No Other Option

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” (John 14:6, NLT)

no option b

Imagine you are getting married, right. And before your big (or small) wedding day, your future spouse comes up to you and says, “Well, if this doesn’t work out, I have someone else.” How would you feel? I know I’d probably be angry, maybe sad, but definitely doubtful because, what’s the point of marrying someone who is already thinking another?

All the times I have heard what Jesus told Thomas in John 14:6 has been in the context of Jesus is the only way to God. I completely believe that! There is no other way to God except Jesus. But, since yesterday, I have been thinking about something else, and this is something that I can’t claim credit to because I believe that it was the Holy Spirit who put this on my heart.

So, I was just laying on my bed yesterday and I was thinking: why do I still sin? I know that Jesus has saved me by His grace and mercy alone (Ephesians 2:8), I know that He loves me (John 3:16) and I genuinely love Him, I know that I am a new creation (2nd Corinthians 5:17)… you know, those things that Christians ought to believe when they are saved… But, even though this is the new reality I live in, I still find myself committing sin, be it lying, not reading His Word, not loving my neighbor, idolatry, sexual immorality, drunkenness, not obeying my parents, slander; any sin that the Bible talks about, really– because if you break one, you break all (James 2:10-11).

Anyway, as I was contemplating these things in my room, something told me: don’t make sin an option. It was as clear as hearing laurel! I kid you not. But I didn’t want to think too deeply about it at the time. So I watched Spongebob instead hahahaha!

The Holy Spirit has a way of communicating with us, you know, because I’m still thinking about it: why is sin still an option for me? Why do I still see lying as a possible means of getting what I want? Why do I still see manipulation of as a means of getting people to do the things I want them to do? Why do I still allow these thoughts to encroach on my space and I act surprised that I fall into temptation?

How do I not make sin an option? I know the answer is Jesus, but I don’t know how to make that a practical thing in my life. But I am thinking of Paul’s admonition to the Romans, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice– the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:1-2, NLT).

This is all new to me, so I am still learning it and internalizing it. But, I have been telling myself this: Jesus is the only option I have. When I want to pick up that phone and text that boy to come over, Jesus is the only option. When I want to cuss out my dad and not honor him, Jesus is the only option. When I want to go to watch another episode of Spongebob instead of reading my Bible, Jesus is the only option I have.

I thank God that my mind is being transformed by the Holy Spirit– it shows me that God is still working on me! This is a new way of thinking and I am excited to see how my relationship with God will change.

But, what do you think? How can I make Jesus the only option? How can I make sin not an option? Let me know what you think 🙂

… if you don’t…

“Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples!’ ‘I tell you,’ he replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out’ ” (Luke 19:39-40, NIV). 

How do you feel when you watch someone do something you know you’re supposed to be doing?

I had an experience at church yesterday that made me really want to do the things God wants me to do. We had a Thanksgiving service and I was told last minute I was going to lead the Thanksgiving portion– being Nigerian, that meant upbeat songs people could dance to. I couldn’t think of songs so I kept asking my fellow choir members to help me. Things seemed fine, I thought I was doing a good job until a minister came and took the microphone from me. Culturally, I had to step down and allow him to lead the rest of the time.

At first I was embarrassed, then irritated, then angry; then I quickly got over it when I realized that, perhaps, I wasn’t doing such a good job, that things weren’t fine. As I kept singing, backing him up, I was pleading with God, asking Him to not let another do the job He wants me to do– in other words, I don’t want to be replaced by another. That was my plea.

I kept thinking about this seemingly tiny incident; it shook me to the core. I confided in my friend and she gave me a different perspective, letting me understand that God is patient with us, that when we trust in Him, He will be with us every step of the way until we fulfill our purpose and destiny.

I agree with her… But I also think that we have to be willing to actually do our own part, you know..? The passage above came to mind.  The context is the Triumphal Entry. We see people praising Jesus, welcoming Him; and in the midst of this beautiful scene, the Pharisees, ever the enemies of Jesus, were telling Him to keep His disciples quiet. What I understand from Jesus’ response is this: if you don’t do what you’re supposed to (the Pharisees weren’t praising Jesus as they ought to have been doing), someone else could be raised up to do it.  Am I wrong? Imagine a stone praising God instead of you!

If our purpose is to bring glory to God, why shouldn’t we do it with every zeal in us? Why shouldn’t we praise God on the spot, trusting that He will give us songs to sing? Why shouldn’t we serve Him as if the time is our last on earth?

You see, I want to fulfill my destiny, and by God’s grace I will! I want to be available. I don’t want anyone to do the things (even if it’s giving a cup of water to someone) that I have been created to do!

Lord, you’ve created one of me. May I fulfill my purpose. In Jesus’ name.

A God of WHEN

“When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed” (Psalm 126:1, NIV).

I received good news from a very dear friend of mine this morning. As much as there was (is) joy in my heart about what she shared with me, the Word and promise of God in Psalm 126, especially today, has really put me on a whole other level!

Verse 1 really touches my heart. Whoever wrote Psalm 126 didn’t say, “If…”, but “When…”, telling me that my God is a God in charge of time and timing. The problem is we do not know when His “when” is, which means that we have to wait for it, which is a problem for all of us. But, when God promises, He fulfills. When God speaks, it comes to pass. When God saves, it is sure. When God opens a door, it can’t be closed; when He closes a door, it can’t be opened. When God writes your name in the Book of Life, no one can take it away. “When” suggests to me a finality that only God possesses.

It’s not as if I don’t know the character of God; but the thing about the Bible is that the Holy Spirit teaches and re-teaches you things until you fully understand them and transform them into heart knowledge. By the grace of God, I have a different view to my circumstances (Romans 12:1-2). I am convinced now that my God is a God of when, not. As I was reading the chapter I kept telling myself that God will do what He wants to do when He wants to do it. I have accepted my breakthrough by faith!  When God does allow me to be fully funded… when He gives me a husband… when He gives me financial breakthrough… My victory is coming! In fact, it is here! That is the power of my God!

The chapter itself is just very encouraging! I implore you to read it and let it bless you! Apart from that word “When”, the other part that really caught my attention was “we were like men who dreamed” (Psalm 126:1, NIV). What that suggests to me is that perhaps they had lost hope that deliverance will actually come; perhaps they were only dreaming of a freedom they didn’t really believe in. But when it actually happened, I can just imagine them saying “We can’t believe it!” But, I’m here to encourage you today, friends, to believe that your Father in Heaven, when He delivers you and grants your requests, you will be like a dreamer. Hold onto your dreams and the vision you have for your life, marriage, finances, ministry, children, spouse, etc.

Because your God is One who does immeasurably more than you can ask or imagine, the joy and peace you will feel WHEN He shows up and shows off in your life will certainly be immeasurably more than you are even thinking at this moment!