CLEAN THE CLOSET AND MAKE ROOM FOR 2016

 

End of the year is always marked with some degree of emotions. For some it starts with cleaning the house. Some cultures believe in changing the curtains, repainting and even go as far as changing furniture. I remember some of my mum’s customers paying up balances and taking goods according to their financial capacity because its end of the year and according to them ”u don’t go into the new year with debts”.

2015 for some of us was awe amazing and am sure as well for some of us was also filled with mixed moments that left us angry, indifferent or with a radical change of values and a few compromise here and there that the new year resolutions seemed insufficient to cope with the moments of our time and challenges of the year.

The failed business, disappointing friendships, unfulfilled expectations, betrayed trust, broken marriage or fractioned parents, loss of a loved one, abusive or broken relationships or the ”anything is better than remaining single” relationship that is probably still ongoing or came crashing on the rock, leaving you with nothing to idolize than a broken spirit, hurt, anger, bitterness, self pity etc, hidden behind the well tucked skirts, gated pants and pasted smiles.

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This word is coming at such a time as this to encourage someone. CLEAN UP YOUR CLOSET, do away with this old wine skin and make room for the new things God has in store for you in 2016.

Get rid of the anger, bitterness, fear, frustration, jealousy and insecurity because God has a better 2016 for you and requires you to make room for it. Like the Prophet’s widow whose sons were about to be collected from her MAKE ROOM. That old wine skin is not capable of holding this greater year because its capacity and walls have been cracked by the sourness of the old wine and you cant afford to let it blur your vision for the new doors that are about to be opened.

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It may be painful, it may take a little time, personal efforts and prayers but it is absolutely worth it to enlarge your coast and make room for the future. You may have to forgive (beginning with you), you may have to do away with something, you may need a quiet time with yourself to take a review and ask yourself some real questions. The fact is you can’t change the past but you sure can influence the future.

Let go and let God. ask the Holy Spirit to clean up your house, let him heal your mind and heart. Release the wheels and let Him do the last minute fixing, make a new wine skin for you, restore your joy and plunge you into the new grace and ideas that will prosper you. Let Him plunge you into the new year.

I wish you a happy and blessed new year 2016 in advance.

shaLom!

Luke 5:37-38.

LESSONS FROM GIDEON…..foundation check

Foundations are very vital. It has nothing to do with the visible beauty of the house but is sure an indispensable tool in terms of the overall durability of the house. Our LESSONS FROM GIDEON story today focuses on what should have stood as Gideon’s final success and ultimately his test of character.

Gideon had returned from defeating Median and the men of Israel asked him to become their king which was more like the best thing to do after he has brought them victory and restored their freedom. However, he rejects the offer and insist that the Lord will rule over them. Fair enough I suppose.

He went further and requested that  they give to him the gift of their earrings which they got from the plunder of the Medianites of which they obliged him. Sounds like the most kindly thing they could do for him.

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With the earrings he went forward to build a statue for himself and placed it in his city and he and Israel cheated on God with the statue. The bible records that they played the Harlot with it. Simply put they went into Idolatry with the statue Gideon made and it became a snare, an entanglement to him and his house.

This was a man that saw the angle of God face to face. He saw God answer him in supernatural dimensions. He experienced first hand the mighty hand of God and what God could do with a man as he. He saw the signs of the fleeces and testified to the sword of God and of Gideon. He saw what Yahweh could do first hand. He lead the troop! He told the story of the mighty hand of God but in the end his Character betrayed him.

We are familiar with the popular saying that Charisma can take a man up but only Character will sustain the man up there at the top.

I stand to be corrected. I want to believe that it is God’s job to choose and use a vessel (a man) but it is the Vessel’s job to enjoy the benefits of been used by God! Character is key.

Check that foundation!

shalom!

Judges 8:22-28

 

LESSONS FROM GIDEON…..when Yahweh is involved

psalm-97-5-6One vital lesson in the story of Gideon is that it gives us a clear picture of what happens in the life of a man when God is involved. Gideon’s encounter with God begins with a man who was secretly trying to meet his needs for the fear of the Medianites. It moves ahead to a man whom the angel of God greets and his spontaneous response is a lamentation on been forsaken by God and when told he has been sent by God to deliver Israel from Medianites’ oppression, he delivers a speech highlighting his inadequacies for the assignment. Even when God had given him a sign to confirm it was He speaking, Gideon still doubted God’s commitment to the success and placed a fleece before God.

When God is involved in the life of a man, situations will always turn out to work together for good, mountains will melt like wax, favor will call from every corners and impossibilities will become possible.

He has done it before and He will do it again and again. He is the same God yesterday, today and He will remain forever.

Let’s review some of the outcomes in Gideon’s story after God stepped in.

  1. HE REASSURES AND CLEARS DOUBTS (Judges 6:36-40)

Gideon doubted God’s commitment to fulfill His part of the assignment and pleaded with God for the sign of the fleece. Two times he put forth the fleece and God confirmed His word to him. The bible at different instances shows us that we indeed serve a God who is touched with the feelings of our infirmities. He relates with us individually in ways we understand and are able to relate with Him involved in our lives. For Gideon he wanted a confirmation of God’s commitment and God obliged him and clears his doubts. Doubts are limitation tools of deception from the devil to cheat us from relating with God’s commitment to us. If we are sensitive to this and are willing, God is always still in the business of clearing any forms of doubts and giving us reassurance of his faithfulness to us. God is always faithful and committed to His children.

2. HE WILL PROVIDE THE RESOURCES (Judges 6:25-26; 31-35)

We are probably familiar with the Cliche ”God will not give you a course without a resource”. For Gideon’s story God proved this in several ways. We will examine some of them.

First, God gave specific instructions and provided for the sacrifice Gideon was to render to Him. Secondly, God provided for Gideon his first and strongest support and defense team….his father, Joash. The people had come to kill him for bringing down the altar of Baal. In the absence of Gideon the issue is laid to rest because God had provided a man to speak on his behalf. God will raise men to speak for you in Jesus’ name, Amen. Thirdly, one of Gideon’s utmost fear was that his clan was the weakest. Obviously he was limited in military power. However, when God stepped in, whoever he called answered to him. May we have the faith enough to trust God to lift us beyond our limitations in Jesus’ name, Amen.

3. HE WOULD USE EVEN YOUR ENEMIES TO ENCOURAGE YOU IF HE HAS TO (Judges 7:11-14)

After God had reduced Gideon’s men to 300 i want to imagine Gideon must have been having some fears if this was actually meant to be. 300 men with just provisions, trumpets and torches! Was God really for real?

God needed to encourage and strengthen him ones more and so sent him to go along with one of his servants Purah into the camp of the enemy to hear what He had to say. There Gideon head a soldier relating his dream to another soldier and the soldier’s response was all the strength Gideon needed to invade the camp. God needed Gideon’s enemy to make Gideon understand He has given him the victory. My prayers for us is that God continues to unveil Himself to us and as He does may we have the faith and capacity enough to believe and run with it in Jesus’ name, Amen.

4. HE REPLACES YOUR WEAKNESS WITH HIS STRENGTH (Judges 7:15-18)

After his visit to the Median camp we see a Gideon who returns to his 300 men and awaken them to ”Arise, for the Lord has delivered the camp of the Median into your hand”. We see a Gideon who began to give instructions to his 300 men. His fears were gone, his doubt has been resolved in the grace of the mighty God. His weakness has been replaced with the mighty to save strength of the Living Lord. May you find your strength in God today and always. God is still in business. He might not show up as you want it but He is renewing strengths every brand new day. Hallelujah!

5. HE WILL MAKE FOR YOU A WILLING AND READY TEAM (Judges 6:31, 8:31)

Every leader knows that the value of a team that is willing and committed to them is inestimable. For Gideon his first committed team member was his father, Joash. He stood and defended him in the face of chaos and risk. Among other examples of this is the men of Ephraim. After news of Median’s defeat reach them, they expressed their displeasure to Gideon for not calling on them to fight with him.

This will also remind us that God still exceed expectations. Remember he started out not seeing a solid military strength from his clan, he ended with men more than he needed and as though that was not mind blowing enough, he was to realize there were a hundreds and thousands more who would have stood still for him.

When God is involved in a man’s life, impossibilities become possible. Weaknesses are replaced with strength and mountains melt like wax.

This is what we need!

shaLom!

LESSONS FROM GIDEON……His Place Your Place

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In Judges 7 from verse one, God had successfully reduced the number of Gideon’s men from 32,000 men to just 300 men. For the battle to be won, a formation was needed. Gideon divided the 300 men into three groups of 100 each. He took a group with him and the other two groups as well, took their formation around the camp of the Medianites. The order was quiet easy….”look at me and do what you see me do”.

 He divided the three hundred men into three companies. He gave each man a trumpet and an empty jar, with a torch in the jar. He said, “Watch me and do what I do. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly what I do. When I and those with me blow the trumpets, you also, all around the camp, blow your trumpets and shout, ‘For God and for Gideon! Judges 7:16-18

As soon as it was time, Gideon did as God had instructed him and the group of 100 with him followed same as well as the other two groups in their place all around the camp and in a moment, the battle was won.

Something very vital to the success of the victory is the record that EVERY MAN STAYED IN THEIR PLACE.

 And every man stood in his place all around the camp; and the whole army ran and cried out and fled. judges 7:21

The message bible says ”everyone stayed at their post”. The other sets of hundreds did not wish they were in the set with Gideon. The third set of hundred did not wish they were the second one hundred set. They maintained what and from were they were called to fight from.

OUR LESSON

How God has called us and just like Gideon He is saying look unto me and do as i say, do what you hear me tell you. I am the beginning and the end, I knew you before you were born and I already have the path that you should thread right here in my palm, just walk before me and take this life ride with me. And we leave this place to see who is doing what, comparing ourselves with others. Taking dressing from what seems rational, taking dressing from our past and chatting the perfect course for our feet where He has already mapped it all out (taking that burden from us). He’s got the plan from the very inception and He says LOOK UNTO ME and I will show you great and mighty things. I will lead you in the path of life and in the way of righteousness.

I like to see it that seeking after God gives you a better mirror of yourself. Seeking him unveils to you the understanding of what and where He has called you to fight from in the field of life.

He daily does this when He says listen for my instructions and listen to my heart when you study through the bible. If any other thing I will impress it upon your heart. Worship, invite me to lead your steps. Lean not on your own understanding. Allow me Guide your steps in this path. They were created by me, they are my handwork and I know exactly were they lead.

May God constantly Guide us. May He shine the light on our path and take the darkness out. May our spirit walk in line with His lead. May we not become wise in our eyes. May we enjoy His rest and fight life from where he has called us to fight from. Oh Lord May our spirit be aligned with your Spirit while on earth we stride! Amen.

Judges 7:16-18, 21, Proverbs 3:5, Hebrews 12:2

shaLom!

LESSONS FROM GIDEON …….One Assurance and a Thousand Promises

My my state (yeah…Edo state, Nigeria) was in a very quiet ”just keep things running” condition for many years. A lot of people and political analysts had their analysis of reasons for the poor state of things. Either the politicians were siphoning state resources for personal gain or the Federal Allowances were next to nothing after payments of civil servants salaries and other state expenses. I am not a politician, at least non that I know of for now.(Smiles!). They did have different postulations on reasons why a lot of things were not done and on why other facilities like roads and public schools were not in good shape.

Ok, then came the first tenure of a very active Governor. Someone that had the reputation of fighting even the federal government to get the labour force demands met. Apart from he been very energetic, he had the reputation of his words been as good as ”DONE ALREADY”. Actually his results were everywhere. The roads were coming up, public schools were been refurbished and every civil servant was seating up because no one wanted to be scape-goat. It was a thing of either you are ready to work or we help terminate your appointment so you can have your time to relax.

When once he was visiting any sector especially the educational sector, you see the teachers in colorful attires and different songs of praise on account of him. One of the reasons was that they knew he was very active and also good in one thing ”GIVING ASSURANCES”. Whether it was an accidental discharge secondary to the praises showered on him or the awareness that there was so much demand and expectations based on his results as a formal labour leader or whether it was originally in the budget, It did not matter. The most important thing was to get him to make a public promise about that thing and it was as good as done because he was committed to making it true.

In our lesson today, we see Gideon secretly threshing wheat in the Winepress because of the fear of been seen by the Midianites (they destroyed whatever the Isrealites produced for themselves) when the Angel of God appeared to him and told him to go and save Isreal from the midianites’ oppression.

11-12 One day the angel of God came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, whose son Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress, out of sight of the Midianites. The angel of God appeared to him and said, “God is with you, O mighty warrior!”

13 Gideon replied, “With me, my master? If God is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all the miracle-wonders our parents and grandparents told us about, telling us, ‘Didn’t God deliver us from Egypt?’ The fact is, God has nothing to do with us—he has turned us over to Midian.”

14 But God faced him directly: “Go in this strength that is yours. Save Israel from Midian. Haven’t I just sent you?”

He doubted at this message and saw all the disadvantages against him. First he considered his clan and did not see help coming from there. He possibly had thought ”we don’t have warriors capable of this task in my clan. We are the weakest when you think of a war like this.” And then he thought of his father’s house and to make matters worst, his position. Who was going to hear his call to go to war with the Midianites. But God had His plan. He was looking at one man, called Gideon. Not the clan nor his father’s house.

What happened next brought the victory Isreal needed. It lifted the weight of the burden, enlightened and restored joy, strength and hope in Gideon. GOD GAVE HIM HIS ASSURANCE. 

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15 Gideon said to him, “Me, my master? How and with what could I ever save Israel? Look at me. My clan’s the weakest in Manasseh and I’m the runt of the litter.”

16 God said to him, “I’ll be with you. Believe me, you’ll defeat Midian as one man.”

17-18 Gideon said, “If you’re serious about this, do me a favor: Give me a sign to back up what you’re telling me. Don’t leave until I come back and bring you my gift.”

He said, “I’ll wait till you get back.”

19 Gideon went and prepared a young goat and a huge amount of unraised bread (he used over half a bushel of flour!). He put the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot and took them back under the shade of the oak tree for a sacred meal.

20 The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and unraised bread, place them on that rock, and pour the broth on them.” Gideon did it.

21-22 The angel of God stretched out the tip of the stick he was holding and touched the meat and the bread. Fire broke out of the rock and burned up the meat and bread while the angel of God slipped away out of sight. And Gideon knew it was the angel of God!

God went ahead and gave him a sign to back up His assurance and at that point nothing else mattered. Not the weakness of his Clan nor the smallness of his father’s house and his own position in the house. Not even the strength of all Isreal army mattered. The word he received and the sign he saw made all the difference. It gave him all the hope and strength to thread on unseen waters.

One assurance from God is better than a thousand promises from men. Man will forget and fail but an assurance from God is a bill you can afford to make credit on because it will never fail.

The place of seeking the face of God and looking to the rock of ages is a ticket to face every life’s oppositions. We need to bank on this. We need to make deposit on this. To study the bible, To pray, To worship, To look to God for every help we have need of rather than focus on the promises of man.

Sure man is relevant that’s why God placed them everywhere around us but if God has not placed your impression on that man’s heart he will fail you and fail you well.

So we would rather seek God than lobby man. His promises are sure. He will not fail.

shaLom!

judges 6:11-22. Hebrews 11:2. Psalms 20:7. Psalms 46:1

GRACIAS…. Saying THANK YOU, Grazie, danki, merci and in my ‘mother tongue’ Uwe’ese

Thank-You

Ok, so i started to learn Spanish two Saturdays ago and among the first words I learned is ”Gracias” meaning ”THANK YOU”. So I want to say Gracias for following with me through the series on ”ATTITUDE FOR THE RED SEA”. It was indeed an amazing series. It was impacting for me and I hope it was same for you.

Join me in the next couple of weeks as we take a study through the life of Gideon. So much lessons to be learned from him. I do trust it will be an exciting bible study time.

Once again thank you and God bless.

ATTITUDE FOR THE RED SEA (PT 5)……Lessons From Nehemiah

Today in the continuation series we will place the beam on standing in the face of trying time. To do this effectively we are studying the attitude of Nehemiah during the rebuilding of Jerusalem wall.

HERE IS A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE STORY! It begins with Nehemiah inquiring about the well being of the survivors of the captivity of Jerusalem and Judah and was informed that they were living in distress and that the wall of Jerusalem has been in a rumble for months and this was a source of mockery to the Jews. Nehemiah is burdened and decide to pray and fast about his Father land and his desire was to rebuild the broken wall of Jerusalem and raise high its gates again.

At an appropriate time he gets the chance to relay his desire to rebuild the broken wall of Jerusalem to the King to whom he was a cupbearer and asked for the King’s permission to do so. The king obliged him his request and supported him with  materials for that.

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He finally arrives Jerusalem and sells his vision to rebuild the walls and this was well welcomed.

Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work. (Neh 2:18)

However there arose Sanballat and Tobiah who mocked them;

But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. 2And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned? 3Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall. (Neh 4:2-3).

As the building progressed it generates anger and a conspiracy among Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammorites and the Ashdodites and they sort to create confusion and stop the building of Jerusalem’s wall.

Now it happened, when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry, and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion. Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night. (Neh 4:7-9).

Our lesson today is from the reactions of Nehemiah when this conspiracy is revealed to him.

13 Therefore I positioned men behind the lower parts of the wall, at the openings; and I set the people according to their families, with their swords, their spears, and their bows. 14 And I looked, and arose and said to the nobles, to the leaders, and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, great and awesome, and fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.”

15 And it happened, when our enemies heard that it was known to us, and that God had brought their plot to nothing, that all of us returned to the wall, everyone to his work. 16 So it was, from that time on, that half of my servants worked at construction, while the other half held the spears, the shields, the bows, and wore armor; and the leaders were behind all the house of Judah. 17 Those who built on the wall, and those who carried burdens, loaded themselves so that with one hand they worked at construction, and with the other held a weapon. 18 Every one of the builders had his sword girded at his side as he built. And the one who sounded the trumpet was beside me. (Neh 4:13-18).

NOW TO OUR LESSON; we know today that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

We are going to be learning from Nehemiah the attitude of readiness to guard our hearts, minds and character in the face of challenge.

  1. SET A WATCH:   Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts (prov 4:23 GNT) Know the enemy and guide against him. That was one thing Nehemiah knew. He was not ignorant of his opposition so he pray and not just prayed, he set a watch day and night. The mind is the battle field of life. Success or failure in the face of trial begins with the content of your mind. So guide it with all diligence.
  2. POSITION YOURSELF AND REINFORCE YOUR WEAKNESS: Nehemiah knew if there was an attack on them while they were at work, it would not come through those parts of the wall already completed but from the lower walls and the openings between the walls so he reinforced them by positioning men at those weak points. It is often said that the strongest man is the man that knows his weaknesses. This is not to give into it but to reinforce and position one self in that the challenge comes to face with a man or personality that exudes strength and character. And if i need add that trying to build these on the face of challenge is like learning to crack the gun on the field of battle. Character building is more of a proactive or prophylactic than a reactive exercise. That was what Nehemiah did. He fortified the weaker parts proactive against such an event.
  3. FIGHT: Contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jude 1:3) Nehemiah encourages them to fight for the things that are of most value to them. Their wives, sons, daughters, homes. What is of value to you? As Christians we are encouraged to contend for the salvation that was delivered to us. This should be of priority in the face of challenge. It gives the advantage of molding in us integrity, character, trust, commitment and consistency.
  4. GUARD AGAINST RELAPSE: When it was certain to Sanballat and Tobiah that God had given Nehemiah victory, Nehemiah did something, from that moment on, while half the men were working, the other half held bows, spears and wore armors. He was guarding his victory! The enemy of future success is the success of today. Like Nehemah did, guard against any ”arrival mentality” or attitude that can be detrimental.

shaLom!

Nehemiah 1,2 and 4.

ATTITUDE FOR THE RED SEA (PT 4)……….Right Perspective builders

Last week in the part 3 of this series we looked at the importance of building right perspective in tough times and we were able to establish that challenging times often signifies change time. A time of travail to be birthed into the next level and that focusing on the bigger picture makes it a whole lot more of a better story at the end of the day.

Pastor David Oyedepo shared in one of his sermons that a friend once asked him ”brother David do you ever have a problem” and as much as he was surprised by the question, he answered thus; ”they probably came and i  did not notice them”. It is evident to everyone of us that the level of success he has attained today would not have fallen on platters of Gold.

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In my view I seem to hear someone say ”I probably did not notice them because I did not consider myself as having problems but rather saw them as challenges and went on to confront them with the eyes of faith realizing that it was a time of change. What has always worked is no longer sufficient for the demands on them (the bigger picture)”.

Seeing God behind every storm and believing His word that ”All things work together for your good” gives a whole better view of challenges as opportunities to launch to better levels than laying up emphases on the challenge it self. It is like leaving in the victory already even though ‘symptoms’ persist.

It is important to add here that this is not to undermine the significance of the presenting issue. However the aim is to build a victory attitude whereby difficult times are seen as springboards rather than raging seas.

Today we will examine some keys to building right perspective.

A first and important key is having a active life policy for oneself. This is a very important factor, as little as it may sound in that having a working and positive life policy places value on the quality of life you wish to live. It helps to check such that it is difficult to accept certain pattern of behavior and method of thinking. It will just naturally come through for you not to do certain kinds of things or feel certain kind of ways.

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Secondly, believe in something. People have things they believe in. Something supernatural as a form spiritual support. This is important in that at some points when things look vague and difficult to understand or when looking up to something not yet visible by the physical eyes, the sense of a backing to believe in the unknown comes desirable.

However, I am pleased to announce that I believe in Christ Jesus. The bible is so full of promises that even in the deepest of seas I have a strong word,  these are not just words only, but spirit as well. And as often as I speak, they become real even to my physical body. So I encourage you to not just believe in something or anything but to believe in Jesus and the word of God. It is the best and most effective perspective builder i have seen and will remain my all time recommendation.

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Someone once ask ”look what if these things are not true. What if the words of the bible at the end of the day were not true?” And another answered ”Well, at least i had something to believe in and it was able to keep me to live a strong and a healthy good life. The words in it made my life beautiful and that was all i needed while i lived” (paraphrased).

Do not just believe in something…..believe in Jesus, believe in the bible, be a God fanatic. Amazing thing about it is that it never goes out of style and is highly rewarding.

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Thirdly is to use your emotional support team. This include persons that you share ideas and opinions with and help you view things in ways you would not have thought of or encourage your thought. As iron sharpens iron so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. A friend close by is better that a brother afar off.

It is also important to understand that some persons are better for you as part of the Victory story than as part of the victory process.

shaLom.

Romans 8:28, John 6:63, Proverbs 27:17, Proverbs 27:10

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ATTITUDE FOR THE RED SEA (PT 3)…….placing distractions in the right place to keep right perspective

So today we are placing the focus of our attitude development during trying times on Keeping Right Perspective.

I do firmly concur with Dr Wayne Dyer when he said ”If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change”.

Today, our study is from the early parts of the book of Exodus. God had appeared to Moses and given him His plan for the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt.

Exodus 3:10 ”Come now, therefore and i will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt”.

Exodus 7 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. But Pharaoh will not heed you, so that I may lay My hand on Egypt and bring My armies and My people, the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great judgments. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I stretch out My hand on Egypt and bring out the children of Israel from among them.”

The bible goes on to unveil to us how God sent different signs both to reassure the Israelites that He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and as well to prove to Pharaoh that He is Lord over the earth.

Exodus 14 Then I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, so that he will pursue them; and I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord.” And they did so.

The story then continues with the children of Israel crossing the Red sea on dry ground and how God indeed gained His honor over Pharaoh at the Red Sea.

Exodus 1427 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. So the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. 28 Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained.

OUR LESSON!

The entire challenge and back and forth movements of Moses and Aaron in and out of Pharaoh’s palace is a happier view from the perspective of God taking his time out to prove to Pharaoh that He is Lord and to deliver Israel en rough passing His Judgement on Pharaoh than been seen as The hard and wicked king Pharaoh of Egypt enslaving the Israelites and will not let them go.

While both views are true in their rights, the first lays emphacy on the mighty to save hand of God and reassures confidence and hope that you are on a process of moving into an inheritance. The second on the other hand lays the emphacy on man…Pharaoh and see the difficulties and stress. This magnifies hopelessness of the the situation and leaves the glory on Pharaoh.

Moses understood the power of Keeping right perspective. And this encouraged him all the more to follow on God’s directives irrespective of how cumbersome and discouraging the process was. We often see him reminding the Isrealites of What God’s bigger picture was.

It is unexpected not to travail in the face of change.

Isaiah 66:8 ”Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.

Difficult times suggest a change time. The Children of Israel for 430 years were in their comfort zone, it was a safe zone for them to live under the oppression of their task master Pharaoh than to look up to their inheritance of a Land Flowing with Milk and Horny just as God had promised them.

But not  until the time they realized they needed their inheritance did the struggle begin. I am confident to say that struggle and difficult times only signifies one thing…..”IT IS TIME TO BREAK NEW GROUNDS”.

You hardly will find people fight over something of no relevance. In every struggle there is always an interest. There is always something to be lost or gained. Difficult times signifies a time of struggle or travail for an ”inheritance”…..for something good and desirable.

So it is all about keeping right perspective and knowing where to place the distraction that come on the way of change in the right places in other to see the right direction and perceive adequately the bigger picture.

Right Perspective makes difficult times a ride rather than a story of doom and discouragements.

shaLom!

Exodus 1-14, Isaiah 66:8.

ATTITUDE FOR THE RED SEA (PT 2)…..THE ONE FACTOR THAT MATTERS MOST

Today our focus is going to be centered on the wife of a certain Prophet who served God. The wife’s account of him shows us he was a faithful prophet. However, there was a ”But” somewhere…..He had a Creditor who was ready to make servants of his two sons if she could not pay up what he owed. 2nd Kings 4:1-7 illustrates to us the benefits of targeting the most important factor that matters most in the event of a stressful moment. First let us examine what her options were:

options 2

HER OPTIONS!

  1. She would have been permitted if she ran low on ideas. It was a stressful time of her life. She just lost her husband, probably jobless, had sold most of what she had to pay up the debt coupled with the responsibilities of catering for two boys.
  2. It could have been ok if she gave up her sons to the Creditors. It was a better option coupled with the fact that it would be a lesser burden on her to meet up paying the debt and as well take care of them. Of course they will grow up while serving for a while to pay up the debt, then regain their freedom and start taking care of themselves.
  3. She could opt to be pitied. Her husband was a faithful prophet am sure his members were among the neighbors. She could discuss her problems with them, gain their pity and have them drop some utilities for her.
  4. She could have ended her reply on the fact that she had nothing but she added the little life saver….a jar of oil.
  5. Pride and pretend nothing was going wrong. Her husband was a respectable man….a Prophet. His master ELisha did not have to know he owed someone nor should the neighbors realize she needed to borrow their empty vessels of oil.

INSTEAD!

She went for the kill! She was precise and kept perspective ( we will focus on keeping the right perspective in the part 3 of the series….PLACING DISTRACTIONS IN THE RIGHT PLACE), she understood her odds and gains and she knew exactly where the heart of her solution was. Her solution was with ELisha!

Elijah and the Widow I Kings 17:10-13

In simple terms she describes to Elisha that her husband was a Prophet who feared the Lord and now his Creditor was after her sons because she is unable to pay up what he owed.

Also, she demonstrates to us the benefits of keeping Hope! Elisha asked her what she has in the house. It would have been absolutely correct of her to keep it at the fact that she had nothing……who would have said a jar of oil will be helpful anyways. But she knew enough to add it….”Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil”.

olive jar

The story ends with her getting several vessels of oil from just the single little jar of oil from which she sold and was able to pay up her debt.

OUR LESSON!

Knowing the source, losses and gains of a stressful situation is one thing but to know were the solution is, is another thing all together. By far it is easy to roam around on a ”rat race” in search of on-lookers’ attention, people pity, and further explanations of the event in the attire of giving support. Our lesson is to learn and in-build the attitude of asking the right question! What is the solution? What do i need to do? With Who is the answer? Is there something i am leaving behind or Is there something i still need to know? Do i need the phone or the throne (God’s presence/pray)? Who should i be talking to at this point about this issue? What do i have to start with and what do i need? etc.

The Idea is keeping focus on the most important factor that makes the whole lot of difference.

2nd kings 4:1-7.

shaLom