Anyone else excited about the upcoming Passover and Easter? I am. The Resurrection particularly validates our reason for being Christians. This of course is my 2nd favorite season after Christmas. I’ve heard guys who say they prefer Easter to Christmas…well, the birth marks the debut of the manifestation of the Messianic prophecy, so definitely ain’t no Passover sans birth. Either way, I love ‘em both. I love the blood of Jesus, the power and victory in it and especially the access that comes with it.
So, with all that’s going on, the fear, anxiety, uncertainty etc., well, I’m engaging my celebration gear and ain’t no way that I’m approaching Passover with a dreary and despondent mood. Covid 19 gotta know that I’ll adorn my garment of Praise – Daddy’s favorite outfit and simply rejoice at the great love He bore and still bears towards us – this overwhelming love that took Him to Golgotha and whose result is emancipation from Religion. Quarantine gotta acknowledge that Passover is a real big deal to me! One of the prayers that I find myself whispering in the past few days is, “Lord, open my eyes and my understanding to the depth of the beauty of the finished work of love at the cross in Calvary.”
Thinking ‘bout all these set my heart rolling towards the Mighty Outstretched Arm of the Lord, how we’ve undeniably seen it in this season, how it has been so evidently real in the lives: of individuals, of corporations, of governments, of key decision makers, of religious institutions, of market place influencers, basically of everyone and I was helplessly, intrinsically entreated towards sharing my journey to Freedom, oblivious of the ‘behind the scenes’ outrageous workings of this Mighty Outstretched Arm.
Well, you can’t outrun ‘The Long Arm of the Law’, sang the late Kenny Rogers, but let me candidly tell you what you just not can but rather won’t outrun…it’s the Mighty Outstretched Arm of the Lord. Ask me! Well a little background wouldn’t hurt. An old friend of mine last week sent me a message on messenger, “Hi gurl, hope you are well. Am listening to Kenny Rogers’ songs as I mourn him and can’t help but remember you were a big fan of him and country music…I miss you and those moments back at Kahawa wendani.” In my deepest of minds I was like, ‘my goodness, can’t my past simply give me a break?’ Kenny is a legend, was an incontrovertible giant as far as country is concerned, no doubt! And so we chatted back and forth and no, you don’t understand… you can’t, may not but you can try nevertheless.
Every time I hear people speak of their past struggles before salvation: alcohol, drugs, addictions, women, men, the bottle, sometimes it kinda feels to me like I reeeeally got no substantial testimony. This is really deep, again you may not understand.
Ever heard someone comment something like, “That one is married to the bottle.”? Let’s get real. I was fondly married to secular music for the longest time of my life. I got born again at a fairly young age and have deeply been in love with God from as young as I remember, yet even so, throughout it all, secular music and I were equally extreeemely deep in love with each other, separating us from each other would only have been managed exclusively by this patient, kind and gentle heart of the same owner of the Mighty Outstretched Arm. Secular music was furiously competing for my attention and it was God’s main rival over the ownership and lordship of my heart for the longest time. Now, there’s a one-time listening and there’s addiction. I was an addict! Been quite a journey, a real journey. I loved rhumba, country and bluez. My house even back in campus was always a collection of CDs and books with songs – the likes of Lionel Richie’s, Enrique Iglesias’ plus all the classical collections and my typical day was waking up, praying, reading school notes, going to school/ library then returning to play my collection back and forth while cooking and cleaning up. I had a small radio and later on a Discman for which I bought two very small (student pocket friendly) speakers and adaptor. Never really cared much for TV just as I don’t ‘till date as much as I did and still do speakers. And my kind of music was not the kind to make one leave the house so as to go to a club, actually the introvert bit in me has never bothered much for clubs too and ‘till date, doesn’t feel like I missed on anything. Someone back then ever told me, we’re the kinds who will start going out to dance when we’re old because we skipped a stage when young. What a misplaced theory! In the club there must have been too much noise, disturbance and confusion. Yet, was I any better?
Well, I’ve been brought up in a family of non-drinkers, so for me typically clubbing and drinking weren’t a struggle as such, I loathed both with passion from a tender age. Sometimes I like joking that I’d well have been born a gentile female nazarite (save for the times I’ve chopped off my hair). But here I was, I would count for you the country artists plus their song titles with the full lyrics or at least chorus while dead asleep. I ate secular music, drank it, walked in it, lived it, dreamt it, merried in it, soaked rotten in it, bathed in it and idolized it. It was so bad in campus some of my closest friends nick-named me ‘cowgirl’. The only things I ever dreamt of were fringed leather jackets, horses, ranches, cowboy hats, boots etc. And during my teenage years, my perfect ‘Knight in shining armor’ would be this ebony African cowboy who would come humming some real country tunes, probably Senorita by Don Williams or Evening Star by Kenny Rogers or Together you & I duet by Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton. He’d come riding on a horse and besides the chivalrous rescue, he’d then sweep me off my feet and together we’d live happily ever after in some ranch in Colorado or in the Texan sunshine, or in the California moonlight or Mississippi or Kentucky or Tennessee all while right in my African head. Get it?? I never knew any song title without the full lyrics. Oh, how I loved duets…still do.
Personally for me, the greatest fight I’ve had to contend with and the greatest thing God has had to patiently deal with deep down from the depths of my bloodline is this – gently detaching me from an extremely deep and consistently stubborn connection to secular music. I remember as young as 12years while in class 7, God had already started dealing with my heart and convicting me concerning secular music. I was in boarding school. I loved the Bible and read it like a story book. Then, I also remember writing letters to ‘Christ for All Nations’, the Reinhard Bonnke Ministries in Nairobi all the way from Kakamega and I wanted to know where the problem lies with listening to secular music. And they could reply me, quoting Romans 12:2 “…be ye not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable and perfect, will of God” as well as 2 Corinthians 5:17. I honestly didn’t like their answers. These CfaN guys didn’t just get it! I was addicted to secular music, I can only clearly see it now.
And so I went to high school and was a good performer. Apart from singing traditional folk songs in the school choir, reciting French solo verses and competing in Table-tennis games, I had around four to five books for songs with full lyrics: a book for Pop music, one for Jim Reeves’ lyrics, one for country – a collection of different artists, one for bluez and one for Gospel music. And I can bet you 100% that for all my song collection I knew all the lyrics fully by heart, not to mention that back at home we had all the Samba Mapangala, Sam Mangwana and all the Congolese rhumba hit collections.
Not funny at all. This thing was just not normal, the way I would listen to Elton John’s songs and be carried to another different world wasn’t just normal, then come back to church and sing an Amy Grant’s song as though I’ve never left the confines of church my entire life was questionable. I’ll tell you one thing from my own personal struggles and constant fights with God. It had to do with my bloodline, not exclusively salvation but a journey of submission to deliverance and intentionally limiting my space in the secular music environment ‘till I gained full momentum and authority over it.
This secular music thing is not a light factor for anyone desiring to be used of God in a higher realm. The old generation could have missed it but this generation will indeed be subjected to greater judgement because it’s the generation of light – when so much knowledge and deep spiritual revelation is on another radar. Can’t believe I no longer have such unexplainable thirsts any more and that I can just be good playing worship now night and day, day and night. Taken aaaaalot of stretching. Separating me from my playlists had always felt nothing different from execution/ crucifixion. Been a really hard journey over the years of literally crushing my CDs, moving from minimally listening to them to barely listening to them. Surely this generation will be judged harsher than the previous ‘cos the previous generation didn’t know any better. But in this, there’s accurate Light!
Detaching from these idols, allow me to call them bondage of sorts can only take the gentle, patient, Mighty Outstretched Arm of the Lord, when a believer comes to a point of reckoning that what we always perceive as the greener grass is not anywhere close to God’s green. Speaking of what God has given us a glimpse of, we’re yet to even scratch its surface. That’s simply a tip of the iceberg. ‘Till we willingly and intentionally shed off the old skin for the new, God’s green is just that – a mystery and myth. I practically know from the fights and constant struggles I had with God. It felt like He was forcing me to abandon what in my ‘limited perception’ felt like where I found my real mojo. Almost felt like I kept telling Him, “Listen God, You gotta wait! When I’ve had my fill with this, I’ll look for you. You’ve always been there! If anything, you’ve been there for the last 2,000 years. When I’m ready Lord…when I’m ready, Please wait!!” But for the Mighty Outstretched Arm of the Lord…
It wasn’t ‘till beginning 2015 that God gently started exposing me not just to Gospel for I had listened to Gospel music my entire life, but to deep worship, delivering me from my addiction to secular music. I remember so vividly the very 1st Kiswahili song He heavily laid in my spirit in that season. It was so powerful (words to describe that instant/season fail me) and I could feel Him sooo close. I like to joke (though don’t take it as one ‘cos it’s real), that God serenaded me into falling so deep in love with Him using this worship song which in essence is a song about the Throne room – the beauty of worship with the 24 elders, the cherubim and seraphim. That ideally, is where my true love story with Him was re-birthed and essentially reignited despite having been raised in a Godly family and been in Church my entire life. Since then, been a journey of Him drawing me closer and giving me practical life encounters and situations, some uncomfortable but that in the end drive deeper the knowledge and practical understanding of the Father’s love. I know without a shadow of doubt and have felt the undeniable power and the overwhelming glory associated with this Mighty Outstretched Arm.
Who would have known then that one day I would only long to be drenched in His glory? That all I would ever dream of one time is seeing the Lamb of God sited at the right hand of the Father? That once was only a far-fetched dream that wouldn’t have bothered me at all. No way! How? Why? For what?! Who would have known then that even in this period of Covid 19 when we have more time indoors, all I’d be rocking to, continuously playing, dancing to, allowing to master my state…, that the atmosphere that’d be engulfing my peaceful abode would only be that which smells darn good to the Throne room? Only took and can only take The one and only Mighty Outstretched Arm of the Lord.
The paradox of religion is that you can spend your many years in Church while at the same time running away from God. We cannot court His presence and more so His glory through our own techniques and still manage to live and operate within the same matchless power. We cannot call for revival on our own terms. We cannot have a Pentecost without heeding to simple instructions like tarrying in ‘Jerusalem’. We cannot be the resurrected believer without going through the way of the cross. Religion is plastic, murky…it stinks! But a relationship is somewhat different. When I was a little girl, my daddy used to carry me a lot on his laps. I happen to be a staunch daddy’s girl and so I love using the same analogy. To date, I share all my moments with Daddy, the beautifully uplifting just as similarly as the downright draining moments. I’ll go to Him and say, “Daddy, thank you for going ahead of me and giving me a wonderful and fruitful day.” or “Daddy, today I got so upset.” Then I narrate to Him what happened and how I felt, what and who upset me. And when I talk to Him it’s done! He sometimes will chasten me to change my perspective or attitude on a certain matter and just get me so vulnerable and broken. Yet sometimes, He’ll simply give me peace on a matter and in my heart, I know that He is working on it.
I have been watching quite a number of prophecies in the last 3 weeks. I had to pray at the start for God to direct me to the right sites and to give me a heavy spirit of discernment towards false prophets. I’ve heard different prophecies and one can almost always clearly tell the difference between a prophet obtaining prophecies from the 2nd heaven and the one purely obtaining His revelations directly from God – from the Throne room (right from the 3rd heaven). I’m honestly excited I must say for the harvest of souls that is beckoning and for the outpouring of Revival that will succeed this period of great and draining difficulty. And with the difficulty-marred period when saints around the globe have with all their might lifted up their hearts to the heavens, consequently Him who sits on the Throne has harkened to the voice of them that are called by His name.
Definition: An idol is an image or representation of God used as an object of worship; a person or thing that is greatly admired, loved or revered.
So, when we subject someone or something knowingly or unknowingly to a wrong purpose elevating it to an icon above the Creator, that in my personal understanding qualifies it/ him/ her an idol.
In this shakeup season that the Lord has allowed, no doubt idols have had to come tumbling down: money idols, job idols, wealth idols, social media idols, fame idols, people idols – seeking affirmation from man instead of God, talent idols, status idols, position and titles idols, power and influence idols, spouse idols, vanity idols, time idols, foreign and traditional gods/ gods of occultism and divination, religion and denomination idols etc. Only takes the Mighty Outstretched Arm of the Lord… Wouldn’t have been any better put as was by Emma Stark, “God is shaking false gods off thrones right now. Our prayer shouldn’t be, ‘God save me, God save me, God take me away from it.’ Rather, ‘God, would you shake me like you shake other people so that any false god in me can fall to its knees and be cast right off me.’”
One of my greatest lessons this season is to genuinely learn to partner with God (No strings attached and no cracks allowed for idols to creep in and come in between). For when we partner first & foremost and exclusively with Him, we can never lose!
One of the things that has been evident and so real in this season is how God’s power and presence knows no bounds and that includes online/ social media boundaries. For me, been a season when the Lord has literally pulled me back to the closet, the ‘secret place’, when the Holy Spirit has literally dedicated Himself to taking me back to class and of course as no any other Teacher would, brought me to a place of fresh prayer secrets. I honestly love the way He teaches.
I just love being up by 4am and being in agreement with the ongoing intercessory prayers on Hope fm – Kenya as they stand in the gap on behalf of different nations and the globe at large; pleading mercy over the globe and the political, social, religious and economic structures. Mercy, mercy, endless mercy.
The other prayer I’ve been saying is that the Lord may teach me fresh reverence. And sometimes with it, things, including His Word hits different. Ultimately the One to whom every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that indeed He is Lord is Christ Jesus. Was just wondering recently in my silent soliloquys, ‘do you think that people will merely bow because they will, wish, like it or feel like it?’ Absolutely no! They will bow ‘cos they must and because IT IS WRITTEN! and It is settled! Not a matter of choice at all. Anyone not bowing means God will have violated the sanctity of His Word. It is written, and because it is, there’s no argument about it. With reverence, one comes to a point in life when they grow to a level of respecting the divinity of God’s Word and that, ‘It is Forever SETTLED in the Heavens.’ – Psalm 119:89
I see people, nations, races, tribes already bowing right here on earth and there is still some loads of bowing to do and even some more repentance required. And in the end, no flesh shall glory in His Presence – 1Cor 1:29. For all the honor and glory is and will be due Him and Him alone. Call it the Mighty Outstretched Arm of the Lord!
Deuteronomy 26:8 (KJV)
And the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders.
Mighty and Everlasting Father, train our hearts to detach from idols. Teach us reverence. I call you Father, I call you Friend, I call you Teacher, I call you the Great, Mighty and Terrible, I call you Yahweh, I call you Adonai, I call you Abba… Yet even in finding and deeply understanding Your love as a Father and a Friend, help us not to be consumed with familiarity towards You such that we lose sight of Your Mighty Outstretched Arm at work. Teach and empower us to partner with You consistently. Restore our hearts to the first love that in all circumstances, You indeed will always be our first point of reference at any given time. Lord, may the expanse of our smallness be so real to us in comparison with the grandeur and depth of the greatness of Your thoughts, Your ways and Your Being. May You once again reveal to us the impact and meaning of the cross and may this love be so real, vivid and tangible to us. Father, may You fill our hearts once again with awe at the enchanting beauty and wonder of creation around us that you executed exclusively by virtue of the power and might of your breath and at the beauty of the command encapsulated in your invincible Words. May you empower us to inculcate hearts of gratitude within us in all seasons, regardless. And just as You first loved us irrevocably, with every fiber of our being we equally declare our undying love for You. Amen and Hallelujah for the cross – ‘Love has won, death has lost!’