Tag Archives: Love

Disappointments In Relationships – What To Know Before You End It

The truth is we live in a fallen world filled with flawed people. As such, in this life, it is not a matter of if we will deal with disappointments, it is a matter of when we will deal with them.

The truth is everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for – Bob Marley

A dire but commonly employed strategy for dealing with disappointment (especially in a relationship) is to try to avoid being disappointed in the future at all cost. This strategy calls for the tactics of putting massive walls around our hearts, looking for perfection, being overly sensitive and critical of mistakes, and withholding intimacy. These tactics so distance us mentally and emotionally from relationships, that we sacrifice real love and connection for the illusion of safety. The problem with this strategy for the person that employs it is that (1) it leaves a gaping hole in their heart and (2) it does not take away the relational desire. It is not unusual for a person who has employed this strategy to be plagued by bouts of melancholy and depression because they have starved themselves of one of the human basic needs – the need for a close relationship. I do not recommend this strategy but prefer the one of offering our disappointments to God that He may turn our hurt and pain into gain and glory.

We should neither set ourselves up for disappointments, nor try to avoid them – Anonymous

While there is an element of not setting ourselves up for constant disappointments by choosing our partners carefully, there is another element of expectations we must be careful to manage. Below are two expectations that set us up for disappointments.

Expecting Our Partners to Be Perfect

Born out of selfishness (for the person who expects perfection is themselves not perfect), this expectation looks to gain more than it gives in the relationship, and expects from the other person what they cannot give.  Asking someone for something they do not have the ability to give is a sure strategy to be disappointed.

Instead of expecting perfection, we are better off accepting their imperfection, just as we accept our own.

Expecting To Change Our Partners 

Born out of arrogance (for we try to do only what God can do), this expectation encourages the would be changer to alter the environment of their relationship to effect a change in their partner. Though it may start off lovingly, it usually reeks of manipulation, and will likely end up in frustration and disappointment for the one who engages in it.

Instead of trying to change our partners, we are better of praying to God that our hearts change towards our partners as He effects His change in His time on both us and our partners.

Disappointments are inevitable but discouragement in a choice – Charles Stanley

We tend to get discouraged when we think that things will not change. The thought that things will not change is what leads us to want to give up. It is what has led many people to divorce their partners or end relationships prematurely.

To think that things will never change is to limit the power of God. The root of this line of thinking is unbelief for it truly does not believe that with God all things are possible. Choose to think differently. Before pulling a plug on your relationship, consider these three things:

God Will Finish What He Started

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns – Philippians 1:6

God is not done with our relationships yet. His heart is that relationships not only survive, but that they thrive. We must submit ourselves to Him so that He can finish the good work He has begun in us. As His hands mark our lives, so will it mark our relationships. It is a process – we must let God do His good work. Things will not always be the same in Him.

God Can Create A New Relationship With the Same People

But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland  – Isaiah 43:18-19

While people say “well if I tell you what happened”, God says “well if I tell you what I am about to make happen”. See if we knew the future God has planned for us, the past would not discourage us. Our plans compared to God’s plans are rubbish. It’s time to surrender our plans over to Him so He can create rivers of life giving water to sustain the relationships that have become dry wastelands

God Brings To Pass What We Commit To Him

That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of His return – 2 Timothy 1:12

Though you may feel you are suffering and serving a prison term in your relationship right now, understand that He is able to guard everything you entrust to Him. So entrust your relationship to Him and watch as He keeps it and guards it. With God as the guard, no enemy can penetrate. So let go of it and release it into His hands for safeguard. You will not regret it.

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3 Things You Must Do to Hear God More

Do you have a desire to hear God more often and on all issues that relates to your life? If so, there are 3 things you must do; these 3 things are embedded within the scripture below.

Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid – Proverbs 12:1

  

(1) Study God’s Word: Another way to say ‘whoever loves instruction loves knowledge’ is to say that knowledge is the pre-requisite to instruction. Put another way, if we want to be instructed by the Holy Spirit (hear from the Holy Spirit), then we first need to have knowledge of the words of the Holy Spirit which have already been given to us in written form (see 2 Timothy 3:16).

All Scripture is God-breathed (inspired by the Holy Spirit) and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness – 2 Timothy 3:16

If we do not know what the Holy Spirit has already written down, then we will not be cognizant of what He is telling us. In other words, the pre-requisite to hearing the spoken or revealed word of God (Rhema) is to first know the written word (Logos). Indeed, theology (the study of God which leads to knowledge about God) is a must if we are to have a strong fellowship (of which instruction is a part) with God.

Note that theology is not a pre-requisite to having a relationship with God but it is required to build a relationship (have fellowship) with God. To have a covenant relationship with God (Salvation) only requires that we have an encounter with God. To explain further, consider Apostle Paul: His encounter with God on the way to Damascus lead to his conversion (salvation), but instruction and direction only came as he walked closely with God (as he fellowshipped or built a relationship with God).

Now, it must be said that the study of God’s word does NOT automatically translate into instruction from God. Consider the Pharisees who were extremely knowledgeable in the word of God and could quote the law backwards and forwards, yet did not hear from God (as they were not instructed by Him). Why did they not hear God though they were theological juggernauts? It is because of they hated correction (see the other half of Proverbs 12:1).

See, the instruction of God corrects us (our ways, our path, our steps). Thus to hate correction is to despise the instruction of God. Two things that causes us to hate correction and so not hear the voice of God are pride and hurt.

(2) Get Rid of Pride: Pride says ‘I got this’, ‘I don’t need any help’, ‘I am smarter than everyone else’, ‘It’s my way or the highway’. Moreover, pride says to God, ‘I know you know all sorts of things but I know better than You in this situation’.

If we consider what pride says to God, a question that should pop into our heads is this: Why would anyone say to an all-knowing God that He does not know what is best, right, and what will work in any situation?

The answer to that question is a lack of trust. Pride appears where there is no trust. A place devoid of trust is a place of insecurity. A place where we do not feel secure is a place where we feel the need to exercise control. A place where we feel the need to exercise control to protect ourselves is a place where fear exists.

By this, we see that fear and insecurities lead to pride. Pride in turn causes us to reject the correction of the Holy Spirit, and thereby leads us to make unwise decisions. In other words, if we do not trust God in an area of our life, then we are less inclined to listen to God in that area of our life.

(3) Submit Your Wounds to God: One thing that people who get badly hurt in life tend to do without realizing it is make a vow NEVER to get badly hurt again. While this sometimes unknown vow has the appearance of protecting us, what it actually does is lock our subconscious mind in the room where the hurt sleeps and then throws away the key! What this means is that it is no longer us that controls our relationships on a subconscious level, but our hurt.

Our hurt reminds us to NEVER put ourselves in any position to be wounded again. Our hurt tells us to ‘trust no one’, ‘keep people at an arms length’, always follow your gut (which is not a bad thing normally except that now your gut has been held hostage by fear and hurt), ‘do not open the door of your heart to anyone’, ‘you know what is best for you (instead of God knows what is best for you)’. In other words, deeply hurt people have a need to be right.

Deeply wounded people attach their worth to being right because being wrong (about a person or situation) is associated with unbearable and overwhelming pain. The problem with this is that a person who HAS to be right cannot bear to be corrected, for any such correction is a direct assault on their worth. Moreover, to accept that someone else may be right is to open themselves up to potential hurt (even if God is speaking through that someone). Thus, a wounded person in any situation or relationship has a tendency to fixate on what’s wrong – this is a defensive/protective mechanism.

While we understand why the hurting person cannot stand to be corrected (something they see as manipulation), this does no good since each and every one of us NEED to be corrected, for no one is perfect and no one knows it all. By refusing to accept correction, the wounded person makes mistakes with people (for they cannot truly relate to them); the mistakes make the hurt and wound bigger; the bigger hurts shuts the person in more, and the ‘has to be right’ cycle repeats. It is this need to be right that causes the wounded person to listen less and less to the voice of God, and by so doing experience even more hurt. What a tragedy!

Conclusion: If you see yourself in the above, then your homework is to find and mediate on scriptures that deal with (1) how much God loves you, and  (2) your identity in Christ. This will allow you to surrender your pride and hurt to the one who loves you and will never hurt you. If you would like to know more about dealing with fear, you can check out my book Love Deficit.

41hRKhTijSL

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What Makes a Woman Want to Submit to Her Husband?

I had the pleasure of attending two wonderful weddings in the past 30 days – one in the U.S and another in the U.K. On both occasions, the minister in charge made mention of the scripture where husbands are to love their wives and wives are to submit to their husband (Ephesians 5:22 – 28).

Being good sports, both couples took the advice and everything went as planned. Yet it was clear by looking at the expressions of quite a number of the ladies in the congregation that the statement had gone in one ear and come out of the other. From my conversations, it is clear to me that a substantial number of women toil with the issue of submitting to their husband. And should they somehow wrap their heads around it, it is nigh impossible for them to fully wrap their hearts around it.

What it Means To Submit

When the bible tells a woman to submit to her husband, it does NOT mean that the woman is to be a slave to every one of her husbands whim and wham. The word ‘submit’ itself is a complex word that can be broken down into two components: ‘Sub’ which means under AND mission. In other words, for a woman to submit to her husband is for her to come under the mission of her husband.

304px-light_bulb_icon_tips-svgLight-bulb moment: For a wife to submit to her husband is for her to come under her husband’s mission

What is the Husband’s Mission?

Now before any man goes ‘yeah that’s right, God said my wife must come under my mission’, God in His providence does not leave what the mission of the husband is to chance. He tells the man  his mission is similar to the mission of Jesus Christ.

What was Jesus’ mission? His mission was to love His bride (the church) by giving His life for her (putting down His crown and taking a lower position to the point of laying down his life) in order to marry Himself to her so that He might provide spiritual leadership over her ( that is to cleanse and sanctify her by the washing of water by the word) that she might become what she was predestined to become (holy and without blemish).

So what is the Husbands mission? Once the Husband and wife are wed (for that is the only way he becomes a husband), his mission is to marry (join) himself to his wife in love by taking the position of a servant leader who provides spiritual oversight over his household for the express purpose of propelling her to be all that she was to made to become. It is not about him. It is about her!

304px-light_bulb_icon_tips-svgLight-bulb moment: First comes the wedding, then comes the marriage.

304px-light_bulb_icon_tips-svgLight-bulb moment: For a wife to submit to her husband is for the wife to come under her husband’s God-given mission, which is to be a servant leader and provide spiritual oversight for the purpose of having her become all that she was meant to be and for her to fulfill her destiny.

304px-light_bulb_icon_tips-svgLight-bulb moment: When a man is truly on mission, a woman starts to gravitate towards that most noble mission and desires to come under it (if she loves herself).

What About When He is Not on Mission

A wife is told to come under her husband’s mission, she is NOT told to come under her husbands omission (mission that has been omitted or aborted). Whenever the husband is operating outside of the mission God has prescribed to him, he is no longer under mission but rather he is under omission.

It is like when the prophet Jonah went to Tarshish instead of Nineveh – Instead of being on mission, Jonah was on omission. Now if Jonah had made some missteps while on mission, this is different from going the opposite way. Similarly, a wife is to come under the mission of her husband and must learn to forgive some of his missteps along the way ( for he is not perfect) just as he forgives her for not always coming under his mission (for she is not perfect).

304px-light_bulb_icon_tips-svgLight-bulb moment: If Christ’s mission was not good and profitable for us, no one would submit to it. No one would have faith in Him. The same goes for the husband. If his mission is not good; if he is walking in omission, then no woman will willingly submit to Him.

Pitfalls of NOT Loving and Submitting

Failure of a Husband to Love: It is interesting to note that the Fall took place because Adam did not provide spiritual oversight for Eve. If he had provided such oversight, he would have intervened the moment Eve accepted the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil from the serpent. He would have snatched the fruit and said “Now wait a minute, God said we are not to eat from this tree. We are out of here! And don’t let me see you talking to my wife again serpent, lest I lay hands on you.”

Note: At this point Adam had dominion over everything – including the serpent. He could have easily dismissed the serpent but he decided to surrender his leadership and oversight. The result is that he and the rest of his offspring suffered.

304px-light_bulb_icon_tips-svgLight-bulb moment: When a husband does not follow his mission, he hurts himself and his family

Failure of Wife to Submit: There is no better example of a wife not coming under the mission of her loving husband than this: We who are the bride of Christ (the church) do not always listen and obey Christ (our Husband) though everything He does for us and wants for us is good. See, God has wed himself to us (the church) yet he is trying to get us to come under His mission (submit) by faith so that we may experience the fullness of His love. When we do not come under God’s mission, we hurt ourselves.

304px-light_bulb_icon_tips-svgLight-bulb moment: When a woman does not come under the mission of her loving Husband, she hurts herself.

Hence we see that the only way to avoid real hurt in a marriage is for the husband to love his wife and for his wife to submit to her husband. It is truly a symbiotic and life-giving relationship.

Food for Thought: The marriage compromise is that the husband surrenders to love his wife (instead of loving himself and preserving his own life) and that the wife in turn surrenders to come under her husband’s mission (instead of walking in her own mission).

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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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Love Deficit

41hRKhTijSLThe only way to win in life is to win in love.

Unfortunately, too many of us have become complacent in our pursuit of love and so have allowed our fears to make us settle for less than God’s desire for us.

LOVE DEFICIT reveals the folly of fear and how crucial it is that we develop a heart of love if we are to experience victory in our lives.

If victorious is a word you would not use to describe your life, then you need to read LOVE DEFICIT.

It can help you understand what is hindering you from taking possession of the blessings that God has already made available to you.

It can unleash the power of love in your life so you no longer have to live in defeat and torment.

Available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and more

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Who Has Stolen the Glory of God?

It is not unusual to hear the words, I give God all the glory, honor, and praise when a person is giving their testimony or a praise report. It is not unusual to hear the same words when in the middle of singing worship songs during service!

Today, we seem to think that giving God praise and saying thank you to Him is the same as giving him glory. We think that it glorifies the father when we scream and shout of God’s goodness. We think we have glorified God when we proclaim how worthy, powerful, and deserving he is. We think we can honor him with the word of our lips.

But Jesus tells us clearly that it is the fruit of our lives that brings God glory. It is by our fruit that people know that we are His disciples (His followers).

“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” – John 15:8

Our lives must produce the fruit of the Spirit; the fruit of love, joy, peace, gentleness, faithfulness, kindness, patience, goodness, and self-control if we are to bring glory to God. We cannot say we are bringing glory to God if we are not walking in love, if we are worry-wort’s, if we have no joy but walk around in a bad mood, if we are snappy, and can’t control ourselves.

The way we get the fruit of righteousness (of being in right-standing with God through the sacrifice of Jesus), is by walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16).

Apostle Paul puts it this way:

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit – Galatians 5:25

Moreover, Jesus says that those who abide in Him will bear much fruit (John 15:4). By this we know that those who are walking in the Spirit are the ones that are abiding in Jesus.

If you are a believer, the question of bring glory to God is not a question of whether Jesus is abiding in you, it is a question of if you are abiding in Him. It is not a question of if you are righteous, it is a question of whether you are walking in righteousness…it is not a question of if you are a convert, it is question of if you are a follower (disciple).

Things will change in our lives when we give God His glory by abiding in Him and fully surrendering to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. This is when we will experience the fullness of His victory in our lives – not just his mercy but his favor and power alike.

God has honored us by granting us His Holy Spirit. We should honor Him by allowing the Spirit of God to lead us in life.

So where is God’s glory? If we are not seeing His glory, it is because we have turned our face away from Him. It is because we have ceased to love Him. It is because we have neglected the leadership of the Holy Spirit of power… in our pride and arrogance.

Conversely, there is victory, love, and life where the glory of God is present.

Food for Thought: I must abide in Jesus if I want to see His glory.

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What Women Want from Men (Part IV)

The fourth thing women want from men is to be TREASURED as a pearl.

If you are wondering why a woman is a pearl, consider this: A fisher who desires a pearl must first dive the depths of the ocean in search for oysters. In other words, He must put in EFFORT and BRAVE an environment to which he is not accustomed.

When the diver sees the oyster, he is not taking aback by the shabby look of the oyster but he is filled with ANTICIPATION about the PRECIOUS gem that lies within it. In other words, the diver must not be dismayed by the hard protective shell he sees.  He must understand that the protective shell is there to keep the oyster safe from predators.

When he finally opens up the oyster, he discovers his prize. He discovers the object of his affection. Even then, he must polish the pearl to ensure that the fullness of its radiant beauty is revealed.

What does this have to do with a woman? Everything! Men, a woman wants a man to put in the effort to get to know her. She wants him to be brave and intentionally pursue her as a diver would a pearl. And when he finds her, she does not want him to stop at what he sees but she wants him to discover who she truly is (internally and externally).  In other words, she wants him to navigate her walls (shell) to unsheathe her beauty. Moreover, when he finds who she truly is, she does not want him to be disappointed that she may still need some polishing. She wants him to be PATIENT with her in this process.

A woman wants to know she is a pearl of great prize

Now, a woman does not simply want to be regarded as a pearl but desires to be a pearl of great prize.  In other words, every woman want to know that she is different from all the other women (pearls) in the world in the eyes of her man. She wants to know that there is something uniquely special about her that draws her to him.

Light-bulb moment:  A woman needs to know that she is highly prized by the man to whom she has decided to give herself. She needs to know that she has given herself to a person who will cherish her – not just at the beginning of the relationship BUT continually.

The way a man lets a woman know she is a pearl of great prize is by continually showing her AFFECTION. She wants to be surprised from time to time; she wants you to write those little notes of affirmation to her. Going out of your way to do those things you do not care too much about shows her that she made a good decision when she chose you.

A woman wants to treated as a pearl of great prize

If you go to a jewelry store, you will find that the jewel of great prize probably has its own special box with a spotlight shone on it. Depending on the store and location, there may even be guard ropes that restrict access to the jewel. Moreover, there may be a special viewing area for the most prized jewels.   

What this is saying to men is this: Do not ‘rough-handle’ your woman but treat her with a spirit of care and gentleness.

Light-bulb moment: Love waits! If you love her, you will wait for her AND you will not pressure her into making a decision she is not willing to make! You will treat her with a spirit of understanding.

Just like the jewels, shine a light on your woman! Do this by complimenting her often – in public and private – whenever your heart moves you. Do this by taking note and keeping track of those things that you admire about her daily. Be her strength and shield her away from danger!

Oh but how too few men treasure their women today! Men, if you cannot treasure you woman out of a sincere heart of love, then it may very well be that you do not regard her as a pearl of great prize. If this is where you are; if you do not consider her shiny enough to put on display, I want to encourage you NOT to go looking for another oyster! No, every single pearl needs polishing!

Polish her with the balm of love and affection using the glove of God. When you do this, you will find that her beauty comes forth. You will find yourself treating her as a pearl of great prize!

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it” – Matthew 1345-46

Food for Thought: Just a we are pearls of great prizes to Jesus, so should a woman be to her man.

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How Do I Guard My Heart (Part II) – Prayer and Thanksgiving

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God  and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus – Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

Instead of guarding our own hearts, Philippians 4:6-7 makes it clear that is it the job of the peace that comes from God to guard our hearts when we go to Him in prayer and with thanksgiving. Once we submit our request to God, we can rest assured that He is not hiding His face from us (Ezekiel 39:29) and that He who has the whole world in His hands loves us so much that He is working everything together for our good.

See, prayer and petition is the way we cast our cares upon God (1 Peter 5:7). It is what guards our heart and mind from worrying (anxiety) by unleashing the peace of God into our hearts. Therefore, when the bible says to ‘guard our heart for out of it flow the issues of life’, it is saying that we should guard our hearts from worrying (through prayer and thanksgiving), because worrying which comes from fear (or a lack of trust in God) causes the issues of our lives.  Indeed, it is a lack of trust in God that causes us to choose the world over the word (see How Do I Guard My Heart – The Word) and so unleashes turmoil in our world

Light-bulb moment: The way to stop worrying is to start praying wholeheartedly in trust and surrender.

In conjunction with Part I of this two -part series, we see that the way to guard our heart is to spend time in the word, through discernment, via prayer and supplication, and with thanksgiving. It is these spiritual disciplines when done in trust and surrender that allows us to walk obediently in the Spirit. They are what guard our hearts and minds from the filth of the world.

Without understanding this, the tendency is to guard our own hearts away from people out of fear. Since there is no fear in love and fear involves torment (see 1 John 4:18), it is no wonder so many people are tormented in their relationships. Let me explain:

Many times for a person – let’s say Kevin – who has been hurt before, guard your heart means ‘do not allow yourself to be hurt again’. If Kevin does not understand how to guard his heart with the word, prayer, supplication, thanksgiving, and through discernment, then ‘do not allow yourself to be hurt again’ for Kevin turns into ‘scrutinize my partners every move, try to control her life, and never allow yourself to fully trust her’.

Alas for Kevin, fear-based doubt and self-preservation leads the relationship instead of love-based faith. In response, Kevin’s partner feels suffocated, controlled, and imprisoned. As a result she fights back and the relationship goes through turmoil and fails.

Kevin, not realizing his fear was the culprit of the turmoil and failure feels that he successfully protected himself from hurt. He says to himself ‘Aha, I knew she was going to hurt me’. He does not realize that he has hurt himself. He has made his worst fear come to pass by taking fear-based actions which made it so – all because he did not know what is meant to guard his heart.

In the example, Kevin thought he was protecting himself from hurt, but all he was doing was keeping himself from love.

This also applies in our relationship with God. If we do not know how to guard our hearts, we guard our heart from love (God) and so are unable to unlock the power of God over our lives.

Food for Thought: When we guard our heart, we guard love (God) right out of it. When He guards our heart, He allows love to flow right into it.

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Prisoner of Love

 

I was a prisoner but You have set me free!

I was blind but You have opened my eyes to Your love and Your light

You have called me out of darkness and into Your marvelous light

So I will magnify Your name and do the mighty works to which You have called me; I shall not fear for You are with me and You are my help

I shall proclaim Your mighty name because You have empowered me beyond all measure to make You known and bring You glory

All the world will rejoice Your name and Your victory

No stone shall be left unturned!

You have called my name and given me a mantle to show Your love

I know You are my strength, so I know I will not fail

I live in You so Your victory through me and for me is assured

I love You Lord

You came down from Your palace to take my place as a Prisoner

You took me from my prison and made me sit in high places

I deserved death but you offered Yourself for me even though I despised You

I did not understand what you did and it is still difficult for me to understand

How can you love me so much?

Jesus, though you have removed me from my prison to Your Palace

I realize that I am just a prisoner of Your love

A love I can never escape!

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord  – Romans 8:31-35; 37-39

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My Plea to the Church: Be a Titus and Stop Killing Your Wounded

P1010003As believers, we have to stop killing our wounded through our inaction. Too many of us leave those who have been attacked by the robber (Satan) by the way side. We refuse to heed their cries for help as they are getting attacked but instead we love to cross step aside and go about our business.

The Good Samaritan

Rather than be the Good Samaritan (Jesus) to those in our ranks that have been wounded by the devil, too many us walk on by in pride! Instead of lending a helping hand, we enter into the unprofitable exercise of assigning blame while the patient is dying. We say, ‘You see, his problem is that he did not put on his cloak of zeal. Her problem is that she did not put on her armor this morning. If she had put on that armor, then Satan’s arrow would not have touched her. If he had his cloak on, then nothing would have happened to him’.

Too many of us are too quick to harshly judge one another as if we are perfect in putting on the armor of God on a daily basis before going out in the battlefield. If you tell me the answer is yes, then what you are telling me is that you have never told a ‘white’ lie (belt of truth), you have walked in perfect peace everyday of your life (shod your feet), and that you have never acted in an unrighteous manner ever since you got saved (breastplate of righteousness). You are telling me that you have always attacked every problem in your life with the word of God (sword of the spirit) and have never resorted to your own ways even once! If you say yes, all I can say is wow!

The truth is that it is only by the grace of God that we are protected from evil. It is God’s grace that prevents the devil from pulling our pants down and thus shaming us when we forget to tighten out pants with the belt of truth.  If we are to be honest and humble, it is the Lord that mercifully shields us in the areas we have left ourselves susceptible to attack. He Himself covers us and receives the blows of the enemy on our behalf just as He did and just as many animals do in order to protect their young-ling.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: If the animals understand the concept of shielding their weak ones, why is it that we simply tend to leave our wounded in their time of weakness?

Instead of following Jesus’ example in shielding His beloved (us) from death and destruction, why is it that we just prefer to watch each other crash and burn? Are we that prideful? Where has the love gone these days? Instead of being good Samaritans and nursing our wounded to health, we have tended to be quick in throwing stones.

Stone-Throwing

It is because of this stone-casting tendency that too many people cover and hide their short-comings rather than ask for help. They fear they are going to be ‘put down’ just like a wounded race horse is put down rather than receive the loving care and restoration that Jesus shows us daily and expects us to show one another. So, hypocrisy, phoniness, and deceitfulness reigns supreme.

Rather than put down, we are meant to help restore those who have wondered from the truth (James 5:19). Rather than run away from those who have stepped into the muck of life, we ought to wash their smelly feet. You see, Jesus tells us to wash each others feet because He knows that none of us go through life unsoiled at some point. The truth is that we need each other! We must be our brothers keepers – no only to keep each other from trouble, but also to keep each other alive when we are wounded.

How horrible that we have made our Christian journey a survival of the fittest where we are only looking out for ourselves; laughing in pride as we step on those that have missed the mark. When will we realize that no one is fit enough to go it alone?

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: Only one is fit – God! Since we are not God, we all need each other to survive. Isolation leads to death!

It is because we are bent on going it alone and refuse to tend to our wounded that the number in our army – which is God’s army – continues to dwindle. And so we continue to lose the battle for families, communities, and nation for we ourselves are not healthy to do much good – too many are wounded and are not receiving care! Our numbers are too small and too many in our ranks are too weak to fight a good fight. And instead of crying for this, too many of us simply chuck it up to it being the end times and pat ourselves in the back for staying strong. Our mercy, grace, and love walk has become so shallow that our heart no longer breaks like God’s heart breaks every time something ungodly occurs.

When we say that the nation(s) have gone away from God, I wonder if God is saying ‘I know this, but I have made you my hands and feet. I have given you a task to make disciples (not just new converts) and handed you the baton for the ministry of reconciliation and restoration. What are you doing?

God’s Heart

Oh brothers and sisters, my plea is that we take care of our wounded so that the world may see and be encouraged to join our ranks for they know they will be cared for. For what is the benefit of joining our ranks if they are going to be treated the same way the world treats them. Let us take care of our wounded so that the heart of the enemy may grow faint when he sees that we are still as numerous and as strong as at the beginning despite our walk through perilous terrain.

Just as Jesus has promised never to leave us nor forsake us, our motto should be no soldier left behind! That our brothers and sisters will never walk alone. Let us be a Titus today!

“God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus” – 2 Corinthians 7:6

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