah 31:3

NLT Long ago the Lord said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”

HCSB The Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you.

Unfailing love = loving kindness, loving devotion, constant love, gracious love, mercy.

The 🎼🎵song above is in Kiswahili. Below is its contextual translation (not word by word).

I have found myself consumed in Your love,

That to me, has been rest untold.

Your grace is all so sufficient for me,

When I’m with You, I’m oh, so free.

.

Whatever You have done Father, is all so great 💪💪,

Because You do them with love.

Whatever You have said Father, is all so true,

All because You equally say them with love.

#MakeRoom

#ThenHellWalk

#RightIntoTheRoom

Irene.

Like the Horn of an Unicorn

But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn. Psalms 92:10

Unicorn 2

I grew up listening to a lot of rhumba and country 🎻🎤🎸🥁🎧 from a very tender age. Coming from a family of rhythm lovers, we as children were exposed to a diversity of genres of melodies. Some of the very vivid memories I have of my childhood are a music turntable and an authentic collection of LP records that gave birth to an afro-library of legends as Franco Lwambo Luanzo Mikiadi, TP Ok Jazz, Super Mazembe, Mbilia Bel, Sam Mangwana, Tabu Ley Rochereau; all mixed with a Western cowboy collection that majorly informed rhythms by the great legend Jim Reeves – carols as well as an endless playlist of poetic love rhythms. I also remember my dad hum some of these tunes along as they played and he is the silent, cool, laid-back guy; very gentle, warm demeanor, kind hearted and with a very soft spot for his off springs. The kind that avoids confrontations by all means. I love my dad, not the kind you will find on a dance floor (I don’t think it’s ‘cos he got no moves), but one who truly treasures his ever green collection plus his uninterrupted peaceful time listening to this endless collection and replaying them back and forth as though they don’t inject monotony in his soul. No! they didn’t. The evergreen, or so, they were called. I bet I am a true daughter of my father. Oh! and the man loved and still does loves speakers, speakers of different sizes and varying potent.

And so I grew up idolizing Jim. His very unparalleled velvet vocals sent ripples of awe deep down my childhood spine. Ever heard older folks say there’s no music today? It’s ‘cos they acknowledge the authenticity and richness of what once was, both in lyrical content as well as vocal quality. Old is gold, they so say. Well, if you’ve listened to or read Jim Reeves’ lyrics, some, I actually think most, composed by Cindy Walker, unless you are deliberately blind, you wouldn’t miss the richness in depth, the poetic eloquence and harmony in its uttermost simplicity, the flowing and relatable story line in the ballads and the creativity that helplessly overrides the mood even without trying too hard.

Well, whereas I have retained some things, some have changed along the way. For instance. I do still love speakers. But just any speaker is no sensible speaker. It gotta be something that can clearly articulate some major chords, like produce reeeaal sound – no, not loud, but quality👌👌 sound. Yes, I gotta be able to feel the bass as well as the treble. And well, when I listen through it, I should be able to differentiate the melody from the harmonies. Not all speakers do this, unfortunately. Take the TV from me all you want but please never meddle with my music player and library – either music collection or books. And what has changed? Well, my playlist of course has evolved over time, not as much conformed, but rather transformed, resulting from the renewal of my mind.

Been meaning to write on this topic from last year. And so it was as I was studying Psalms 92 two days ago that I couldn’t once again help getting awestruck with the poetic candor of one of its writers – David. We come first hand to the recognition and experiencing the lyrical and poetic wit and authority of the writer in its most simplistic form, yet not any detached from what we can relate to, which gives the reader the compelling urge to dig deeper. We can’t by any means shove aside his relationship and intimacy with the Father. Throughout the Psalms written by him, we see different moods from celebratory and victorious to moments when he shares with his most intimate Friend of how he had been surrounded by enemies, yet of how assured he was that God would uphold him – Exalt his Horn, of how he had become a stranger to his own mother’s children. In Psalms 69:8-9, he writes, “I am a foreigner to my own family, a stranger to my own mother’s children; for zeal for your house consumes me;”…this man was legit. I so love David. On his canvas, he authentically paints a story of what not only was in the ancient days, but what a contemporary Christian as close to God can relate with. He once was the king of Israel, a close friend and confidant of God, a man after his own very heart. He knew rejection and he knew applause in equal measure. He deeply understood insignificance (as in when prophet Samuel came to anoint the sons of Jesse). He had tasted it all! Yet in all these, he recognized that his horn would be exalted by the Lord. He practically understood approval (I’m thinking of the songs that those ladies were singing in praise of David after he had killed Goliath, in comparison with king Saul) yet in equal breath had tasted opposition, having as king, while ruling, endured an attempted coup d’état by his very own son Absalom in close collaboration with Ahithophel. I remember when I was reading this episode in Samuel like 2 years ago, I could figure out David walking up the cliff while crying and saying, “Oh Lord, turn the wisdom of my adversaries into foolishness,” and I equally found myself crying as I read on. P.S: I rarely do this, and I am not a cry baby, but I really empathized with him then. Well, David deeply understood the goodness and faithfulness of God as we see through his poetic escapades, as well as what it purely means to be in love with God and to constantly seek and consult only Him. He was a shepherd, a king, a poet, a writer, a musician – a harp player, a dancer, a worshipper, a warrior, all these intertwined in one.

Let’s take chapter 2 of Psalms for example. In its most simplistic way, the poet wonders: “why are the nations in tumultuous agitation? And why do the peoples meditate a vain thing? …but He who dwelleth in the heavens shall laugh. The Lord shall have them in derision.”

When I read this the first time, it just hit me that God too does laugh 😊. This writer sure, must have been sooo close to God to have either watched him laugh or heard his laughter. Then it reminded me of the Scripture of Him singing over us. Yet, it is with this child like curiosity that I once asked my cousin last year, ‘Does God dance?’ And he couldn’t answer me. He found my question quite amusing and intriguing all at the same time…, like God dance?? Well, my mind can quite at times be so scriptive in thinking while reading, very illustrative and graphic during the pauses through my reads. Not only did I ask him such a question, I started googling scriptures that explicitly mentioned God ever dancing. Why did I ask, you wonder? I mean, let’s take a Sunday for instance, all these people over the earth worshipping me? If I was God I would exhibit all my indefatigable dance moves 💃💃💃, roll on the floor until my energy completely ebbs. I mean, like how can He be seated on the throne while innumerable guys are adoring Him without even being budged to a harmoniously soft dance using just even one of His feet to this overwhelmingly darn good orchestra? Let’s just say that I am not Him. But I was reeeaally curious, still am. I wanna know from you guys. Do you think God dances? And on that note, what are your thoughts on and interpretation of Zephaniah 3:17?

Let’s please get back to Psalms.

Simply put, the content in Psalms is not far-fetched and unrelatable. They, I believe were as a result of the writer’s day to day experiences, encounters and mood of: joy, victory, discouragement, disapproval, assurance, spite, respect, of being disheartened (as in the picture we see when his son died and he refused to eat for three days), a defiant celebration mood (as in what we see when he leaps and dances 🕺with gladness as the Ark of God was brought from the house of Obededom into the city of David.

But my horn Oh Lord, thou shalt exalt like that of an unicorn!

Unicorn 1

BUT MY HORN SHALT THOU EXALT LIKE THE HORN OF AN UNICORN!

To begin with, this is a statement that can only be made by someone who is not wavering, someone who has been long enough with God to know that He neither changes nor breaks that which has proceeded from His lips.. David doesn’t state, ‘But my horn you might exalt, or you can exalt if you so wish or if I don’t offend you, or as it suits you or as you deem suiting for me.’ No, He says, you #will exalt – showing a solid and unshakeable belief in Him who is to deliver that which we completely have no control over; yet the only control that we can exercise on it is believing and firmly knowing it, then living in that space that isn’t yet as though it already is.

To understand the context of David’s declaration, let’s get to analyze and understand some few words:

Unicorn:

-A mythical animal typically represented as a horse with a single straight horn projecting from its forehead.

-In another conceptualization, an unicorn is something that is highly desirable but difficult to find or obtain.

-An unicorn may also have been some gigantic ox or buffalo now unknown, perhaps extinct. Among the ancients, it was the favorite symbol of unconquerable power and one which the psalmist adopts as his emblem.

To exalt: (verb – of a person or their rank or status) Place at a high or powerful level; held in high regard.

Horn:

A hard permanent outgrowth, often curved and pointed, found in pairs in the head of cattle, sheep, goats, giraffes etc.

Horns are also an animal’s weapon; they symbolize strength and power.

But my horn:

This statement points out to David’s kingdom, his royal authority, power and glory signified by his horn. He had subdued nations and kings and was exalted above them, then obtained rest from all his enemies. It also shows how his kingdom just as was promised, will be a forever established dynasty.

Let’s take a look at the scriptures below and see how the Angel Gabriel addressed Joseph, as well as what he had to tell Mary concerning this kingdom.

Matthew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

Luke 1:30-33 And the Angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his Kingdom there shall be no end.

Fast forward, let’s have a look at a portion of Scriptures that contain this covenant fulfilled that was spoken to king David through prophet Nathan.

2 Samuel 7:8-16 ‘…I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom forever… and thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established forever.

Lessons from the different facets of David

David’s story is very ordinary, one that any ordinary person from any walk of life can relate with. He didn’t beforehand experience the high life. We all know how a shepherd’s life differs from that of a king’s. He wasn’t born into a kingship dynasty (His father Jesse was not a king), yet due to his heart and faithfulness, he leaves behind him a royal dynasty that God establishes with him through a covenant.

This comes to remind us that it doesn’t matter where we come from; God can transform the story of anyone.

And what is the implication of this to a Christian?

-The mere fact that you have accepted Christ qualifies you as a daughter or son of the King – you therefore are royal! A royal who has wholly evolved doesn’t get frightened by things like recession. Whichever season you find yourself in, you learn to adjust your lenses, adorn a heart of gratitude and contentment in all situations. You wake up in the morning with ecstatic joy, eager to face the day ahead and declare it’s gonna be a fruitful one ‘cos you acknowledge who holds your life together and that it doesn’t lie at the mercy of anyone. Yours is already a designed destiny and all you need is to tap into and receive the resources that come with Godly purpose and that only Him has the power and infinite ways to provide for, and which, yes as sure as the sun rises from the east and sets in the west, have already been provided for. You become content as a shepherd much as as a king. Yes, you come to a point of realization that your worship can only be for one person and that before you make the slightest move, the greatest honor rests with Him who must always be consulted. I love the way David always consulted God, let’s take a look.

2 Samuel 5:19-20 (KJV)

And David inquired of the Lord saying, shall I go up to the Philistines? Wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the Lord said unto David, ‘Go up for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand. And David came to Baal Perazim, and David smote them there, and said, The Lord hath broken forth upon mine enemies before me, as the breach of waters. Therefore he called the name of that place Baal Perazim.

But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn!

Of what implication is this to a Christian?

-It means that the journey to purpose is an evolution, of self-discovery, of not reaching a destination, but of becoming… of not striving, but resting in the know that all we ever need to fulfill purpose with is already fully provided for.

Psalms 139:16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

All the days of our lives were already ordained for us and were written in God’s Book before anyone of them began. In other words, there’s a book that God has written about each of us that was finished before we were born. None of us is a mistake!

Ephesians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Has shows an action that is already complete. God has already supplied everything you need for the fulfillment of your purpose, but it is locked up in the heavenlies. It is on earth but it is activated in the spiritual. Whatever you were born to do, all the resources are already available; however these resources do not move towards you, ‘till you begin doing what you were born to do, ‘till you start activating your purpose.

Ephesians 2: 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

The works that we were created to perform were already prepared long before we were conceived.

So what is the implication of this to a Christian?

-You have to acknowledge your royalty and act royal – be royal! Being born in a royal family and having the name doesn’t automatically make you think and act royal, just as being around the blood of Jesus doesn’t automatically make you be born again.

I love the way Reinhard Bonnke put it in one of his books that I repetitively loved reading and preach-acting back then when I was only 10 years old.

“An atheist challenges me on a Television program. He says, ‘I don’t believe there’s power in the blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus has been around for almost 2000 years and if there was any power in it, the world wouldn’t be in such a sorry state.’ “ I replied him, “Sir, there’s also plenty of soap around, yet people are still dirty. Soap doesn’t make you clean by just being around it, not even if you should work in a soap factory. You have to take it and apply it personally. That’s how it is with the blood of Jesus.”

And I am coming to believe today that that this equally applies with royalty.

We have to, with utter humility, recognize our position. We just don’t take any treatment brought our way; we are royal! And royal undoubtedly, indisputably and affirmatively we become when we stop thinking and acting like slaves. It means that as long as we are walking in His will, He positions us. We will always be where we need to be, with whom we need to be with, learning the lessons that will thrust us forth into the next step of destiny. And sometimes, the longer we take to master the lesson, the more a repeat of the class beckons and the slower we’re most likely to tap into the succeeding step.

-It also means that the journey of evolution into whole royalty carries with it innumerable lessons: of humility, of wisdom, of brokenness, of patience, of gratitude, of a warrior mindset, of alertness, of selflessness, of death to self, of intentional love, of contentment, of being deliberately particular on who speaks into our lives… for if you are to be the next Godly: statesman/ stateswoman, ambassador, pastor, evangelist, teacher, prophet, apostle, entrepreneur, employer, husband/ wife, father/ mother, author, show presenter, scientific researcher, inventor, influencer…, then you gotta learn and act your royalty while still in that wilderness, while in the prep room. They say, great warriors don’t wait for the time of war in order to practice or prepare for the war; they practice long before hand.

And so we gotta be solidly in acknowledgement of this truth regarding our royalty as well as be in firm practice of the same long before the crowns hit our heads.

But my horn Oh Lord, shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn!

👑💜👑💜👑
References:

“The Best Kept Secret” (YouTube) – Dr. Myles Munroe (1995)

DETACH…

What comes to your mind when you hear this word detach??

For me, they are words as: unclatter, clean up/ tidy up, detoxify your heart, mind & spirit, keep the breeding location spotless in readiness for the NEW.

Well, I don’t know ’bout you, but when I think of ‘to detach’, what comes to my mind is holiday time, when one’s heart deeply yearns for #newness & freshness, far from the hustle n bustle of city life, when you get to switch off all your gadgets: the computer, the phone(s), the iPad, except the camera… generously take in some handsome scoop of fresh, unrationed air then slowly allow your heart to relax and revel in the treat, be it in a park, in the wild or next to the shore, with toes beneath the breathtaking, silk, soft crystalline white sands of the beach when this time the soles of your feet & entire being get to sing a serenade to the sand.

It’s already spring time here. Immediately right in front of this transparent expanse of a door facing me, are cars passing. Further a few meters ahead is one breathtaking sight – a park that has undergone a complete and an abrupt transformation. Just 3 weeks ago, the branches of this huge tree in it thoroughly needed wear, yet majestically it stands right now before my sight above the rest. Budding ivory flowers embellish the branches and it has spread its countless branches, philanthropically so, just as an eagle undeterred, spreading its wings in readiness for flight and the beauty of it all is unparalleled. Just one irresistible glance at this beauty, accelerated by the April showers sends guiltless serenity to the very core of my soul. 🤫 And then I detach…

Well, when I think of to detach, I think surrender. Those moments on a prayer mountain, when I have to let go, to unclatter inorder to achieve the mission that in the first place took me there: a revelation, that small still voice, an answer, an assurance of His will in the matter and deep in the silence, within a crisp clean heart, He always lays a sign.

However, the basis of my writing is informed by “Detachment” that attracts the “NEW

TO DETACH (verb)

Definition:

-Disengage (something or part of something) and remove it.

-To separate or remove something from something else that it is connected to.

Synonyms: Unfasten, disconnect, disengage, part, separate, unhitch, free, loosen, untie etc.

Deep attachment to various things could hinder our progress to the next level or hinder us from accessing the #new. And all before we ever completely detach, the only sign we will ever read is “Access Denied!”

So strongly are we consistently attached to things that we must utterly detach from: sin, noise, negative thoughts/ mindsets, fear, doubt, toxic relationships, forgetfulness, perpetual adoration of our own self-instituted objects of worship and the list goes on. When more value, importance & priority is attached to our own way for ourselves at the expense of God’s for us, while at the same time asking God to release the new, do you see as I do the underlying paradox?

Throughout Scriptures, we see different episodes of detachment or of commands to ‘detach from’ in order to gain access to the next level. Detachment: from sin (Heb 12:1-3), Abram from his country, kindred, even his father’s house (Gen 12:1-2), Gideon from fear (Judges 6:), a constant reminder to the Israelites to detach from worship of foreign gods and equally detach from forgetfulness (or indirectly so, constantly being taken aback on how mightily He had delivered them out of the hands of the oppressor in Egypt). We also see the disciples being urged to detach from little faith and we read of Zechariah’s encounter hence lesson to detach from doubt…and so on and so forth. But wait! Zechariah’s story genuinely intrigues me…, like he doubted an angel! Then had to go dumb thro’: conception of John the Baptist, 9 months of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, the birth of John ’till his naming – how long was that?? Until he believed the angel’s message then wrote down the name John, ‘acting in belief’ of God’s messenger and thereby cooperating with the heavens, he remained dumb. Detaching from doubt!

All the examples of stuff I’ve mentioned way above that we fight so hard to detach from constitute the OLD.

The NEW.

Where there is prone to be abuse, I believe God withholds. Abuse is misuse of anything that has been entrusted to us.

‘Till there is full and complete detachment from what threatens the conduciveness of an atmosphere of that which God intends His promise to thrive in, expect delay! Sometimes I think God doesn’t deliberately make us wait, hold onto His blessings or His promises from us, rather, our thoughts, words & deeds, plus our stubbornness in letting go of the old, our solid proof of imminent abuse and our inability to see the value of the new will always cause delay. He will not release where there’s no cooperation!

I have a personal experience testimony of how God will not release even a simple revelation in chaotic space, on how He will withhold, cause delay… on how ’till we unclatter the atmosphere within our minds & hearts from the #old in readiness for the new, we’ll continuously wallow in the old and perpetually in delay.

We tend to have a very limited understanding of NEW. Our new goes something like this: “God pls just gimme this one thing. And at the back of our minds this is the ongoing plan…’I’ll take a bit of the new, a tiny piece of the old, do a beautiful mélange and have my tiny piece of heaven down here on earth.’ 😊” But alas! God’s genuine description of new be totally different 😎.

When I was at the heart of writing the book I’ve been working on for the last one & a half years or so, one of the deepest revelations that so strongly came to me was NEW: the value of new, the depth of new, the different facets of new (within different domains), how God loves new and why new has to be just that 🙂, NEW; it’s such a huge topic that requires its own space, time & research. Interesting that before God ever comes up with something new, He always examines the atmosphere that will nurture it.

You tell God, ‘Please do a new thing in this area of my life.’ And He in turn examines your heart and goes, ‘this environment is not yet suitable since it is not ready as yet to: take care of, groom/ nurture, love, protect, defend, sustain or even see the value of the new they are asking me for.’ Before God made Adam, He made Eden – ‘the presence of God.’ (Eden is not a physical location). Before He created the sun, moon & stars, He made the firmament. Before He made fish, He created the water bodies. And we therefore see how #crucial the atmosphere that contains and nurtures the promise or the creation of God is to Him. He releases only when the atmosphere is ready. Imminent abuse only results to Him withholding.

Over time, as I observe the world around me, I realise that man’s understanding of NEW and God’s perception of the same are like day and night, there’s no comparison!

This is how Jesus alluded to the value of #new in a parable.

Mk 2:22 And no one pours new wine into old wine skins. Otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wine skins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.

Only the person with shallow understanding of the value/ worth of their new wine will pour it into an old wine skin.

We are always in a constant search for and a constant yearning for the new: new horizons, new relationships, new/ higher heights with God, new home, new/ higher ranks in job or business or promotion, fresh joy… simply just that new lease on oomph! new, new, new…

Question is, are we genuinely ready to receive it/ them? The level of our readiness determines the portion of the gift and by extension, its release.

#Detachment always preceeds release!

Unclatter, completely detach from…then effortlessly walk into your new 🙂.

Detach then re-boot 😉.

You Find your Purpose in your Pain

We had a really powerful fellowship at a friend’s boutique last Thursday. No, it was not early morning before she opened, during lunch break, neither was it in the evening during closing hours. Actually clients were streaming in and as they left, we would continue with our meeting. Shall I call it a testimony Thursday? Only the three of us, and the glory of God was right in our midst. With such magnificent power and intensity, it mightily came down and encompassed us as a blanket. Must have been shortly before noon and this continued ‘till shortly after 3pm when we closed with a word of prayer right in the boutique. The ambience conducive for sharing spiritual matters with candour in her boutique is unmatched.

Somewhere in between our meeting, one of our friends and a former neighbor who had just returned, stepped in and mentioned that she was trying to identify her purpose. Quite timely! This being a topic of great concern and that is so close to my heart, I directed her towards some of the teachings by Dr. Myles Munroe.

Against this background do I formulate my writing for today.

FP 1

You find your purpose in your pain.

Not only that. You also find it:

-In your gifts and talents

-In what bothers you

-In your area of training and expertise

-Through the Holy Spirit

Please note that God doesn’t always necessarily use qualified vessels. Most times, He calls us then He qualifies us. We have to acknowledge that He takes an unqualified vessel whose heart’s posture is that of obedience and of brokenness to convey His perfect message or to execute a mission within a certain season and within a domain that that same vessel could still be struggling with in understanding it in depth or putting it into practice, yet qualifying him, making the vessel look like the expert he is not in that area can surely only take the mighty hand of God and the leading of His Spirit. And as vessels, we are called to a place of humility, of knowing and being deeply convicted that only the Holy Spirit places His expertise in us.

I secretly reckon that there are quite a number of reasons God will specifically ask you or specifically use you to undertake a given task. Here are some:

  1. There’s a move of His Spirit that He wants to be sensed in a specific geographical area, in a specific season, on a specific subject – within a specific context…some kind of a revolution.
  2. He has qualified you and prepared you hence you are ready in your heart to be used. Otherwise put, you are an expert-in-the-making in that field.
  3. You are the most pathetic student of that subject that He is asking you to tackle. And as you act in obedience, as you research, as you listen to His Spirit and act in accordance with His directives, as you commune with Him and spend more time with Him, He is enlightening you on the subject, gently showing you who you really are and giving you a chance for your heart to be transformed.

So, the next time He tells you to write/ speak about/ preach/ teach on or tackle a subject, say: Forgiveness, Love, Stewardship or Prayer, ask yourself, ‘why am I being asked to share of such?’ Don’t get it twisted! It might not necessarily be ‘cos you are the expert in that area, it could simply be ‘cos He is teaching you practically and profoundly the real implication of that which He has allowed you to tackle as well as causing the transformation of your heart, spirit and mind in the process.

I remember kneeling by my bed side in prayer mid-October last year when I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to me just in four words, “Identity, the Father’s Love”, this, in reference to the themes that we were to tackle in our maiden book.

Truth is, I didn’t know then the mere definition of Identity and was probably the most pathetic student on this matter. Truth is, I had never read and still up to now haven’t read a single book on Identity. Truth is, that is exactly where my pain squarely lied then. Truth is, if qualified people on this subject matter were to be chosen to handle it, then I wouldn’t have featured anywhere close to probably the top 70 gurus. Yet He saw an unqualified, obedient vessel as I. Coming from a point where I utterly knew nothing concerning this topic, to being thrusted into the unknown, into a classroom where the Holy Spirit was my sole instructor on the subject, directing me on the relevant scriptures, expounding on them and even putting the content in my heart and spirit, to a place I can now boldly speak on such a subject matter, leaves me with the unwavering conviction that He is the best and unbeatable teacher alive. When He gives revelations, no one can stand against or demean what is a result of His power and what has been purely breathed of Him.

Albeit, it took me some months to ask myself, ‘why was this entrusted to me?’ And going back in time, I realized that back then, close to 5 months, I had been on a persistent rhythm of excruciating agony, one indescribable in words, of emotional turbulence only God could decipher and to top it all, of spasmodic phenomenons of soiled Identity. Right in the depths of your pain, you find the tiny bits of puzzles of purpose.

God will always give you a project that you can practically relate to. I was never and will never be the ultimate expert in that field, yet He qualified me in that moment to look as one, ministering to me, taking me through a journey from soiled identity to a point of accurately defining and deeply understanding with irrevocable conviction, my authentic Identity. I honestly have things I re-read and I can clearly point out, “I didn’t write this”, “This is not my mind”, “I sure cannot think like this by myself”, “This is beyond me.” All glory to Him who qualifies the unqualified and the disqualified and sees value and importance in the one whom mortal man recognizes not.

Just a reminder from whence I began. Before you minister to others, always try and find out how God wants the same message to minister to you. One pastor who has been reviewing this book in question, I remember at some point two months ago pointed out that I had rushed on the sub-topic of forgiveness and I had to go back in prayer, in research, in writing additional content. Food for thought! – When He urges you to do something, it is not merely for the audience! Think about it!

You will find purpose in your pain. Don’t push away the pain. Ask God instead, what His purpose is through it all.

I have also noted, still on Purpose, that God will most times than not use us to relay a message we can practically relate to. Let’s look:

-If you have struggled with sin, bondage, addiction, and convictions by the enemy of how pathetic a sinner you are, God might ask you to deal with the topic of Freedom, not because you are an expert in the field, but through the journey, He qualifies you as one and in His own special way, equally ministers to you.

-You can’t speak, teach or even write about Faith if you can’t practically relate to the different dynamics of it.

-It’d be easier to tackle and understand subjects such as the Father’s love, being Spirit-filled or conversations with God when you can personally relate, have practically been there and have come to a level of experiencing it for yourself.

-People who have struggled with the pain of rejection, maybe of being adopted as kids, of having no one to pamper them with love as they grew up, when they get over it, on the flip side will most often talk about, teach or even effectively tackle the subject of Forgiveness and even help those who are still struggling with the same through the process as they can practically relate.

-Someone who has witnessed or experienced shuttered marriages might want to be used by God to save marriages falling apart.

-After receiving grace and pardon from being behind bars and serving as a prisoner, one will be more inclined to serving in such an area ‘cos they can practically relate with that pain.

-If you have struggled with dearth, then you will be more drawn to giving, to being hospitable, to generosity and reaching out to the poor.

-If John is regarded as the disciple of love and it is equally recorded that he was the disciple that Christ loved the most, then I believe his understanding of love was at a depth incomparable. He must have been able to at a deeper level practically relate to love as a subject matter and as a verb as well as with Love Himself as a Being.

Not only are we led to act in areas we can relate to and towards people we can relate with. If you look carefully: You will always find your purpose in your pain.

How do we Identify our Purpose?

  1. It is in your gifts and talents. There gotta be a reason Father God endowed each and every person with a treasure/ treasures in just the right measure.
  2. It is in what bothers you and won’t give you rest until you act. You are upset about lack of adequate knowledge on the masses concerning: taking good care of the environment, proper stewardship, divorce rates shooting up and marriages breaking down, gayism, crippled people and street children increasing in the CBD, bad governance, why Biblical truth is being watered down? Then dig deeper. These are just but to name a few.
  3. It is right there in your pain and awful experiences. You suffered rejection, through it you learn how to love. You suffered lack, through it you learn generosity…and so on and so forth
  4. It is in your area of training and expertise. When you have prayed about something, have been God-led, i.e. He allowed you to pursue a course or training, then through the training, purpose is beckoning. However, we have to be flexible to allow God to direct us in the appropriate skills usage. Example, I am a trained High school teacher of French and Literature by profession and the skills I acquired in teaching, I now use as a Sunday school teacher. Every time I think about this, it reminds me of Mark Batterson’s quote, “Everything in your past is preparation for something in your future. God wastes nothing!” And with that, I still look forward to when and how I will apply my knowledge of the Russian language.
  5. It is in that secret place that is purely accessible, solely through prayer. There are things that I can bet you 100%, you will never know about yourself until you come to that point of a deeper intimacy with God, of curiosity and of desperation; to that point of listening to that one voice that truly matters and well, of acting in obedience. This is mostly where our calling is hidden.

-However, it is not always automatic that we will easily embrace what He wants for us. We fight at times, though it is in embracing and accepting His pre-ordained plans for our lives that a new perspective of purpose is visualized.

By no means is this list exhaustive.

FP 2

What I want or what He wants? My way or His?

I remember at around 16 years of age or 17 or thereabout reading books by Dr. James Dobson and Gary Smalley and I really fancied, like really, really fancied being a marriage counsellor when I grew up. Smile😊😊. Imagine being like a Doc., putting back together broken pieces of relationships that are no longer in alignment with each other and with God, giving prescriptions then letting God do the rest. How cool!?😊. It’s like the real Doc. who treats then God does the healing. And here I am today😊.

I am simply highlighting this to point out that there are things we might want to be, then there is what was already pre-destined before the foundations of the earth that we would be. Getting a clear difference between the two is key. And every revelation of the different puzzles of purpose apply in its season. Walking in obedience is non-negotiable. And one day, we will look back and be able to see how God, moved by our obedience, was piecing together the tiny bits to make the whole – the Big Picture.

As I conclude, I wouldn’t want to give so much from a book that is yet to be published, yet even so, I will quote a small portion as a parting shot.

“When we operate within the confines of God’s divine will, and equally in obedience, then He gets to give us the guide towards each tiny puzzle of our purpose that put together, later form the Big Picture.

No doubt, the eventual panoramic conceptualization of the big picture of purpose thereby relies heavily on obedience as its pillar. God gives us tiny glimpses that build up to this big picture through simple tasks ordained by Him.

Without being in tune with Him (listening) and obeying (acting/ moving), we’ll never get this eventual panoramic view.

And if we keep waiting for the Big Picture in its totality in order to move, then we will never begin!” – Book title withheld.

Yes, it is true. One of the areas where we will find purpose is right in our pain!

Don’t push the pain away. Right in the seemingly dregs, therein lies Purpose!

Cheers to a Purpose-led life.

Me 😊.

RECKLESS LOVE

I have heard a thousand descriptions of the love of the Father: Unconditional, intimate, fierce, infallible, uncontainable, perfect, relentless, enduring, unquenchable, priceless, unadulterated, interminable etc. And all these are acceptable. Then recently sprouted another adjective: Reckless – quite controversial!

The Father’s Love is a topic that is of key interest to me. But how on earth would one say that God’s love is Reckless?

This question recently popped up in a WhatsApp group for the NextGen Creative Arts team of the NextGen Ministry that I’m part of. Is God’s love truly reckless? Posed one of the Sunday school teachers, followed by an internet research link by Andrew K. Gabriel – ‘God’s Love is not Reckless, Contrary to What You Might Sing.’

Wow!

I went into my cave… Oh! So, you thought it’s only men who go into caves? I can assure you that the tantalizing juices of the creative essence of the introverted side of an extrovert are best extracted in a cave: solo, without distraction, in a deep solitary world – almost a strange one, all alone. I do caves a lot and I like ‘em big time. They are some of my safest places: free from interruption, void of judgement, endowed with richness of ideas of depth untold, and a place where I can just be me. Then I re-emerged from my cave and after my morning prayer, I looked up and asked Him, “Daddy, is your love really Reckless?”

Let’s go!

RECKLESS LOVE

Reckless definition: heedless of danger or the consequences of one’s actions; rash or impetuous; careless; thoughtless.

Why would Cory Asbury use the adjective ‘Reckless’ to describe the Father’s love and why would Andrew K. Gabriel think that that does not befit the description of His love?

I can only speak/ write from my own personal experience.

God speaks to us in different forms and ways, including through revelations.

When God gives one a ‘secret revelation’, it is one of those things that one will never ever be able to explain, break down and make a 3rd party comprehend. It is a reality that just remains deeply engraved in the mind of the recipient and in the heart of the Father, and not unless God Himself reveals this reality to a 3rd party, they will consistently grapple to understand it. The other thing about a revelation is that it doesn’t have to make sense to everyone. And it never will!!

From a linguist perspective and as a literature scholar, I look at ‘Reckless’, not from surface level but as a ‘symbol’ and a word that has been ‘figuratively employed’ in the song Reckless Love by Cory Asbury. And from my very own deep and personal revelation, I look at ‘Reckless’ as a trigger to collision that leads to wreckage.

Take an example of vehicles being driven along a highway, then collision occurs leading to wreckage. That can never occur if all of them were being driven smoothly and the drivers following all the traffic rules to the letter. No! among them must have been a reckless driver. Let’s assume that wreckage is a synonym of brokenness. Wreckage can never occur in a systematic and meticulous atmosphere. Think of the moments God has deliberately changed the course of your plans, taken you through ‘illogical’ detours, stamped His authority and told you. ‘I want this done, and you are the one to do it.’ And you had to shelve your plans/ projects or altogether cancel them. Think of the seasons of separation and preparation. Think of the times you fought to have your way, but shall man wrestle with His maker? Shall clay wrestle with the Potter?

We are also not all at the same level of understanding the Father’s love, thus the Father’s heart. But someone who has thoroughly been broken knows for real that it was neither smooth, predictable nor systematic – in our eyes of course. Yet He ‘lovingly’ breaks us, though in our eyes, it looks utterly chaotic – R.E.C.K.L.E.S.S! For someone who is truly yielded, surrendered and has been completely broken to an extent they look at their own state of heart and all they see is total wreckage as a result of this ‘love collision’, they can only be left with one thought – truly this love is reckless!

I personally love to look at it as a sweet and orderly wreckage! From a figurative panoramic view, I honestly don’t see reckless as careless. And when I say ‘orderly wreckage’, it is not self-contradictory, but paradoxical, which also is a stylistic device that enhances the creativity of the written word.

Ever wondered how five different pastors can speak on the same theme, say Revival, yet none repeats another’s idea or explanation? ‘Cos they each got a peculiar revelation from the Source. God is such a Creative! Two weeks ago, having just completed, the previous week writing a book on Identity and the Father’s Love and translating it into a second language, I attended a very powerful worship concert at my local church, whose planners endeavored to address the topic of Labels in our current world and as I was sitting there, keenly taking in every word from each speaker, I was marveling in awe at this beauty and majestic splendor of the creative aspect of the Father and on how differently He gives revelations, yet, without contradicting Himself.

Back to Reckless Love. So, is the Father’s Love Reckless?

I can’t say that Gabriel K. Andrews from his own personal understanding and experience is wrong in his claim. Neither can I say that Cory Asbury is wrong to define the Father’s love as Reckless. I can however only choose to recognize that Cory had an intimate and personal revelation on this concept ‘Reckless’ that Gabriel didn’t and that both their level of understanding, relating to and connecting with the Father’s heart, hence His love are different.

Well, I’ve only tried explaining this from my own personal understanding and revelation of the connection between: reckless, collision and wreckage in relation to the Father’s Love.

Cory calls it Reckless, I call it Radical.

No, I’m not yet there myself, but every day, I give out my heart and lay it bare for it to be radically transformed as a result of this love collision.

There’s nothing as thrilling to a performer, a child not exempted as walking on stage, into an auditorium or a church to find it filled with adults willing and eager to watch, listen and cheer him/ her on. And over the very few years that I have interacted with my numerous kids in teaching, the question that has arisen quite oftenly is, “Teacher, when are we performing in the big church?” Even a child deeply understands that being watched by fellow children in their Sunday school classroom and stage doesn’t carry the same impact as when by willing adults. There you go!

This past weekend, it was priceless celebrating together what the Lord is doing in the lives of our children. And we celebrated this Radical love in style: through music (worship), drama, poetry and dance, purely performed by our very own children. And we celebrated too dying with Christ and arising anew with Him – baptism of our kids. Yes, we tried to unravel once again from a very fresh and contemporary perspective this Reckless love that dares leave the 99 in the wild just in pursuit of 1: the humanly unfathomable heart of the Good Shepherd.

R.E.C.K.L.E.S.S.L.Y R.A.D.I.C.A.L (think figurative)

R.A.D.I.C.A.L.L.Y R.E.C.K.L.E.S.S (think figurative)

Please don’t analyze so much the word reversals above. It’s just a game of letters, probably, it’s the kid in me too: the kind that you find in every single Sunday school teacher.

Cheers!!

PS: What are your thoughts on and understanding + interpretation of Reckless Love?

The Violent Take It By Force.

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“What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in delicate raiment? Behold those who wear delicate things are in the houses of kings. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.” …

“And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” Mathew 11:12

You and I both know that the word of God is alive, active, doesn’t expire and is as fresh now as the moment it was written. So let’s highlight ‘NOW’ in the scriptures above. Until NOW, the kingdom of heaven still suffers violence and up until NOW, only the violent seize it.

Jesus spoke the above to the multitude and in verse 7, He tells us it was concerning John. But what drove Him to say this? In the previous verses, we see John in a state that I would like to call – the low place in the high place. Here is the description that Jesus gives of John, Mathew 11:11, “…Among them that are born of women, there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist…” Sure, he was a prophet. He prepared the way for the coming of the Messiah. He baptized Him. He was a mighty man of God and right from his birth, he was an ordained nazirite. He lived in the wilderness feeding on locust and wild honey and preaching the gospel of repentance to all and even to those he termed the offsprings of vipers. Yet rebuking king Herod, Mathew 14:1-4 only led to his imprisonment. The kingdom of heaven under violent assault! And the same man who preached Jesus, who believed in Him long before others did, from the dark, unpleasant, demoralizing and devaluing dungeons of prison sends two of his disciples to Jesus to confirm if He truly was the Messiah or if there was need to look/ wait for another – quite the low place in the high place!

Kingdom

What is a kingdom? How different is it from other forms of government, say: constitutional government, democracy, dictatorship or federal systems? How does one receive kingdom citizenship? Can the kingdom citizenship title be revoked? But why kingdom assault/ violence? And why take it by force? And How?

From the Lord’s prayer, ‘your kingdom come’, clearly shows that His kingdom is right here with us and in us.

Let’s first talk a little bit about this kingdom stuff:

The concept of kingdom is introduced by God Himself when He made heaven and earth, and for earth to be a place that He would colonize to become an expression of His kingdom to a physical planet. Gen 1:26, “…Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over…”

Dominion is always in reference to the kingdom.

Mamlakak (Hebrew) means sovereign power/ royal power/ sovereignty or kingdom dominion which was given to Adam when God made him king over the earth and therefore all his offsprings are kings that are supposed to rule the territory called earth on behalf of God.

King of the universe/ King of glory is in reference to heavens – Jesus.

The concept of kings is therefore critical to kingdoms.

The Kingdom principle of kings.

Jesus came to earth to bring a kingdom, not a religion.

God’s redemptive program and plan was a means to an end – re-establishment of His kingdom on earth.

Christ came to the earth to restore the kingdom that Adam was given, the kingdom of heaven back to earth. Because Adam lost the kingdom, every human heart is searching for what is lost.

The number one hunger for every human spirit is for the kingdom. When you get it, you stop searching.

John 3:1-3 “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

A kingdom is not a religion but a country. Countries don’t have members. You don’t become a member of: Canada, Brazil, Kenya, France or Russia. You can only become a citizen of a country. That’s why Christ never talked about membership but citizenship – being born into a country.

When you become a citizen, you gain constitutional rights to the promises of a country. Citizenship gives you access to privileges, promises, protection and wealth etc. That’s why countries guard their citizenship so much.

John 17:14 “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” Although we live here on earth, our citizenship is in heaven.

Therefore: A kingdom is the sovereign rulership and governing influence of a king over his territory (his domain) – impacting it with his will, intent and purpose, producing a citizenry expressing a culture, reflecting the nature and lifestyle of a king.

Hence we talk of kingdom citizens and kingdom citizenship.

Luke 22:29 “And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;”

…….

-The king is the ultimate and only source of authority in the kingdom.

-The sovereignty of the king is inherent in his royal authority. The people don’t make the king king. He is born sovereign, and that’s why Christ doesn’t need your vote to be king. You don’t vote him into power. You acknowledge Him as King.

-The king is the beginning and the end of the kingdom: The Alpha and the Omega.

-A king chooses who will be citizen.

…….

The Kingdom of God come to earth under violent assault! And the violent take it by force!

When you are born citizen of a country or have been conferred citizenship of another country, with full rights and privileges associated with that country, then you don’t plead for what is already yours.

We also do know that to continuously guard this citizenship, then we got to acknowledge our sonship/ heirship in the kingdom and be in constant communion with the King.

Well, whereas there could be other forms of taking it by force, my focus weighs heavily on three factors:

-PRAYER

-Violent Faith

-Active Faith

1. PRAYER

Why Pray?

Philippians 4:6-7 “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Colossians 4:2 “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;”

Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

1Thess 5:16-18 “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

I remember this evening precisely slightly more than 2 years ago while pacing in my house and heading to draw the window curtains, hearing this voice tell me so audibly, “I want you to stop what you are doing and PRAY!” I left everything as it was and proceeded to my altar to pray, from where I had a great encounter, got healed in the process even emerging with a solid promise from God.

Of late, I have been replaying this quite often in my mind. Why would this all so Sovereign, Omniscient being: who knows everything I need before I even say a word, who has the power to grant my petition even without me asking, who owns the earth and everything in it, who has the power to rain down provision just at the tap of two fingers, who was capable to heal my hand and entire arm without me necessarily praying for healing, command me to PRAY??

This purely shows that prayer as a spiritual activity plays an indisputably core role in the life of a believer, in his relationship with the Creator, and no doubt in taking it by force!

Well, I have moments when it’s all lovey-dovey – kinda like in some sort of honeymoon with the Father, some moments when it’s a calm whisper – almost some kind of surreptitious struggle, some when I can worship in tongues – yes, He does give me a new song every once, plus its tune in tongues I don’t comprehend. Then there are those moments I’m all so done and tired to even talk, so I write Him a note and ask Him to read – it happened once to me. And other moments when it’s plain warfare – my personal favorite. This is where real warriors are made – right in the heart of the battle ground. Where we neither plead, smile nor negotiate with the enemy; where we get to: command, set on fire, cancel, reverse, render powerless and defeated, quench, nullify/ declare null and void, claim, detach from, scatter the agenda, unseat by fire, release thunder fire and brimstone, uproot, simply set the empire of darkness in total disarray. It is beyond KDF style – only, no physical force employed.

So whether you go: lovey-dovey, whisper, meditate, talk in tears: tears of joy or agony, write to Him a note, break into uncontrollable laughter, speak through your heart – in silence, break into heavenly tongues or plunge right into the heart of the warfare zone, causing irreparable havoc to the kingdom of darkness, well, yes, it’s all communication to and with the Father.

The plain reality is that most people, even some who profess Christianity have been taken captive of: their lives, their goods, their benefits, their inheritance and even their purposes. These are well guarded under heavy surveillance behind the gates of brass. And we can’t in any way take back what is ours in a gentle manner. We do it crude, forcefully, ruthlessly and of course with strategy.

Gates! Gates! Gates!

What is a gate? It is a point of entry or exit as well as a point through which transfers take place.

There are varying types of gates: different sizes, with different types of soldiers guarding them, with different levels of power/ security accorded them, with different categories of weapons used by the soldiers on guard. Whatever the case, whatever the size and capacity of power enforced, one thing I know for sure is that gates are normally heavily guarded. Let’s take an example of 3 (three) different gates here: the gate of your school/ work place, the gate of your residential estate/ home and the gate(s) of the USA or Israeli embassies. You’ll agree with me that they are all different.

And different bandits in different hierarchies of banditry know what it takes to get in in order to steal, kill or destroy depending on the type of gate. Bandits can be patient, strategic and somewhat humble before they get in, but once they occupy the territory, they claim it, control it, jealously guard it and will not leave that easily. It takes violence beyond what I can describe in writing. Bandits are always on a constant look out, persistently for the next territory to possess. No, they don’t sleep like we sometimes do.

You’ll equally agree with me that no bandit can get into a territory to possess it, to claim it without the permission of the owner of the territory, save for a few cases like through the gate of birth. And I’m talking spiritual bandits here. There must have been an entry point – a gate, and unfortunately some entry points come as a result of sin e.g. the gate of idolatry, the gate of immorality or the gate of bloodshed.

Thanks to the blood of the lamb on Calvary. As Jesus cried, “It is finished! / Tetelestai! / Entièrement Payé!”, so was it. And in like manner, we achieved freedom. But what of him who believes neither in the finished work of the cross at Calvary, nor in this blood?

Let’s have a look at what the Lord, Jesus Christ says about dealing with the soldier at the gate: Mathew 12:29 “Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.”

Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

Isaiah 45:2-3 “I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, That thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.”

When we get to deeply comprehend the magnitude of warfare at the gate, then we’ll know that violence is an indispensable tool that must be employed, and a lethal one at that.

2. Violent Faith

Violent faith glorifies God and advances the Gospel.

Among the myriads of examples of such faith, let’s single out the experiences of Peter and Paul behind bars, of Daniel in the lion’s den, of Shadrack Meshack and Abednego in the fiery furnace.

Daniel 3:16-18 “Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”

Holy violence: possessing kingdom possessions require kingdom violence. If you know your rights and privileges in Christ and in the kingdom, then you got to become assertive to enforce them. Boldness is essential for faith to operate.

3. Active Faith

Prayer, thanksgiving and praise are some of the examples of components of active faith. It is what we DO, beyond believing which demonstrates that there’s an integration between that which we believe and that which we ACT upon.

Meditation and applying the word are equally pillars of faith in action.

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Reading through the whole of this chapter, we’re practically led into seeing that active faith requires sacrifice.

James 2:17- 23 “Even so faith, if it hath no works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.”

To drive the point further home, here is an excerpt on Acting on Faith by Benny Hinn.

“Exodus 14:15-16a “And the Lord said unto Moses, wherefore criest thou unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward. But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it:”

Deuteronomy 2:31 “And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before thee: begin to possess, that thou mayest inherit his land.”

“I have begun to give.” He doesn’t give until people start moving and acting upon faith. He will take care of the enemy in your way, but once He gives you the land, you must go and possess it. He often leaves it up to you to overcome the obstacles. Most importantly, you cannot inherit until you take ownership, until you receive what God has promised to you.

Acts 2:4 Believers prayed and then began to speak; acting upon the revelation and infilling that God had given them. As with the early church, we must not wait and then react, but rather act first in faith and then see God move. You see, pursuit is faith in action.

Pursuit, active faith, brings victory! The more you come to know the Lord, the more you find out that He has so much more waiting for you to receive, yet nothing miraculous happens without faith. Until Moses stretched the rod over the Red sea, the water stayed intact. Until the children of Israel were ready to possess the promised land, they wandered 40 years in the wilderness. Until David unleashed the small stone from his sling, Goliath towered over him, sneering the young man’s God. Until Bartimaeus and the woman with the issue of blood acted in faith, their miracles remained unfulfilled.”

…….

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I’d love to share a quote that to me has been a pillar over the years especially on those occasions when I’m just at the helm of giving up. “Nothing happens without prayer.” – Elisha Goodman

All these go out to encourage:

-Someone into holy violence.

-Someone on the verge of giving up on prayer.

-That person who is yet to begin and the other one who has slackened on prayer.

-Someone who is constantly mocked by that satanic laughter. It’s only a matter of time as you pray persistently that that laughter will be replaced by the laughter of Him that dwelleth in the heavens, Psalms 2:4.

-Someone who has walked the longest in the rain and it seems like the night isn’t breaking forth into day.

-That person patiently awaiting the fulfillment of a promise by God.

-That person who is mad at God for not answering his/ her prayers.

-That person whose goods are well guarded in the storehouse of the enemy.

-That person who has lavishly given an entry point to the enemy to come in and pick whatever he wants.

-That person who is rejoicing ‘cos he/ she has beautifully mastered the art of making the gates sway to the rhythm of his/ her music.

Please don’t stop praying. Keep pressing on! There’s always something to offer to the Lord in prayer, be it through: Adoration, like Moses Deborah & David after victory, or Petition as in Luke 18, or Intercession – standing in the gap just as queen Esther, or simply Thanksgiving just as the one leper among the ten. It could also basically be accompaniments like: communion, sacrifice/ offering, adorning a grateful heart or just simply erecting everlasting altars in form of our hearts to Him. There has to be something we can give unto God, anytime.

Well, as I conclude, I’ve had uncountable number of moments/ seasons when I’ve had to just simply put, Take It By Force: when my prayer life has come under raging and scathing attack, in my previous work places, in my family and in many other different areas.

As a believer, all the power you need is right inside of you, to claim back the kingdom, be it: in the market place, in the corporate world, in governance and leadership, in your marriage, in Ministry and the body of Christ and in all the domains as much as we have been given to subdue and to take dominion!

Wishing you sufficient grace in taking it by force as you step out in holy violence.

The Violent Overcomer.
References:

-UNDERSTANDING THE KINGDOM. Kingdom Principles, Preparing for kingdom experience and expansion, (DVD) – Dr. Myles Munroe

-Acting on Faith, (online) – Benny Hinn Ministries

The Heart of the Father

It is practically inevitable to talk of or even think about the Father’s Heart without thinking – L.o.v.e.

TFH 1

“What do you want?”

Has God ever asked you a simple question like, “what do you want?” And you stated it thinking that it was clearly and precisely answered, but at the end of the season’s lesson with Him, you get to see a perfect picture of the Heart of a loving Father who patiently and lovingly deals with a stiff-necked people, with a people who don’t even know what they want when they think they do, who can’t accurately articulate what they want, who have forgotten what they want, yet in all these, He still helps us find it?

God’s unquestionably solid and unchanging character draws me into falling even deeper and anew in love with Him with ev’ry passing second, helplessly so.

We all know our God to be: merciful, patient, forgiving, compassionate, faithful, loving and guuuuwwd.

Luke 18:18-19

And a certain ruler asked him saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, why callest thou me good? None is good, save one, that is, God.

The magnitude of Christ’s meekness struck me, the first time the scriptures above sank in me.

Well, Integration and The Heart of the Father forms the basis upon which I am inspired to write today.

Integrated

When we say that someone is integrated, it means that what he thinks, says and does at any one given moment within himself is in one harmonious accord.

This is one of those realities about God’s character that my finite mind is yet to completely grasp. Everything about God sends me to an ‘automatic awestruck mode’, but this particular one? When I translate this concept from the human understanding and practice of the word, I helplessly get awestruck. Every time I ponder about this word – integrated and how it perfectly gels with the description of God, it becomes a vicious cycle of getting awestruck over and again, the latter magnitude even greater than the former.

And this is why. Is it always all times that when you talk to someone and deeply study their eyes, their vocal tone, their body movements, their subtle facial expressions, their gestures and even their silences that you get to see an integration of their words with what you observe? Is there a consistency now as it will be four years from now or as it was three years back?

Honestly, this is one of those qualities of God that blows my mind off.

The Father’s Heart

Recently – to be precise, last month, I undertook a 21-day prayer and fast marathon – a program in which I wanted this: financial equation, career, vision thing to be sorted out once and for all.

And several times as I was praying, He could ask me in simple words, “what do you want?” And I could answer. Another time I would be praying and the question would arise again, “what do you want?” And as I began to answer, He would cut me short, “you, what do you want?” And I would give an answer related to a certain type of a job. Well, this is not funny. I never ever got to answer that question correctly despite having heard it close to four or five times.

So one evening, a few days immediately after I had just completed my 21-day prayer program, a friend gives me a call, invites me to her business premise for a hook up and just basically to chat. We catch up on life issues then I wait for her to close down, after which she decides to give me an escort. As we’re walking along the road and chatting, she turns to me and asks, “what do you want?” I begin to give a narrative and as I put a but in it, she deliberately cuts me short and asks again, “you, what do you want?” I instantaneously had to slow down as I was hit by the fact that this was a God-moment, and that He was giving me another chance to answer this question correctly. What a brain shake-up!! How on earth could she be able to ask me the exact same question, in the exact similar manner as I had earlier been asked so many times before while praying?

Guess what!? God used her to help me remember the vision that to me was given 3 years ago, and which is exactly what I wanted but which I couldn’t clearly articulate. Sometimes it takes longer than we anticipated, which drives us to think that God’s not in it anymore, that He forgot about it, or maybe we just didn’t get it right.

The reality? He never trashes a single covenant. The truth is that I was slowly losing track of this covenant I had with Yahweh 3 years ago, and the vision He planted in my heart then was quickly slipping through my fingers. The plain truth is I needed a quick fix, as quick as possible. Yes, I needed a job, or so I thought. It would answer all my queries. It would sort out this unhilariously mysterious puzzle once and for all. And well, the reality is that He doesn’t operate that way. He is not a God of ‘Quick Fixes’, but one who in His perfect time, offers a lasting solution, fully anchored in Him.

My lesson? Be alert to the move of God. God will use anyone to reach out to you. And I mean, literally, anybody.

My other lesson? Walk in divine timing. Neither be left behind by Him nor go waaay ahead of God. I practically can relate to the not so pleasant effects of the latter.

What a Terrible God! And what an Integrated God! I still stand in awe of this ‘oneness’ within Himself at any one given moment. He doesn’t think one thing and say a different thing in relation to His thoughts. He doesn’t say one thing yet do a contrary thing in relation to His words. He doesn’t do one thing yet mean a different thing in relation to His deeds. And what He thought, said and did: more than 2,000 years, 7 years, 1 year and 8 months or even 2 weeks ago would never ever contradict itself with what He thinks right now, says right now or even does right now.

My heart has seen a perfect picture of a gracious Christ who intervenes in prayer for us even when we don’t know how to package our words. It has tasted of the love of a Father who doesn’t force His choices down our throats willy-nilly. When we give Him a chance, He equally gives us a chance and asks us, “what do you want?” Surely, a perfect Father must perfectly know what His child wants. I have seen a Father who in His perfect ways gives us a platform to choose, yet even in choosing, when we: don’t know, can’t clearly articulate or simply forget what we want, He helps us to accurately define it, and just doesn’t stop there. He helps us find it!

And you know what else? I have seen a picture of a Father who doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve. Who as far as the East is from the West, such far has He removed our transgressions. I have seen the true heart of a compassionate Father. I have personally known a God who provides mysteriously.

He is in control. If He allowed you there and put you there, He’ll sustain you right there and make a way such as the human eye cannot figure out right now. Stop fighting!

When it has been close to two years of making applications and you’re rarely called for an interview and whenever you’re called for one, you’re never taken then you wonder if you were overqualified. Still, that doesn’t damn change His heart and plans for you.

When it’s close to two years since you wanted to ‘fly’ with that business and you had a deficit yet He clearly told you not to borrow money from anyone and that He would show you how He works, then it’s time to be reminded of His name – Jehovah El-Kanna, the jealous one who shares His glory with no other. And well, yes, it’s time too to be reminded that He is an I.n.t.e.g.r.a.t.e.d God.

When you feel caged and you desperately want to run back to the comfortable and unprogressive life you knew back then, yet He deliberately blocks you, then it’s time to be reminded that He is not a backward God, but a progressive one, and that part of the progression is allowing Him to walk you thro’ the fire. Then it’s equally time to answer this question correctly, “what do you want?” Then it’s time to be broken…to bend to His will. Then it’s time to recognize that you ain’t and never will be the boss, not even of your own life, but a steward and a partner to Him.

When the vision was birthed in partnership with Him, then it’s time to acknowledge that you have no total control of the ‘how’ and the ‘when’, He does. And for you to have a glimpse or knowledge of the how and the when, then you gotta be constantly and intimately connected to Him like a cable to a power source so He reveals it to you, no other option!

So mine is to dance, in the rain just as much as in the sunshine, though this time, I am not dancing to the rhythm of the madness in me, no. I am dancing in splendor and awe to this sweet rhythm of His unquestionable and indisputable musique, responding and moving to the tempo of His beats. When He tells me jump, I simply smile and ask, how high? And in what manner? Vertically or diagonally? And when He tells me move, I stop and ask Him how fast? And towards which direction? Northwards, westwards, southwards or eastwards? Plus, in what manner? Horizontally, in a zigzag motion or spirally?

THF2

What do you see when you clearly stare at the Father’s heart?? I see L.O.V.E.

I’m not yet done!

This is the heart of the God whom we serve. I have seen a Father who loves unconditionally – who doesn’t lay down a proviso to the attainment of His love. I have seen a Father who doesn’t use the same: faulty, self-centered, wanting scales and lenses that the world uses to weigh, view and cluster us. Not even the inadequate, self-questioning, self-righteous lenses that we use to view ourselves. But one whose lenses of viewing His children is ‘like no other’ – perfectly refined.

I have seen and felt the Father’s Heart in close range. I have seen and known Authentic L.o.v.e.

Well, since this heart is: deeper than the profound depths of the ocean, higher than the ranges of the highest mountain, wider than the whole round centrifugal view of the cosmos, lower than my determinate comprehension of genuine humility and unfathomable even with the help of the most high-tech microscope and telescope, I am still on a voyage and mission of unearthing and of deeply understanding it, plus its peculiar integration. The Father’s heart.

Welcome aboard!

Totally wrecked!!