…Before a Fall.

Why did Kish’s donkeys have to go astray? Why did Kish have to send his son Saul to go look for them? The servant should have just gone by himself. Why did God have to choose Saul? I remember Purple sharing my sentiments. She said, “God would have just let Saul be.” He seemed very much okay leading a normal life.

But then, there wouldn’t be this story to tell if God had let Saul be. When David so effortlessly shines through 1st Samuel for his regard and much respect for God in utter humility, it is very easy to forget Saul. If he crosses your mind, it is very easy to see him as the guy you would very much like to burn in a tire especially for tormenting your “hero” David.

I feel this however, behind every human being that would like to take a page out the David humility book, lies a human being with pride like Saul’s.

Like most of us, Saul really loved God, he seeked guidance from Him and he obeyed Him. Where he fell short of being obedient, it would be because he thought his way was better or because he listened to what people would say forgetting God’s ways are not our own. Just like most of us. When he would be sorry, it would be sincere all through even to David but because he never let go of his pride, he would still fall short, to the end where he would rather kill himself at war than have a Philistine kill him. See, pride might kill you; more often than you think, literally.

Pride stops us from going before God with an open heart. Pride makes us view ourselves as nothing like Saul and everything like David. It makes us regard our righteousness as the epitome of perfection.

The Swan Effect.

…an illustration I have borrowed from “The Little Black Book for Stunning Success by Robin Sharma.” The swan makes moving along the water seem so effortless and graceful but what we don’t get to see is all the hard-work taking place below the surface.

Many a times, we get caught up in the “how much” and we forget the “how” when it comes to building ourselves up as darling children of God.

We tend to think that it is in how much work…how much time…how much effort we put in to knowing God and His word and living right in Christ that defines our growth in Him. You may put in work, time and effort but without focussing on how you do it, it may end up being null.

I too have fallen victim of this. That it is because of how much time and work a certain individual has put in say: in his secret place that has enabled him to perform signs and wonders so effortlessly, i.e: ‘The Swan Effect.’

P. S: gifts of the Holy Spirit are not a determiner of how good a person is at being a Christian. It is not the ‘how much’. Gifts of the Holy Spirit are not prizes for goodness or effort. Gifts of the Holy Spirit are for building up the church toward the understanding, service and mission of Christ and for whomever the Spirit of God chooses.

I am a strong believer of each relationship with God being very different. Sword reminded me that what may work for one Christian, may not work for another. See, if how you relate with God is different from how I relate with Him then a majority of the time, what works for you may not work for me. “There are different ways God works in our lives, but it is the same God who does the work through all of us” (1st Corinthians 12:6).

It is not in the how much: it is in the how.

Read Your Bible.

As the devil (i imagine striding with utter confidence) came forth to tempt Jesus in the wilderness, he probably knew he had this in the bag because even in trials and temptations, he armours himself with tools even we sometimes forget.

As Jesus was quoting scripture to back up his argument, the devil too was quoting scripture (see chapter four of Matthew). Now, if all you know is what you hear in sermons or by your pastor and nothing for yourself from the word of God that we have so freely been given, how then do you expect that the devil will flee from you?

You can decide to, “let me just ignore…let me keep myself busy. I know eventually it will go away…” Jesus would have easily ignored, easily walked away, but why didn’t he? Your defence is not outwitting the devil, your defence is the truth: sharper than a double edged Sword, the Sword of the Spirit; the word of God. How will you know this if you have never read it? How will you know this if the revelations you rely on are from other people of how they interpret the word of God?

See, you might see/hear someone say “All this I will give you, if you will bow down and worship me.” He will perhaps even add “thus says the Lord” or you will assume cause he is reading from the Bible so of course thus says the Lord. Then one day the devil tempts you with wealth, you only need to worship him and you quote this against him so confidently and he says, “I actually said those words…not God.” What then will you say?

Store this written word in your heart to give the wind of God something to blow up on to make it into spoken word. “For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are,” (Hebrews 4:12).

Grace Should Not Be An Excuse for Disobedience.

Jelly shared his thoughts on preaching grace that incidentally but perfectly synchronized with an article i have been meaning to write though i have been waiting on the when. Amplified shared a verse that complemented the same and right then i got my when.

Jelly said, “it is is not actually easy to preach grace because when you preach grace, you make nothing of man and everything of Jesus and man does not like that. Man likes to think he has fasted for forty days and forty nights to get the anointing. He wants to be able to say, ‘I paid the price for spiritual power’…”

That is one way to look at it. Which is in all matters, very accurate, because we are after all characters in El Elyon’s story and not the other way round. We are here for His glory, not our self gratification.

On the same note, I think it is not easy to preach grace because in man not liking that it is not about him, he might as well misquote this. We forget very fast and I don’t want to place this in the excuse book of “human nature” so I won’t. The grace of God should not be mistaken for Him not having power to rid of us all in less than a short breathe. ‘After all, he’s famous for great and unexpected acts; there’s no end to his surprises’ (Job.5.9).

In acknowledging that it is because of the grace and mercy of God that we are here, we should not rid ourselves of obedience and utter reverence to Him.

Grace is the mother and nurse of holiness, and not the apologist of sin. (C.H. Spurgeon).

A Tale Not of Two Cities.

… but of red soil turned into gummy mud, a mocking sun and hot air, a magnificent blue sky gleaming with glory and showers of annointed blessings.

…of strange beautiful faces glowing with the presence of God…of feet fitted with readiness that comes from the gospel of peace; for the mountains, over the hills and everywhere.

…of God.

Here lies a tale not of two cities but of a glory filled mission and saved souls.

See, I met a girl who said she felt like there was something missing in her life and she couldn’t figure out what it was, she accepted Jesus as her personal saviour before we left. During our phone call some time after, she said, she no longer felt that emptiness. I am certain you don’t need me to tell you why.

I met a boy who took something of mine. I didn’t like that he did. It was without my consent. I prayed that God would make him a better person, favour his life and shower him with grace and that whatever he took would help him so I let it go. He meekly brought it back the next day with abundant courage to apologise. I call this a miracle. If you disagree then I don’t want to be right.

I was assigned part of the team on kitchen duty one time, three of us went ahead to wash the utensils as the others made breakfast. As one washed and I rinsed, she asked me to help her remove some very tiny threads that would get caught under some plates cause of the clothe she was using to clean. They were barely visible so I wondered why, cause the plates were pretty clean anyway but I did as she had requested regardless. At the end as I was getting ready to leave the guy we were with suggested we give thanks to God first. I remember the lady giving all the glory to God and that the utensils would bring healing to those who would use them…and a lot more that left me spellbound. I was cleaning these utensils because they were dirty. They were cleaning them in thanksgiving to God for having granted them yet another opportunity to glorify Him.

I loved singing along to Tasha’s song, “for Your glory, I would do anything…” then I met people who would actually, quite literally do anything; more than just dance around a market place yelling and singing, telling everyone about Jesus, which they did by the way; such beautiful holy madness. I wish you could see it. I met people who would so easily and so openly talk about revelations as though breathing. I met people who would ‘cross the hottest desert, travel near or far just so that they can behold God as their King; just so that all they do is for His glory.

I’d love to record each and every account from that mission by each and every person as they experienced it but just like John put it; “There are so many other things Jesus did. If they were all written down, each of them, one by one, I can’t imagine a world big enough to hold such a library of books.” (John 21:25).

Here lies a tale not of two cities but of cities on hills that cannot be hid.

#Obedience Challenge.

At his young age, when God calls Samuel, it is at a time where encounters with Him are very rare, also, it is at time before Samuel knows God for himself. Hold on to this information as we rewind and digress for a moment.

When God calls Samuel the first time he answers thinking it’s Eli and runs to him (note the word run; not walk dragging his feet, eyes half open, pouting because of the disturbance). He does this two more times; goes to Eli each time, not answering from the room he’s sleeping in, deep in the blankets but getting up and going to Eli.

I’ll give you a moment to wander as you imagine yourself in the scenario. Need I point out that despite not knowing that it was God calling him, Samuel answered to Eli with reverence and obedience.

Eli instructs him on what to do if he’s called again and he follows through in obedience when God calls him a fourth time.

1 Samuel 3: 1-10.

Between feeling bothered and ‘rudely interrupted’ when you’re needed to do something especially when it requires you to stop what you’re doing and responding fast in obedience, which one occurs more often for you?

He’s Always Been There.

I was listening to Daddy’s Home by Travis Greene and it took me close to twenty years back on sunny days in the school playing field during end of term sports events.

I know my mum would have wanted to be there, heck she probably even asked for time off work to be there but they couldn’t let her; I was too young to understand this. I just remember not seeing her in the bleachers and it would crush me. “…no one ever shows up for my ‘big’ moments.”

Today, I know that for every big and not so big moment of my life, the Almighty Father has been there in each one, smiling down on me, cheering me on and holding me up.

For every big and not so big moment of your life; when you’ve wanted someone there with you, to give you hope so that you can keep going, He’s been there. You already have what you’ve been searching for. Search no more.

…and He’ll always be there.