Have you ever thought how ironic it is that we all find it easy to act in 'faith' in our daily activities but find it difficult to speak in faith when it comes to important things.Recently, I watched an episode of Total Wipeout USA and the first thing that came to me was how people can put themselves through anything because of money. However, what got my attention and got me thinking in this line was a particular guy that shouted at the anchor to sign the check even before he started. Of course, he sounded 'crazy' asking them to sign the check before he even started! At every stage he went through, he kept shouting for them to sign the check. Funny enough, through the preliminary stages, he was not the best but that did not deter him as he continued to shout loudly "Sign the check!" I have a feeling that it was FAITH speaking because he won!It is simple faith that makes you trust that the bed you sleep on, or the chair you sit on to carry your weight and not make you fall.It is faith you display when you ride in that car, get on the bus, train or plane not knowing if the engine will fail you or not.We trust bridges to carry us through to the other end but don't have faith in God to carry us through the storm.We trust books and manuals to direct us but don't trust the Holy Word to lead us through our darkness.However, when it comes to things that really matter, like talking to God, speaking to situations, healing, many of us falter and doubt our faith.One question that constant plagued me was this "If it is so easy to act in faith in our daily activities, why then do we find it difficult to bring up our faith in things that matter most?"The answer that came to me was very simple - We have an enemy. Our enemy knows exactly what our faith in the Almighty will do to him. He then enlarges our problems and makes any divine solution seem illogical and unreasonable.Every time we allow ourselves to doubt God, His power, His love, His plan, we allow the enemy to win a trophy and you can be sure that he loves collecting them.After this realisation, I made a decision and will keep praying for grace to stand by it - "I will not allow the enemy to gather my trophies. I will believe, trust and have FAITH in God who makes all things perfect in His time"You too can make that decision today to live in faith and make a change.Have a FAITH-filled week.
Sunday, 25 August 2013
Sunday, 7 July 2013
Just this past Friday my Coach Sam Obafemi and his Olori celebrated their Marriage Anniversary. Now I know that sounds odd, but like I said to him, his was not a wedding anniversary as is widely known, but a Marriage anniversary.
I might not be an authority on this subject, but I have learned quite early in life that there is a great difference between a Marriage and wedding. It is quite unfortunate however that many people concentrate on the wedding (temporal and short) part than on the marriage part of the whole deal. The wedding and its affairs last for just a few hours in a single day and after that, it is expected that the marriage part should start playing.
The success of any marriage depends on its foundation just like any building and just as builders and masons concentrate on their foundations before raising any building, so also great attention should be paid to the foundation of a marriage if it would ever work.
Most people will say the foundation of any marriage is God and I would agree with you to an extent, but that is not all! Will cement alone suffice to make a good foundation? I think not. There are other components that need to be brought to the mixture and the cement will hold them together for you. It is therefore your sole responsibility to bring together those necessary components and let the cement do the ‘holding’.
As much as the ‘God factor’ is very essential, you and I have a great responsibility – to deliberately make our marriages work. God will NOT come down to help you with your duties in the marriage because that is entirely your work. Marriage is about friendship, partnership and fellowship and it is everybody’s responsibility to make sure this works. It has never been easy and I do not entertain the illusion that it will ever be easy, but one thing I know is that, with determination and hard work it is possible.
I might not be married, but I know it does not hurt to learn these lessons early. Let us learn as much as we can NOW so that we can apply them when the time comes.
Thank God for people we can learn from, thank God for model marriages, thank God for ours that will work.
Have a great planning week ahead.
Sunday, 9 June 2013
Everybody in life has a gift and it takes personal effort and desire to discover it. One of the greatest gifts of time is arbitration. There has always been the need for someone that can stand in the gap, but over the years, few have been found.
One man that had this great gift in Bible times and used it greatly was Abraham. As much as he is mostly known as our Father of Faith, he was a great arbiter and diplomat in his time and was referred to even after his time.
Imagine God calling Abraham to the negotiating table as he was looking at the extreme wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah. Because of the gravity of their iniquities, he decided to pour out judgment in its full measure upon them; But guess what, he consulted Abraham first: “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing?” (Genesis 18:17)
Abraham in his entire righteous walk should have supported God’s well deserved judgment upon the two cities but of course, Lot and his family lived in Sodom and as a good uncle (though wronged) he did not want them destroyed. He could have asked God for the deliverance of his nephew and his family from the judgment, but the compassion in him moved his to ask God for ANY righteous that might be in the land that would ultimately perish with the wicked.
Abraham’s negotiated intercession for Sodom and Gomorrah definitely qualifies as one of the great prayers of the Bible. This is one prayer that has been recorded for us where we get the full gist of the discussion between God and man (Abraham).
In the first place, Abraham was aware of God’s just nature and he used it to his advantage. He said: “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked?” (Genesis 18:23). Abraham knew God and His character because of his intimate relationship with God, and the more intimate we are with God, the more we get to know his qualities and attributes and incorporate them into our prayers.
One thing caught my attention here - At no point did Abraham doubt that God would disregard his opinion. He confidently made his case for ANY righteous in the land. If we can ride on our knowledge of God and His character, we will be able to build on our faith and call upon His mercy, patience, loving-kindness, faithfulness and greatness.
Another striking thing here is that Abraham was persistent. He started by negotiating for fifty righteous people and God agreed “If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare the whole place on their account”. I can imagine the wheels turning in Abraham’s head trying to calculate the number of righteous people he knew in Sodom only for him to discover that they would not be up to fifty. He proceeded to plead for forty-five, forty, thirty, twenty, and finally ten and the Lord answered him “I will not destroy it on account of the ten”.
This dialogue goes a long way to show us the heart of Abraham and how serious he was about his desire/request. Our persistence and perseverance in the place of prayer is a key indicator on the success of our lives and our submission to God’s will and purpose.
Come to think of it, God moved Abraham to negotiate for Sodom and Gomorrah. Why else would he have discussed with Abraham before meting out the punishment He had already planned? Sometimes God places on us a burden to pray for somebody and we most times take it for granted or ignore it altogether. Imagine if Abraham had told God he wanted to think about the situation or was too busy and would talk about it later. What would have happened then? Whenever we feel a prayer “burden”, God is moving us to take action and plead on someone’s behalf.
God has always searched for someone to stand in the gap. He found someone like that in Abraham, but over the years, there has been a cry “And I sought for a man among them, that should make the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none” (Ezekiel 22:30). What sad words coming from the LORD.
The truth remains that there is judgment to be poured out on individuals, families, communities, nations and God is looking for someone to plead on their behalf, to negotiate for their salvation because deep down “The Lord of the promise is not slow, as some deem slowness, but is long-suffering toward us, not having purposed any to perish, but all to come to repentance”. (2 Peter 3:9)
I can almost hear someone asking that "did not Christ die for that reason, that through His Blood there might be salvation?" But of what use is the blood if it has not been appropriated? After all, one has to accept the presence of the Blood, its potency and its possibilities before it can work in ones life.
Can you and I be found standing in the gap today even if it is just for one to acknowledge the Blood? How would you respond if God decided to tell you about every judgment He is about to pour out? Can our prayers be reckoned with in heaven?
I apologize to all readers of this blog and all followers for my prolonged absence.
It has been a challenging period that I had to do a lot of thinking and heart searching.
Though it has not been easy, I thank God that He has seen me through and I am here again today.
To all those that asked of me, spoke to me and encouraged me, I pray God’s blessings upon you and ask that you find someone to stand by you in your time of need.
I would like to start with a series of my thoughts on prayer and some mighty prayers made by exceptional men in the Bible.
Watch out for my thoughts on Abraham the great Arbiter of times. These thoughts are not mine alone, but have been accumulated through my learning period. You are welcome to share your thoughts on this blog too.
God bless you.
Sunday, 16 December 2012
For the past few weeks it seems to me that everybody seems to be in a hurry. In a hurry to finish what we are doing, in a hurry to get where we are going to. Nobody seems to have the patience of May or June any longer. When I asked myself the most important question ‘Why’, it then dawned on me that ‘time is up’.
I have noticed that naturally, in any examination, people seem to ‘take it easy’ in the first half of the exam. Everybody seems to be relaxed, trying to understand the questions, contemplating whether or not to answer which question, getting mad at the examiners for setting a particular question they do not understand and so on. The atmosphere is usually cool at this time. However, things change when the invigilator calls out that you have thirty minutes to go. It is then we seem to realize that we are really taking an important exam and we need to put up something substantial that will give us good grades at the end. When the invigilator calls out again that you have fifteen minutes to go, you can feel the tension in the room; palms go clammy, people will pens to fly and hate them for not cooperating. We will ourselves to achieve what we have failed to achieve in the past one or two hours of the exam.
When time is up, you finally hear different interesting comments like ‘the time was too short’, ‘if I had an extra fifteen minutes I would have finished that paper’, ‘the questions were too tough’ and so on. The irony however, is that while others are giving excuses for not completing the exam, others are happy that the exam was a piece of cake. I ask again ‘why?’ Is it that the second set of people is smarter than the majority? The answer my friend is NO. I remember my Dad used to tell me then ‘If you walk when others are running, you will run when others are walking’.
We all set goals for ourselves at the beginning of the year; with all enthusiasm we set deadlines but instead of acting on those goals, we go back to sleep, resting on our oars until one day we wake up, check our calendars and realize we have two months to go. Then another day we wake up and realize, one month to go. It was then the truth dawns o us - time is up and hence the mad rush.
We cannot continue to live our lives like this year in year out. That is why I have made up my mind to deliberately start acting. In his book “Where are the Goals I Set”, Sam Obafemi said ‘Enough of Planning, Start ACTING’. Let us join hands in this purpose to starting acting NOW. We have planned all our lives but have not acted enough. If we start NOW we can redeem the following years and find that by this time next year we do not have to be part of the mad rush.
Let us act deliberately act and live life intentionally- life is not a game of chance.
Sunday, 2 December 2012
December is finally here. A month we all anticipate with mixed feelings; some welcome December with joy while others do so with dread all for different reasons. A few weeks ago I was privileged to be on a group that was reviewing a book “Where are the Goals I set?” After the review session, several things dawned on me. Whatever feeling we have at the end of the year depends largely on how much of our set goals we have achieved so far. Most times, we all set high and beautiful goals at the beginning of the year only to realize as the year comes to a close we did not reach our own cut-off point.
Just today, an analogy of the year dawned on me. Each year can be likened to a soccer match. There are eleven players on a team and each player has the responsibility to make use of the time given, lessons taught, experience gotten to bring home one result – a win! One thing I've noticed so far is that tension in the ninety minutes of the game is almost never as high as it is in extra time (dying minutes). And I ask myself the question ‘why?’ only to find out the same applies in life.
Let’s say the first eleven months of the year are for the eleven players on a team. We apply ourselves to achieving our set our goals in the first part of the year but most time it seems we don’t apply ourselves enough and start to rush in the dying minutes (December). Since it has happened again this year, I made a resolve, take the lessons I've learnt this match and apply them to the next match. So for next year I put in all I have from the first minute so that by December I don’t have to worry about a loss. Just like Paulo Coelho said, “it isn't what you did in the past that will affect the present, it’s what you do in the present that will redeem the past and thereby change the future.”
Let's make the resolve together, let's start working NOW to make TOMORROW different. We CAN!
Wednesday, 29 August 2012
Many a times we take words for granted and say words that should never be thought of talk less said out loud. Not only shall every word we speak be accounted for, but words have the power of a thousand men over a thousand years.
Most ‘costly’ words are uttered in the heat of anger, pain, discouragement, failure, despair. Note I said ‘costly’ because one way or the other, these words come back to haunt us. However, it is in such situations that positive words should be uttered the most.
We would do well to take a clue from other people.
When the twelve (12) spies were sent out to Canaan, two of them came back with a good report – we are well able- although the other ten (10) gave a negative report. Should we say that the two that gave a good report did not see what the others saw? Definitely they went to the same place and saw the same things but by choice decided to see them in different perspectives, hence the different reports. One of my mentors said “You don’t have to say everything the way they look. You choose the way to see it and say it as you see it.” In other words, you have power over what you say and what will happen as a result of what you say.
After the man of God had prayed for rain to fall after an unusually dry season of about 3 ½ years, the only result he got after the seventh time was just a small cloud. The natural tendency is to get discouraged getting such a small (almost insignificant) result after so much prayer. He however chose to see that small insignificant cloud as a precursor to a very heavy rain and he told his servant to go tell the king to run home, for there was a sound of abundance of rain.
Though the Shunnamite woman’s son had died on her lap, and should have been crying and lamenting, she knew what could be; she left the child, ran to the man of God. When he asked how she and her family were, she simply replied “It is well” and it was well with whole family.
At a time, the master was very tired after such a long journey and tedious work. He decided to go over to the other side with his disciples by ship. While he was sleeping, a big storm started that threatened to either capsize the ship or sink it. Everybody onboard was very scared thinking that was their last day of existence on earth, their Master however got up from his sleep, stood and simply said “Sea be calm”(Paraphrased) and that was exactly what happened.
When Matin Luther was threatened and asked to either renounce his new found faith or be killed, he refused to be moved and said “Here I stand”. Are you probably asking why he said that when he was faced with death? He knew what was ahead; he knew what his words could cost him, so he chose his words right.
Try to think of people you know either personally or have heard of that despite all odds being against them, took their stand in those difficult times spoke positive words to that effect, and got great results after.
You know what, it has never been easy, and will never be. You just have to make up your mind to do the right. When you are going through the rough times, through thick and thin, the normal urge is to say something negative like I can’t make it, I’m going through hell and many other costly words, but take note: you don’t have to say those words; In fact, it is abnormal. Someone actually said and I quote “if you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all”. Silence pays more in such situations because words are extremely costly.
The choice is yours today. What will you say?