Tag Archives: God

Symptoms of Rebellion – Part I

In some ways, animals are way smarter than we are. When it comes to rebellion, there are quite a number of things we can learn from them. Take a horse for example. Once a horse is ‘broken’, it will comply with it’s master and will be obedient. Not so with us humans, no matter how many times we are broken, we have this knack to stray back into our wild and rebellious state.

While we have the free will to be wild and free, and it may seem like fun to be a rebel and to decide our own fate, the problem is that we are terrible masters of our own lives. I remember when I decided to do my own thing – be the master of my domain as it were – it ended up with me eventually crying to God for help for I had made a mess of my domain.

304px-light_bulb_icon_tips-svgLight-bulb moment: When we decide to do our own thing instead of the God thing is when we find that life will do us dirty

While God will not stop us from taking the reigns of our lives, He does want us to know the kind of life we are signing up for when we decide to rebel against His lordship. Here are three common symptoms of rebellion.

Symptom A: Faint Heart (Isaiah 1:5)

Heart beat signifies the presence of life. The fading of a heart beat represents that a person’s life is slipping away from them. So it is with us spiritually!! Since it is the Spirit of God that gives life, the fading of our heart beat spiritually means that the Holy Spirit is losing its influence over our life.

Just as a fading heart beat indicates that we are slipping from life to death, the loss of the influence of the Holy Spirit over our lives represents the slippage from light to darkness; from the kingdom of God to the kingdom of the world!

304px-light_bulb_icon_tips-svgLight-bulb moment: A person with a faint heart is a person who has begun to lose the experience of the treasures of God’s kingdom – Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control

Instead of the wonders of the Kingdom, rebellion causes us to experience the blunders of the world – this includes jealousies, contentions, wrath, hatred, and all manner of undesirable traits.

Question to Ponder: Is my heart beat strong or has the beat of the Holy Spirit within me become faint?

Symptom B: Sick Head (Isaiah 1:5)

Our head is our thinker. For our head to be sick means that our thinking has become warped. It our thinking becomes warped, our behavior and actions will follow suit. If there is one major symptom of a sick head, it is paranoia.

Once in the throes of paranoia, the head makes up fantastic stories, delusions, and conspiracy theories that all make sense in the person whose head is sick. Perhaps no finer example of someone who had a sick head exists than that of King Herod the Great.

Another major symptom of a sick head is anxiety. I once heard someone say ‘everyone worries’. Well, i say just because everyone worries does not mean that everyone should. Both Jesus and Apostle Paul tells us not be anxious. Anxiety comes when our thinker is not being led by faith but is being influenced by fear. Hence, we see that fear, insecurities, and anxiety are symptoms of a sick head

304px-light_bulb_icon_tips-svgLight-bulb moment: While faith makes one heal, fear makes one sick

Question to Ponder: Am I anxious because I have rebelled against the truth of God’s word

Symptom C: Body full of untreated wounds, bruises, and sores (Isaiah 1:6)

Imagine a person who is covered in bruises, wounds, and sores. Such a person is in constant pain and would not like to be touched. So it is with spiritually with a rebellious person. Such a person is wounded, carried around pains from the past, and does not allow others to get close to them lest those people touch their sore spots. And because there is no part of them that is sound, such people are very easily offended and hurt.

Now, nobody goes through life without having some bumps and scrapes along the way. But for the whole body to be covered in untreated bruises, wounds, and sores as Isiah 1:6 puts it is a different matter! For the whole body to be covered means insinuates that the person continues to make the same mistakes time and again. For these wounds, bruises, and sores to remain untreated insinuates that the person has not bothered paying a visit to the physician – Jesus is the physician (Luke 5:31)

304px-light_bulb_icon_tips-svgLight-bulb moment: Life has enough vicissitudes of its own; why add to the troubles of life by adding our own rebellion

Question to Ponder: Why am I further wounding myself when I can submit to the One who can heal my wounds?

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Dear Christian, Who Bewitched You To Leave Goshen?

Intro

The people had hitherto seen a more curious sight. The magicians could not explain it and the wise men were lost for words. A man slapped himself just in case he was dreaming. But this was no dream, this was reality. What is going on he cries out aloud!

Just like every other Egyptian, while this man could not believe the severity of the plagues that was devastating their land, what was more unbelievable was that all this pestilence that had come out of nowhere did NOT touch the land of Goshen. It was as if there was an invisible barrier around Goshen that prevented all these plagues from entering.

History

If you know some bible history, you may remember that Goshen was a piece of land within Egypt where the the Children of Israel settled. After suffering under the hand of Pharaoh who had put them to hard labor, the voice of their cries reached God and He in turn decided to send them a champion called Moses who would save them from the rule of Pharaoh.

Light-bulb moment: Real and lasting change starts with crying out to God.

Moses was a messenger from God who came to put Pharaoh ‘on notice’ but Pharaoh did not like it and hardened his heart…to the chagrin of his subjects who experienced the hardships of the plagues.

Light-bulb moment: We have a choice between pinning our hopes on the ruler of this land or the ruler of the land of our heart.

Application

Of the many fascinating things about the story, the one I want to point out is that though Goshen was nestled within Egypt it did not experience the craziness that was happening with all the plagues. It was as if though it was in Egypt, it was not a part of Egypt. It seemed as if the rules of Egypt did not apply to it. It was as if Goshen was a kingdom within a kingdom. While the citizens of Egypt experienced the full effects of the plagues, those that belonged to Goshen were fully insulated from the effects of what was going on around them. Because of this, unlike the citizens of Egypt who complained about what was happening around them, those in Goshen had no cause for complaint.

If you consider the parallel between then and now, we see that land of Goshen represents the kingdom of God while the land of Egypt represents the kingdom of the world.

Implication

Friends, we ought not  to operate in the world system but operate in God’s system, for although we are in the world, we are not of the world. This means that though chaos and pandemonium may be all around, there ought to be calm and stillness where we live, for we live in Goshen.

But I am afraid to say that this is not the case lately where I live. In fact, the opposite seems to be true of those who are supposed to belong to Goshen (us Christians). Everybody is up in arms and complaining about something – making enemies of their friends based on man-made ideology. Forgetting that our battle is not against flesh and blood but against unseen forces.

Why is this? It is because we have strayed outside of the land of Goshen. When we stray outside of Goshen, the laws and rules of Goshen cease to apply but those of the Kingdom of Egypt do.

Light-bulb moment: When we desert Goshen, people stop seeing us as Goshenites but start to identify us as Egyptians. Instead of being set apart, we get stuck in place.

It Is Time To Go Back To Goshen

To get back to Goshen requires that we seek the Kingdom of God. If we seek it, we will find it. Yet if we are to find it, we need to know where to look.

God tell us that the Kingdom of God is within us. This Kingdom was given to us when the Holy Spirit was given to us. So we see, the Kingdom was sanctioned by God and negotiated for us by Jesus (through his sacrifice). And since the Holy Spirit is its custodian, there is no enjoying the benefits of the Kingdom without walking in the Spirit.

Light-bulb moment: We can’t work our way into the Kingdom of God, we can only walk  our way into it.

This is why Jesus said ‘it is good that I go’. By leaving, he was able to leave us a Helper and a guide who would guide us into the kingdom – a place where we are free of the plagues and pestilence of this world. Jesus left so that we that we could be indwelt by the Spirit not only for eternal salvation but also to experience the Kingdom life right here on earth. That is good news!

What We Are Seeing Today

What we are seeing today is a direct result of not following the lead of the Holy Spirit. When in our pride and stubbornness we decide we know better than the Holy Spirit, we step out of the Kingdom and start to operate in the world system. When this happens, we find out that we begin to pin our hopes not on God but on  whoever is ruling. And of course four years later we are not satisfied and want change again – whatever it is – only to be dissatisfied again.

Light-bulb moment: The kingdom life cannot be obtained through legislature. It can only be obtained through obedient surrender to God

What Should We Do

The bible says we will eat of the good of the land if we are willing and obedient. It does not put stipulation on who is where, what they are doing, and why they are doing it. This means that whether we experience the kingdom life or not ultimately depends on us and us alone!

Light-bulb moment: Disobedience to the voice of God is what got us where we are. Obedience to the voice of God (and not of man) is what will get us where we want to be.

What if we had applied ourselves when He told us to; what if we had gone to school? What if we had listened?  What if we listen and obey now!

Friend, lets choose to follow the lead of the Spirit today and obey his promptings. All he wants to do is lead us into the kingdom life – a life of love, joy, and peace. A life of nothing missing and nothing broken. A life that paid for by giving his own life.

Therefore, let us not expect any man, woman, political party, or otherwise to give what only God can give us. To do so is to set ourselves up for disappointment.

Food For Thought: I am the only one who can decide to leave the hell of Egypt for the heaven of Goshen.

 

 

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When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade!’ I heard it for the first time in 2002 from an older lady in college. See, I worked as a math tutor and she was a non-traditional student taking college courses after work. One afternoon, she came in wearing a sad countenance. Halfway into our session it became clear that her mind was elsewhere so I asked her if everything was alright. At this she apologized and told me she was thinking about her 9-year old son – how it hurt her that he was growing up without his father. She told me how she went from being a stay-at-home mom to having to go back to work, and is now taking college classes so she could get a better job and build a better future for her and her son. After she finished giving me a few more details about her divorce she said finished with, “my mom always says when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.

Friends, this phrase has become more prevalent in my thinking the last couple of weeks. Indeed, life has handed me some lemons lately. Yesterday, as I pondered the phrase, the Holy Spirit quickened me and used it to teach me 7 life lessons

Lesson 1: When 

It is not a matter of if lemons (troubles) will show up, it is a matter of when they show up. Lemons in life are inevitable. Instead of hoping that lemons never show up in our lives, we are better served to prepare for those lemons. Prior preparation allows us to respond in love rather than react in fearfulness when trouble does come. This is where we want to be.

Consider that the prince and princess that rode off on a shiny white horse into the sunset in the fairy tale did not ride forever. The horse got tired and they had to get off the horse at some point – even if it was just for a bathroom break. So don’t dread the lemon, prepare for it. Whatever you are prepared to deal with is less daunting when it comes to pass. Moreover, be careful not to break off a fairy tale just because a lemon shows up in it.

In this life you will have trials and tribulations, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world – Jesus Christ

Lesson 2: Life

Lemons come from life. Most of the lemons we encounter in life come from our own or other people choices and decisions. Some lemons do come from what mother nature dishes out (i.e. natural disasters) but these are in the minority.

No matter where your lemon comes from, know that it does NOT come from God. God does not give lemons, God takes away or redeems lemons. Settle that in your spirit right now.

No one undergoing a trial should say, “I am being tempted by God.” For God is not tempted by evil, and He Himself doesn’t tempt anyone – James (brother of Jesus)

Lesson 3: Gives

While it is true that life will give us lemons, it is not true that we have to keep possession of it. For example, unless you are a farmer, if given a pile of dung, are you likely to keep it? No, you are likely to throw is away or sell it. Even if you are a farmer, you are unlikely to keep the dung in your house but you will put it to good use. The same goes with a lemon of a car. You will not keep such a car but get rid of it.

Similarly, we should not keep possession of every lemon that comes our way – especially the rotten ones that serve no useful purpose. If your old friends have become lemons in your life, find new ones. If your hobby is killing you, find a new one. If the demands of your job is causing a major rift in your marriage, it’s a lemon, do something about it.

There are somethings given to us to posses, then there are others things given to us to transfer. God does not want us to merely take possession of lemons but wants us to do something with them. Ask Him what he wants you to do with the lemon you have. Is He calling you to take possession of the lemon or throw it away?

 Take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given you the land to possess – God the Father

Lesson 4: You

The lemons we have are trouble enough. We should not take possession of other people’s lemons.

Consider Joyce Meyer’s story: She is always very clear about the lemons that she had in her life – lemons she carried with her as a result of an abusive father and a cheating husband. Yet she is equally clear that Dave Meyer did not take possession of her lemons but stayed content while she wallowed for a while in self-pity.

In other words, we should not expect anyone else to take possession of our lemons and we should not try to give others our lemons

Furthermore, while playing the blame game makes us feel good, it does nothing to rid us of our lemons.

Cast your cares and anxiety on the Lord for He cares for you – Peter

Lesson 5: Lemons

Do not deny that the lemons in your life exists and do not meditate on them. Just as ignoring the lemons in your life will do nothing to give you rest, meditating on your lemons will do nothing but give your lemons power over you. Accept that the lemons exist but also accept that there is a God greater than your lemons. Lemons are simply opportunities for God to show off in your life when you give them to him.

We walk by faith (trusting and believing in God) and not by what we see – Paul   

Lesson 6: Make

The first thing we tend to do when we receive a lemon is to pray to God to take it away. Then if God does not take it away, we may blame God for not taking it away or we blame ourselves for either being too sinful or not having enough faith to get rid of it. Friend, if God does not take away the lemon, it is because he wants you to do something with it. If all lemons were simply taken away then we would not have lemon meringue pie or lemonade would we?

When life gives you lemon as an ingredient, do not get mad. Ask God what he wants to create from the lemon and get moving.

Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours

Lesson 7: Lemonade 

To make lemonade out of lemons requires three things: (1) squeezing the lemon juice out (2) diluting the lemon with water (3) stirring in sugar or honey.

To squeeze the lemon means to sift out the life lesson the lemon is there to teach us. For me, after cutting one of my biggest lemons, I found out that fear and pride was the juice hiding within the cleverly packaged exterior of security and independence. If I had been afraid to squeeze the juice out, I would have missed out on growing.

To dilute the lemon juice is to attack the problem area with the word of God. For example, if the lemon juice is sickness, it is time to focus on healing scriptures. If it is pride, the book of Daniel may be a good place to start. As we read the word of God on purpose we realize that juice is not as bitter as we once thought as we understand there is a solution. Magically the juice becomes more palatable

To stir in honey is to start moving in accordance to the will of God. As we do that, what was meant to bring a bitter taste in our lives starts to taste sweet.

So friends, let us commit to turn a few drops of bitter and tart juice into a cup of delicious and enjoyable lemonade.

When life gives you bitter lemons,  do not worry, but turn to God and He will help you make sweet lemonade out of it – Emmanuel  

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I Was Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places

An erroneous view of love will always lead us to look in the wrong places; it will cheat us out of the best life we were created to experience. If we go looking to satisfy our love craving from our spouses, children, parents, jobs, or possessions, then we end up disappointed. If we think that love is about feelings, emotions, and infatuation, then we have drunk the wine of lies that causes us to stagger and stumble. Rather than guess at love, it is best to see what the Scripture says about it. Without a scriptural understanding of love, what we end up believing in and showing is not love but simply components of love. Let me explain.

If someone shows us the horns of an elephant, that does not demonstrate that we have seen an elephant, nor does it demonstrate that an elephant doesn’t exist somewhere. All it tells us is that an elephant previously existed. Similarly, just because we are being shown acts (or parts and parcels) of love does not mean we are being shown love, for those acts may have been done out of fear and self-seeking. For love to be shown, the heart behind the actions must be pure. Analogous to the missing elephant, it is impossible to show and give what we do not have. Therefore, it is impossible to show and give love if God is missing in our lives and if we are operating in fear. So how do we make sure that what we have and are experiencing is love? The first step is to define love accurately. Although love can be described in many ways, here is the complete definition of love

Love = God = Word = Jesus = Holy Spirit

Here are the scriptures that help us come up with the equation:

1) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
2) “And the Word became flesh (Jesus) and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
3) “But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And aft er it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God’” (Acts 5:3–4).
4) “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8).

With regard to real love, this equation reveals that no human being can claim to love without having the presence of God in his or her life, a stumbling block for those that do not believe there is a God. It says that it is impossible to say that we have love in our lives without having Jesus in our lives, a stumbling block for the non-believer. In addition, it says we cannot claim to love God without loving his Word. We cannot say we are walking in love without walking in fellowship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Alas, any action we take that does not align itself with the Scripture is an act that is devoid of love. Any decision we make that is not inspired of the Holy Spirit does not fulfill the call to love.

Real love is not just satisfied that we “know about God” but requires that we “know God.”

 

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Do You Believe In GOD?

 

 

Do You Believe in God

Do you believe in God? If you do not, you should! If you do, then you believe in faith! There is no greater story to be told than the story of the faith of Jesus. Jesus is our example of what is possible when a man places his faith completely in God. Such a man who is wholly surrendered to purpose will be able to believe the unbelievable and achieve the impossible. Truly, Jesus was only able to achieve the impossible of conquering death by first believing the unbelievable truth that God was able to raise Him up from the grave. This tells me that the impact of our lives will ultimately boil down to how we answer the question, how much do we believe in God?

While education, charisma, status, and wealth can produce great results, those results pale in comparison with what the right kind of believing can produce. Think about it. The most recognizable and most famous name on the earth is that of a carpenter who was born in the trough of a stable a little over 2000 years ago. How is that even possible? While it makes no sense in the eyes of man, it makes all the sense in the world in the eyes of faith. What about Mother Teresa? How did a nun out of the obscure country of Albania ever achieve so much good in the world? How was she able to help millions of orphans and starving children? How was she able to die a billionaire? How did this woman, of all women become a world icon? It is because she dared to believe in God and decided to move in the purpose to which He called her. Do you believe in God now?

Do you believe in God?

The story of faith is the story of victory and success. This is what Jesus knew – He knew faith was victory. He had read about how Moses delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt by faith, how Gideon defeated the Midianites by faith, and how Esther saved her people by faith. He knew that no matter how daunting the path of faith, the end result of it is always incredible victory. Jesus was so filled with the assurance of victory in the Father that He was willing to walk the road of death (see Hebrews 12:2).

Faith is the great equalizer. Faith does not care about your history, qualifications, or resources. Faith only cares about what we believe and in whom we believe! So do you believe in God?

The story of Gideon clearly shows us the power that is available in faith. Faith turned Gideon from a coward into a commander of the army of God. It turned a man who was so filled with fear that he would only go carry out the will of God at night, into a man who was so filled with courage that he chose to face an army of 135,000 with only 300 men!

Absolutely nothing is impossible by faith! When you truly understand and internalize this is when everything in your life will change. It is then you will no longer have to spend your whole life trying to accomplish things in your own power. Rather, you will spend your time believing right, so that the power of God may be released in your life.

There is No Victory Without Faith! Do you believe in God?

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Men, How Do You Know If You Have Found the Right Woman?

‘A man who finds a wife finds a good thing’. I have heard this verse spoken of in the context of how a man should pursue a woman and how he should treasure and love his wife. As I was reading the scripture a few days ago, I was compelled to make the sentence negative. If you do this, you’d get ‘A man who does not find a wife does not find a good thing’.

Is God telling us that he wants every one of us to be single? Heavens no (although there is nothing wrong with being single)! Is God telling us that we should chase after someone who is married? God forbid…that is wrong! What God is telling us is that He wants us to find a woman who is already married to Him… that is why the scripture says ‘A man who finds a wife’!

 

She makes God No. 1 in her life

Her first husband is God. Since her first marriage is to God, He is to take first position in her life and you are to be No.2. And so He should be No.1 for He is better at everything! You should not try to compete with God for the first place in her heart because you cannot compete. You are not as loving as God, you are not as strong as God, you are not anywhere close to being as selfless as God…you cannot make her nearly as happy as God can. So you must not try to take a position that rightfully belongs to God!

Remember the phrase ‘Happy wife, happy life’? If you want her to be happy and want to be happy, then you have to encourage her relationship with God. So have you been pushing her closer to her first love or are you trying to take the place of her first love? Only he gives her life purpose and controls her destiny. Do you want to have your way with her or do you want God to have His way in her life?

A man who finds a woman who is married to Jesus finds a good thing

She is faithful to her first Husband

God is wonderful and marvelous! He is the prince of peace and the author of all good things! If she is not faithful to that kind of a husband, then how can you expect her to be faithful to you?

If she is running after other lovers (idols) and committing harlotry while married to God, then do not be surprised when she continues the practice while with you. Moreover, do not be surprised if you are one of the lovers that she has run towards. Note that any woman who is willing to sacrifice her faithfulness to God to please you has made you an idol. Since all idolatry leads to pain, all you will do in the end is cause her pain. Do not make yourself the idol who causes her to compromise God.

What you want is a faithful woman. A faithful woman is a helper. She will help you stand strong in the Lord when you start to stray. Do not despise such a woman!

A man who finds a woman who is faithfully married to Jesus finds a good thing

She is a good thing

Since only God is good (Mark 10:18), being a good thing means that she is a God-thing. A God-thing will reflect the characteristics of God. More often than not, she will produce the fruit of the Spirit and be a virtuous woman. You will sleep easy at night with such a woman; trust is no issue for she is a God-thing. You know that the intent of thoughts of her heart is to do you good.

Imagine a woman who reflects the things of God. That is a woman who is worth cherishing and sacrificing yourself over. See, it is easy to love and sacrifice yourself for a wife. So let her bring you love, joy, peace, and victory by remaining a God-thing.

A man who finds a woman who is faithfully married to Jesus finds love, joy, and peace! 

So men, let us not be afraid of a wife! If you are courting, do not say…oh man she is super-spiritual. Do not say…oh man, she does not want to be alone with me past 9 pm! Let us step to the plate and become husbands ourselves prior to getting married.

She who is found by a husband is found by a good thing.

 

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Faith, Fear and Money: Is your lack of faith stealing your financial freedom?

I am sure some of you clicked on this blog out of curiosity while some of you have clicked on it to crucify me since you have a problem with anyone connecting faith and money! If this is you, then I apologize for my lack of sensitivity for I could have titled this blog faith and blessings. But when I considered that the bible tells us that the blessing of the Lord makes one rich (Proverbs 10:22), I thought it best to avoid wording games. I do submit though that a better title may have been faith and riches or faith and wealth.

But doesn’t the bible say that money is the root of all evil? No, it does not say that! It says that the love of money is the root of all evil. Hence, money becomes evil only when we love it. There are generally two ways to love money:

  1. We can love money so much that it consumes all of our thinking and drives our behavior. When this happens, money ceases to be the vehicle to do good works but becomes the goal itself. When money becomes the goal is when morals, ethics, law, and good judgment go out of the window. This is why God says that we cannot serve two masters – we cannot serve money and God. This love of money is what pushes men people to engage in human trafficking and pushes parents to sell their children into sex slavery.
  2. On the other side, we can love money so much that we do not want to part from it. So we hold it, horde it, and being a miser…instead of investing it so it can be put to greater good for our communities. This love of money is why God was so angry with the servant who hid his money in the ground instead of placing it in a vehicle that could earn interest.

But when we love God, we are obedient to Him. Obedience in turn will always bring blessings…including riches. The question is do we trust and believe God enough to obey his plans and his ways: Work hard and smart, invest hard, and give back hard! Do we have faith to do all He wants us to do?

10 Spies Sent to Canaan

The answer to that question was NO for 10 of the 12 spies sent to Canaan. They saw a land flowing with milk and honey; a land with grape clusters so huge two that people had to carry it on their shoulders. But they did not focus on that; they filled their minds with the size of the people in the land.

Instead of seeing the good future their present could create by faith, they concentrated on the bad of their present circumstance. Instead of seeing the opportunities, they saw the challenges. Instead of focusing on the reward of their march into Canaan, they focused on the cost of the investment. As a result, they ended up staying in the wilderness 40 years longer than what was originally planned. Their lack of faith (trust and believe) cost them the life that God had in store for them. Instead of milk and honey, they died on manna (which no longer had the taste of honey) and water!

Light-bulb moment: We must not be as the 10 spies who wanted the take the less costly trip back to Egypt to continue to live as slaves instead of taking the more costly trip into Canaan to rule the land!

See, we can either focus on what God has asked us to do or we can focus on the obstacles in front of us?

Light-bulb moment: Fear will always focus on the cost of an investment while faith will always look at the return on investment.

Fear causes too many people to park their money in the bank to earn 0.25% interest while paying the same bank 3.5% interest to finance a house! Faith on the other hand gives us boldness and courage to use the same money to start an income generating business in real estate or other avenues that can have a 25% or higher return on investment…if we would only develop our faith!

Light-bulb moment: Fear will always play it safe, but faith always plays it risky according to the world’s standard. To play it safe is to play it scared!

Think about this: God had to have faith in Jesus that He would actually accomplish that task He was given. If He did not have faith in Him, He would never have sent Him! But He had faith in Him and sent Him.

This illustrates that everything worth doing involves a measure of risk. If we truly love, then we will risk it all – just as God did with Jesus for us. If you love your family and your household, then you will take the journey to develop your faith so that you can be bold and courageous to do all God as called you to do.

If you do not like risk, neither do I! Yet, we can rest assured in the truth that there is no risk in God! God defies all statistics and He has never failed! So, the way to eliminate risk is to do all that God tells us to do.

Light-bulb moment: God has already blessed us. It is our job to take hold of the riches of those blessing by faith

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3 Key Lessons from Burnt Offerings – Am I giving my offerings in vain?

It is often said that the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed. To be candid, I had no qualms in allowing the Book of Leviticus to remain concealed to me. I simply had no interest in reading about all the laws of the priests, the laws of the offerings, and laws concerning the feasts. I justified my lack of interest by accurately reasoning that all its laws were fulfilled by Jesus Christ and that they were no longer relevant for today.

Sadly, I continued in this attitude for years until a few months ago when God spoke into my heart as I was meditating on 1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9)

That morning, as I was saying “I am a member of a royal priesthood”, I heard a voice say: “Well, if you are a priest, how do you know if you are performing your priestly duties?”  Try as I might to brush off that voice, I could not. It was too late! God already had my attention.

He further told me that morning that He wanted me to read Leviticus – a book that pertains to the priests. He asked me how I would be able to truly serve his people if I did not know what my duties were as a priest.

The next morning, I opened my bible to 1st chapter of Leviticus fully expecting God to reveal a few things to me. He did not disappoint!

Everything that God has written in His word is good for us to know and understand.

Here are a few lessons from that 1st chapter of Leviticus

Lesson 1: God will never ask us to do what He is not willing to do BUT will do more than He asks us to do

…If His offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, he shall offer a male without blemish… (Leviticus 1:3)

The children of Israel were required to offer a male animal without blemish to make atonement for their sins (by the laying hands on the animal that was to be slaughtered), but God offered up His own spotless Son so that all of our sins would be laid on Him.

Also, while man’s sacrifice only offered temporary atonement for sin, God’s sacrifice offered permanent atonement for sin.  Hence, God’s sacrifice was not only greater but much more powerful in what it achieved.

The truth is that it is too easy to mope around belly-ache about the things God has called us to sacrifice. In those instances, we should remember that our sacrifice is just a stop-gap for what He is going to do in our lives.

When God asks us to do something that is difficult for us, it is because He is going to do something much greater and much more significant that will bless our lives.

Lesson 2: Only those things we do willingly is acceptable to God

…When any of you bring an offering to the Lord…he shall offer it of his own free will… (Leviticus 1:2-3)

The children of Israel were required to bring their burnt offerings willingly. In fact, this was the second requirement to make an offering acceptable as a sacrifice – the first was the animal had to be without blemish, and the third was the person had to lay hands on the animal.

Hence, only those offering of obedience (works of obedience) were acceptable IF they were done out of a willing heart.  Why? This is because true obedience comes out of love (see John 14:15), and true love is something that is offered out of free-will.

The bible says that the sacrifices acceptable to God are a humble spirit (see Psalm 51:17). It does not say that the offerings acceptable to God are a humble spirit. In other words, what we do is what we offer! But what we offer only becomes acceptable to God as a sacrifice when it is done willingly (out of a humble and willing heart).  

Our offering of obedience is acceptable to God as a sacrifice ONLY when done out of a willing heart. Moreover, only those offerings acceptable to the Lord result in His favor.

If God has called us to do something, we might as well benefit from it by resolving to do it willingly out of love. That comes as we explore God’s heart to find out why he wants us to walk the path He has for us.

Lesson 3: God desires our best! He does not want us to give Him someone else’s best

The children of Israel had the option of offering a bull, a goat or sheep, or birds as burnt offerings. This reveals to us that God will not ask us to bring more than we can afford to bring. If we are able to bring a bull, then that is what He wants, but He will not despise those who only have the ability to bring a pigeon!

Conversely, if we can afford to bring a bull but decide to bring a pigeon, God knows it and is not well pleased. This is one of the lessons Jesus teaching His disciples when he pointed their attention to the woman with the two mites.

Hence, God does not compare anybody’s best to our best.  All God wants is our best! Therefore, we should never compare our best to anyone else’s. It only results in pride or jealousy. 

We must keep our focus on giving God our very best – no matter what that looks like.

Similarly, it is foolishness comparing our current ability to be obedient to God to someone else’s ability! We place ourselves in a position to receive God’s best by offering Him our best!

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10 Things a Champion in Life Keeps in Mind

        

      While it is good to learn how to make lemonade out of lemons, it is better to learn how to avoid the lemon trees in the first place

      It is our life that makes us a light to the world, not just our words.

         Legacy requires that we choose not to settle but grow; learn to choose destiny over comfort; learn to choose significance over security.

        Fear always delivers what it promises to avoid but love always delivers more than we think it could ever promise.

          Animals have little to no control over their natural instincts but man was created to exercise spiritual control over his nature.

·        You should never allow the worries of tomorrow to cloud your thoughts of today and you should never allow the worries of today to cloud the path towards your destiny tomorrow.

         No man, woman, or demon can stop the promises of God from being fulfilled in our lives. Only we have that power to stop it by holding onto fear, resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness.

·         We have the choice between struggling in the world to win the prize of emptiness in life or we can rest in God to win the prize of fullness of life.

     When what God tells us to do becomes about us, then what we do no longer brings fulfillment and joy but becomes a chore that enslaves us

          Jesus is the manna from heaven that we must feast upon to gain everlasting life and to live life more abundantly on earth

      Friends, if you found these quotes to be worthwhile, you can keep up with more thought provoking quotes by connecting with us via Facebook or following us on Twitter (@SuperChampDiary)

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Why Can’t I Unlock the Power of God in My Life (Part II)

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused Him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for a man looks at the outside appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:9

When God tells us that He looks at the heart and not our words or actions, He means it. This is because like Judas – who asked why the perfume poured on Jesus was not sold and the proceeds given to the poor – people’s mouth may show much love, but their hearts could very well be pursing their own gain (Ezekiel 33:31).

Simply put, the power of God is NOT released into our lives when our hearts are filled with self-seeking, envy, jealousy, greed, pride, sensuality and worldly passion. These things block the path through which the power is released.

Though we can fool man to think we are the sweetest and most incredible human beings through our actions and words, God cannot and will not be fooled. He is looking at the heart behind our words and action. If the intention is to portray something we are not, then we have made people pleasing and fear-based disguise our idols.

Instead of faking fruit, why not actually produce fruit? Instead of faking who we are, why not become the person we want to be by surrendering our all to God?

Why continue to see the power of God operate in other people’s life (perhaps through our prayers) but never experience the same power in our lives? If this is happening to you, please do not blame the devil for Jesus has already put the devil underfoot and has made available the power to defeat him through the Holy Spirit. If you are not experiencing the victorious power of God in your life, the only person you can blame is you! Instead of faking victory in your life or excusing away victory in your life, I beg you to please let go and let God rule over your heart.

Again, we should not be fooled that everything is alright with us because our prayers for others are being answered. God will always answer the prayer of faith which works through love (Galatians 5:6). See, our prayers for our loved ones can flow out of genuine love for them – such as the prayers for our mother and father. But what about our own requests; what are the heart motives behind what we are requesting for ourselves? The truth is that God does not care for double-sided heart intentions!

Unfortunately, many do not realize that God looks at the heart and not actions. They fling themselves into complete rule keeping without a heart change.  After many years of struggle, they eventually give up on God when they think they have done all they can do and nothing seems to be coming out of it but hurt. Because they will not blame God (out of fear of retribution), they start blaming everything else instead of blaming themselves – they do not blame themselves because in their heads they have kept all the rules and requirements. Wrong, and bad move! Those who never understand that God looks at the heart spend all the lives fighting instead of enjoying the abundant life Christ said He came to give us (John 10:10). This is truly sad!

The only solution is to take a deep look into their hearts, confess and surrender all bitterness,unforgiveness, and all other strongholds to God.

To conclude, the question of why God’s power is not released in our life is not of whether God loves us. It is a question of how much we love God. While God is merciful to us in His love, our ability to rule in life is dependent on who much we love Him. How much we love Him determines how much we walk in the fullness of the grace (power) of God.

In life, if we do not love God, then we truly do not love ourselves!

Food for Thought: I can continue to drive my life into the ditch or I can allow God to drive me to heaven. The choice is mine!

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